We will have lots of different fun activities for your little one to join in with during Chatterbox Challenge week. We have some lovely ideas that parents can use at home to support their children’s speech and language. Click here for more information.
This term Sunny Days Children's Nursery have been learning all about our bodies. We have been measuring ourselves and comparing sizes. Parents could try this at home- use language of size to discover who is the tallest or heaviest at home, create a height chart together using photographs or drawings of family members. Make hand or feet paint prints together, cut them out and compare and measure the size.
RSPB- Bird Watch – an activity to give nature a home on your door step. We will be making bird cake at school to encourage the birds into our garden, why not give it a go at home. We will also be putting up new bird boxes to encourage the birds to nest in our garden .
Things you need:
Good quality bird seed; raisins; peanuts; grated cheese; suet or lard; yoghurt pots; string; mixing bowl; scissors
1.Carefully make a small hole in the bottom of a yoghurt pot. Thread string through the hole and tie a knot on the inside. Leave enough string so that you can tie the pot to a tree or your bird table
2.Allow the lard to warm up to room temperature, but don’t melt it. Then cut it up into small pieces and put it in the mixing bowl
3. Add the other ingredients to the bowl and mix them together with your fingertips. Keep adding the seed/raisin/cheese mixture and squidging it until the fat holds it all together.
4.Fill your yoghurt pots with bird cake mixture and put them in the fridge to set for an hour
5.Hang your speedy bird cakes from trees or your bird table. Watch for greenfinches, tits and possibly even great spotted woodpeckers.
Not suitable for children with nut allergies. Note that bird seed, including peanuts bought for birds, is not suitable for human consumption.
Have a look on the RSPB website for easy apple core bird feeder.
Other ways to help !! Remember to put water out in the garden
Birds need water for drinking and bathing. Water is particularly important during the winter when natural supplies may be frozen.
Choose a song or rhyme that your child is familiar with and knows well and invent new words to suit the purpose and the child's interest. Use percussion instruments to accompany the new lyrics.
As part of early literacy skills we encourage the children to look at and distinguish between marks that they make. These tools provide the children with opportunities to make and talk about the difference between them and begin to understand that marks they make can carry meaning. It also develops their confidence to make marks their own way and this is the beginning of emergent writing. You can find some ideas of how you can encourage this at home are at the bottom of this article here http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleId=215
The children have been applying some early numeracy skills and matching numbers 1-10, this involved lots of early number language. Remember it is really important to talk about numbers and make this part of your daily routine - whilst at home or out and about, it is really easy and can be applied even when you are climbing the stairs!
Draw some wiggly lines or shapes on a page and let them loose with some stickers. This is a really simple idea that will help to develop your child's hand- and eye co-ordination and concentration skills. Look how amazing this little boy is!
The activities listed below will help to develop your child’s understanding of the world we live in – learning about the weather is a great way to connect your child’s understanding of the seasons.
This simple activity teaches children both about weather patterns and has an environmentally-friendly purpose too - they can recycle their collected rain water on the plants in the garden. It's very easy to make a rain catcher. All you need is an old plastic water bottle, with the top cut off and the paper label removed. Using a permanent marker and ruler or tape measure show your child how to mark inches on the outside of the bottle with their pen. Then choose a suitable place for the bottle to stand in the garden, making sure it's well supported so it won't topple over (perhaps dig it into the flower beds or place some stones around the base to keep it upright). Younger children may prefer to just leave empty pots out to catch the rain and enjoy emptying them .
Taking the time to just gaze at the world around us is something we often forget to do during our busy day-to-day lives. But, like looking at the stars on a clear night, looking at clouds is a simple, cost-free and restful way to re-connect with the sky above us. Look for funny cloud formations and point them out - there all kinds of strange shapes and resemblances up in the sky when you stop and take a good look. It's both a restful and educational activity.
There are lots of poems and rhymes for children which take the weather as their theme, so introduce your child to some and sing them together. Incy Wincy Spider, I Hear Thunder and It's Raining, It's Pouring. Other rhymes they may not yet know include the following:
Doctor Foster went to Gloucester in a shower of rain.
He stepped in a puddle, right up to his middle
and never went there again!
The North Wind
The North Wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
and what will poor Robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn, and keep himself warm,
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing.
Rain, Rain Go Away!
Rain, rain go away, come again another day
Little Johnny wants to play, rain, rain go away.
I'm a Little Snowman
I'm a little snowman, round and fat.
I've got a woolly scarf and a little bobble hat.
When the snow is falling come out and play.
You can make a snowman with me today.
Supporting Communication and Language Development – Talking together is a wonderful way to support your child’s language development . Just chatting when you are doing the shopping or walking helps your child to see and learn new words. Top tip for talking - When you ask your child a question try counting to ten in your head before expecting an answer. Children need extra time to process the sounds and words they hear.
Observation Walk – Take a walk with your child. As you walk ask your child to look at the different ways people are moving. Examples: walking, running, biking, driving, etc. Talk together about how the people are moving and encourage your child to describe their movement “They are running fast, slow” etc
Physical Development - Young children are brimming with energy. That's a good thing in terms of physical development, because it's the repeated movement of large and small muscle groups that builds and refines how well these parts of the body work.
Large motor skills (or gross motor skills) develop first. That's why 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds tend to do more running, jumping, reaching, and wiggling than sitting still when using their hand muscles for, say, drawing or for manipulating small toys. But it's a good idea to spend time at both kinds of activities.
Mathematical development is a vital life skill it is very important to introduce an awareness of numbers from an early age. Numeracy covers many concepts: size, estimation, weights, money and shapes, i.e concepts they'll come across often in their daily lives. The important thing to remember is that Early years number learning is all about familiarity so don't feel you have to actively teach them - it's all about learning through play in a fun interactive way together
Number rhymes - there's a direct link between music and rhythm and numbers so encourage your child to sing number songs with you. By just Singing to your child you can make them aware of the numbers one to ten. Good rhymes to sing to your child include 'One, Two, Three, Four Five, Once I Caught a Fish Alive', 'Ten Green Bottles' and 'Ten in the Bed', 'Five Fat Sausages Sizzling in the Pan', and 'One, Two, Buckle My Shoe'.
Out and about - there are numbers everywhere so when you're out and about with your child point out numbers that you see - things like house numbers, numbers on buses, car registration plates, price tags in the supermarket, etc. Make them familiar with their own house number which they will soon be able to memories. Once they recognise certain numbers you set up simple challenges for your child: 'What number is on that bus?' for example.
Give your child a selection of different-sized cups and containers to play with as they're having their bath. Explain how some cups hold more water than others. Fill to the top and then empty so your child is introduced to the basic concepts of volume.
*adapted from My First Week of School by Derrick Gantt.
Some of the lovely comments we have received from parents at the nursery...
"The baby unit staff really impressed me. I felt very comfortable leaving my baby with them"