I hope that you are all still happy and healthy! I am really missing you all but I am really enjoying seeing all the wonderful photos of you on Tapestry.
Here are some things that you could do at home this week. There are a lot of ideas but please do not feel that you have to use them all. Looking forward to September, it would really help your child if you could ensure that they do some fine motor work, writing and maths each week but at this age the majority of time should be spent playing, exploring, singing, dancing, reading, being creative and having fun!
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
I know that some of you have already done some yoga online with our yoga teacher, Georgie. Here is another video that Georgie has made for all the children that she teaches. It has the sun salutation song that we do together each week so the children should know the actions:
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 yoga based on one of the stories we love to read in Nursery, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt:
It’s lovely… I hope you enjoy it!
As the weather has been a bit more changeable recently, a practical mindfulness activity for this week could be to go cloud watching. Sit or lie outside (or look out a window) – make yourselves comfy by snuggling up on a blanket or in a chair - spend time quietly looking at the clouds together. Talk about the shapes that you can see and whether the clouds remind you of different things. This is a lovely, quiet activity that can be done for 5 or 10 minutes a day.
Communication and Language
This week at Nursery we would have been reading the story of The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Here is an online version that you can listen to with your child:
One of the important skills that will help children with their reading is the ability to anticipate events in stories. Once you have listened to the story, watch it again, but pause it on each page and get your child to say what will happen next in the story. Does your child have any other ideas of things that might have happened to the seeds in the story?
Our new vocabulary for this week would have been words to do with our Plants topic. Try to introduce the words ‘root’, ‘shoot’, ‘stem’, ‘stalk’ and ‘petals’ if your child does not already know them. Have a look at some real plants in the garden or when out on your walk and see if your child can name any of the parts that they can see.
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 zig zags handwriting pattern sheet with your child. If they have already completed the pattern sheet, then see if they can draw some zig zags on a piece of paper with a pen or a pencil – to make dragons teeth or mountains. They will need this pattern to write letters such as ‘M’, ‘w’ and ‘v’.
Gross Motor Skills:
A fun game to play this week with your child would be Traffic Lights. It’s also good for developing good looking skills. Find three objects: one red, one green and one orange or yellow. When you hold up the red object your child has to stand still like a statue. When you hold up the orange object your child has to jump on the spot (if you want to challenge your child, then ask them to hop on the spot instead of jumping). When you hold up the green object the child has to go. Depending on where you are playing this game they can walk or run around. Remind them that they must not crash and so have to look where they are going and avoid any objects in their way. At Nursery we give the children a small hoola hoop or a quoit each to be their steering wheel so that they can pretend to be driving a car, so you may like to do this at home if you have a hoop. Have fun!
Once children move up to Reception, they will need to be able to dress and undress independently for PE and forest school. This week please get your child to practise putting on and taking off their trouser, skirts, dresses and t-shirts independently.
This week for our Letters and Sounds (phonics) activity, please help your child to start to hear the rhythm in words. We want to get the child to begin to break words down into syllables or beats. Try clapping as you say your child’s name. For example, the name Jonathan has three syllables and so would have three claps i.e. “Jon (clap) a (clap) than (clap)”. The name Elizabeth has four syllables and so would be said “E (clap) liz (clap) a (clap) beth (clap)”. Talk to your child about whether they have a short name with only one clap or a longer name with lots of claps. Try clapping the names of other family members or pets. Can your child work out whose name you are clapping if you don’t say the name at the same time?
For writing this week, please encourage your child to start to copy their name rather than tracing over it. Either use the name card in your home learning pack or write your child’s name down and ask them to try to copy it underneath.
Try to read with your child every day 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 continuing to work on counting but this time our focus would have been on counting out objects from a larger group. If you have some beans or large seeds at home, then these would be ideal to use for this activity (if not then any small objects would do). Place a pile of 10 objects on the table (if your child needs challenge then please use 20 objects). Ask your child to take a certain number of beans and to place them in front of them. Some children will still be working on taking 2, 3 and 4 objects. Most children should be able to count out up to 6 objects. Some children will be able to count out up to 10 objects and beyond. As your child takes the beans one at a time, show them how to place them in a straight line in front of them so that when they check how many they have taken, the beans are easy to count.
If you would like to do some extra practice on this maths skill, here is a home challenge sheet with some ideas for further activities:
For shape, space and measure we would be thinking about the words ‘tall’, ‘short’ and ‘long’. You can use these words when looking at the story of The Tiny Seed or looking at plants in your garden or on your walk.
Your child might also like to have a go at this game where they have to identify the ‘tallest’, ‘shortest’ and ‘longest’ animals:
Understanding the World
This week we would have talked about how a seed grow and changes. If you planted beans with your child, then hopefully they are starting to grow and your child will be able to see the shoots peeking up from the soil. Here is a time-lapse video showing how sunflower seeds grow (explain to your child that they have speeded up the video and seeds do not really grow this fast!). As you watch it, remind your child of our vocabulary for this week, and see if they can point to the root, shoot, stem and leaves.
If you have access to a printer, then maybe your child could try to colour and complete this seed life cycle sheet (it is also good for practising our cutting skills):
Expressive Arts and Design
Our rhyme of the week would have been ‘A Tiny Seed was Sleeping’:
See if you can make up actions to go with the words!
This week’s dance is ‘Doctor Knickerbocker’. It is good for reinforcing rhythm and beat in music:
I know that quite a lot of you are interested in ballet. Why not try this lovely Forest Friends ballet class?:
As a creative activity this week, why not try to create your very own picture in the style of Eric Carle who uses collage to make his distinctive illustrations. If you have paints, then your child could paint pieces of paper different colours and scrape patterns into the wet paint with a fork or a cotton bud. When the paint is dry, you can help them to cut out different shapes and then arrange them and glue them onto another piece of paper to make a collage picture. Otherwise, you could cut up pieces of coloured tissue paper or wrapping paper and glue them on to make a collage.
Here are some pictures for inspiration. I would love to see your family’s collages!