Tree House Monthly Blog – September 2013

Oct

26

Sorry for the delay boys and girls – Thank’s Kat for doing such a fantastic job with this!
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Pre-School

We started off the months activities with a literacy theme. We used the Gruffalo story sack to gauge how well our new children could:

  • Fill in missing words from well known and loved stories
  • Recognize rhythm in spoken word
  • Join in with repeated refrains
  • Listen to stories with increasing attention and recall
  • Show an interest in illustration and print in books.

The whole group could nearly recall the entire story! After we had read the story, using all of the props, we then went on to colour in pictures of the Gruffalo, which will be added to our personal pathways.

Gruffalo - Treehouse

Graffulao - Treehouse Day Nursery

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The older children made some fabulous homemade pink playdough. This was great to play with warm and squishy. The younger children took part in a counting activity, where they had to select a certain number of toy people from a group. This was a great activity, which allowed children to challenge themselves, as well as a good way for us to see how well the children’s numerical skills were developing.

Toy people - Tree House Day Nursery

As the evenings get darker, and the leaves turn golden, we find ourselves coming over all autumnal. We have decided to revive the season’s board, and create a huge autumn scene. We painted pictures of squirrels and leaves and used all kinds of media and materials.

Drawings - Tree House Day Nursery

Drawings - Tree House Day Nursery

Drawings - Tree House Day Nursery

We added actual leaves and twigs that we found in the woods. This was fantastic for helping us develop our understanding of the world and enabled us to:

  • Talk about things that we have observed, such as plants, animals and natural found objects.
  • Talk about how things work, and why things happen.
  • Develop an understanding of growth decay and changes over time.
  • Show care and concern for living things and the environment.

To finish off our board, we added a giant Tree! Next time you drop your children off, why don’t you ask them to show you the autumn board, and ask them about all the changes that occur in our environment during this season?

We had lots of fun this month, experimenting with musical instruments. Instruments are fascinating because they can be manipulated in many different ways, to create different sounds. For example, we have a Cabasa, which is an instrument, constructed with loops of steel ball chain wrapped around a wide cylinder.

The Cabasa can be twisted, bopped, rattled, shaken and strummed with each effect creating a different sound. This not only helps us to understand the way we can manipulate objects to achieve a planned effect, but also how every action, has a reaction. Below are just some of our fab instruments.

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We have had the Parachute out a few times during September. This is a great way to develop our gross motor skills, and also teaches us about working together to meet a common goal. We play games like cat and mouse, balls on the parachute, and our favourite, the mushroom.

Here we are making our mushroom below. When we are in the mushroom, it’s like a huge tent, where we can sing songs, tell stories, or just relax. The bright colours that shine through make it seem like we are in another world!

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Sometimes, things don’t always go to plan. At Tree House, this is a great opportunity for us. We create plans for all of our activities, toys and games. This ensures that all the children in our care have their areas of interest and preferences catered for.

If on a particular day, we decide we would like to do something else, or adapt an activity we are doing, this creates opportunities for children to learn, play and explore, and adds to the activities being more child led, (rather than adult). We wanted to make some pendants from salt dough. We created our leaves, cooked them and were ready to paint them. As the children looked at the pendants they had created, one of our little girls took hers to the playdough table, and started to pretend it was her dinner she had made.

All the children shortly followed, and before long, were all cooking salt dough tea! We put out the tea set and play cookers, and let the children act out their role-play. The freedom of exploration and independency that we offer at Tree House makes us unique, and ensures that children will develop into curious, inquisitive and imaginative children, with a real desire to learn and explore.

Cookies - Tree House Day Nursery

We played with some of our learning cards during circle time this month. The mix and match cards allow children to find objects and items that go together. In this game, it is vocations. As always there is room for some silliness, and the children love to put random combinations together, as well as finding the correct matches. We had a clown’s head, a cowboy body and a queen’s dress thrown in for good measure!

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We also played with our opposite cards, which help children visually identify and match opposites.

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Finally, right at the end of the month, the conkers finally fell out of the trees!!! We went up to the large conker tree at the top of the cricket pitch and picked up as many as we could carry! We don’t use them for games like they do at some big schools, but we like to look at them, feel them, paint them, paint with them and play with them in our nature tray. Everyone that was in was able to take a Conker home, and we still had loads left for our nature tray.

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Main areas of focus this Month were:

Prime areas

  • Physical development – moving and handling
  • Personal-social and emotional development – managing feelings and behaviour
  • Communication and language – listening and attention

Specific areas

  • Literacy – Reading
  • Mathematics – numbers
  • Understanding the world – the world
  • Expressive arts and design – exploring and using media and materials

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