Spring Term 2022

Week beginning 21st March 2022

Everyone at Community Playgroup have been enjoying the wonderful spring weather this week and have spent lots of time in the garden.
Some of our favourite activities this week include.
🪂Parachute games and fantastic ball runs🪂
We had great fun making some fantastic ball runs with the gutter pipes  and stands, the children loved moving the gutters, changing the gradient of the  pipes to see if they could make the balls move faster, they had to work together to safely move the stands and pipes and used their super listening skills.
We also had fun with parachute games, helping the little colourful bunnies hop around on the parachute whilst singing “hop little bunny”, but we had to be careful to make sure they didn’t fall off. We sang some other favourite songs too  like the wheels on the bus and row your boat
🔴🟡🔵Number pegs🔵🟡🔴
We practiced some number recognition and developed our fine motor skills using our number log slices and pegs, it was tricky to manipulate the small pegs into the log slices, but with lots of patience and perseverance we saw some beautiful coloured numbers appear!
🎨 Outdoor painting 🎨
As the weather was so good we were able to do some lovely outdoor painting this week, firstly we used some of our plastic balls and vibrantly coloured paint to do some ball rolling painting, gently rolling the balls through the  paint to create some lovely abstract art. We then did some free painting creating some masterpieces in the sunshine
🕷🐞🐛Bug exploration🐛🐞🕷
We have noticed lots of mini beasts and bugs roaming the garden in the sunshine, from spiders to ladybirds and butterflies, we seen them all, so we have been looking at both real and plastic insects using our magnifying glasses, looking at similarities and differences of each insect.
🐰🐰Flying bunnies!!!!🐰🐰
Our stem activity this week was all about making catapults to try and launch the Easter bunnies across the playhouse. This activity is great  as it encompasses science, technology, maths  and engineering. We spent time
* Thinking about what materials and how many we needed to make a catapult
* Making  the catapult
* learning about force and effect, looking at how far we can make items travel
* looking at whether moving parts of the catapult can increase the distanced travelled. We also had lots of fun seeing the bunnies fly about the playhouse😊🐰
 We hope you all had a great week too 😊
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Week beginning 14th March 2022

🌈 Celebrating Science week 🧫🧪
This week is British science week so following our children’s interests we have been doing lots of science based activities around rainbows and colour. Some of our favourite activities were growing magic rainbows – capillary action, watching the rainbow colours move across the paper towel as the towel absorbs the water, the colours bleed across the paper towel until it reaches the middle making beautiful rainbows and also a host of other colours as the colours mix. We also made Rainbow daffodils, using vibrant coloured water to demonstrate how plants and flowers take up water they need to survive, we created some beautiful coloured daffodils 🌼
🌼🔆 Garden Fun 🔆🌼
We have had lots of fun in the lovely sunshine this week and particularly enjoyed being builders and constructing in the garden, we all worked together to make some amazing structures and thought about how to keep ourselves safe when moving the logs and wheel barrows.
🌈 Fluffy rainbow paint 🎨
This week Monika helped us to make some fluffy rainbow paint, which was lots of fun, we followed the recipe pouring scooping and stirring to make the special paint. We then got to choose what colour we wanted to make the paint. We then created some beautiful puffy paintings!😊

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Week beginning 7th March 2022

 

🚀🪐👩‍🚀 Rockets and space 👩‍🚀🪐🚀

Some of our children are really developing an interest in space, the planets and rockets, one of the children commented that he would like to make a rocket for the ceiling art, we already had the moon stars and planets but he said we needed a rocket and some aliens to go with them.
So a group of children set out to decorate and create a space rocket and aliens with Sarah. Look out in the coming weeks for the finished project 😊
🎨🧊 Ice painting 🧊🎨
 This week we explored ice painting, this is a great activity as it gives the children chance to explore colour mixing, mark making and patterns and also how the slippery ice feels and melts. It’s great fun to try painting on different textures, surfaces and positions from under tables, to floors and fences, we try them all. The added bonus of ice painting is that you can take a print from your ice using paper, so even when the ice has melted you still have your ice painting print.
🔴🟡🔵Tissue paper bleeding art 🔴🟡🔵
This week our STEM activity and exploration was tissue paper art, this is a really fun activity. The children used small pieces of tissue paper that they placed on white paper they then sprayed with a fine mist of water soaking the tissue paper. Once the tissue paper had dried a little they carefully peeled it off of the white paper below and saw amazing artwork  where the colour had transferred  This is a great activity to explore colour mixing shape and form whilst honing our fine motor skills and coordination
🧱More  large scale construction using polydrons🧱
The children really enjoy making things with the polydrons set, you can of course make houses and various shapes but we’ve also had cots and dog beds, houses, space rockets and cars this week that the children used in their role play, this activity is great for collaborative play, working together, listening to others ideas and planning and is also lots of fun……Can you see someone hiding in the house the children made?

Week beginning 28th February 2022

☀️Outside fun and  play☀️
At community playgroup we use our outside environment in all weathers, however with the sunnier days we have seen a big increase in the amount of children playing outside for extended periods of time. This week there was some fabulous mud cakes, potions and creations going on in the mud kitchen. The children all worked together to make a big chocolate birthday cake and then sang “happy birthday” we also had some fantastic sandcastles going on in the sand tray as well other sandy delights like ice creams and of course some excavation and finding treasure

🚧 Messy play construction 🚧

Following on from our excavating in the sand tray we set up a building site with some diggers,  dumpers and other construction vehicles. The children enjoyed moving around the pasta, flour, rice and other items that were kindly donated to us by Tesco
 ( there is a lot of discussion around whether food items should be used in play but all of the items we use for play are ripped/torn/opened/shop soiled product that are not allowed to be sold and would end up in the bin, so we give them a second life in play)  😊
📕📘📚World book day 📚📘📕
This year is the 25th anniversary of World book day and at Community playgroup we celebrated it with lots of booked themed activities. We believe it’s really important to foster a love of books and stories from a young age so use lots of resources and activities to really bring the stories to life.
This year we had fun feeding the 3 bears their porridge, making telescopes like Timothy pope and also having tea with the tiger who came to tea! We also looked at the  Dear zoo story and also made some beautiful Elmer pictures

Week beginning 21st February 2022

This year the children seem to love anything to do with construction, building block towers and lots of Duplo play.  It’s really interesting to watch the basic skill of stacking a few bricks develop into the most amazing structures which are then used to facilitate play and wonderful stories. The creativity, focus and determination to create their ideas using different materials is great to watch.

Celebrating TWOSDAY and the number 2!
This week we celebrated TWOSDAY with lots of fun activities, the children really enjoyed pairing items like Noah’s animals, racing cars around a number 2 track and also getting the dinosaurs to stomp their way from the top of the number 2 right down to the bottom.
We also made some rather beautiful 2 crowns carefully colouring and decorating our 2’s
Focussing on a number really  helps with number recognition and also understanding numeral and quantity, the children were happily searching and finding numbers in and around the playhouse for days afterwards.

A staple at all early years setting is mark making materials and paints, our children at Community can use whatever materials they want to produce art work and be creative. Here are some of this weeks beautiful masterpieces.

Our STEM activity this week was a baking soda, vinegar and balloon experiment, the children were amazed to watch the chemical reaction when the soda hit the vinegar producing carbon dioxide which then inflated the balloon. The children were intrigued to find out if they could make the balloon blow up bigger and how they could achieve that and experimented with different amounts of vinegar and soda.

Week beginning 4th February 2022

This week at playgroup we have had a busy week having fun with the Valentines day theme.
❤💝   Love Potions  💝❤
We had lots of fun mixing, pouring and creating love potions, the children enjoyed mixing all of the different coloured water, sparkles and hearts together to make special love potions, with a hug, a heart and a pinch of magic these colourful potions encouraged lots of lovely discussion and collaborative play.
The children loved to see the different colours they could make and made predictions about what would happen when they mixed the coloured water.

 

Monika helped us to make some lovely colourful wool hearts, we loved using the gloopy glue to cover our hearts and then carefully placed the wool on top. The children were thinking about who they might like to give their special hearts to…… if you received one I hope it brightened your day, they certainly made the playhouse look very colourful.
🌞🌦🌬    Outdoor Fun    🌬🌦🌞
As usual we have all been enjoying our outside spaces and with the lovely sunny days we had recently there’s been lots of great imaginative play from ice cream shops in the playhouse to cake making in the mud kitchen and of course lots of climbing and balancing on our climbing equipment and logs.
Its always fantastic to stand back and observe how the children use the outside environment and think about how we might extend that play by adding resources and equipment for the children to discover and explore, who knew that some simple logs could become a bridge over a crocodile infested river to a fantasy land where dinosaurs and unicorns roam 🦄🐊
Our STEM activity this week was magical floating pictures
This was a huge hit with all of the children at playgroup this week, even the most reluctant of mark makers wanted to have a go at this activity.
The children used white board markers to create pictures and marks on plates before adding a small amount of water to make the pictures float (This happens because the alcohol/solvent in the pens evaporates leaving behind only the pigment and the oily silicone polymer which isn’t water soluble, this then slips off the plate surface and floats to the top of the water) This is a fabulous activity to try with children of all ages. We definitely all enjoyed the magic!!!!

Please CLICK HERE to view the video.

Week beginning 31st January 2022

We began the week thinking about Chinese New Year, as it is the year of the tiger we made some colourful stripy tiger masks, the children enjoyed moving around like a tiger making some magnificent roaring noises.

We also made a sparkling dragon together, each child decorated a section of the dragon using glitter and sequins before we placed it together.

We also had a go at using chopsticks to try to pick up the rice and noodles, it was very tricky to manipulate the chopsticks but we had lots of fun trying

 

We continued to explore mark making using some very fine sand, the children enjoyed using the different tools to make patterns and marks in the sand, some used their fingers and hands to scoop, pour and move the sand

 

We all enjoyed another start sporty session with Lee, we became lots of different animals moving around like tall giraffes lumbering elephants and galloping gazelles. We also played a great team game with beanbags and cones. It was great fun to be outside in the fresh air having lots of fun.

 

The children really enjoyed the STEM ice tray activity last week and have been showing lots of interest in the Frozen movie so this week we set up a special story tray where Elsa had frozen lots of animals into ice and the children had to work together to help Anna, Sven and Olaf to melt the ice and release the animals. I’m pleased to report that the children successfully managed to release all of the playgroup animals

 

Our STEM Friday activity this week was exploring Sink or float. The children explored which objects in the playhouse would sink or float in the water, they carefully placed the items in the water and watched to see what happened, they had a great time predicting which items they thought would float and then trying it out

 

We also had  lots of fun with a winter snow inspired tough tray, we threaded some lovely snowflakes using wool and also had lots of fun collecting, scooping and pouring the pretend snow! We were absolutely amazed when we saw some real snow falling outside, we were a little disappointed that it was only a short flurry which didn’t settled but we are really hoping that maybe we might be lucky and have some ore real snow soon 🌨❄️☃️

Week beginning 24th January 2022

We’ve had another great week of fun and exploration which started with a very popular fruit punch tray,  we had lots of coloured water, some herbs, lavender and fruit. The children loved pouring, stirring and scooping and making lots of lovely pretend fruity drinks. The children also noticed that when you mixed the different coloured water you could make lots of new colours. We also enjoyed smelling all of the ingredients

 

This week we were thinking about feelings and emotions, we thought about what makes us happy and sad and also talked about other emotions we might feel. This is particularly important this year as many of our children have been unable to have early play experiences and interactions due to Covid lockdowns. Giving children the vocabulary and understanding of these emotions means that they can convey their feelings.

We had a go at making some emotion monsters,  using the wipeable pens to convey different emotions, thinking about what colours we thought expressed sad, angry and happy. Here are some of the monsters the children created. Can you guess what emotions are?

 

We also practiced our cutting skills, carefully cutting out the shapes following the lines on the paper. Learning how to use scissors is very tricky so lots of practice really helps.

 

In the garden a group of children decided to create an obstacle course using the logs and tyres, they worked together to move and roll the logs and tyres into position, checking the placement of each object by having a go, they listen to each other’s ideas and also decided where the start and finish was so that they didn’t bump into each other. A couple of the logs were wobbly so one child had an idea to maybe turn the log the other way up which solved the problem. It was lovely to watch the collaborative play and also the children’s delight when their plan came together to create a lovely obstacle course for everyone to use.

 

We also explored counting and numbers with our spotty ladybirds, the children carefully placed the black discs onto the ladybirds. They counted the number of spots and tried to find the corresponding numbers.

Some of the children just liked placing the disks onto the ladybirds and weren’t at all interested in counting the dots or thinking about numbers – this is a great fine motor activity and helps to develop the muscles needed to manipulate tools and mark making equipment. Some other children used the disks to build towers.

This just shows how diverse each activity can really be and also that children feel confident to follow their own ideas and interests.

 

We also explored the inch wincy spider rhyme using  props, the children really enjoyed saying the rhyme whilst acting it out with the props. The French group also learnt the song which is called L’araignee Gypsy in French

As usual there was lots of construction going on, this week the children used the foam blocks to create some great towers, they also used large polydrons to create a magical “dreamland” they placed the polydron pieces together and then set about creating different areas like dinosaur world with a special volcano made from a shell, ocean area with a beach made with shells, a zoo area and fairy land. They worked together and shared ideas about what each area could look like and what they needed to add to each area.

This weeks STEM Friday activity was learning about what makes ice melt fastest, we used warm water, cold water salt and white vinegar. The children tried each thing individually and also mixed some together to see if it changed the speed at which the ice melted. We encouraged the children to make predictions about what they thought would happen before trying.

January 6th- 21st 2022

As the children return to playgroup following the Christmas break, and we welcome a few new children who are joining us for the very first time we feel it’s really important that we provide activities that not only spark imagination, creativity and exploration, but also ones that are favourites and familiar to the children. This helps ease the transition back to playgroup following the excitement and festivities of the season.

Everyone at playgroup seems to love making and playing with play dough,the children all help to make the dough measuring ,pouring and stirring the ingredients together and also choosing the colour and scent of the dough. We are always amazed at what the children make and as you can see the dough is very versatile and you can make almost anything with it, including this fantastic railway track for the mini trains that a group of children made together.

 

Construction is another firm favourite and also very familiar to most children. This month the children at Playgroup have particularly liked the Duplo,the foam and wooden blocks and also the wooden Meccano set. They create the most wonderful structures and take pride in explaining what they’ve made. We often find that children work together and collaborate to make elaborate structures which incorporate all of the groups ideas.

 

Mark making is a huge part of daily life at playgroup,  children have free access to a variety of different materials each day. Some children choose to draw pictures, other want to practice their blossoming writing skills whilst others prefer to create marks to represent actions such as people running fast or cars whizzing around. All mark making is valued and celebrated at playgroup from the most precise and accurate drawing right down to a single mark on a page. We aim to foster a love for expression through mark making and every little mark can convey so much.

 

Role play is another favourite of the children, they love to become a vet, a doctor, a train driver, a cafe owner and many other roles that they observe or experience in their daily lives.

It’s lovely to sit and observe the children acting out these roles and who doesn’t love a lovely cup of tea at the cafe or a special check up with the doctor to make sure all is in order.

 

Often when we are planning what we are going to do we ask the children what they would like to play with, recent favourite activities that have been chosen are colour sorting, threading activities to make lovely jewellery, Mr Potato head and also the garage and cars, the children love to take turns whizzing their cars down the ramps

 

 

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