Newsletter January 2021

Feb 1, 2021News

What an amazing start to the New Year we have had at Blackberries. The children have started January off with their interest in Winter weather and exploring all things cold. As a class the children have explored a range of sensory trays using Artic Animals, blue shaving foam, ice, and snow.

Our Pre-School have been talking about the animals that live in these areas, polar bears have been popular choice of topic. The children’s favourite book has been ‘The Polar Bear and the snow cloud’, and as a group the Pre-School children have been using different media to make their own Polar bears and friends, using clay and playdough.

EYFS link:

Understanding the world – The world 22 – 36 months

Expressive arts and design – Using and exploring media and materials – 40 – 60 months.

FUN FACT: Polar bears have black skin and although their fur appears white, it is actually transparent.

Following on from our sensory trays, our Pre-School children have been busy exploring numbers using a variety of educational games. As a class they continued to use the winter theme as they explored gloves and counting how many finger spaces they had, matching object to the spaces. The children become very good at picture lotto games, improving their turn taking skills, attentions spans and memory. This educational activity has developed into a game of dominoes where the children have been counting the spots and matching them to each card. As an extension the children have been developing their understanding of how a number can represent a group of objects.

EYFS link:

Personal, social and emotional development – Managing feelings and behaviour – 30 – 50 months.

Communication and language – Listening and attention – 40 – 60 months.

Mathematics – Numbers – 30 – 50 months

Throughout this month our key Nursery Practitioners have been encouraging conversations by talking about different types of artic animals. The children have been focused on penguins, and as a class we discussed the different types of penguins. The children have enjoyed creating their own-coloured ice, and once these had frozen the children then used them to make different marks on their paper, this led to discussions about colours and what happens when the colours mixed, some of the children used language such as “Cold” to describe how it felt.

Sensory trays have been a really enjoyable activity this month for our Pre-Schoolers. Following on with the winter and artic animal theme, the children practiced their writing skills in readiness for school. They wrote their letters of their name into white circles and then used these circles to order their letters and build a snowman. Our key Nursery Practitioners encouraged the children to think about the different sounds in their names.

EYFS link:

EAD – Beginning to be interested in and describe the texture of things (30-50Months)

PD – Can copy some letters, e.g. letters from their name. (30-50Months)

Understanding the world – Can talk about some of the things they have observed such as plants, animals, natural and found objects (30-50)

Communication and Language – Speaking – Uses talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening and anticipate what might happen next, recall and relive past experiences (30-50)

FUN FACT: An emperor penguin can hold its breath for up to 20 minutes under water

Our Toddlers have also been exploring the winter theme and have been very creative with making marks using different tools and media – such as ice and natural yoghurt, brushes, and cotton buds to build their fine motor skills. Following on from this the Children have also used winter themed tracing cards with pens to practice our pencil grips and control, all supporting us when we start developing our writing skills.

EYFS link:

Physical development – Moving and handling – 22 – 36 months.

Expressive arts and design – Exploring and using media and materials – 16 – 26 months

Fun Fact – It takes time to develop enough muscle strength to use a controlled tripod grip, children normal achieve this by 5/6 years old, a range of activities which all develop muscles in their arms/ hands and fingers is the best way to support them to develop this skill.

Our Toddlers have also been working on their gross motor skills, building confidence and balance, through movement and music sessions with Sticky kids. The children have been using the ribbons to make motions in the air, exploring the risky play in the garden making the climbing of obstacles more challenging over the weeks. The children have gained compassion for each other also but helping each other over the obstacle holding their hands to help.

EYFS link:

Personal, social and emotional – Making relationships – 30 – 50 months.

Physical development – Moving and handling – 22 – 36 months.

Literacy – Writing – 22 – 36 months.

Our Toddlers have explored plenty of sensory trays this month and as a class the children have made igloos using white paper cut up into squares. Following on from this the children discussed the Inuit’s who live in the igloos and how they keep themselves warm. The children have been looking at polar bears and how they move around, and as a class we pretended that we were polar bears too crawling around the room. The children continued with their impersonation of Artic themed animals by waddling around like penguins. As a class the children found that the penguins were really slow moving about on the snow and that the daddy penguin looks after the babies while mummy searches for food for them all.

EYFS link:

Exploring and Using Media and Materials – Notices and is interested in the effects of making movements which leave marks. (16-26)

Understanding the world – The world – Notices detailed features of objects in their environment. (22-36)

Our Under-Two’s have still shown a huge interest in vehicles. They have loved using the ramps to roll the cars down seeing how far the cars can travel when they reach the bottom. To support the children with this our key Nursery Practitioners have used counting to promote mathematical language. Counting one, two, three before the children let the cars go and counting how many cars are at the bottom. The children have loved exploring water play, adding boats, talking about different types of vehicles and how people can travel.

As a class we have all used our singing voices to sing ‘row, row, row your boat’ supporting the children with developing their speech and language skills. As this was a big hit with the children, we extended this activity further by adding blue water and sea animals to talk about different things they may see whilst on a boat. The babies have enjoyed exploring different sensory opportunities such as sand, shaving foam and paint and using these sensory experiences to make different marks.

EYFS link:

UTW – Knows things are used in different ways, e.g., a ball for rolling or throwing, a toy car for pushing. (8-20Months)

M – Says some counting words randomly (16-26Months)

Fun Fact – An average car has as many as 30,000 parts in.