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 step in their learning journeys –moving up to Reception. This means consolidating what the children have already learnt and working on those skills and knowledge that children need for September. Our Topic for this Half Term would have been ‘Plants and Animals’ and we would have been focussing on those plants and animals that live outside our classroom door and in our local area and learning about what plants need to live and grow.
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 Nursery is to do yoga each week.
I know that some of you have already done some yoga online with our yoga teacher, Georgie. Georgie has put a new guided relaxation video on her Youtube channel (Georgie Treasure) which can be found here:
If you would like to try some more yoga, there is a lovely channel on Youtube called Cosmic Kids Yoga. Maybe this week you and your child could try an Easter/spring themed yoga class called ‘Peter Cottontail and the Tickly Monkeys’:
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 we would have been reading Jasper’s Beanstalk by Nick Butterworth. An online version can be found here:
Maybe you could watch it a couple of times with your child and then watch it again but this time with the sound turned off to see if your child can retell the story using the pictures.
Our new vocabulary for this week would have been the days of the week. Talk to your child each day about what day of the week it is and see if they can learn the days of the week in order. One of the best ways to learn information is through songs. It’s quite hard to find a days of the week song that starts with Monday and not Sunday, but here’s a really nice version that you could listen to with your child:
Fine Motor Skills:
This half term we would be doing lots of work on pencil skills to make sure that all children are holding pens and pencils with correct grip and using them with control. If you have not already done so, try the circles handwriting pattern sheet with your child. If they have already completed the pattern sheet, then see if they can draw some circles on a piece of paper with a pen or a pencil. Try drawing big circles, small circles and tiny circles. Encourage them to draw anti-clockwise circles as this is the direction that they need to be able to do for writing letters such as ‘a’, ‘c’ and ‘d’.
Gross Motor Skills:
One of the games that the children enjoy playing in PE is ‘Magic Animals’ which is good for practising moving with confidence in different ways. Find something to be a magic wand and wave it in the air saying the magic words that turn your child into an animal e.g. “Abracadabra alacazabbit, turn everybody into a rabbit”. Your child then has to move around the room doing bunny hops like a rabbit. You can change the rhyme depending on which animal you are asking your child to be e.g. “Abracadabra alacazake, turn everybody into a snake”. The animals we usually do with their actions are bunny – hop, snake – slither, cat – crawl, elephant – stomp, butterfly – flutter, mouse – tiptoes but the only limit is your imagination!
Once children move up to Reception, they will need to be able to dress and undress independently for PE and forest school. This week get your child to practise putting on and taking off their coat independently (and also finding the hood or loop to hang it up). Once your child can do this independently, teach them how to fasten and unfasten a zip or buttons. As the weather gets warmer, they won’t be wearing a coat as much so this may be the last time your child gets to practise putting on and fastening their coat before they move up to Reception.
This week please work through some of the activities on the Letters and Sounds Sheet about rhyme which is in your home learning packs. Here is a copy of the sheet:
In particular, focus on matching rhyming pairs of words. Here is an online game that you could look at with your child:
For writing this week, please help your child to learn how to write the initial letter of their name. Use the name tracing card in your home learning pack to teach correct letter formation (starting at the car and following the dotted lines) and the see if your child can write the initial letter of their name independently on a piece of paper.
Try to read with your child everyday and also to give them the opportunity to look at books independently. I have loved seeing videos on Tapestry of some of the children ‘reading’ books to themselves at home!
This week at Nursery, we would have been working on counting and recording numbers as marks on paper. Draw some plant pots on a piece of paper for your child. They are going to draw beans inside these pots. Give your child a dice and ask them to roll it and to count the spots to see how many beans they need to put in their pot (if you do not have a dice, draw dots on pieces of paper, place them face down on the table and ask your child to turn one over). Then ask your child to draw that number of beans inside one of the flower pots and then count to check. You know how confident your child is with counting and so adjust this activity as appropriate – some children may only need to use numbers 1 to 3, others will be able to manage 1 to 6 and some children will need extending and can use two dice at a time to work with numbers 1 to 12.
Also, please continue to work on naming shapes. Maybe have a shape hunt at home, looking for objects that are squares, circles, triangles and rectangles?
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 our story of ‘Jasper’s Beanstalk’ we would have been planting beans at Nursery and watching them grow. Talk to your child about what seeds need to grow and how we need to look after them when we plant them. Here is a book, ‘We Plant a Seed’ that you can look at with your child:
If you have beans at home, then you could plant them with your child. There are three ways of doing this depending on what resources you have available – either in pots of soil, in plastic bags with wet cotton wool or in jam jars with wet kitchen towel or tissues. If you plant beans in plastic bags or jam jars then your child will be able to watch the roots and the shoots as they start to grow.
If you are unable to get hold of beans but would like to do this activity with your child, please email me at NTeacher@kington.hereford.sch.uk and I will try to post some beans to you.
While you are doing this activity, you could also make a photo-book. Use your phone or tablet to take three or four photos as your child plants their bean. Then look at the photos with your child and get them to recount what they did in the correct order. Go back to the photo-book a few days later and see if your child can still remember and explain what they did.
Expressive Arts and Design
Our rhyme of the week would have been ‘Oats and Beans and Barley Grow’:
Here is a really fun dance about planting a bean from Dance ‘n Beats Lab. It’s good for practising moving in time to music (it gets faster which the children love):
If you have paints at home, your child could try mixing blue and yellow paint together to make green to paint pictures of beans and beanstalks. Can they remember any of the paint mixing that we have done at Nursery? Can they remember what happens when your mix red and yellow, red and white or black and white?
Hope that you all have a good week and have fun trying some of these activities!