Frost, ice and snow
The cold weather didn’t stop us from venturing outside to learn last week! With our hats and gloves on, and our coats zipped right to the top, we enjoyed exploring the garden and found lots of frost, ice and sparkling spider webs.
One of the Prime areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage is Physical Development and part of this relates to children’s independence skills and their ability to dress themselves. Please take advantage of wrapping up in the cold weather and encourage your child to put on their own shoes and coat. If they can do this already, can they fasten the zip on their coat or put on their own gloves? These are all great skills to learn – you might just need to get ready 5 minutes earlier to give children some extra time.
Knobbly knees, bird watching and ice
Continuing with the Gruffalo theme provided lots of opportunities to extend learning this week. There were some fantastic Gruffalo creations in the playdough area; children demonstrated great perseverance and used all the details from the story to make Gruffalo cakes with purple prickles, orange eyes and terrible teeth.
It was quite chilly outside and children spotted lots of signs of winter. We talked about the frost each morning and children were very excited to find ice in different places. After painting on the ice, children noticed that when they returned to the activity later, it had gone!
As part of the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch, children helped to make some birdfeeders to hang in the Nursery garden. We look forward to bird watching next week.
EasyPeasy! We are going live!
You should have received a letter and information booklet introducing you to the new and FREE educational app called ‘EasyPeasy’.
‘EasyPeasy’ is going live this Saturday 26th January. If you have not opted out you will receive a text message inviting you to access the many educational game ideas that you can do at home.
Each week, you will receive a text message with a new game that you can play in any location with everyday items that you’ll already have at home. EasyPeasy is designed to support learning through play!
This week the activity will be ‘lunch time’. Let us know how you get on by commenting on the game. Look out for our comment with suggestions of how to adapt the game!
There’s no such thing as a Gruffal…
Oh, what fun we’ve had reading the Gruffalo this week! Children obviously love this story; it has provided a great stimulus for conversation and is helping children to develop their early reading skills. In the large construction area, one child decided to build a ‘Gruffalo floor’ and we used this to create a puppet theatre. Children enjoyed working together to use puppets to create a show for their friends.
If you want to sing a long to a Gruffalo song that we enjoyed listening to in Nursery, here’s a link to a video you can watch at home. Julia Donaldson’s website is also full of lots of ideas and games to play too. If you have a go at making Gruffalo crumble, send us a picture and let us know what it tasted like!
The reading area has also been popular this week; we’ve added a collection of other stories written by Julia Donaldson. We’ve noticed lots of excellent early reading skills being developed.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, when working in the 30-50 months developmental band for reading, children should begin to:
- Join in with stories and guess what might happen next.
- Listen to longer stories and talk about the main events and characters.
- Know that stories have beginnings and endings.
- Look at books independently (holding them the correct way up and turning the pages carefully).
- Talk about the illustrations and begin to understand that print is read from left to right and conveys meaning.
We also enjoyed consolidating our learning about basic 2D shapes (circle, square, rectangle and triangle) by going on a shape hunt around school. We found lots of shapes including a triangle on a sign for the swimming pool and a circle on the giant playground clock.
We played a game on the interactive whiteboard to feed the correct shape to each monster.
Toys, ice and shapes.
Children were keen to return to Nursery after the Christmas holidays; some were so excited they came running through the door! We loved hearing about your adventures and seeing lots of the photos that you kindly sent in.
This week, we read ‘Kipper’s Toy Box’ and talked about the different toys that we got for Christmas. The new Toy Shop role play area was popular and children especially enjoyed navigating the remote controlled cars around a track. It was quite tricky to use the controls to make the cars turn and go straight through the tunnel but the children helped each other and kept trying until they got the cars to the finish line.
Outside, on one of the chillier mornings, we found some ice. Children were really excited and keen to touch it and find out how it got there.
In group times, we learnt about simple 2D shapes. Some children continued their learning outside independently; they spotted some shapes in our outdoor area. Towards the end of the week, we began to make our own shapes, a bit like the ones that we watched on the Mr Maker shape song (CBeebies). We’ll continue learning about shapes next week. Please complete the Home Link shape activity and return it to Nursery.
Learning letter sounds – Ssss
This week, our older children have started to learn about the sounds that letters make. We listened to the Jolly Phonics ‘s’ song and learnt the action (weave hand in an s /snake shape and say ‘ssss’).
To begin with, children are learning to recognise the letter and say the sound. We learn to say the pure sounds that letters make, so for ‘s’, we say ‘sssssss’ rather than ‘suh’.
Children are learning to hear the initial sounds in words by playing eye-spy type games. Some children may try to write the letter, but at this stage in Nursery, our main focus will be learning to hear the sounds in words. Phonics learning in Foundation 2 will have a greater focus on writing and letter formation.
Happy New Year!
We hope that you have all had a lovely time over the Christmas holidays and enjoyed the New Year celebrations. We’re looking forward to seeing you all on Tuesday 8th January. Remember, Nursery is closed on Monday 7th January as staff will be going on home visits to meet children that are going to be joining us in Nursery over the next few weeks.
Please remember to join in with our Home Link activity by sending us some of your holiday photographs. Children love to show their friends and we’ll use their photographs to help children to remember and talk about some of their experiences over the holidays.
Email your photos to [email protected]
A special visitor…
Children wrote to Father Christmas to invite him to visit us in Nursery. They were very excited on Tuesday morning when they discovered that he had got their letter!
We listened carefully to the story that Santa read and afterwards, we told him what we would like for Christmas. Before Santa left, he kindly gave all the children a present. Thank you, Father Christmas!
Primary school places – It’s time to apply!
If your child was born between 1st September 2014 and 31st August 2015, it’s time to apply for their Primary school place. The deadline for applying is 15th January 2019.
Even if your child is attending a school nursery or other early years provision or you have children at school already, you mist still apply for a place.
Please visit the website www.leeds.gov.uk to apply online. If you need any more information, you can contact the admissions team on 0113 222 4414.
In between our concerts last week, we still had time to enjoy some Christmas themed learning. One of the most popular activities was helping Father Christmas in his Elves’ Workshop. After wrapping the presents, children built a sleigh and enjoyed delivering them to all of their friends. We’ve also been writing Christmas cards, counting baubles, sorting Christmas shapes and making reindeer in the playdough. We’ll continue with our Christmas activities for the final week.
Children will listen to the Nativity story and find out more about how some people celebrate Christmas. We’ll be watching some of these short clips from the ‘Let’s Celebrate‘ programme on CBeebies.
If you want to play some games on the computer at home, there are lots of links to Christmas games on the Topmarks website. Our favourite games last week, were playing tunes on the reindeer’s noses and putting the correct number of baubles onto the tree. This is a great game to practise counting out the right number of objects from a group and knowing that you need to stop when you’ve reached the required quantity. That’s quite a tricky early maths skill to master!