I hope that you have all been enjoying the lovely sunshine over the last couple of weeks and that you are all staying safe, healthy and as happy as can be!
It feels very strange to be planning work while knowing that the children will not be with us at Nursery. Mrs Whitlock, Ms Loxton and I are really missing seeing the children everyday and we can’t wait for the time when all this is over and Nursery is able to re-open!
This term we would be starting to prepare the children for the next steps in their learning journeys –for our older 2 and 3 year olds this will be moving up to our Morning Nursery class. This means consolidating what the children have already learnt and working on those skills and knowledge that children need for September.
Here are some things that you could do with your child at home this week. I have arranged the activities by the Areas of Learning (subjects) that the Early Years Curriculum follows. Please remember that young children learn through play and also by following their interests, so let yourself be led by your child in terms of what they do each day and how long they stay at an activity.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The most important thing at the moment is to ensure that our children feel happy and secure. One of the ways that we promote mindfulness and mental wellbeing in our Morning Nursery Class is to do yoga each week. Our yoga teacher is called Georgie and she has a yoga channel on Youtube (Georgie Treasure). Maybe you could try one of her yoga videos with your child at home? Here is a ‘Desert Adventure’ that she has recorded:
If you would like to try some more yoga, there is a lovely channel on Youtube called Cosmic Kids Yoga which has some special videos for toddlers that would be suitable for our 2 and 3-year olds. Maybe this week you and your child could try this yoga class called ‘On the Farm’:
It’s lots of fun… I hope you enjoy it!
Another idea this week for supporting your child’s emotional wellbeing is to make a family Wish Jar. Find a jar or a tin and cut up some pieces of paper. During lockdown, every time you or your child find yourselves thinking of somewhere you would like to go, someone you would like to see or something you would like to do and saying “I wish we could….” then write that wish down and place it in the wish jar. Explain to your child that when lockdown comes to an end, you will be able to open up the wish jar and start to do the things that you cannot do at the moment.
Here is the wish jar that we are using in my house:
Communication and Language
This week at Nursery our story of the week would have been Noisy Farm by Rod Campbell. An online version can be found here:
Watch it a few times with your child and see if they can make the noises for the different animals on the farm.
Our new vocabulary for this week would have been the names of farm animals and their babies. If you have books about farm animals at home or have farm animal toys, then you can use these to teach your child the names of animals and their young.
If you have access to a printer at home, then you could try this matching activity with your child:
Otherwise, here is an online version that you could try:
Fine Motor Skills:
This half term we would be doing lots of work on strengthening our finger muscles ready to work on pencil grip in September. This week give your child some clothes pegs and a paper plate or piece of cardboard. Show them how to squeeze the pegs using their thumb and two fingers to open them. Ask your child to clip the pegs around the edge of the paper plate or card (to make a spider, flower or sunshine). This is a really good activity for developing the pincer grip that children need for holding pens and also for opening and closing scissors to cut.
Gross Motor Skills:
This week please have a go at working on kicking a large ball. If you do not have an outdoor area to play in, then you could blow up a balloon and your child can practise kicking this inside without you having to worry about it damaging anything.
If your child is not already potty trained, then this time in lockdown is a perfect time to work on this. It will really help your child’s independence and self-confidence if they are able to use the toilet before they start in our Morning Nursery Class. Here is one of the potty training books that we read with the children at Nursery:
Here are some top tips for potty training to help you support your child:
This week at Nursery we would have started to work on Phase 1 of our Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. To tie in with our Story of the Week about Farm Animals, we would have been thinking about Voice Sounds and making the sounds that animals make with our voices. Here is a home learning challenge sheet about Voice Sounds:
Please have a go at some of the activities with your child!
Also please try to read with your child every day and also to give them the opportunity to look at books independently
This week at Nursery, we would have been working on counting to 5 and then to 10 and trying to say the numbers in the right order. Please try to do some counting every day. You could count steps on your daily walk, count as you climb up the stairs, count actions (10 jumps, 10 claps, 10 stamps, 10 kicks) or count pictures in books or toys as you play.
A really good way to learn new information is through songs. Here are a couple of counting songs that you could look at with your child:
Also, please have a go at sorting by size. Collect together a group of objects e.g. big and little teddies. See if your child can sort them into two piles, one of big things and one of little things. Use the words ‘big’, ‘little’, ’large’, ‘small’, ‘giant’ and ‘tiny’ to describe the objects and encourage your child to use these words too.
Please put photos of any maths work that your child does at home on Tapestry so that I can keep their assessment records up to date!
Understanding the World
To link with maths and reinforce vocabulary of size, you could do a natural scavenger hunt with your child in your garden or on your daily walk. Try to find a ‘big’ and a ‘little’ example of different natural objects e.g. a big leaf and a small leaf, a big stone and a little stone, a big flower and a little flower.
Also, to link with our story of the week, you could watch some episodes of Cbeebies ‘Down on the Farm’ series on iplayer to learn more about different farm animals and how farmers look after them:
Expressive Arts and Design
Our rhyme of the week would have been ‘Old Macdonald’:
You and your child could use paints or crayons to draw animals to use as props when you sing Old Macdonald. You could even make the pictures into headbands or lolly stick puppets:
We would also have been singing lots of nursery rhymes to make sure that the children know all the common rhymes before they move up to the Morning Class. Here is a Mr Tumble Nursery rhyme collection on the Cbeebies youtube channel to listen to with your child:
I hope that you all stay safe and happy this week and have lots of fun trying some of these activities!