The children have been busy harvesting crops from the vegetable garden. They used ‘nursery grown’ beetroots to make Borscht, a Russian soup, as well as beetroot salad; the stew was a huge success! Children handled some equipment for the first time, as they became familiar with different tools in the nursery. Tools included using the blender and for some children, the trowels and spades in the garden.
We have also harvested lots of carrots and potatoes, which the children have been exploring by grating, cutting and slicing. They have had a ‘grate’ time!
Storytelling through Yoga
The children have been using their bodies to retell key texts in the nursery. They have taken on the roles of different characters from both the Little Red Hen and Rosie’s Walk, exploring the different movements of each animal. This has led to them invoking imagination and expressive interactions, which will help enormously when they ‘innovate’ (make up) their own stories. The use of Yoga to explore the movement of story characters has enhanced the children’s flexibility and body awareness. We are now using Yoga in our WOW Wednesday sessions to help parents and children relax together.
How Do Tools Work?
We have been busy exploring and finding out how the numerous tools in nursery work, this includes hole punches, screwdrivers, scissors, hammers and gardening tools.
We have also been finding out how to use natural tools, including stones. This has led to a new project in the nursery – ‘How Do Tools Work?’' and has helped the children to learn new skills and techniques, which will be developed throughout the year.
This project is helping children to become confident learners and users of the many resources in nursery, as well as developing their independence and their sense of the world around them.
Fish in the Nursery
We now have 13 Guppies in the nursery! The children have been finding out how to care for them – ensuring nobody takes the lid off the fish tank! They have watched them be fed and found out they generally need to be fed everyday but that fish can survive a weekend without food!
Caterpillars, butterflies and nature everywhere!
We had caterpillars in the nursery; the children had been very busy watching them closely to see the changes that occurred. The caterpillars provided hands-on learning approach to enable the children to learn about the lifecycle of butterflies and what happens when they have turned from caterpillars into beautiful butterflies.
The caterpillars sparked many questions and thoughts among the children, which they were then exploring the answers to. The caterpillars have led to lots of interest in other insects and bugs, which the children have been busy looking for in the garden!
We have Robins nesting in the nursery garden, the children have made posters warning people to show care and concern for the Robins and to not be too loud around them! When the Robins have hatched we hope to place the webcam near them to help the children to observe them and to further develop their knowledge and understanding of the birds.
After carrying out the Eco-Schools environmental review, the children decided they wanted to have some pets in the nursery!
With support from adults they have created their own formicarium, (ant nest) for keeping and raising ants in to carry out observations and research. This has led to many questions and thoughts.
The children have been looking after the Queen Ant in a test tube. Some children independently made their own special homes for the ants and other bugs in our outdoor area.
Using Technology to Explore Nature
The interest in Butterflies and Ants has spread throughout the nursery; practitioners have been using technology, projection, light and movement to further support the children to explore their understanding of the world around them and it has now become a mini project.
We have been using the projector to display a range of moving images around the room and onto the children – this has inspired children explore movement and the possibilities of their own bodies in different ways.
The children have been spinning around slowly to the images and flying – their imaginations have really gone wild! Part of the project has been to encourage children to reflect on their learning and to follow their own lines of enquiry.
Natural Thinkers: Digging, Planting and Growing
Now the weather has finally improved, the children have been busy in the garden, turning soil, pulling out weeds and planting seeds. They have planted lots of herbs, fruits and vegetables and collectively wrote rules on how to care for our garden. The children have been ensuring the growing plants have been getting regular water, independently watering them throughout the day.
A digging area has been developed in the outside area, with the help of the children. There has been lots of imaginative play and looking for mini-beasts in this area. The children have been using mini-beast charts to identify the different creatures they have found.
Inside, the children have been exploring different herbs and vegetables – using a range of tools to find out how they can crush and break the items. They have found different ways to break the herbs and enjoyed the hands on approach, noticing the smells left on their hands by the herbs. The nursery has been filled with a variety of different aromas and the children’s curiosity has been evident as they ask questions and explain their thinking.
All of the children have had the opportunity to tell their own ‘cold stories,’ using their imaginations and experiences of different books. This has enabled practitioners to really see the progression in the children’s communication skills, imaginations, storytelling techniques and their knowledge of story structures. Some children have also made puppets to go with their stories, which they have used to help them when acting their stories out.