July was an exciting month for us at Kingsmead as we invited all our parents into the nursery for Afternoon Tea. It was lovely to see everyone having a good time catching up with their children’s friends' parents or meeting new parents.
The Sunshines' Sports Day was lots of fun where the parents enjoyed watching the children participate in group activities and races. We even managed to convince some parents to have join the race too. This was followed by tea and scones in the garden.
The Duckling and Rainbow rooms' Teddy Bears Picnic was also a great success. There children sang a few songs for their parents and then the children enjoyed their picnic boxes whilst their parents enjoyed some tea and scones and talking to the other parents.
One of our topics this month was about Transport and for two weeks we had various activities such as creating tuff trays, and they made their own trains using chairs and pretended to go on a train journey.
We then continued the rest of the month with Sports activities. The children joined in with various obstacle courses, different sports such as hockey and football and throwing and catching. The Sunshines designed and made their own medals too.
July was also the month when the winner of the Sunflower growing competition was announced. The overall winner managed to grow their sunflower to a whapping 2.87 metres. The winner in every room received a sunflower themed story book. Very good effort and well done!
Finally the good weather arrived and June started off with some glorious sunshine but sadly ended rather wet and chilly. We have been very busy at nursery celebrating Animals/Pet week, Father’s Day and Mini beasts; the children have thoroughly enjoyed all of these topics in a variety of ways.
Ducklings, for animals and pet week, enjoyed decorating a paper plate into a cow’s face and had fun sticking letters of their name to make a dog. For Minibeast they made a sensory tray for Incy Wincy Spider with masking tape, plastic spiders and cotton wool for the children to explore. They also got messy making caterpillars from balloons blow up, dipping the balloons in paint and forming the body and face onto a piece of paper. Then they added some googly eyes. They also had fun listening to The Very Hungry Caterpillar story.
Rainbows had fun matching the mummy/daddy animals to the baby animals, matching the correct animals home and also a farm sensory tray with the animals. For minibeasts the rainbows enjoyed going on a minibeast hunt and finding the cut out minibeast in the garden, having a sensory tray with the minibeast and rice for them to explore and also shaving foam.
The Sunshines have had a busy month; they have been practising their scissor skills but cutting out farm animals and sticking them onto paper with the famer. They also put shaving foam onto a sheep cardboard cut-out and pretended to sheer their wool off and colouring in different animals of their choice. For Minibeast they painted a ladybird and added spots to their bodies and counted how many spots they had each. They decorated butterflies in a variety of ways and had a minibeast hunt matching the correct minibeast to their home.
For Father’s day the whole nursery made cards and decorated a Shrinky to send home for their daddy’s or another male figure close to them. They also had fun sharing pictures with their friends of their daddy or loved ones and giving them a certificate and saying why they are so special to them.
We started to enjoy some of the warmer days in May and hoped for some more sunshine to come our way soon. The children have been learning about Under the Sea Animals and Letters and Numbers. Each unit has participated in a lot of different activities to enhance their learning within these topics.
Under the Sea was a fun and a wet one in all the rooms as they all enjoyed playing in the water, using glitter, or adding paint to the water. They also used the sea life animals in the water play as well as printing off sea animals and using them for numeracy activities. The Sunshines had fun decorating their starfish with cheerios (they tried not to eat them) and writing messages in bottles.
For our topic numbers and letters, the children all collaged a letter of the alphabet, the Sunshine's hid magnetic letters in coloured rice and had to match the letters on a piece of paper. The rainbows enjoyed finding numbers hidden in jelly. The Ducklings enjoyed using mark making materials to decorate a number train for their display.
At the beginning of the month we put up a new swing for the children which caused great excitement. The children take turns to go on it and it quickly became their new favourite play equipment.
April started off with some beautiful sunshine - and then the weather changed. But the children enjoyed seeing the changes in the weather whether it was splashing in puddles or wearing sunhats. Over Easter we had a new slide fitted into our mini hill at the back of the garden and the children have had a great time running up and sliding down.
The nursery had two fun weeks of Easter activities. The children brought in Easter bonnets , all decorated in a variety of ways, and they had great fun wearing them in an Easter bonnet parade and sharing them with their friends. The Ducklings had a great time scooping plastic eggs out of the water box and making glittery easter sensory bags. The Rainbows took some yummy easter cakes home and enjoyed the easter egg hunts in the garden. Sunshine room children enjoyed Easter egg hunts, egg and spoon races, matching numbers and forming their names using easter egg cut out shapes.
St Georges Day was our next topic where the nursery rooms all decorated an England flag. The Ducklings also enjoyed making a red and white sensory tray, Rainbows made some biscuits and the Sunshines learnt about the story of St George and was able to recap within a small group.
Our final topic for the month was the Life cycle of plants; a lot of compost was used across the whole nursery whether it was for an activity to dig out numbers, plant runner beans to take home or even grow some cress at nursery. It was a very messy week. One member of staff was kind enough to have planted sunflowers in little pots for the children to take home for our sunflower growing competition, Let’s see how tall the sunflowers can grow!
With the days starting to get longer, and at last the clocks changing, the children have been thoroughly enjoying being out for longer in the sunshine. All the children, at separate times, have been using the playground and grassy area, getting the children used to all the areas of the garden again.
As the case numbers have been drastically dropping and with the vaccination program in full swing we have taken the barriers away outdoors so the children can mix and play with their friends. The Duckling and Rainbow rooms have taken their barriers away indoors so the children can access all areas of the room freely.
In our Duckling/Rainbow garden we have also installed a new pirate ship which the children have been thoroughly enjoying playing with. We also got some new music tubes on which the children have been exploring the different sounds.
The sunshine room now have an numeracy and literacy area outdoors as well as indoors; their decking area will now be used for numeracy and ICT area and the marquee will be used as literacy area. The children have also been having some lovely picnics outdoors for tea.
The topics that the children have been participating in have been St David’s Day, World book Day, Mother’s Day, St Patricks day, Shapes & colours and ending the month with Holi, the celebration of colour. All the rooms have had great fun participating in all these topics, whether it is getting messy play out, reading a story to explain the topics or dressing up. It was lovely to see so many children dressed up on World Book Day (including the staff).
We had some very cold weather this month; we even had some snow which the children enjoyed playing in. This meant we spent more time indoors but luckily we had plenty to do and to celebrate. The children had a busy month celebrating Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day and Nursery Rhymes.
The Ducklings celebrated Chinese New Year by looking at Chinese numbers and made their money envelopes with a little chocolate coin inside. They used red sticking resources to make Valentine cards to take home to their loved ones. For pancake day they made a sensory tray using flour, sugar and water and enjoyed eating some yummy pancakes too. Nursery rhymes was fun in the Duckling room as they enjoy singing various rhymes throughout the day; they also made a tuff tray with items from ‘Miss Polly had a Dolly’ and had some ducks swimming in some water for ‘5 Little Ducks’.
Rainbows enjoyed tasting some Chinese noodles with sweet and sour sauce and tried using chopsticks to eat with. They also made a Chinese dragon to use for role play and made money envelopes too. The Rainbows made some lovely Valentine cards with a variety of sticking resources onto a heart and made some heart shape stencil paintings to take home. For the topic nursery rhymes they sang lots of rhymes and used a large Old MacDonald puppet; the children would add their Velcro animal to the farmer as each one is sung. They had lots of fun in some green glittery water for '5 little speckled frogs' and made some black incy wincy spiders.
In the Sunshine room they have been looking closely at Chinese numbers, trying to copy them. They also marked their names into a dragon with some lolly pop sticks and moved them as though they were part of the parade. They had lots of fun playing in some red heart shape ice moulds and having a mini science experiment using bicarbonate soda and water. The Sunshines enjoyed talking about family members they love and made a special card and a heart shaped biscuit to take home to their families. For Pancake day they had letters printed onto pancakes and they had to try to recognise the letters and flip them using some utensils and also made funny pancake faces using different toppings. The children have had a lovely time singing a variety of nursery rhymes, like ten green bottles and 5 currant buns. They also went on a spider hunt using magnifying glasses for incy wincy spiders.
All children came back to Nursery full of beans after the Christmas break. They could not wait to tell us about the wonderful presents Father Christmas had left for them, and what they have been up to during their Christmas break. We also welcomed some new children and settled them in to nursery life. With the country going back into lockdown and the greatly increased risk of catching the disease we had to tighten up our nursery procedures even further and cancel our Saturday nursery viewings and restrict our room bubbles further.
The children have been busy with our January topics ‘My Family’ and ‘Space’. All the rooms would like to thank our parents for all the lovely pictures we received depicting the children's families. We made some lovely displays with them so the children could show their family to their friends and staff.
The Duckling room enjoyed some lovely activities for the topic ‘My Family’. They made family trees out of their hand prints and put some hearts onto our family members. We coloured in pictures of different houses and family members from different cultures. We sat and looked at our ‘getting to know you books’ and shared some family pictures. We also made a sensory tray using rice and little family figures and sang family songs. For ‘Space’ the ducklings made star crowns with glitter, rockets with letters of their name, explored and played with the moon sand. We also displayed the different planets in the room, made little spacemen/women with faces of the children. The children enjoyed playing with the black rice, glitter and twinkling stars, they also coloured in different space pictures and made handprint aliens. The ducklings had a great time making moons from tin foil and rice and singing lots of space songs
In the Rainbow room they made a sensory small world village using coloured rice and small world people for the ‘My Family’ topic. They also made houses using different coloured shapes, matched the different sized animals together and sung a variety of songs. They talked about who they live with and drawn them, and gave the small world toys and animals a good wash in bubbles and water using toothbrushes and cloths. The ‘Space’ topic was fun. They learned about the different planets and made a planet display for the window. They also had fun making a sensory bag with water and oil and space pictures, iced some space biscuits, made their own rockets using a variety of shapes and put their shooting stars are on display. There was also a sensory tray using space pictures, small world people and lots of coloured rice.
The Sunshine Room enjoyed making their own faces onto paper plates, talked about their families and looked at some lovely family books we have at nursery. The children made a large house and using a colour code told the staff who lives in their house with them. They also made paper chains of people and talked about the different types of house we can live in and what type of house they live in. For space they have made rockets from empty tissue rolls and decorated them, flying saucers out of paper plates, talked about the different planets, their names, colours and size. The sunshine's had great fun ordering pictures of rockets and stars, they also made rockets out of the letters of their names.
During "normal" times the highlight in December is our Christmas Concert and Party, but even though we were not able to celebrate normally the children had an amazing time. There was plenty of of sparkle around the nursery with the children making a lot of Christmas decorations to display around the building. They have been busy making Christmas cards, calendars, baubles and reindeer food to take home to their families. Father Christmas came to meet them in our marquee and gave them all a present. They had a fun party day of Christmas games and a Christmas lunch with lots of Christmas crackers to pull.
The Sunshines have been kept busy with our little elf being up to lots of mischief, having a Christmas countdown with their advent calendar and finding carrots we dug into our garden with numbers on them for the reindeers. They also enjoyed finding letters in rice, and writing their names inside their Christmas cards.
Rainbows have been very creative playing in ‘snow’ shaving foam and making Christmas glittery snowflakes, reindeer antlers and a Christmas winter wonderland complete with some characters for the children to play with.
Ducklings have been decorating their own grotto and playing inside it, making sensory trays throughout December, Christmas hats and pasta necklaces.
Then we came to the end of a very strange year which has had a huge impact on our staff due to constantly updated routines and endless cleaning. They have been amazing and have worked so hard and they really need their Christmas break to recharge ready for January. During the closure the nursery building gets some much needed TLC with general maintenance and a lick of paint or two to keep it nice and bright.
November has been a busy month with a lot of focus on learning. The nursery has covered the following topics: Fireworks, Remembrance Day, Children in Need, Diwali and St Andrews Day.
Ducklings had fun dipping string into paint to make marks for fireworks and sticking lots of red collage materials onto a poppy for Remembrance Day. For Children in Need they decorated some biscuits with sprinkles and coloured in a Pudsey bear. Diwali was colourful; they were making making lanterns, decorating rangoli patterns using coloured sand and sharing stories. For St Andrews Day they played in shredded paper, found pictures related to St Andrews day and decorated a Scottish flag using tissue paper.
The Rainbows have enjoyed making firework paintings to take home and ‘smelly sparkly fireworks', using bicarbonate soda, vinegar and glitter and watching what happened. They made a poppy sensory tray for Remembrance Day using rice and for Children in Need they made some yummy Pudsey biscuits. The children had fun being messy for Diwali celebrating the festival of light by doing some body painting and making coloured pasta necklaces. For St Andrews Day they shared some stories, decorated the Scottish flag, played with some green playdough and made some Loch Ness monsters.
The Sunshines have had a little change around in their room. They now have some set areas within the room now for literacy and numeracy so the children can access these at any time, as well as literacy and numeracy sessions every day. They have been participating in many different activities for their topics. For Fireworks we printed the children’s names onto stars and hid them into black rice for twinkling stars and the children had to find their own names. They also painted their own firework pictures for our firework/rocket display. On Remembrance Day they did some pencil control activities where they followed the lines for a poppy outline, they made some poppy biscuits and a handprint poppy wreath. For Children in Need we played a memory game using Pudsey pictures and decorated their own Pudsey picture. Diwali was great, the children did some number matching and counting using pegs and Diwali pictures and made some Diwali cards to take home. For St Andrews day we talked about the story, made some Scottish flags using tissue papers and some tartan patterns of their own.
With the weather getting a lot cooler we have had some new heaters installed into our lovely marquees. The children can now spend even more time outside and we have plenty of warm extra space to help with social distancing throughout the winter months.
As the colder and darker days approach us we have had lots of activities at nursery in October. The children have enjoyed participating in a range of activities to cover our topics of Harvest, Superheroes, Nursery rhymes and Halloween.
In the Duckling room they have enjoyed making a superheroes sensory tray with jelly and rice-kripsies, sensory Halloween bags using the inside of a pumpkin, a sensory tray with spiders hidden in shaving foam for them to find and spooky hands Halloween cards for their families.
The Rainbows have had lots of fun digging for some toy vegetables in a tray of soil, making sensory trays, going on a Halloween hunt in the garden and making star shaped bread. They were set the challenge to scoop up a spider with a spoon and fishing out ducks using tweezers.
We have talked to the Sunshines about their favourite nursery rhymes and superheroes, they had fun carving a pumpkin as well as decorating pumpkin pictures with different orange materials.
September is always a busy month at Kingsmead. We have been welcoming our new babies to the nursery and settled them in, giving them lots of hugs and comfort. We have also been busy with Transition week, when some of our Duckling children moved into our Rainbow room and some of our Rainbow children moved down to the Sunshine room. All the children have settled so well into their new rooms and are making lots of new friends.
The topic for September was All About Me when the children enjoyed a range of activities. In the baby room they were pointing to their body parts, and the staff filled out sheets with the children’s current interests. Rainbows enjoyed their farm sensory tray and books as well as looking at themselves in the mirror and creating some self portraits using a variety of sticking materials. They also made fruit kebab skewers using lots of different fruits they liked. The Sunshine’s had some Key group time talking about their homes/families and their interests and then drew some happy and sad faces.
At the end September we changed the topic to Seasons. The Duckling room has been making big posters for all the four different seasons as well as hand printing trees. The Rainbows have lots of fun playing in jelly with autumn materials from the garden, sensory rain clouds, counting lightning bolts, sunshine plates, and a fairy garden. The Sunshines have been making autumn colours from paint and talking about how when different colours mixed can make another colour as well as bark tree rubbing and collect autumn materials and making collages.
We have had a variety of weather throughout August and the Sunshine children thoroughly enjoyed watching and listening to the thunder andlightning storms. They have also enjoyed dancing in the rain and creating a ‘Sun Dance’. The children in the Sunshine room also enjoyed baking cakes in their groups and taking them home to eat.
All the rooms have taken part in lots of creative activities such as painting, colouring, and making music with the musical instruments.
We have sadly had to say goodbye to more children leaving for school. It is always sad to see them go but we would like to wish them all the best for the future.
The nursery has undergone a small transformation as we have swapped the Duckling and Rainbow rooms over. We did this in order to facilitate social distancing during the Autumn term. The children and staff are all enjoying their new surroundings and are starting to decorate them with the children's artwork.
The children are all doing really well keeping in their groups. It has become the new normal since the Spring and they have accepted it without any difficulty. We do our best to make sure that friends can be together in the same group.
We have received some wonderful new additions to our menagerie as leaving gifts. They have all been placed in the garden on display.