24th May 2019
Following on from the children’s interest in water last week, we provided a watery week again this week with many more resources for them to investigate, such as tubes, funnels, colanders and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they observed the water flowing down through the funnels, through the tubes and who knows where it ended up!!! They also had the opportunity to use the ‘Flow Wall’ and again they scooped up water in jugs and poured it down the guttering, watching it run all the way down into containers at the bottom – their interest soon turned to balls and cars which were placed onto the guttering and as they rolled down, the children watched in excitement until eventually. they splashed into the containers of water at the bottom. Some children decided to be creative and organise the guttering themselves, which encouraged them to use their own ideas and solve problems. Bubble blowing through plastic bottles, covered at the end with tights, was very entertaining and the children were delighted with all the bubbles that they were able to create!! An obstacle course encouraged the children to move their bodies in different ways, travelling around, under and over obstacles and the soft play seemed to be the place to build a house, chill out and relax!!! Our growing projects have done really well and the children have now taken home their ‘Bean Houses’, ‘Grassy Heads’ and we are so proud of our little tadpoles, which have now got back legs - we knew they could do it!!! Each child created a flower this week, which was an adult focused activity – and the objective was to help them learn about the parts of plants – they have also been learning a catchy song about plants and what each part does – we do hope that they continue to sing it throughout the half-term so that you can learn it too!!!!!
17th May 2019
We have been observing the ‘Bean Houses’ that the children created last week and they are already displaying roots and shoots – we have been reading ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and are hoping that we can grow some beanstalks too!!!! This week we have begun another growing project and that is our ‘Crazy Grassy Heads’ , we gave the pots some facial features, filled them with soil and topped them off with grass seed and now await their hair to grow!! Water play has been thoroughly enjoyed and the children have had lots of fun exploring the flow of water down long pieces of guttering, filling and emptying jugs and playing with ducks and boats. The children have experimented with musical instruments and we all enjoyed a little sing-a-long in the outdoor area.
10th May 2019
A Garden Centre role play area was very popular and many flowers and plants were sold – a few disputes over money but generally the customers were pleased with the service! The children had fun ’growing’ carrots in the soil tray and each child has made a ‘Bean House’ - these have been hung up in the window and we are now awaiting signs of roots and shoots. Beautiful spring flowers created by the children using paints and tissue paper have been displayed on the wall, with our very hungry caterpillar and has certainly put a touch of spring into the playroom. We have spent time out in the wildlife garden searching for bugs, using bug hunter sheets and magnifiers – we found many snails, beetles, worms, woodlouse and to our surprise a small frog in a bucket!!! The children enjoyed using their imaginations as they pushed small diggers around and they were also extremely busy at the mud kitchen creating a variety of culinary dishes with coloured water, bark, leaves and sticks.
Spring is in the air………………………….
Following a settling in week last week, we have now begun our Spring topic, so we have all put a spring in our step and are looking forward to lots of exciting activities and experiences over the next half -term as we explore the changes that are happening around us. We have discussed the spring season at circle time by looking at some colourful illustrations and explained to the children that this season is all about new beginnings - fresh buds bloom, animals awaken, seeds are planted and the weather is getting warmer. The children have spent lots of time outside in the wildlife garden, where bugs have proved a source of interest, particularly the woodlouse that are hidden away under the large logs, additionally they have also enjoyed using the gardening tools to search in the soil for worms! We are continuing to observe the tadpoles in the school pond, although we do have to look very carefully to spot them, however some have survived and are gradually getting bigger. A tray of soil with plant pots and artificial flowers was very popular and the children were very proud of what they had ‘grown’. Plastic ducks and cuddly frogs encouraged imaginative play and the singing of the rhymes ‘Five Little Ducks’ and ‘Five Speckled Frogs’. To support the children’s physical development we used cones for a variety of games to help them develop spatial awareness and control and coordination – we had team races where they had to weave in and out the cones, but the favourite game was ‘Hop, Little Bunnies’, where the children had to jump around the cones but on hearing the word ‘FOX’ they quickly had to race back to their bunny hole - the excitement of it all!!!!!
Have a lovely bank holiday weekend, wake up and shake up and put a spring in your step!!!
5th April 2019
We spent a lot of time in the wildlife garden at the beginning of the week and the children were very busy with the gardening tools, particularly using the rakes to spread around all the new bark that had been delivered – many thanks to Nick Duckett!! They also enjoyed using the ‘mud kitchen’, chopping up carrots, beans and potatoes and serving up casseroles and soups. Chocolate dough was very popular and the children had fun being very creative little bakers – squashing, squeezing and shaping the dough to create cupcakes, biscuits and Easter eggs. We went on an Easter egg hunt in small groups and each child painted and decorated some bunny ears to wear home.
Out tadpoles have now been transferred to the school pond and we will continue to observe and watch them grow .
Our Easter Raffle was a big success – many, many thanks to everyone that supported this event and all funds raised will go towards supporting Meare Moles.
We wish everyone a Happy Easter!!
25th March 2019
We now have some guests staying with us at Moles which the children are showing great interest in – yes our little tadpole friends! They did arrive as Frog Spawn and have quickly made the change into little wriggly tadpoles, exploring their way around their new home. The arrival of these tadpoles has linked in well with the basis of our planning this week, which was all about ‘Gardens’. We have discussed what we might find in these outdoor spaces, such as ponds, plants, furniture, trees, sheds and of course bugs. We have spent time in the wildlife garden and due to the children’s interest in worms, we decided to create a wormery – many children were very eager to go on a worm hunt, happily picking them up and placing them in the wormery. This was observed throughout the week, however it wasn’t hugely successful as there was little worm activity going on, so didn’t really draw the crowds in!!! Our pipe cleaner ‘worms’ were much more fun and they have enjoyed picking them up using pegs and dropping them into pots.The children explored the garden, turning over logs to look for minibeasts and taking a closer look using magnifiers. Large wheeled vehicles were popular again and this time the children requested the tools out as many had broken down and needed to go to the garage for repairs.
We wish you all a ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ and look forward to celebrating Easter next week!! Don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets for our Easter raffle which is being drawn on Thursday 4th April (aprox 3pm) – some great prizes to be won!
22nd March 2019
This week we thought about ‘Homes for Sale’ and decorating - it gave some of the children an opportunity to share their experiences of moving house. We decided to have an Estate Agency role play area, which was busy at times and the children were very helpful in finding new homes for the staff! At circle time we talked about decorating a house and we looked at a range of different coloured paints, patterned wallpapers and samples of material. The ‘cutting’ table helped the children to develop their manipulative skills as they snipped away at pieces of wallpaper and they had fun painting the fences outside. Crates were used outside as trailers – we attached them to the tractors/cars using rope and they were all very busy loading/unloading their crates with blocks. Next week will be our last week of our Homes topic and we will be thinking about Gardens – this will incorporate the children’s growing interest in worms!!
11th March 2019
This week some children went out to observe houses in the local environment – we looked at similarities and differences between them and talked about what we had seen on our return – they all remembered the worm that we had seen on the path, the tractor in the field and maybe a little something about the houses!!!! Unfortunately due to the very wet weather conditions this week, not all the children were able to participate in this activity, however we did enjoy experiencing the windy weather in the outdoor area, using ribbon sticks and lots of sheets – there was a lot of laughter as the children ran through the blowing sheets and it created a lot of excitement between them all. We observed the branches on trees blowing, our hair blowing and talked about drying washing on the line at home!! Each child explored ‘shape’ as they created pictures through the use of gummed paper shapes – many made houses and others created tractors and trains. Pirate play seemed to evolve midway through the week, therefore we provided resources to support this play, such as pirate maps, tubes for telescopes and of course Blackbeard’s treasure. The children also enjoyed a pirate action game and songs. We had lots of ‘Red Nose Day’ fun playing a variety of games, colouring in and pinning the red nose on Mr Tumble.
1st March 2019
Well what a week!!!!!! We have continued with our topic of ‘Homes’ and this week we were thinking about the different rooms and the types of furniture and appliances you might find in them. To link in with the kitchen, we decided to have a cooking activity this week and make some pizzas – the children worked hard kneading the pizza dough and then cut up and placed on toppings of their own choice! We discussed them going into the oven to cook and they all looked rather delicious and edible when they came out. Home corner area was very busy with lots of washing and cleaning being done, until the firemen had to come along to put out the house fire!!! In the outdoor area the building site was extremely busy, with a range of tools being used and lots of houses being built, although the site receptionist did find time for a chat and a giggle!!!
We didn’t let pancake day go by without tasting some delicious pancakes for snack, pancake races in the outdoors and pancake tossing using some dough and frying pans!! We celebrated World Book Day by asking the children to bring in their favourite book and encouraged them to dress up as a book character.
15th February 2019
Apologies for no updates over the last couple of weeks, but unfortunately we have had some technical problems!!
We had lots of fun with our dinosaur topic and the children have learnt some interesting facts, songs and enjoyed many activities in the indoor and outdoor area. Our volcano experiment was a great source of interest – we mixed baking soda, red paint and vinegar together to create an explosion of lava from a volcano which absolutely delighted the children!! The children have explored fossils, had fun at the ‘Dinosaur Dig’ , created dinosaur fossils with pasta and used their imaginations in the dinosaur cave!!
This week we have been celebrating Chinese New Year – Gung Hei Fat Choi (Happy New Year) and the Chinese Restaurant/Takeaway has been extremely popular with many orders being placed and food enjoyed by all!! A tray of rice and noodles encouraged lots of imaginative play and supported physical development as they scooped it up using spoons, tweezers and forks to fill bowls. We attempted dragon dancing and moving our bodies and ribbons to Chinese music. The children all painted a lantern and these have been taken home along with a small red envelope containing a coin – this is a traditional gift during Chinese New Year – by giving money to children the elders are hoping to pass on a year of good!
25th January 2019
Dinosaur island with its murky swamp proved to be a popular place to play – the children used their imaginations as they stomped the dinosaurs around in the swamp, with some children introducing storylines into their play. It was also an opportunity to name and talk about the features of the different dinosaurs and to match them up to illustrations in books. At circle time we played a Letters & Sounds game called ‘Dinosaurs Dinner’, where the children had to choose some objects to feed the dinosaurs, but they would only eat foods beginning with the same initial sound in their name i.e Stegosaurus chose to eat a snake, sausage, sandwich – the letter ‘S’ was emphasised throughout the activity. In the outdoor area we played ‘We’re going on a dino hunt……….’ and the children had fun using number cards which they had to match up to numbered dinosaurs hidden in different areas – we then completed an action corresponding to that particular number. Fun was had on balancing buckets which encouraged physical development and as they became more confident and skilled at balancing on them, they stomped around like Stegosauruses.
18th January 2019 We have just begun our new topic – Dinosaurs!! The word dinosaur means terrible lizard and this week we have been learning some basic facts about them using fun games and information books to find out more about them i.e extinct, herbivore, carnivore, fossil, bones, skeleton and some words to describe individual dinosaurs. The children have used paints to create some amazing dinosaurs for our ‘Earth Long Ago’ display – brushes, sponges and a variety of coloured paints were provided and the children are all very proud of the display. We have also created another display using a 3D T-Rex, who has been a huge source of interest and he is surrounded by lots of words that relate to our dinosaur topic. The brown dough was popular with some children moulding and shaping it to create dinosaurs, whereas others stomped dinosaurs through it, but by mid-week they all became more interested in becoming chefs and there was so much interest in baking cakes, creating food, that we decided to bring out some cooking resources to enhance their play. Mini dinosaurs roamed around the sand trays and a small world dinosaur play set encouraged lots of imaginative play and interaction. Numbered dinosaur pictures were provided to encourage numeral recognition and the use of mathematical language – the children enjoyed helping the adult to place the dinosaurs in number order along the floor and then had lots of fun when they had to quickly point to a given number. In the outdoors there was a range of large construction materials, such as crates, waffle blocks, planks, duplo blocks which gave the children the opportunity to build, problem solve and be creative.
21st December 2018
Well what a jolly festive week we have had!! On Tuesday the parents came along and watched our play ‘Shine Star Shine’ – the children were absolutely amazing and there were some really entertaining moments – we thank everyone for coming and hope that everyone enjoyed the show. We have done many festive activities throughout the week and our grand finale was the Christmas party today, the highlight being a visit from Santa’s favourite elf ‘Porky’. Porky was extremely entertaining and had the children dancing and singing and they were all delighted to receive a gift from him before he made his way back to Santa’s busy workshop. The children all iced and decorated a Christmas tree biscuit, that they had made this week and those were enjoyed at snack time. Lunch was a hot meal of chicken nuggets, chips and beans – a traditional Christmas lunch!!!
14th December 2018
Ginger dough has continued to be explored, using various Christmas cutters and decorations - the children enjoyed the addition of bowls, saucepans and ultimately the microwave to ‘cook’ their Christmas cookies. The Post Office role play area has been busy with lots of letters being posted and delivered and the boxes provided endless opportunities for imaginary play!! The children had the opportunity to develop physical skills through using scissors to cut up Christmas cards and colouring festive pictures. We also wore our festive jumpers in today to support ‘Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day’ – a fun day had by all! The children have been fabulous in our play rehearsals for ‘Shine Star Shine’ and we are looking forward to showing the parents on Tuesday
7th December 2018
Spicy gingerbread dough was used to create a range of Christmas delights – they had fun with Christmas cutters, rolling pins and buttons. Our walls are looking very colourful as the children have created their very own Christmas trees and gingerbread men for our wonderful festive displays. Large jenga blocks were creatively used to make pathways, bridges and other arrangements. Fire fighters were on duty and it was a very busy morning for them - there appeared to be fires in all corners of the room, so they put their hoses to good use and extinguished the flames!!
30th November 2018
This week the children have enjoyed ball play outside and being active on the soft play equipment inside – they built tunnels to crawl through and bridges to go over. Some children enjoyed exploring colour and mark making through painting, whilst other children played imaginatively as fire fighters, using props to support their play. Our thoughts will now turn to Christmas, which is fast approaching and next week we will begin lots of Christmas crafts and activities and continue with our play rehearsals for ‘Shine Star Shine’.
23rd November 2018
It’s been a musical week with lots of singing and dancing, as we reflect on the children’s carnival experiences – for those that did not have the opportunity to see it we showed them videos and pictures of some of the amazing floats. The children had fun on the ‘carnival float’ outside, which was made using crates and construction blocks and we played some music for them to dance to with ribbon sticks and hoops. Junk modelling was enjoyed by all the children – some chose to make carnival floats, whilst others made tractors, helicopters, cars, trains and even monsters!! The children were encouraged to choose their own resources, to use their own ideas and were supported in using different joining techniques – thank you to all parents that contributed junk materials. Carnival floats were made using construction materials such as stickle bricks and mobile and some even made floats out of the dough. We are continuing to have lots of fun brushing up all the leaves – we think it must almost be coming to an end now though and then our thoughts will turn to Christmas, as we begin rehearsals for our Christmas play ‘Shine Star Shine’.
16th November 2018
This week the children have been learning all about how animals survive the winter. Animals can’t put on a jumper, heat their homes and go to the supermarket to get their food, so what do they do in winter? Well we used circle time as an opportunity to talk about Hibernation, Migration and Adaption, using props/resources to help the children understand the meaning of each one. Lots of children chose to wear the animal hats and play in the hibernating den, they had lots of fun chasing each other around and then all hiding away in the den to keep warm for winter. Each child created a clay hedgehog, initially we looked at a picture of a hedgehog to find out about its features and then with a little help from the adults, the children created their very own unique hedgehog, using small sticks for the spines. The children were also very busy outside as they built with large duplo, crates and large waffle blocks to create a variety of arrangements, although building high towers became increasingly popular throughout the week. They all went on a ‘Bear Hunt’ in the outdoors and the children had the opportunity to play with the small world ‘Bear Hunt’ play set in the indoor area. The children enjoyed a game where they helped ’Mr Squirrel’ gather up all his acorns and put them up in his tree, which provided an opportunity for counting/problem solving and was lots of fun!!!
9th November 2018
This week the children have been telling us all about their halloween and firework experiences and the ‘witching’ hasn’t stopped!! They have been making potions with the sand inside and with natural resources in the outdoors with lots of spell chanting. We thought ‘Room on the Broom’ an appropriate story to read and the children had fun acting out the story with some props. Our harvest pumpkin was carved and we carried out a little hocus pocus by mixing bicarbonate of soda, wine vinegar and a little food colouring which resulted in a bubbling mixture oozing out of his mouth -much to the children’s delight. The children all created an individual painted poppy and we learnt a song to help them gain an understanding about Remembrance Day. Next week we will be thinking about animals and how they survive the winter.
25th October 2018
Our ‘Harvest’ week has been a very busy week with a wide range of exciting activities on offer for the children and many busy chefs in the room!!! We discussed the harvest festival at circle time and passed a feely bag around the circle, each time with a different vegetable inside – there was no peeping, so they had to use their sense of touch to guess what vegetable was hiding inside the bag! At the end of the week the children had the opportunity to chop the vegetables up, mix them with some coloured water and create ‘vegetable soups’ and ‘pies’ at the mud kitchen. Hay was used with the small world farm play set and the farmers were busy driving the tractors around and collecting all the hay into the trailers. The bakery role play area was busy and sold lots of bread/cakes/pizza, as customers arrived with their shopping baskets and enjoyed having a drink and bite to eat in the bakery café. The stretchy dough was a popular table and it became stretchier throughout the week as it was pulled, poked, stretched and kneaded – they had fun creating ‘cakes’ and ‘bread’ as they placed the dough in bun tins/trays and cooked in the play oven. The best part of the week was the aroma of bread throughout the playroom, as the children had the opportunity to participate in making a bread roll to take home (extra ones for snack time) and we do hope that they were all edible!!!!
19th October 2018
The children have explored autumn leaves this week through observing them using magnifiers and completing leaf rubbings. The leaf rubbings and autumn fall objects are very eye catching as they hang from our tree branch mobiles. Magic leaf paintings have been taken home and these were created through the use of candle wax and watercolour paints and looked very effective. Leaves continued to be raked and brushed up outside, wheelbarrows filled and autumn songs sung to help us on the way.The dinosaur small world was very popular as the children stomped the dinosaurs through autumn leaves/sticks – there was lots of imaginative talk and lots of conkers and acorns for them to munch on!!! When playing with the large wheeled cars outside, an interest grew in parking spaces, so with the help of an adult, crates and number cards were used to create a road and parking spaces – watch out though for PC Zak who was controlling the traffic and giving out tickets for speeding!!!! Next week out thoughts will turn to Harvest and the smell of bread will be drifting around the playgroup.
12th October 2018 Pretty leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down. Pretty leaves are falling down, all around Meare Moles …… What a fun week we have had – the children thoroughly enjoyed our autumn walk around the school grounds to observe their surroundings and we collected many ‘fall’ objects along the way to place in our collection basket. Many leaves were raked up outside, scooped into wheelbarrows and tractors, before throwing them up into the air and watching them flutter down!! There was lots of exploratory play as they used magnifiers to explore leaves, conkers, cones, acorns and many other autumn fall objects – we also used circle time as an opportunity to talk about this season and the changes that are happening. Cutting tools and sticks of all sizes were used to poke and prod the clay and this provided a new malleable . 5th October 2018 The children have all created a self-portrait this week – they had the opportunity to observe their own faces and use mark making tools to create a picture of their face, which are now proudly displayed on the wall. We reinforced that we are all unique, just like the Rainbow Fish. Outside the children had lots of fun on the Monty Mole ship – they have sailed to Home Bargains, Aldi and to treasure island!!!! Water has been explored through a ‘Floating and Sinking ‘ activity, which all the children really enjoyed as they investigated different objects and talked about what was happening. ’Jelly Bath’ was provided in a large tray and was extremely popular with some, but not with others – hands were sunk in and scoops/spoons were used to explore, pour and make ‘jelly’ !!!!!! Next week we will begin our Autumn topic and the children will use their senses to explore a range of autumn fall objects. 28th September 2018 Our Rainbow Fish topic continued this week and the children have all created a hanging rainbow fish, decorated with paint prints (using celery sticks). We placed a CD in the middle of the fish to enable the reflected light to make fabulous rainbow colours. The children enjoyed the water play with the sea creatures and shells and are learning the names of the various sea creatures. Block play has been hugely popular with the children creating towers, trains, houses etc and we have adapted it each day, placing various other resources with them to enhance the play. We reinforced that the Rainbow fish is very special, just like all the children – it was an opportunity to introduce Ross our African-Caribbean Persona Doll and to use this experience to help them gain an understanding that we all have similarities and differences, however we are all individual and unique. .