This week’s activities

In their maths development the children have been drawing and recognising 2D shapes.  They discussed how many edges/sides they have, or if they only have one, as in a circle.

To help with their counting, the children used the abacus, taking turns to count the different colour beads. However, the activity wasn’t limited to counting, as the children talked about what the beads reminded them of; blueberries, strawberries, kiwis and banana! This demonstrates how one piece of equipment can have many uses and maths activities do not need to be all about counting.

To develop an understanding of 3D shapes, block play is a really good resource.  Blocks come in all shapes and sizes. Again, talking about how many edges/sides they have, symmetry, pattern, repetition and spatial awareness are all used during block play.  The blocks the children have used have included stickle bricks.  Not only are they learning about mathematical concepts in their play but open ended resources are a great way of exploring and creating things from their familiar and imaginary worlds.

Using the stickle bricks, the children created castles and bridges and there was discussion around what a moat is for – to protect those in the castles from invasion! They also made a birthday cake with candles and sang “Happy Birthday“. Finally, they went on to make guns and used them in their role play of being “police”.  Role play helps children make connections and sense of their world.

In their sensory play, the children explored the shaving foam, talking about it’s texture and smell.  Spoons were added to bring a further dimension. Controlling equipment helps with fine motor skills and making marks in the foam helps with understanding that marks can carry meaning.

Further developing their fine motor skills, the children threaded pasta on to pipe cleaners to make bracelets. Great for hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills, but also for developing a can-do attitude and perseverance when things don’t go right the first time.

Working as a team, the children helped complete the large floor puzzle. This helps them develop co-operation and teamwork.  One child was heard to say “we need teamwork to do this together!” How wonderful for such little children. The smaller puzzles all featured around the seasons. Again, the children worked together but also on their own. Looking at the pictures, talking about what is happening in them, working out how the pieces need to be fitted together through trial and error.  This gave them a sense of achievement for their efforts.  This led on to discussion around how the seasons change, what happens to the weather and our natural environment.

Whilst outside, the children explored the different coloured leaves (green, yellow, brown and dark brown) that are covering our garden.  They listened to the crunch, as they jumped and walked through them.  They talked about how they felt and smelt.  They then used them in their arts and crafts, alongside conkers, leaves and stones, to make faces.  They used magnifying glasses to observe the finer details, noticing that there are lines and veins running through them.  Finding items from the natural world and using them in different ways means that we don’t need to keep using new resources.  This helps the children develop an understanding of taking care of our natural world and not wasting what we have.

Celebrating and finding out about traditions and important times in people’s lives helps the children develop a sense of self and helps them to begin to understand that they are part of a wider community with similarities and differences.  This week, the children have been thinking about Diwali, looking at the beautiful rangoli patterns, learning how it is a celebration of light and a special time in some people’s lives, where they dress up and have special food.

Considering what ‘grown-ups’ do for jobs led to discussion around the roles of a fire officer, a police officer, a baker, a builder and a postperson. Using the right terminology for roles is important. Children learn that roles are non-gender specific and that there are opportunities for males and females in all types of careers.

In their imaginative play, the children set up shop in the outside playhouse.  They sold bags of cakes to their customers, charging a rather expensive £20.00 each!  The customers formed a queue to buy the goods, waiting patiently and taking turns.  They took on specific roles, one child taking the orders, another baking the cakes and another being the manager and overseeing the whole operation.  Brilliant.

They also built pools with the large wooden blocks.  They put cushions inside to sit on.  They then said that the floor outside the pool was lava but they were safe inside the pool.  They built the sides up high to make it deeper and keep the lava at bay.  Great imagination but also teamwork, construction, planning and problem solving on display here.

Language and communication are the cornerstone of children’s development. Promoting lots of lovely language helps children develop in many areas. Nursery rhymes and songs are a lovely way of helping children with language development. The rhyme and rhythm help with language and the repetition of songs is great for learning new words.  As well as the familiar nursery rhymes, the children were introduced to some old, but less familiar ones; ‘Little Bo Peep’, ‘Jack and Jill’ and ‘Mary had a little lamb’.  Children also love it when you mix up the ending of a rhyme, for example ‘Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as grass’. They quickly point out that that isn’t the words and grass is green, not white.

They have also enjoyed taking part in sound lotto games, where they match the sound to the picture. Great for developing listening skills.

Finally, they are doing really well with their Christmas songs.  Try and practice them at home – you really don’t want to just hear the team singing at the Christmas show!

The Pre-school Team