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.
During the month of July, we have experienced all kinds of weather, some lovely and some not quite so lovely! The children were amazing throughout and adapted very quickly to the changes to routines we had to put in place when the rain started.
This month the government guidance changed which enabled us to remove bubbles and work with larger groups. However, we decided to keep our bubbles throughout the nursery as this has been working very well and the children have enjoyed being in the smaller groups.
Once the heavy rain started our gazebos didn’t last long so have upgraded the gazebos to marquees. They are much more sturdy and weatherproof and the children enjoy the extra space.
The Sunshines have been enjoying having their lunch under the new marquees. They have also had lots of fun engaging in sporting activities, having races on the grassy area and talking about their favourite sport.
We have also started to say our goodbyes to children leaving for school; it has been lovely watching them grow and develop and we wish them all the best in their new adventure at primary school.
The Ducklings and Rainbows have been busy too. They have had a range of activities, from singing songs, threading cheerios onto spaghetti and using flow paints. The Duckling and Rainbow rooms have been swapped over to help with social distancing once all our babies return, and the children are enjoying their new surroundings.
In the month of June it was lovely to open up the nursery open up more to all children. We started off with a few numbers from each room but by the end of June it was lovely seeing all 3 rooms open and hearing the children laughing and playing once again at Kingsmead.
We have been practising social distancing with the children and settling them all back into their normal routine. The Sunshines also practice ‘Helicopter arms’ as well as everyone amongst the nursery being divided into their ‘Bubbles’. We have partitioned the garden so we can have 2 groups on the playground and 2 groups on the grassy area.
The children made Father’s Day cards to take home and during the last week of June have been learning about Colours, Shapes and Numbers.
We are lucky to have had a Tepee created on the grassy area for the children to use and play in. They have been pretending to be camping outdoors with pretend campfires. Some children enjoy using the Teepee to relax with a book or just having 5 minutes rest.
When the weather was extremely hot the Sunshine children have also enjoyed having water fights to help keep them cool. They enjoyed getting the staff wet too!
The Sunshine garden has a couple of gazebos which helps to keep all the children under cover in all weathers. When it's raining the Sunshines have one group under the gazebo, one group on the decking and one group inside. The staff clean used toys and then move the groups around, so they experience the different areas. The children enjoyed going back onto the playground to jump into the puddles.
Rainbows and Ducklings have a very similar system and have a small group of children inside, one group on the veranda and one under the gazebo. In the beautiful hot weather we have had, the gazebos were used as shaded areas for the children so they could still be outdoors. Rainbows and Ducklings have been having their afternoon naps outdoors (weather permitted) under their gazebo. It is lovely watching them sleep in the warm breeze whilst the birds are singing. The children have enjoyed spending time outdoors in all weather and having their picnics outside.
During May more of our Key Workers’ children started to return and it was lovely to see the children having a good time with their friends. The weather was still lovely and we spent a lot of time in the garden having picnic afternoon teas.
We had lots of fun celebrating WW2 day. We printed off pictures of the union flag, bunting and VE signs. The children enjoyed colouring them in and we displayed them around the Sunshine room.
The last of the toys were cleaned this month too. Anything that could be dunked, wiped or washed was sanitised and the rest was packed away for the time being.
With the announcement that nurseries were going to open up the following month nursery staff had to spring into action and make preparations. Letters, risk assessments and new T&Cs had to be written and all returning children had to be allocated start dates. Signs had to be printed and put up, social distancing markers had to be painted and new procedures had to be put in place. It was a huge task in a short period of time but on the 29th of May everything was in place and we could finally let our breaths out and stop our heads spinning. Phew!
April has been a slightly different month for us
here at Kingsmead as we closed the nursery to keep our children and their
families safe. We have remained partially open to support our Key Worker parents,
who are doing a great job at keeping the country running.
Even in these uncertain times we have been having
lots of fun here with the remaining few children. As the weather has been so lovely,
we have spent most of our days outside.
The children have been making the most of all the
resources such as the bikes and cars, and then racing each other down the hill!
We have also been using the sports equipment to play football and catch.
In the kitchen areas the children have been having
lots of fun making pretend food and drinks. We have had lots of
picnic teas in the garden.
The children have particularly enjoyed having the
bubble machine on and seeing who can pop the most bubbles.
With the current Coronavirus situation in the UK we decided as a nursery to slightly change our topics and really focus on the children’s health and self-care. The staff were encouraging the children to wash their hands as much as possible. In the Sunshine Room the children were very good at counting to 20 while washing their hands to make sure they had washed away all the germs! We also created games for the children to take part in to help them understand the importance of washing their hands.
At the start of March, the children joined in to raise money for World Book Week, the children and staff dressed up as their favourite storybook characters, they all looked great!!
During the second week of March the children were learning all about the religious festival called Holi. The children had great fun taking part in different activities to celebrate this such as throwing colourful teabags onto a sheet to create looks of different colourful marks.
In the Sunshine Room they had a very special guest come into the nursery to talk to them about the Holi festival . They also had the opportunity to try lots of different colourful fruits. Afterwards the children went outside and with colourful cornflour paints they had lots of fun putting this on their peers and celebrating with colour.
The third week of March the children made lots of lovely cards and gifts for Mother’s Day. We also celebrated St Patricks Day by painting shamrock pictures and exploring green shaving foam!
During the Lockdown the nursery remains open for Key Worker Parents' children and we have been having lots of fun. The children have enjoyed colouring in and painting their own rainbows to show support for our amazing NHS staff and Key Workers. They also enjoyed mark making activities for Easter!
This month the children throughout the nursery covered five topics which were: National Storytelling Week, Valentines Week, Mini Beast, Pancake/ Shrove Tuesday, and St David’s Day.
For National Storytelling Week, the children were asked to bring into nursery their favourite storybooks to share with their friends. They also took part in themed dressing up to role play their favourite storybook characters. In the Duckling and Rainbow Room the children enjoyed taking part in a ‘Teddy Bear Picnic’. In the Sunshine Room the children in Circle Time discussed the feelings of the characters in the storybooks.
For Valentines Week, the children took part in lots of fun creative activities which included painting Valentines hearts, baking heart biscuits, and making Valentine’s day cards.
As part of the topic Mini Beast the children explored the Nursery grounds. In the vegetable patch the children found worms and some of the children were brave enough to hold them! The staff also hid mini beast around the nursery and the children had to find them and tick them off their list, which they found lots of fun!
On Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) the children really enjoyed eating their pancakes after their lunches! The children also took part in other activities such as making their own pretend pancakes with playdough.
To celebrate St David’s Day the children enjoyed creating their own daffodils with a range of different mark making tools such as paints, rice, paper, and glitter.
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 the fun things they have been up to during their Christmas break.
As part of our Chinese New Year celebrations the children in the Duckling and Rainbow room have taken part in a range of different activities such as chopstick painting, decorating lanterns, rice play and food tasting. In the Sunshine room the children have had lots of fun learning all about the celebration of Chinese New Year by listening to stories and words on the computer. They also had the opportunity to see and copy Chinese numbers, and the children did a fantastic job!
Our new topic for January was all about transport. The children have taken part in a range of different activities such as decorating different modes of transport, ‘car painting’ where the children rolled toy cars into paint to make marks on their paper. The Sunshine children stood at the front of the nursery to spot different types of vehicles. On one of the occasions the children spotted four cars, one van and a police car, from whom the children were very excited to get a wave!