Making Easter nests.

When we do cooking, the children make their own food with help and guidance from the staff.

We scrunched up a shredded wheat biscuit. It’s really good as it looks like straw or twigs when squashed.

We added some melted dark chocolate. We worked for each shredded wheat biscuit we needed 17 dark chocolate ‘buttons’ to cover. We melted the chocolate in the microwave for around 20 seconds.

We stirred the mixture, making sure the chocolate covered all the shredded wheat.

The finished product smelt delicious and the children were eager to take their nests home.

Making Mud Pies

The children have a great time in the mud kitchen area. They add water to make the mud all sloppy, measure and spoon out what they need. They have lots of discussions about what they are doing and why, then they share their ‘food’ with their friends and staff.

Weighing out the ingredients.
The finished pie.

Making playdoh

We used a small IKEA bowl to add the ingredients together. We halved the mixture so had 1/4 cup of flour, 1/8 cup of salt, 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar, a tablespoon of oil and 1/4 cup of water. Mix together. Put in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds.

The finished product.

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!


Hello Everybody,

My names Jackie Noakes and from September 2014 I am going to be the new owner of Woodentops. I thought I’d better introduce myself as Carol and myself are going through the handover of Woodentops. I have already applied to Ofsted and am waiting for them to visit.

I have been working as a Registered Childminder since Feb 1997. Previous to that I qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1986 and then trained as a Midwife, qualifying in 1990. I always wanted to work with children so in 1995 with the birth of my second child, I decided to register as a Childminder.  I have looked after numerous children over the last 18 years and have really enjoyed working with them and their parents, by owning Woodentops I will be extending my Early Years role further and looking forward to integrating myself more into the community.

I completed the BA in Early Years with the Open University in 2011 and qualified with Early Years Professional Status in 2012. I have also completed a ‘Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning section’ course to enable me to tutor adults. In March this year, I finished an online Childminding Montessori course which gave me a good overview of how a Montessori setting works. I set up the Potton Childminding group in 2007, I was Chair until 2011 and am currently the vice chair supporting the chair, Fay Jellis. These courses and roles have prepared me for this next step of my career.

I enjoy learning about children, how they develop, how we as professionals can help them thrive and also enable them to reach their individual goals. I am really passionate about enabling the children to develop at their own pace and working with others such as parents, carers and staff.

I have been associated with Woodentops as a parent and an Early Years worker for over 19 years and would like to continue the quality care and support that Woodentops has always provided for the children and their families.

With regard to my Childminding I am intending to continue with the current children I have and have 3 part time assistants and a Childminder working with me. Having the current reliable team at Woodentops, I feel that there will be no compromise between both of my businesses, I am continuing to work 4 days a week but will have some mornings off to manage the paperwork side of the 2 businesses.