Our first week of Monkey Awards is here! Well done to all our winners!! These are a really exciting way for us to celebrate different achievements and experiences that happen during the nursery week! There are so many it is hard to choose just 1 each day – so sometimes there might be 2!!
First up is for our Messy Monkeys! This award is for someone who loves getting messy, creates beautiful pieces of art work and has a passion for expressive arts and design!
This week’s Messy Monkey is Lola! Lola has a real passion for painting and can often be found at the painting easel! She creates beautiful pieces of art and is always very proud of her work!
Painting encourages children to develop the muscles they need to hold a pencil in a pincer grip, provides opportunities to explore colour and how colours can be changed and allows them to create beautiful interpretations of the world around them or what ever they can imagine.
Encouraging your child to explain their painting, listening carefully to their interpretation and asking questions about it encourages their communication skills and builds their confidence and pride in their work.
Our second Monkey Award is our Monkey Movement Award! This goes to a child who has been working on their physical development, learnt a new skill or perfected one they have been working on. We will be celebrating children who love to dance and sing, show off their moves and who just generally love to be on the go!
This week our Monkey Movement Award goes to Carter for his awesome filling and pouring technique. Carter’s favourite place to be is in the water or in the sand and his favourite thing to do is to fill up the containers and pour them out again! This may sound like a very simple thing for us adults but to a child this is a very important thing to learn. Have a deeper think about the physical control you need to hold a jug, to get the water to pour correctly into a container, to work out when to stop pouring so it doesn’t over flow…it is not easy for little hands!
When children begin to learn this skill they are often using wide mouth containers, easily held jugs and there is LOTS of spilling but as time goes on the containers become narrower and vary in sizes, jugs become trickier to hold and the control increases to the point where they don’t spill at all! Once the children have developed some of these skills we start to encourage them to pour their own water at lunch time and help fill up the water trays.
These skills we think are simple and insignificant form the foundations of many skills we need as an adult. Each one is a milestone and should be celebrated!
Our third award is our Monkey Moments Award! This award celebrates something special that has happened in the nursery or in the life of one our children. It might be celebrating a birthday, enjoying a special visit from someone or introducing a new staff member or child. As we are such a new nursery we thought a good place to start would be introducing our staff to you all. First up is Anlea and Karen.
Anlea – is working towards her level 3 qualification in Early Years Learning whilst working full time in our Preschool room. She enjoys hiking, singing and playing viola – which is an experience the children are really enjoying now. Anlea is from South Africa and can speak Afrikaans as well. When asked why she wanted to work in child care Anlea said “Working in childcare, I have realized the importance of Early Years and impact us practitioners have on young children. I am proud play a role in the development of these wonderful children. I enjoy the challenges we face every day and thinking of creative ideas to help them overcome these obstacles and be bright, creative and independent young children!”
Karen – Is level 3 qualified and is working in our Baby Room. She has been working with children all her life with a passion that has never faded. She has a wide range of experience working with a variety of ages and also has experience working with children who have special educational needs. Karen’s gentle and loving personality have made her a hit with the babies who love her mothering nature. Her many years’ experience allows her to bring exciting and interesting ideas to the nursery and guide our younger staff members as they grow and develop in their careers. Karen loves to bake and really enjoys spending time cooking with her grandchildren!
We are excited to introduce you to the rest of our staff and would love it if you introduced yourself to us too! Don’t forget there is space on your children’s learning journal to add photos of your family and tell us a little about each of them. These are great for us to share with the children and encourage them to tell us more about their family!
This Monkey is more a suggestion or idea of an activity you can try at home with your little ones. It might be an idea we have used at nursery that the children really enjoyed or something that the children have come up with themselves. Or it might be something we are going to try out here and thought you might like to try at home!
We would love it if you took some pictures of your activities and the learning that is going on! You can post it here or add it to your Learning Journals and we can talk to the children about what they have been doing.
We are always open to ideas so if you find anything exciting you think we should try or an activity your child particularly enjoys then please do let us know!
This week the activity is painting with cars! Anything with wheels and painting are two of the children’s favourite things at the moments – so why wouldn’t we combine them to create this fun activity! You can find more information here…. http://www.thekeeperofthecheerios.com/…/painting-with-cars.…
Pushing and steering the cars through the paint generates physical development of the muscles needed in the building blocks of writing while watching the colours mix and changes develops their expressive arts and design. Interpreting the finished product and giving the picture a meaning or story develops imagination and ownership of their work.
All in all a simple, fun activity FULL of learning opportunities!
This is going to be a little bit like a food blog – sharing recipes and ideas, nutritional information, advice from Maddy our chef and, of course, our own cooking experiences here in nursery! Food makes up such a big part of our lives in nursery that it is a fantastic idea that we share ideas, food we love as families and even the occasional meal together!
If you have any food suggestions that we should try or any photos of you and your family cooking something delicious than please send them to us here, at firstname.lastname@example.org or load them onto your Learning Journey for us to see!
This week our Mini Monkey Chefs have been making their own sandwiches! We talked lots about what we like to eat in our sandwiches – ham and chicken were very popular with butter and jam coming close behind! Yum!!
The children had a go at buttering their own sandwiches, putting in the filling, folding over the bread and of course eating them! DELICIOUS!!
Children really enjoying helping to prepare their food and often we find they are more likely to eat it if they have helped make it! They took great pride in their sandwiches and enjoyed every mouthful!