Pre-School Newsletters


March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,
As you are aware pre-school is closed until the government say that we can open. We hope that everyone is well and staying safe.
It can be a challenging time when you are entertaining children at home so I thought I would put down some ideas that you might find useful to keep your little ones entertained.

Making playdough
1 cup plain flour
1 cup corn flour
1 cup salt
4 tea spoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons of oil
2 cups of water.
Put it all in a pan over a gentle heat and stir, it will all come together and you will need to stir vigorously. Just as its coming together kneed with your hands.
This makes quite a lot of playdough and it will keep in a container. I know that shopping is challenging at this moment in time but the children really enjoy the playdough.

Singing songs and rhymes
Children really enjoy singing and it is a good way to introduce rhyming and
spoken language to children as well as introducing new words to help increase vocabulary.
Popular songs at pre-school are;
Twinkle, twinkle little star
Baa baa black sheep
Head, shoulders, knees and toes.
Wheels on the bus.
Wind the bobbin up.

Reading to the children
Just spending 5 minutes reading a short story. Taking some time out from the difficult and challenging situation that we all find ourselves in, you can use props to support the story telling.

Den making inside or outside
A table makes a great frame for den making and sheets, curtains and even coats can be used to provide a cover.  Household pegs will hold the material in place, clothes horses are also a good resource for a den frame, the possibilities are endless as to what the den can become.

If you would like to share your ideas for things to do then please email them to me and I will share them with our parents.

Bear hunts and rainbow walks
Some houses in the local area have put bears and rainbows in windows, so the children can look for these on a walk. This is a lovely idea; you could ask the children to make a map and talk about the things that they have seen on the walk when you get home. You can introduce a story, ‘going on a bear hunt’ is a children’s favourite. You can make up your own route enhancing the story.

Social and emotional development
I think it is important that as much as we can we need to be honest with the children and use words and language that the children understand. These are not normal times and it is challenging for us as adults to comprehend what is happening.  Children are resilient and sometimes adapt better than adults to new and developing situations if they have had things explained to them in a way that they can understand.  Social media is a good way to keep in contact with grandparents and other family members, older siblings who may be away from home.
At pre-school we were talking about germs and the need to wash our hands to keep the germs away.
It is important to keep talking to then children about not going out and why we cannot go out just yet.   

I will have the pre-school phone on during pre-school hours and also I’m checking pre-school emails daily.

Hope that you find these ideas helpful.
Please follow the advice and only go out as advised. Stay safe.
Stella



Tuesday 31st March 2020

At pre-school we take a child led approach to learning, and learning through play is the foundation; the building blocks for future learning. So here are some activities that you might like to try with your child.


Maths.

You can introduce counting and shapes easily at home, mealtimes are a good opportunity to introduce counting, the children can lay the table and count how many knives and forks are put on the table, counting the number of fruit in the fruit bowl, how many apples, how many oranges, etc. This links in with the EYFS statements. Shapes in the environment is an easy way to get the children noticing shapes, the table is rectangle, car wheels are circles, the dinner plates are circles, the roofs on houses are triangles. At pre-school we use snack time as a way to support maths e.g. ask the children to count the number of apples, we might ask the children to pass an apple to a child or the adult, then count them again to see how many is left. 


Physical development.

Self care skills fall within this area of development and at pre-school we encourage the children to attempt to put on their own coat and do the zip up. In the summer term we would be encouraging this a bit more in preparation for school. We also encourage the children to be as independent as possible with toileting, again thinking about school readiness for the children who are leaving us in September.

Large movements, running, jumping, throwing a ball, kicking a ball, can all be done whilst away from pre-school. I noticed that some of our children have balance bikes and/ or scooters; these are a great way to develop controlling speed and balancing. At pre-school the balance bikes are always popular and the children are very good at racing round the yard but controlling their speed and not bumping into others, so developing their spatial awareness.



Drawing and Painting.

Some of our children were beginning to write their name on their drawings and paintings, some children were beginning to just put the first letter of their name on the paper. Holding a pen, crayon, paint brush, helps to develop the skills that young children will need for writing when they go to school. Drawing a picture is a very good way to develop skills for writing.


Social and emotional development.

Turn taking during games and sharing with siblings and mum and dad are all part of social and emotional development. At pre-school we encourage sharing and turn taking. Our board games are very popular and the children are very good at turn taking and sharing while playing. Doing a jigsaw together is also a good way of encouraging these skills. The jigsaws are very popular at pre-school; the Octonauts jigsaw is a favourite. 


Baking.

Baking with the children introduces weights and quantity, which fall into maths, also mixing the mixture; holding the spoon links in with physical development and noticing how the textures change and decorating your baking supports creative development and understanding the world.



These are just a few more ideas that you might find useful. Stay safe and we hope to see everyone once pre-school opens.
Stella




Tuesday 7th April 2020

Hello everyone

We hope that you are all staying safe and well.

Here are some more ideas of things to do; some of these ideas are great to do in your garden or on a walk, now that the weather is getting warmer.


A scavenger hunt.

Finding a certain leaf of a particular colour or shape.

Finding a flower of a particular colour.

Counting how many birds the children see in the garden.

Looking at how the flowers are growing and talking about the size of the shoots, and what the shoots will turn into.

You can extend this by hiding things in the garden and asking the children to find items, the children can make a map of the garden or a map of the route that you take on a walk.

With Easter coming up an egg hunt is a great idea.

With activities like these ones you are supporting maths, knowledge and understanding, communication, language, and literacy, physical development and social and emotional development. These activities will also support critical thinking, making links and active learning.



Recycled modelling.

This supports creative and physical development as well as critical thinking and making links.

Save all your empty boxes and cartons to make models with. This is a favourite activity at pre-school. We turn the boxes inside out and stick them back together with masking tape so the children can paint the boxes, but you don’t have to do this. At pre-school we get all sorts of wonderful creations all made by the children with very little or no help from us.


Matching games.

You might have got some of these at home but it’s fun to make your own with the children. All you need are pictures of something X2 and you can make up your own matching game. You can make it as hard or as easy as you like.

Matching games support turn taking, sharing, literacy, maths and language development. 


Silly soup game.

All you need is a bowl, a wooden spoon and some items; around ten. The children stir round the bowl whilst singing.

“We’re making lots of silly soup; we’re making soup that’s silly, we’re going to put it in the fridge and make it nice and chilly”.

The children then pick out an item and put it into the bowl, the children then say a word that rhymes with the item that they have put into the bowl.

You continue with this until all the items are in the bowl.

It’s a really fun way of introducing rhyme and the words don’t have to be real words they can be nonsense words. 


Cornflour and water paste.

This activity is a favourite of mine.

If you can get cornflour mix it with water to make a paste, it feels really silky and smooth; you will need a tray of some sort to put the paste in. The children can then make patterns, practice pre writing skills, write or draw. This mixture is good for dripping off the children’s fingers and if you squeeze it the mixture seems to harden up, and then goes runny again when you stop squeezing. You will be surprised how the mixture feels; dry not wet, and definitely not slimy!



Friday 1st May 2020


Hello everyone


Hope that you are all well and staying safe.


Here are a few websites you might find useful.


I would like to say thank you to all our parents who text me the information regarding school places in September. The majority of the children who are leaving will be going to Ecclesall Primary.


We hope to see all the children before they start on the next stage of their education.


I hope that you find the websites useful.


Take care and stay safe


Stella


 


Playing and Exploring



Creating



Loving reading



Explaining in child-friendly language



Supporting



Helping



Free resources for home learning



Encouraging and supporting





Monday 4th May 2020
Hello all
Hope all is well with everyone.

Here are some more ideas of things to do whilst at home.

Making a bug house for the garden.
You can make this from things lying around in the garden, anything that the children can stack into a tower shape, leaving holes for the bugs to get in is fine. At pre-school the children love looking under the big blocks of wood in our yard and finding worms in the soil.
  You can talk about size and shape of the things that you find in your garden. This links into maths development. You can talk about what insects you might find in the bug house and ask the children to draw the insects. Once you have bugs in the bug house you can make a tally with the children, counting the bugs, you can also talk about the differences with the bugs. This activity links into understanding the world, maths, communication and language development, and physical development.
Small garden in a container.
Another activity for outside is making a small garden in any sort of container that you can find, washed out yogurt pots make good seed pots, don’t forget to put a hole in the bottom for drainage.
Any container will do for growing plants and seeds and you can use soil from your garden. You can buy plants now in most supermarkets during your normal shopping. The children have liked watching the flowers and potatoes grow in the pre-school garden. This links into understanding the world, noticing how things grow and change over time, communication and language, holding conversations sticking to a theme whilst talking and physical, using tools and equipment, handling tools safely and with control.

Inside activities.
Making a family tree.
We have done this activity at pre-school and the children really enjoyed bringing family photos into pre-school and talking about their families to the children and staff.
For many of us, our photos live on our phones, but if you have physical photos of family members you can make a tree from any paper or card that you have around the house, make a tree shape the children can paint it. Once dry, get your family photos and start to make your tree, 
Recycled modelling.
This is always a popular activity and the children really enjoy it. At pre-school we turn the boxes inside out and stick them back together with tape, it makes the boxes easier for the children to paint, but you don’t have to do that.
This activity covers most areas of learning and is a fun activity.

We hope to see you all very soon.
Take care and stay safe
Stella