This week ( 23/1/17) at Woodentops

On Monday we discovered the the toy animals and leaves in the tuff spots had all managed to get very frozen. The children worked hard together to free the animals and leaves and we ended up with a lot of ice on the grass.

Afterwards the children did some ‘obstacle course’ making use of the decking boards, crates and stepping logs. They worked really well together, listening to and sharing ideas with each other.

On Tuesday we had Simon come in from Triumph Wellbeing. The children helped tidy away the obstacle course from the day before and move the play equipment to the side ready to do lots of fun running around with Simon.

On Wednesday, we had the birds out from the RSPb, who sang beautifully, and made bird feeders for the Big Bird watch at the weekend. We hope the children managed to do some counting.

On Thursday we made donuts, oh my, they were delicious.

The children worked with Jackie, to mix the ingredients, and then watched from a safe distance whilst Jackie poured the mixture into the pans. They helped check whether the donuts were cooked and were very forward in their advice for Jackie. We made plain ones and then got a bit adventurous and made chocolate donuts- they were just as nice. They sampled the donuts for snack. Later on they iced the donuts with all the edible sparkly bits left over from Christmas.

On Friday we had the stay and players in. A fun morning was had by all. We made bird feeders using pipe cleaners and cheerios. Lots of threading and a little tasting- just to check the cheerios were ok for the birds!

Our first week back in 2017

Our week began with 3 home visits meeting 3 lovely children and their parents, preparing them for their first couple of weeks at Woodentops.

Wednesday we started back at the preschool and had a lovely morning with the children getting out the instruments and singing ‘Jingle bells’ and a few other Christmas songs we had practised for our carol concert in December. We made purple playdoh and added sparkles in to it. the children then made cup cakes, patterns from their clothes into the dough and made large and small balls rolling the dough out with their hands. In the afternoon we got out our magnetic balls, wands and geomags, as in the morning we had 2 children going round testing what was magnetic with the large horseshoe magnets. They really enjoyed using the geomags and shapes to make pots and containers. We had lots of discussion about why they stuck together and what they were creating.

Thursday, we had picnics every where, the children used the table cloths on the floor and found lots of different types of food and crockery to set their picnic up. They invited others to join them, sang songs and they read some books. Later on they used the material and tuff spot stand to build a huge den, used it in their obstacle course and and again invited others to join them. The music instruments came out again.

Friday, with it being so beautifully frosty outside, we went for a long walk around the football field, looking at what ‘Jack Frost’ had brought in overnight. They found very icy leaves and looked at the patterns on them and noticed how crunchy they were. We had lots of comments about how cold it was.

Woodentops in the New Year

In January 2017, Woodentops will be extending its hours to include Tuesday afternoons. This means we will be opening from 8.45 to 3.45 Mondays to Thursdays and 8.45 to 1pm on Fridays. Looking to the future we plan to open from 8am to 4pm possibly from The Summer term but definitely from Sept 2017.

Children at Woodentops are looked after in small groups with well qualified and experienced adults.

We have dance once a week on Mondays from Jodie (Jodie Robertson School of Dance) and team games from Simon (Triumph Wellbeing). The team games are on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that as many children at Woodentops are able to access the fun session.

We do cooking once a week on a rolling programme so all the children get a chance to practice their culinary skills. The children what they would like to cook. Recently they made Christmas cakes and then decorated them with royal icing.


We have a great variety of toys and use a lot of natural resources to develop and enhance the children’s learning.

In January we have some spaces available for 2 year olds and 3 to 4 year olds. Please contact us on 07947892823 or email for more information.

Looking for colours outside with the RSPB

On Wednesday this week, we had Nicky and Amanda come from the RSPB to do some colour searching in our outside area.

To start off with Nicky read a very interesting story to the children who joined in enthusiastically with questions and answers. Then we divided into 2 groups, the ones that stayed inside decided to make tea and coffee plus some cakes for those outside, one child buried his ‘man’ with leaves that we had found earlier and we spent time looking for him.

The children outside each had a paper bag with a colour card in it. The idea was that the children would search around and see if they could find all the colours on the card from natural things that are outside.

We found lots of things- yellow, red, green and brown leaves, some of them were nearly orange; grey, black and white feathers; lots of sticks- large, small, long and thin- some were easy to break, others were quite ‘bumpy’; white flowers; and a very long wriggly worm- we decided not to collect him!!!!

Then we sat down and looked at what Amanda had found in her garden that morning. We all carefully touched the spiky shell of a conker and were amazex at how soft the inside bit was. We fitted the conker into its case too. We touched the spiky leaves of the holly tree and spotted the red berries. We made a hedgehog out the pieces we found, using conkers as his eyes and then covered him with leaves ready for his hibernation. The children loved learning and talking about what they found, what everything felt like and how we had to be careful of the hedgehog when he was hibernating.

Back inside we listened to some some bird songs and tried to work out which bird it was. We talked about the robin who visits us daily sometimes popping in as we set up the hall in the morning.

The children loved having the two ladies in and are looking forward to their next visit. Thank you so much to Amanda and Nicky.

Growing Potatoes at Woodentops

On Thursday 21st July, before Simon ¬†from Triumph Wellbeing came in for the last ‘Team game’ session of this school year, we decided to dig up our potatoes. There were lots to be found.

We had lots of talk about the differing sizes of the potatoes, we found a worm in the soil with a few other bugs. The worm was ‘saved’ and put on the grass so he find a new home.

Michelle took the potatoes inside to wash and boil them so we could make potato salad for our party on Friday.

Once they were cooled the Thursday afternoon children chopped the potatoes up small, put them in the 2 bowls, added some onion and then some mayonaise. They gave it a good stir before putting it all in the fridge.

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Standalone farm trip

Today we took 18 children to Standalone farm. It was such a glorious hot day so we made sure each child had a bottle of water and each staff member. The children were fantastic. We looked the geese first and then moved onto the horses.

The geese have fantastic blue eyes and were not worried about coming close to us, which the children were cool about.

There were 2 shire horses and 2 small ponies.


The goat was really eager to see us too.

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As we went to see cows we met some doves, Canadian geese and ducks.


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The piglets were really big and some of the pigs were huge. We walked round to the donkeys who were eager for a stroke before we sat in the shade and had some snack and lots of water.

We walked round to the Alpaca’s who had recently been sheared and liked being touched by the children- they felt really soft. One was really interested in the camera.


After the Alpaca’s we did a long walk round the field in the shade looking for the sheep and lambs. They were very sensible lying in the shade.

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We washed our hands in a very big trough and then went off the the lovely learning barn, where we had stored our lunches earlier. It was so cool in the barn and we all enjoyed our lunches. We decided to go and find the small animals before having fun on the play equipment.

We met Chas and Dave, the rabbits and few of their friends.

We ended the day by having an ice lolly each and then playing in the tractor barn before the parents and carers picked up.

The children were fabulous. A huge thanks goes out to their parents and their carers for allowing us to take their children out for such a fun day. Also a massive thank you to all the Woodentops ladies for all their fantastic support during our visit.

We’re planning next years visit already.




RSPB visit

Wow today we had lovely weather and brilliant children who we took round the RSPB with 3 really helpful RSPB volunteers. We met in the car park, making sure the children knew who their key person was to walk round with.

We did a walk along the woody area and to the Hide. We were impressed at finding a squirrel eating the bird food.

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A chaffinch joined him and then 2 ducks decided to have a swim and wash.

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A woodpecker flew in and ate some nuts from the bird feeder, we spotted a chaffinch flying in before going on his way.

Then we walked to the owl, looking for some rabbits and finding one or two late bluebells still flowering. The children liked touching the owl and commenting how tall he was.

owl RSPB


We walked on to the pond and spotted  geese with their 5 goslings.

We sat and had our snack before walking to the den area.

The den area was fantastic, we had children hiding in the dens already built and then adding more large pieces of wood to them. We made nests using lots of sticks and branches and the children collected leaf liter to make the nest ‘soft’. One child sat in the nest to see how comfortable it was. Then we made ‘wands’ and collecting pieces of leaves and cones to attach to their sticks. Lots of talk about what they were finding and what could have made holes in the ground and trees. We sifted the leaf litter and found lots of little bugs and spiders.

We had a picnic lunch back at the gate house, and found a very small centipede next to our mats, we carefully watched him and then placed the centipede on the plants beside us.

Once we finished lunch we sat and sang some songs whilst we waited for parents, grandparents and carers to meet us.

We’re really proud of how our children behaved today, they were polite and listened to us as we walked round.

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Bubble fun and dinosaurs

This week we all discovered how much fun could be have with a hoop and lots of bubbly water. The children mixed the bubbles on the path and then used the hoop in the bubble mixture and made enormous bubbles. We had lots of fun blowing them and chasing them round the garden.

Inside we played with the dinosaurs in their ‘habitat’- lots of leaves, wooden pieces and twigs. The children took the dinosaurs over to the playdoh and made footprints in it. So we got out the clay out and made footprints to go in the dinosaurs habitat and to take some home.

Later on the children worked together on a box making it into a home for the dinosaurs, one made a dinosaur egg, others painted the top, one of them made a paddling pool and a tree. Fantastic team work

The children asked to do ‘big’ drawings, they laid their pieces of paper on the floor, chose their pens and pencils and then drew huge pictures using both hands.

The children also built tall towers using the thin bricks. Again working together to balance the bricks on tops of each other.

Lambs visiting

This week we were lucky enough to have 2 lambs from Lambtastic visit us. Here’s is Precious and Treacle.

The children were very cautious to begin with, once they realised that they were babies and needed to have some milk, they all lined up to watch Neil feeding them before having a go.

The lambs enjoyed our garden, having a nibble at the grass and sniffing the toys. At one point, Precious curled up on the ground for a bit of a chill.

Loose Parts Play

Today the children really enjoyed the lovely weather outside. Inside preschool they did some intricate building with the ‘FUN BLOX’.

Outside they all wanted to continue with more construction and building. We supplied reels, cardboard boxes, stepping stones of wood, slabs of wood, wooden slats, boxes and crates.

They worked together to build the obstacle course, tried it out, adjusted it, added more bits and tried it out again.