This week we have had teapots, tea cups and jugs in the water tray to link with the book of the week. The children have enjoyed filling and pouring (as always) and have been able to talk about making tea. Some days we added real teabags to the water and other days we added sorting fruit and plates to make fruit salad for the tiger. We noticed that when we coloured the water blue, the yellow bananas looked green!
We have been providing lots of opportunities for junk modelling. This is great for developing physical skills such as cutting and joining and also gives children many chances to make decisions about what they are going to make and how they are going to make it. They can talk about what they are doing and think about how they can improve their work too. They may need to share resources such as glue spatulas or take turns with the masking tape and there is lots of maths involved such as measuring and comparing. They are encouraged to write their name on their work and add other marks as appropriate. So this one activity can cover every area of the early years curriculum!
The goldfish have been in Maria's house for a very long holiday, but hopefully they will be coming back to nursery soon. They have had some babies so there are more fish coming back! We have been getting the tank ready and the children have been very excited to see the progress and are talking about the fish and asking questions.
Today we used the real hammers and nails. We always introduce this using balsa wood, which is quite soft, so it means the children can quickly experience success. This activity is excellent for hand-eye coordination and for developing hand and arm muscles. It is also exciting and the children were keen to take part. Once children are confident, we can start using hammers and nails to join pieces of wood together in ways that they choose. The children did really well today and we already have some excellent hammerers! We just have two children hammering at a time and with an adult supervising to make sure they are using the tools safely.
Because this week's story is The Tiger Who Came to Tea, we have been creating scenarios with wild animals both inside and out in the garden. The animals were originally in a tray of sand, but the children decided they wanted to move them to the rice tray. Here they fed the animals with rice and also gave them rice showers. Some of the children have been choosing their favourite wild animal as a pet whilst others have been creating animal towers by balancing the animals on top of each other. The tallest tower was 4 rhinos high though we didn't manage to get a photo!
We have been painting the flags of some of the teams in Euro 2021. The children had to look carefully at the designs and match the colours. You should be able to spot the flags of Scotland, England, Italy and Germany now on display on our window. I wonder which members of staff support each of these teams! Good luck to all the footballers playing in the tournament. We will have to see which team wins the trophy.
We found a range of minibeasts in the garden today including an enormous slug and lots of earwigs which are making nests in the garden and laying their eggs. We watched how the earwig moved. Its antennae wave all the time and it can move its legs very quickly. It's important to encourage children to be kind to living creatures and to be interested in them rather than being scared. Earwigs are mostly active at night - they are nocturnal - and they eat lots of different plant food. They are also very good at looking after their eggs.
We have been exploring oil pastel drawings out in the garden. Some children observed the flowers growing in the garden and did observational pictures. Others explored the materials combining pencils and pastels and creating a variety of marks and using a range of colours. They thought carefully about which colours and marks they wanted to make and loved the vibrant colours of the pastels. We were able to talk about shades and about types of marks. We will be displaying some of the drawings in the garden.
We have been using spoons and spatulas to make musical sounds in the garden. Some of the children started experimenting around the nursery garden tapping different items with wooden spoons and listening to the sounds. The rocks, wooden uprights and the metal coat stand all sounded quite different. Perhaps this is something you could try at home.