18th May 2018
How lucky we have been to have had such wonderful weather this week! The children have thoroughly enjoyed spending lots of time both in the wildlife garden and in the front outdoor area.
We have been busy building with the large waffle blocks and soft play but the most popular outdoor activities this week involved water… the water tray was filled with coloured water and various resources each day like water wheels, colanders, buckets and boats. Lots of time was spent using water and paintbrushes to carefully paint the sheds and fences and of course, most importantly, the children loved being given the job of watering the plants, flowers and vegetables, which are looking splendid!
Each child has created a painted butterfly, all of which are adorning our ceiling and looking beautiful. This, along with butterfly templates that the children decorated with beads, buttons, pompoms, mosaic tiles etc allowed the children to think about pattern, shape and symmetry.
11th May 2018
As part of our spring topic we are thinking about the ‘lifecycle of a butterfly’ and the perfect basis for their learning is the well known story ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ . The children enjoyed listening to the story tape and the story sack really brought the story to life. They have all made an egg box caterpillar which has been filled with grass seed and we are now waiting in anticipation for them to become fuzzy wuzzy caterpillars!! The children have enjoyed creating caterpillars and butterflies using the playdough and lots of fun was had outside as they threw balls and beanbags into the hungry caterpillars mouth. A fantastic ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ display adorns our wall with the story cards surrounding it which is encouraging the children to think about and recall the story. We are continuing to observe our various seeds growing in the garden – the sunflowers and runner beans are doing well and the wildflowers are beginning to show signs of life!
4th May 2018
This week we have enjoyed lots of outdoor play! We have been moving our bodies in different ways; we’ve jumped up and over, crawled down and under and slithered along to complete the obstacle course!
Our real life beanstalks are growing very well now and getting taller everyday… apart from the poor runner bean seed who was put in the dark without water, air or sunlight! Due to the interest in the beans, we listened to the story tape of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and also learnt a very physical action song, which the children found really fun and enjoyable and it certainly got their hearts pumping!
We were lucky to have been given some trays of pansies earlier in the week, which the children have loved carting around in wheelbarrows and planting in the wildlife garden. The children have also been observing the sunflower seeds this week, taking a closer look with magnifiers and talking about what they can see.
We the created our own beautiful flowers which are now displayed on the wall.
Have lovely bank holiday weekend! We shall see you on Tuesday!
27th April 2018
This week, we have continued with our Spring theme.
We have loved the outdoors this week, making use of the new gardening tools and engaging in animal role play games!
Due to its popularity, we kept the peat tray but introduced some different resources to add some variety to the children’s play. These included fabric samples, tissue paper and pipe-cleaners which really encouraged the children to use their imaginations while they wrapped up pebbles in fabric for gifts, scrunched the tissue paper to look like petals and created flowers with pipe-cleaner stems.
Elsewhere in the outdoor area, the children loved the soft play again, particularly when they used it to make dens!
Our ‘Bean Race’ is fully underway and currently in the lead is team orange (Becky’s team) but who knows what will happen in the next few days! How exciting!!!
Hopefully next week will bring some warmer weather so that we can enjoy the sunshine and finish planting our flower and vegetable seeds.
16th April 2018
We have all come out of hibernation and now have a ‘spring’ in our step!!!
The wind told the grasses and the grasses told the trees, the trees told the bushes and the bushes told the bees, the bees told the robin and the robin sang out clear, WAKE UP, WAKE UP SPRING IS HERE!
Our spring topic began this week (sunshine came along just at the right time)and we have been encouraging the children to think about the changes that are happening in the outdoors, by using their senses to explore the environment. We have started to prepare the garden area for planting seeds and we are also having a ‘Bean Race’ – ready, steady, grow!!! The children have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the soil tray, filling plant pots, planting flowers/seeds and even making arrangements with shells and pebbles. Musical instruments were popular and the children enjoyed singing/making up their own songs and putting on a show!! If they preferred something a little quieter, there was time to have a relaxed afternoon tea with friends or investigate the funnels, sieves and various resources at the water tray. We all had fun playing parachute games, particularly on that one windy day when it almost blew away!!!! Have a good weekend – may the lovely weather continue.
23rd March 2018
Easter, Easter, Easter time is here, hear the joyous bells are ringing, here the happy children singing……………..
We have had lots of Easter fun this week – the children have all created bunny ears, helped make some chocolate cakes, balanced eggs on spoons and had lots of fun on an Easter egg hunt.
We hope that everyone has an enjoyable Easter – we will be closed as from today and will re-open on the 9th April.
16th March 2018
Our final week on our ‘Space’ topic ended with us using our imaginations about who might possibly live on other planets and what they might look like? We read them some stories such as ‘Wanda and the Alien’, ‘The cow that fell from the sky’ and various other fun stories based on extraterrestrials. The children created their own hand painted alien using various materials to represent different body parts – they are certainly all very individual, each with their own name and look fantastic displayed on the wall. The children were extremely enthusiastic to explore the Alien Gloop’ (Cornflour mixture that is a liquid but also a solid), scooping and grabbing at it with their hands and observing the mixture as it trickled back into the tray – extremely messy but lots of fun!! Slimy jelly stones were also a source of interest and they had fun scooping them up and filling/emptying lots of pots/tubes. There was a visit from Nickie Noo Noo from planet Niknik who entertained the children with her alien talk and various other talents. The space station continued to be popular and lots of space adventures were had by all as they blasted off to different planets – Mercury being a favourite, however there were some bumpy rides along the way and a few crash landings . We were very pleased to hear that the children have been singing our favourite ‘Planet’ song so much at home that now the parents have learnt it as well!!!!!!!!!!
9th March 2018
This week, we have transformed home corner into a ‘space station’ using junk, shiny materials and lots of space information posters and pictures. We made astronaut masks to really capture the children’s imaginations and they have become engrossed in their space role play, blasting off to planet Mercury, encountering asteroids and shooting stars along the way!!!
A few of the children showed a real interest in how the Playmags (magnetic building blocks) work. So we provided stronger magnets and various magnetic and non-magnetic objects for them to experiment with; they were fascinated as they watched the metal objects move towards each other and connect. They also tried their magnets out on objects they found around the room and became excited when they stuck!!
We were very glad to have a bit of sunshine after last week’s snow storm! So we made the most of being outside and used the large waffle and duplo blocks to build various structures including a house, a stage area and a wall to jump over!
Next week is our space grand finale; a spectacular extraterrestrial, alien week, we can’t wait!!!
1st March 2018
We continue with our space topic and ……………….
The children enjoyed the story cd about ‘Little Moon’ who went on an amazing journey through our universe, meeting planets, black holes and stars in search of a warm cosy place he could call home!
Crates and blocks were used to create rockets, spaceships and a space train, with the children wearing protective helmets as they blasted off!!
Space dust (sand) was swirled with sticks and they also used their imaginations to create pictures with materials, buttons and coloured treasure stones.
A small sprinkling of snow earlier on in the week had to be explored and we used this experience to think about the colder planets, in particularly the dwarf planet Pluto – we had lots of fun as we used our imaginations to pretend that we had landed on this cold, icy planet!!
23rd February 2018
We have begun our adventure into space and already the children are being captivated by this fascinating topic. The children have been introduced to the names of the planets in our solar system and to help them remember we are learning a song or two. Information books with excellent illustrations, alongside large printed pictures of the planets were very useful in providing visual images/facts to the children who are already beginning to ask question and are curious to learn more about space. Galaxy dough was a source of interest and junk resources were used to make patterns, shapes and various other creations. A small world space play set encouraged imaginative play as children introduced story lines as they blasted rockets and astronauts off into space. A range of construction/junk materials were supplied and the children had fun building, balancing and joining the resources together to create space objects and other things. Next week we will be learning more about the individual planets and will continue our journey to infinity and beyond!!!!
9th February 2018
Up, up and away!!! This was the last week of our ‘Transport’ topic and activities were planned around travelling through the air!! The small world airport was a huge success and we had many flights taking off and landing so we had to bring in a little air traffic control!!!! The role play airport was also very popular and the children thoroughly enjoyed taking on different roles, using their imaginations well to either play at the ‘check in desk’, a passenger on the plane, cabin crew or more importantly the role of pilot. They visited many locations such as Africa, Spain, the beach and even jetted into Morrisons!!!!!! We were fortunate that several aeroplanes flew over this week, as well as a helicopter or two, which created a lot of excitement as the children eagerly pointed them out.
We will be closed now for half term for one full week, returning on the 19th February and very much look forward to our next exciting topic, ‘Space’.
2nd February 2018
Travelling on water formed the basis of our planning this week. Pallets and crates were used to form a pirate ship and the children had lots of pirate fun as they sailed the seas and searched for treasure!! The children explored water as they played imaginatively with boats at the water tray and experimented with water as it was poured down the guttering on the flow wall! We had fun with musical movement as we sang and moved along to ‘Row, row, row your boat’ and other songs relating to boats and ships. The soft play was very popular and the children constructed with it to create ships, houses and trains throughout the week. We had a very special visit this week from Dan, who drove his truck along to Meare Moles – the children thoroughly enjoyed climbing up into the truck, having a look around it and meeting Dan who explained to them a little bit about what it is like to be a truck driver!!! Much thanks to Tristan Sparks for arranging the visit!!
26th January 2018
Apologies for no update over the last two weeks, but we have had a few technical issues!
Well we have all settled back into life at Meare Moles and Christmas now seems long gone!!! We have begun a new topic on ‘Transportation’ and initially encouraged the children to think about all the different ways of travelling on land, water and air. A small world table was divided into three areas and the children had fun playing imaginatively with a range of vehicles. This week we have been concentrating on travelling on land, therefore we provided lots of wheeled vehicles, train tracks and had fun on the ‘bus’ outside. We are learning some songs about transport and a favourite seems to be the ‘Traffic Light’ song, which they are beginning to learn really well. Next week we will be thinking about travelling on water, therefore we will be focusing our planning on boats, ships, exploring water and floating and sinking.
21st December 2017
It’s Christmas!!!!!!!! Are you hanging up your stockings on the wall…………………………………….
We have had a lot of Christmas fun this week!!! The children have enjoyed exploring a table containing a variety of festive resources and have also had the opportunity to manipulate Snow dough and a Gingerbread dough using various cutters, tools and materials. We have continued to learn Christmas songs and listened to a range of Christmas stories throughout the week. Today we held our Christmas party which began with creating a Christmas crown and was followed by a variety of games and a Christmas film. The grand finale was our ‘special visitor’ Porky the Elf who thoroughly entertained the children and brought gifts from Santa!!! He jingled his way in, much to the surprise of the children, who were all very eager to talk to him and touch his bells!! They particularly enjoyed his elf dance and all danced behind him around the room until it was time to say goodbye!! Thanks very much Porky for visiting today – our very first elf to visit Meare Moles!!!
We wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Our doors will reopen on Tuesday 9th January 2018!!!!
15th December 2017
Apologies for no updates in the last two weeks, however with Christmas drawing near we have been extremely busy creating wall displays with the children and rehearsing for the Nativity play – preparing props, scenery and learning Christmas songs!!! The highlight of this week was to perform our play ‘Grandma’s Christmas Tale’ in front of family and friends - we were so so proud of our little moles who worked very hard in rehearsals and put on a fantastic show for everyone- of course there were all those unpredictable moments that you can never rehearse for which usually entertain the audience!!!!!!! We hope that everyone enjoyed coming along to watch it and we are very grateful to Mr Sparks who kindly filmed the play to enable parents to purchase it on DVD, as a lovely keepsake and to also raise funds for Meare Moles - thank you very much!
Aside from Christmas activities the Post Office was a popular place to play, with many letters/parcels being posted and delivered – it encouraged lots of interaction between the children, imaginative play and ‘writing’ opportunities! The children also enjoyed time in the wildlife garden, playing racing/chasing games and ‘al fresco’ cooking!!
24th November 2017
Wow, what a busy and fun filled week it has been!
As many of the children had been to carnivals over the weekend, we carried on the carnival vibe with some groovy tunes and dancing as well as a carnival construction activity using mega blocks with vibrant, sparkly materials so that the children could create their own carnival floats. Outside, we made the most of the windy weather and whirled around with ribbons!
Wednesday was our Pyjama Day! Children and staff all came to playgroup adorned in their pjs and onesies and enjoyed a warm, snuggly day filled with blankets, bedtime stories, games, lullabies, and even a lovely cup of hot chocolate! This was all in aid of Crackerjacks Children’s Trust Charity, for whom we raised £35, thank you to all who participated and donated!
Christmas play rehearsals have commenced and so far, it’s looking like it’s going to be a good’un!!!
Lastly, we were very lucky to have had a visit from Teresa James and Janet Westover on Friday who are from the Meare and Westhay fundraising team, who have very kindly raised £75 for the playgroup, which we will put towards some exciting new resources for the children to play with. Thank you so much ladies, we really appreciate your kind donation!
17th November 2017
What do animals do at winter time?? They can’t put a coat, hat and scarf on to keep warm outside or put the heating on in their homes, so how do they survive the cold winter?
We have been using activities this week to teach the children about the amazing things that animals do to get through the winter. A circle time we have used picture books and resources to help them understand about Hibernation, migration and adaption. They met three ‘hedgehogs’ this week called Hattie, Honey and Henry who have been busy gathering food and creating a warm nest to sleep in. The hedgehogs have now decided it’s time to hibernate until the warmer weather comes along, so they have curled up in their warm home and we will see them again in the spring!! The children had lots of fun playing with our very creative autumn small world play set, where pumpkins were carved and used as little homes and pathways were created with pebbles surrounded by an array of beautiful autumn leaves – this activity encouraged a lot of imaginative play as they used small animals and play figures at this activity. All the children created a leafy caterpillar this week to take home and they also helped to make bird seed cakes, which are now hanging from the trees in our wildlife garden. When not busy with all of these activities it was time to curl up and have a rest in the big hibernation den.
10th November 2017
It’s all been about the Autumn ‘fall’ this week, as the children enjoyed exploring a range of objects on our Autumn table. They used magnifiers to take a closer look at conkers, leaves, apples, cones, twigs and various other items. The brushes and wheelbarrows were popular outside – the leaves were all gathered together and we all learnt a song called ’Pretty leaves are falling down, falling down……..’ -there was lots of fun as we all threw leaves into the air and watched them twirl and whirl around. Lots of children were keen to explore the clay, using different tools to cut, shape and mould it – we added some small twigs to the table and the children had lots of fun creating beautiful Autumn trees by threading coloured beads onto them. The children all created an Autumn wreath, using a range of coloured material and they look absolutely fantastic hanging from the ceiling. We had a very special delivery this week from a Mr Duckett (Father of a child who attends Meare Moles), who very kindly offered to create us our very own ‘Mud Kitchen’!!! It arrived on Thursday and it is absolutely fantastic – the children haven’t left it’s side!!!! A HUGE thank you to him for using his own time and resources to create this amazing resource which is going to be very popular and will encourage the children to use their imaginations in the outdoor area.
Next week we will be concentrating on animals and how they survive the winter!!
3rd November 2017
We returned this week to a little spookiness as we celebrated Halloween – some children arrived in costume and we had a day full of spells and witches tales!!! Potions were made using coloured water and magic JellyStones and stories such as ‘Room on the Broom’ and Winnie the Witch were enjoyed by all. We have also discussed firework safety this week and every child had the opportunity to create their very own firework picture using paints, crepe paper, twigs and glitter. We read the children some firework poems, sang some rhymes about rockets/fireworks and even enjoyed ‘hot dogs’ for snack.
Next week we will be focusing on Autumn ‘fall’ objects, so the children will have the opportunity to explore leaves, cones, conkers, acorns etc and following this we will focus on animals and how they survive the winter.
19th October 2017
This week we began our Autumn topic by thinking about harvest. The children enjoyed helping to create a Scarecrow display and had fun learning some scarecrow rhymes and action songs. ‘The Scarecrow’s Hat’ story sack enabled the children to actively participate and to bring the story to life and the children enjoyed taking on different roles throughout the week. All the children had the opportunity to participate in a cooking activity this week – in small groups each child made their very own bread roll – we do hope that they were edible and enjoyed by all!! The stretchy dough table was very popular and a range of tools and cutters were provided to enable the children to explore it as they made ‘cakes’, ‘bread’ and ‘pies’ and it all became a little more elastic throughout the week! Additionally dried pasta, rice and lentils were provided in trays with sieves, pots, colanders and the children enjoyed making a range of culinary delights as they stirred and scooped using their hands and tools. The 3d blocks encouraged the children to use their imaginations as they created towers, houses and a range of other constructions and they were all very proud of their achievements.
We break up now for the half-term and the playgroup will re-open on Tuesday 31st October- there will be lots of spooky fun on this day with the three witches of Meare , so please come along dressed in costume ready for some Halloween fun!!
6th October 2017
This week we focused on our five senses and how important they are, as they answer our questions and help us find out about what is happening in the world around us. The children have enjoyed exploring our different sensory tables where they were able to explore lots of different objects/materials/instruments and as they played we discussed what senses they were using and how each of their senses were collecting information and sending it to their brain!! The communication telephones were popular and they enjoyed talking to each other through them – they were encouraged to close their eyes and see if they could guess who was talking into the phone! Feely balloons provided a source of curiosity as they squashed, squeezed and shook them in order to find out what was inside – there were some interesting guesses and delighted faces when after exploring them, we revealed what was inside! Outside we played a physical ‘Traffic Light’ game where they had to use their eyes - Red – Stop, Orange -walk and Green - run and following this we played a similar game, however they had to listen to the musical instrument being played and perform a different action for each. At Circle Time we had lots of fun tasting a range of different flavours/foodstuffs – it was quite entertaining and their faces were a picture, particularly when sampling sour/spicy foodstuffs - ooh aren’t we awful!!!!
29th September 2017
Two little hands go clap clap clap, two little feet go tap tap tap…………………………………………
This week we concentrated on our hands and feet and the children all had tickly fun as we painted their feet and created footprints which are now walking all over our wall!! A shoe shop was very popular and encouraged lots of size language as they had their feet measured and tried different footwear, however some customers seemed dissatisfied and were in a hurry to exchange their items!!! In the outdoors fun was had as the children attempted to balance on balancing buckets and walk with the giant feet – we also played action games where we used our feet in different ways. The children participated in an adult focused activity where they were presented with three different sized ‘feet’ - they were encouraged to compare the sizes and to use blocks to measure them – this activity also created an opportunity for counting and recognition of numerals. Threading cards, incredible dough, mark making and construction materials encouraged the children to use their hands in different ways as they created models and pictures.
22nd September 2017
This week we have been thinking about all the Bits and Pieces that make up our bodies and have been learning the names of different body parts. At circle time the children had the opportunity to think about what they could do with different parts of their bodies i.e ‘I can draw with my hands’ , ‘I can kick a ball with my feet’. We have created a wall display with a body poster and all the wonderful ideas that the children suggested. The children have gained an understanding that from our head to our toes the bones inside our bodies provide support and enable us to do everyday physical activities and without them we would just be a blob of jelly!!!! There were many patients visiting the doctor’s role play area with broken bones and other injuries, some in the need of crutches to help them get about. Soft play resources outside encouraged the children to move in different ways and they all enjoyed participating in a more structured activity where they experimented with travelling and balancing using different body parts.
15th September 2017
This week we began our topic ‘All About Me’ and all the children had the opportunity to observe their own faces – they were encouraged to identify features of their face and to gain an understanding that although we have similarities, we are all very unique and special. Paints were used to create some fabulous self-portraits and these are now adorning the playgroup wall – are you parents able to identify your own children???? We have discussed feelings and how our faces show others how we are feeling – at circle time we pulled happy, sad, angry, frightened faces and helped the children understand that we can experience many different emotions throughout the day! We used opportunities throughout the week to talk about how different children were feeling and what made them feel the way they did. At physical play we used the parachute to play a feelings game i.e shaking it hard for ‘angry’ or raising it up and down slowly for ‘happy’ – it was lots of fun and enjoyed by all! Other interests this week were balancing across crates and logs and finding snails and slugs which were all out of hiding due to the damp conditions – magnifiers wee provided to take a closer look and we books to find out more information about them.
8th September 2017
We’re back and it feels like we have never been away!!!!!!
Great to see all the little moles again and to welcome in the new ones. This week we have just been settling back into life at Meare Moles – becoming familiar with the routine and ‘getting to know’ each other! We have been discussing the rules and their importance in keeping everyone safe, secure and happy.
We returned to discover our carrots had survived the summer and were ready to eat, so we have sampled them at snack time and we have to say they were quite tasty!! The sand was popular this week – lots of children were making sandcastles and talking about their experiences at the beach and they were also very enthusiastic to participate in musical movement!!
Our topic ‘All About Me’ will begin next week and we will start by looking at ‘Faces’ . The children will make observations and be encouraged to look at differences and similarities, but most importantly discover that we are all special and unique. Self- portraits will soon be adorning the playgroup walls!!
21st July 2017
Over the last two weeks we have enjoyed lots of time playing in the outdoor areas – some of the highlights were the car wash and playing on the new tyre swing outside!! The Grand Finale was our party day today to celebrate the end of the academic year and to say goodbye to the children that will be making the transition over to school!! It was a fun day and the children were captivated by a mermaid called Azure Sparkle(Felicity Fairies) that came to visit them and entertained them with stories, activities and an exciting treasure hunt - this led to us finding Blackbeard’s treasure chest and the children were able to choose a small gift from the treasure box!! A game of pass the parcel proved to be highly amusing when a layer of paper came off to reveal one of Captain Blackbeard’s 100 year old socks and Captain Lucky Jack’s ‘everything brush’!!!
Thank you to all parents who came along to join us for a bite to eat and for the presentation to the children who will be leaving us to start their school life – we wish them all the best for the future! The staff are all extremely grateful for all your generous gifts and for all the food donations made today. Have a great summer holiday and we will re-open our doors on Monday 4th September.
Over and out!!!!!!!