Spring 2021 Term 3
This term has been creative and inspiring as well as challenging. It is wonderful to report we have remained covid free and as a team which includes staff, children and parents we have worked together to maintain this.
It was heavy snowfall what caused disruption to our opening in the last week of term. Thank you for your patience and support during this time. At the start of term, staff notice how lockdown No3 was having a negative effect on some children. Their emotions were high and coping with everyday preschool situations was a big challenge for some of them. With this in mind we spent the first few weeks of term being kind to ourselves and focusing on what makes us happy. We also shared this information with others. There is nothing more rewarding then watching children engage with their emotions to each other. Children’s Mental Health week gave us the opportunity to support our children further along with the rest of the UK. There were many acts of kindness shown by all our children...
giving up a toy being played with independently to make someone else feel happy
a toy car found on the floor and know it’s a particular child’s favourite and then seek them out to give them the car
a child having difficulty putting their arm in their coat, a nearby child holds the arm of coat to assist
begin aware how much milk you pour yourself at snack time to ensure there is enough for everyone
happy to let others join your play because they think your game looks fun
These children are 2, 3 and 4 years old. They are amazing!!
Hungry little minds have some ideas to support your child’s mental health at home. https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk/ Hungry Little Minds – Simple fun, activities for kids aged 0 – 5 Your child’s brain grows the fastest during the first 5 years of life. As a parent, you play a huge role in feeding your child’s mind and helping them to communicate. Check out our top tips for simple activities that you can do with your child as part of your daily routine. You may not realise how much your kids are taking in – and making sense of – long before they can talk. Feed ... hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk Selection of Activities: A dusting of snow in the first week allowed us to have extra fun outside. We wanted to jump in it, hold it (without gloves on) to get the feel of it and collect it. We soon realised jumping on the snow made it turn into liquid which created puddles... we love puddles. The higher the jump the bigger the splash. This kind of activity doesn’t only allow the children to develop their reasoning and understanding but build their core stability and gross motor skills.
The much larger volume of snow at the end of term allowed for different experiences. We made snow castles and a snow friend call Fred.
We painted bubble wrap to create a winter scene for our feet painted penguins. Feet painting for some children can be quite an experience. There is usually anticipation, hesitation and then full-on submersion which results in giggles with oooo’s and arrrr’s. We added wings and body parts later.
With the help from the children, a true to size emperor penguin arrived at preschool. Measuring 1.4m tall, we measure ourselves against the penguin and compared sizes. Some of us realised if we stand on tippy toe, we became taller than the penguin. Love the cheekiness.
Snow-dough was not a success, which allowed children to see that adults get things wrong too and that’s okay. The children made playdough and moulded it to make snow-people, they added some natural objects to enhance their models.
Independent snowman painting provided time for children to express themselves. They chose their paint and mixed colours when certain colours were not available to them. We have experimented with wet and dry medias to create our marks in. Some choosing letter formations while others went for patterns and smiley faces.
Dinosaurs are a big part of our preschool day and this term we made dinosaur fossils and become archaeologist. Children imprinted dinosaurs into salt dough. Once harden and ready to use, the children used small tools and magnifying glasses to find the fossils in the sand. There was a lovely element of surprise.
We have celebrated St Andrews Day and part of this day included process cooking to make shortbread biscuits. Process cooking is fun and allows the children to experiment with ingredients to make their own version of the product. There is a basic recipe to follow to allow for an end product if they wish. A shortbread biscuit was made.
As you know we have core books which the children vote daily as to which one they would like to be heard read at the end of the morning session. This term, No-Bot by Sue Hendra has by far been the most popular choice. The children wanted to make their own robot which really brought this story to life. The children are so familiar with this story they tell the story aloud as the pages are turned and can identify the beginning, middle and end. The younger members of the group are keen to identify where Bernard’s bottom has gone. Story time is very engaging for all.
Outdoor play is very important us. Being outside helps build strong immune systems, provides a vital source of vitamin D, reduces virus infections, improves mental wellbeing and it goes without saying the developmental benefits such as building physical skills, increased self-confidence, and esteem. We continue to utilize our outdoor area and we are extremely grateful for the waterproof clothing you helped to fundraise for. Our children have been working together as they select resources from the shed to transport water from puddle to pot. Children have been developing their independent skills by and having a jolly good go at getting themselves changed when they need to. Please ensure all your child’s items are named, even just a name on a label really helps us.
Staff have joined a webinar on sensory circuits. This training was delivered by an occupational therapist. Sensory circuit is a great way to both energise and settle children into their day. There are three parts to a circuit, 1: Alerting 2: Organising 3: Calming. At our next staff meeting we will discuss how we plan to implement this into our day.
Reminder packed lunches and water bottles Children bring in packed lunches, please can you ensure you provide lunch in a wipe-able container and not lunch bag. They are lovely but not practical for disinfecting on arrival and sending home. If drink bottles could contain water and we have fresh drinking water to refresh bottle for those staying all day. The children all sit down together and are encouraged to be independent, by opening tubs, packets or peeling their fruit. Please remember to cut up grapes, cherry tomatoes and anything of a similar size as these can cause choking in young children. Food items we ask not to be included in lunch boxes are peanut butter, nut products, sweets and chocolate.
Do tell us about your child’s dietary needs so we can make sure all the necessary steps are put into place.
https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes/healthier-lunchboxes Children’s information Please inform us of any changes to your child’s details, address, email address, contact number, new mobile, emergency contact and those and those authorized to collect. Even if your named authorized person comes to collect your child, if we are not made aware of this collection, we will still contact you before releasing your child. This is safeguarding your child and not meant to cause any inconvenience. Adult Education Courses for Parent/Carer The Children’s Centre have a number of courses available to you in the coming months.
Managing children’s behaviour
If any of these courses are of interest to you just get in touch for more information. The Children’s Centre have a informative facebook page with activities and ideas to do at home. https://m.facebook.com/sevenoaksandswanleychildrenscentres An Environmental Health inspector called on 11th February to carry out a food hygiene audit. I can confirm we have maintained our grade 5 rating and no further action is needed. A big shout out to all the staff for continuing to work at high standards.
Thank you so much for working with us at St Lawrence Pre-School. We do appreciate your support. Have a lovely half term and see you when we return on Monday 22nd February.