Connecting Camels and Mother’s Day

On Monday one of our little ones was lining up the weights in size and weight order.

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We got out the connecting camels to add to his interest. Other children joined him.

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Lining them up

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Putting the camels into colour groups

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Repeating patterns

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Buried treasure, under all the chains

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Making circles. adding a smaller one.

Lining up.

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A few of our activities on one day.

On Wednesday we took our older children to Sutton Lower school for our usual half termly visit. The children loved having a ride in the cars and then avoiding the puddles as we made our way to school. Once at school we had a brief play in the class before the sun came out and we were able to play outside in the sand, doing some digging for gold in the dirt and then fishing for feet! We had a lovely play in the field exploring the lovely wooden pirate ship and climbing frame. Then we met the parents and carers in the front car park.

Thank you so much to Sutton for having us, we’re already looking forward to our visit next term.

The children really enjoyed working on their gifts for their Mummy’s. The artwork on the cups will fade over time if put in the dishwasher.

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Bubbly water play and drums

Last week has been lots of fun, carrying on with the week before’s interests- lots of water and splashing. We added bubbly water to the tuff spots, pots, teapots, bowls, sponges, syringes and spoons.

All these activities of squeezing the sponge and using the syringes to fill the pots, will help the muscles the children need to write- grow, form and work at becoming stronger. The pouring and measuring of water will enhance the children’s mathematical skills by allowing them to work out how much they need to fill the pot up, how heavy the pots is and that it gets lighter as the water is poured into  bowl. They develop and idea of whether the small pot will hold the same as the large pot. They are doing such fantastic learning but as far as they are concerned they are having lots of fun and playing.

We got our beautiful drums out this week, another interest followed. The children had helped themselves to the beaters from the instrument drawer and try out the noises on the tables, chairs and tuff spots in the room. We had 4 drums between 18 children. The drums were spaced between the children, those that did not have a drum, clapped their hands. They all listened well and practised doing loud, slow, fast and quiet by rubbing their hand over the drum. To ensure all the children had a go with the drum, we said ‘stop’ and used the sign for stop, then the children had to pass their drum to the next person.

Our activities this week were:-

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The children tried to build a tower as tall as them using the Duplo. They worked hard together, whilst one held the tower the others would find the bricks they needed. Then they would swap over. It was a real joint effort and only fell apart when the tower got too tall to be added to. That didn’t put them off they tried again, giving the tower a bigger base to see if that would make it more stable.

I wonder what fun and learning will happen this week.

 

 

RSPB visit.

We took 36 children and lots of adults for a lovely play at the RSPB on 21st June. The longest day and it was beautiful.

We had a fab time making lots of different dens using all the wood we could find. Snack was custard creams, bourbons and breadsticks to ensure all the children could eat snack safely.

We found some red ants busily moving their eggs after we accidentally moved the roof of their home. It was fascinating to watch.

One of the children wanted to find some ear wigs, and the RSPB woods did not disappoint. We found lots.

We made pictures out of the wood and spent time collecting different coloured leaves, pine cones, small and large pieces of wood and even soft peat.

One child spent a long time cutting up the string and adding it to her picture.

We visited the pond and found some very bouncy, springy peat to jump on. It was like a trampoline.

The geese and their goslings weren’t too impressed at being watched so went to hid in the bushes. When we first got to the pond there was a heron having a swim. He soon flew off.

March Madness

On the 1st March, we had Sally and Den visit us to help plant some apple 🍏 🍎 trees in huge pots donated by Deepdale trees Ltd.

Working how big a hole we needed to dig to be able to put the roots in comfortably. Den was really helpful at suggesting ideas to the children and we used lots of mathematical language.

Magic root growing sprinkles. The children took it in turns to sprinkle the powder on saying the magic words.

The apple trees all secure, just got to wait for the buds to start growing. We’re hoping to plant them in Potton Apple 🍏 🍎 orchard in November.

To celebrate world book week, we started visiting the library 📚 on a Tuesday morning with a few of our older children.

Laura read us a few lovely stories.

A lady made out of play doh.

Fire engine play.

I like how the children work together to build their cars and trucks and every time they look different but they are more intricate with the children using ideas from all the differing experiences.

Tower building with the instruments.

A very intricate town built by 2 children. They added a ‘laptop’ later made out of bricks.

Story making time. The children used these props to make a story up. Kathryn wrote down their story and then they acted them out at story time.

We woke the snails 🐌 up from their sleep. They needed a bit of warm water and some heat from the heat mat to wake them up.

you could hear the operculum cracking as Sparkle started to come out.

Coming out to say hello to the children. Every day a child is responsible for feeding and ‘squirting’ the snails with water. The children get very excited to be a helper.

Den building with a difference. Everything was put in the den today. Lots of working together, sharing ideas and listening to each other.

A very smiley face made with masking tape. We have discovered masking tape is sooooo easy to tear and it’s also great for developing these pre writing muscles.

Rather fantastic cutting through quite tough card and in a straight line.

Tea party anyone?

Woodentops take on rocket building.

Various laptops and our own work station with 3 laptops. The children supported each other by describing what they were doing and why.

Celebrating Red Nose Day with painted on noses and wearing our pyjamas which was very exciting as far as the children were concerned.

We had red Nose cakes and flapjacks.

We really like constructing and building at Woodentops. I think we may have many engineers in the making.

Bonfire 🔥 We had a discussion about what would burn and what would melt- ‘well plastic of course Jackie’.

Adding a new dimension to building, using many boxes to see if we could reach the ceiling. We were so close with help of one of our little ones older sibling.

Fantastic drawing from 2 of our 4 year olds.

Some beautiful pictures made for special people to celebrate Mothering Sunday.

These poor dinosaurs were feeling really poorly so they were wrapped up in bandages and left to ‘rest’.

A rather huge screen for his laptop. The wooden brick is his ‘mouse’.

Mother’s Day treats made by our lovely children.

This was fascinating watching this little one draw his grandparents, parents, an uncle and his 2 cousins before adding himself on the bottom of the page with ‘huge’ muscles.

Mother’s Day morning where our special ladies joined us and had some breakfast rolls and drinks. They had yummy iced biscuits made by their children and a bag full of goodies for Sunday.

February Fun

We managed to make a snowman out of the little snow we had. The children worked together with Jackie, rolling the snow round the garden to make it ‘bigger’.

One little 4 year old spent lots of time sorting through the bugs, categorising them and then sticking them to the unit with sellotape. He added the knives in at the very end.

Our favourite games to make vehicles out of the crates in the garden. This time it was a camper van which was loaded up with resources that you’d need to go on a trip.

Den building. The children are getting quite adept at using the fence to help support the roof of their dens. The giant pegs are great for developing those finger and hand muscles for writing when they are older.

Making a road out of our big wooden bricks and then testing out the car.

We had a fab bingo night which we raised £450 for the preschool. The evening was a great success and all who came had a good night.

More car building, this time the bits of wood on the wheels were the ‘brakes, to help it stop’. The green car has got a ‘hand brake’ too.

A very long fire engine with lots of seats.

Lots of hearts.

Circles and lines. Talking about our names, the sounds our letters make and singing some jolly phonic songs.

Making music with our lovely drums and beaters.

How tall can we make our rainbow 🌈 go? The children worked together to balance out the sections as they placed the pieces on top of each other.

Some areas set up ready for the children when they come in.

Spring half term 2019

This term started with a bit of a bang, we had 4 new little ones join us and they settled so well. It was a delight to see how they ‘braved’ their first few days to then becoming very confident at waving goodbye at the window.

We have a very open setting in that parents, if they want to see their child’s file can just ask for it. We love showing the parents and children how their child is progressing with their play and learning at Woodentops. All staff love to talk about their key children, just ask and you’ll get given lots of information.

The room already set up for our children to come and play. We have the schedule board out ready so children can see what is going to happen through out the morning. When the activity takes place, it is taken off the board so the children can see how close snack, lunch or home time is. It really helps those that are a little anxious about routine. The little tables covered in white are for the children to put their names on so they can put any products they make- pictures, models etc; on to take home. This helps reinforce how their name looks and encourages them to recognise their name.

Building towers and bridges for the cars to go along.

Working with nuts and bolts. The children really enjoy twisting and turning the nuts and bolts into the colander. They used the loose parts to make patterns and pictures based on their ideas. They were also used as a drum. There was lots of talk about what the bolts felt like- whether they were heavy, light, cold, ridged etc.

The Children sorted through the heavy weights and the buttons, doing lots of matching games.

This was our giant man.

We made a combine harvester.

Playing with the people in the ‘meadow’.

Making a marble run- the children work which balls fit in the run and move fast. they have found out things that don’t roll, do not move in the runs.

The children use metal cutlery to play with in our kitchen area. This child has great pincer control over the knife and playdoh, super practice for when he starts to write.

Camp site making and then den building. The children are a dab hand at making dens, using their ideas, working together and supporting each other to make their dens even better.

Painting, we have been encouraging the children to wash out their paint brush after using it in one paint. this way they get to learn about waiting and taking turns and that water washes out the paint.

Building a road for the cars and lorrys.

This was a great invitation to play and learn- The children had a photo of different types of building and lots of different sized blocks.

We added wooden chess pieces to the display and the children lined them up and added them to their buildings.

We love having flowers in, the children prepare them for their little vases, any left overs or ones that were damaged are used in their loose play and often become ‘food’.

So we found a very poorly baby that needed bandaging up. The children found some micropore tape and made sure the baby was wrapped really well in the bandage and taped up. The baby felt lots better later after lots of cuddles.

Welcome to the New Year.

Woodentops started Christmas at the end of November. Practising our songs for our alternative Carol Concert which the children had chosen. The favourites were Baby Shark, We Will Rock You- including guitars and Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney. The carol concert was a resounding success, the children thoroughly enjoyed it which is what it was all about.

Making Christmas cards using lots of glitter.

Slime- oh my the children loved the slime. They made it with a little support from Shannon, then they squeezed it, pumelled it and stretched it. We discovered how long it could go if we stretched it carefully, all the way to the front door from the office door. There was lots of mathematical language, so impressive.

Paper chains were the next interest, again the children tried to make them as long as possible.

Building with bricks. The children worked together using the ladder to try and reach the top of their tower. Once it was too tall they added more brickwork to the different levels. There was lots of sharing of ideas, lots of reflection on how they were doing and planning for the next stage off their build. Fabulous co-operation and team work.

Christmas Candles.

The children moulded the clay and pushed in a tea light. Then they helped themselves to a variety of resources to add to their table decoration. They chatted about what they were using, discussing the textures and weight, then deciding where to put them in their clay.

Flowers- the children helped cut the flowers and put them in vases. Some of them used the left overs to make ‘dinner ‘ too.

Eddy the Elf came to visit us on the 1st December, the children looked for him every morning. He was very good at hiding.

Christmas cake making

The children iced them and took them home in their Christmas bag.

We played with the treasure box.

We had a fabulous Autumn term and we’re looking forward to the New Year and Spring term. We start back on the 7th January 2019. Can’t wait to see all out little ones and hear about what they did over the Christmas holidays.

Christmas cake making and more.

We had lots of fun smelling the ingredients, talking about where they come from and what they become. Lots of descriptive words were ysed and we mixed, stirred, beat and spooned. 

Ready to go in the oven.
The smell was glorious as the cakes cooked. 

The children were really eager to make their own individual cake. The cakes were vegan so that all our children would be able to make and eat them. They gave been wrapped in grease proof paper ready for icing in the next couple of weeks. Some will be on sale at the Christmas lights on the 30th November. Come down and say hello.

Painting and sticking.
Carrying on from last week’s drawing maps and roads we did a huge map with roads, mountains, rivers,people and animals. These children have no boundaries to their ideas and interests. 
Table set up and ready to explore. 

Lest We Forget

 

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This week the children at Woodentops had black and red paint, lots of paper plates, red tissue paper and giant card circles. We used these to do our poppies our way.

On Remembrance Sunday, One of our little ones placed the Woodentops wreath with the huge poppies the children made.

Earlier in the week, a child was rolling a small ball around in the tray, so we got our some paint, marbles, paper and trays and made some beautiful fire work pictures and patterns.

On Thursday, we were playing with cars, One child said ‘no road’.  Sue asked if he wanted a road, ‘yes’. So we got huge pieces of card out of our sheds and ended up with Potton

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And Biggleswade

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With a ‘huge mountain, a roundabout, houses with people in’. The children extended it further with drawing round themselves and each other and then wanting to write their names.

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Other children in the room wanted to make a fire engine out of the card- continuing with their interests.

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Sue made the ladder with a lot of help from the children. The children designed and made the fire engine, lots of turn taking, sharing ideas and working out what would fit where.

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Lunch anyone?

Burying the dinosaur using chains.

The children made an obstacle course, changing it and adapting it as they played.

A seaside scene.

How long can we make these chains and hooks go? The children worked together discussing how much further the chains could go and finding more pieces to extend their line.