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Early Years Weekly Blog

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Blog 33

Developing fine motor skills through art

One of the most important skills that are developed through art is fine motor development. During art lessons, children’s small muscles in the fingers, hands, and wrists are exercised and strengthened, helping to make learning to write easier.

Without well-developed fine motor skills, a child may have difficulty learning to write or performing other critical tasks required in school, such as turning pages of books, cutting, drawing, and squeezing glue from a bottle.

Children gain dexterity, hand-eye coordination, strength and flexibility as they use their hands and fingers to work with all kinds of objects and materials.

Children in Early Years have been busy creating costumes and props for their upcoming Summer Concert. There has been lots of cutting, painting, tearing, twisting and crunching as you can see from the photos below...

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Please don’t rush me to write. I will soon enough, but right now there are so many more important things for my hands to do”

Please take a look at what else we have been up to:

Practising for the Summer Fair Concert

 

Face painting fun at the Summer Fair

 

  

 




Blog 32

 

What we learn with pleasure we never forget!

Children in Early Years have had another busy week, filled with fun and learning…

Literacy

Handa’s Surprise: During group time the children retold Handa’s Surprise story using story props and acting out the different scenes for a role play activity.

 

Understanding the World

Children learned about Africa. First we looked at google earth and found Africa; we then talked about how Africa is made up of lots of different countries. We looked at some photos of Kenya and we observed Kenyan clothes and houses. Children noticed how they were similar to the pictures in Handa’s Surprise.


Science

We have a Silkworm Moth! The children were really excited to discover that a moth had come out of its cocoon during the night! We are waiting to see if there are any more...

 

Physical Development

Gross Motor Development - Hula Hoop fun! We enjoyed spinning  hula hoops around our waists and then around our arms. We then placed the hula hoops on the ground and we tried to jump into them.

 

 

 

Learning through play

We have also enjoyed lots of free play activities as you can see from these photos...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Play is the highest form of research” - Albert Einstein

 

Blog 31 

Handa's Surprise  

This week in Early Years the children have been learning about the story Handa's Surprise.

They have been retelling the story using props, as well as, doing observational drawings of the fruits Handa took on her journey. On Friday afternoon the children enjoyed tasting some of the tropical fruits.

The children have also been observing the cocoons which have now been spun by some of our silkworms. Let’s hope they will soon be able to observe the moths emerging from the cocoon!

Here are some photographs from our week...Enjoy!

 

 

Exotic fruit tasting

 

Our last day at Gymboree… It’s getting hot!

 

 

Marvellous minibeasts!

 

 Hula hoop fun on the pitch

Next week we will continue to look at Handa’s surprise and the children will learn a little a bit about Africa and African animals, we will also do some fruit printing and we will continue our observational drawings of exotic fruit using water colours.

 

Blog 30

Hands on as we grow - Fine Motor Skills

Children in Early Years use their little hands to create a variety of creative pieces.  During the last few weeks the children have been using their fine motor skills to make self portraits, using different kinds of fabric. Please come and have a look out our display in the classroom.  We have also been experimenting wìth clay by making snails.  Clay can be a bit tricky for younger children to handle so it is great for developing finger strength.

 

Making portraits….

 

Making clay snails….

 

 

Early Years Science update!

Our silkworms keep growing and they are really hungry, the children have noticed that they poop a lot too! This week the children held the worms and made paper cylinders. These cylinders have been placed in the container and we are now waiting for the silkworms to spin their cocoons!

 

 

 

Making cylinders!

 

 

We’ll keep you posted! :-)

 

Blog 29

From Little Things, Big Things Grow...

As part of our Spring topic children in Early Years have been observing how silkworm caterpillars change and grow. We received the tiny silkworm eggs when we went to the farm. The children are going to watch them develop a cocoon and then turn into a moth!

 

 

 

Look at our Silkworms - See how they are changing!             Day 23!

We’ll keep you updated on the status of our silkworms!

We have also been investigating the process of beans sprouting roots and shoots by conducting simple experiments.

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s see what happens...


This week has also been a special week because we have a new caterpillar…


Welcome to Early Years Fatima!

 

Blog 28

 

Learning through movement in the Early Years

Children need to move their bodies to prepare their brain for learning. Whether it be running, climbing, jumping or balancing, children just love to move! Apart from our weekly trip to Gymboree children in Early Years also enjoy doing a variety of activities on the pitch during our outdoor day.

Movement activities support children’s development in all areas, including social and emotional skills like self confidence and cooperation.

Gymboree!

 

 

 

 

 

I move, I learn.

 

Blog 27

Busy Learning

Children in Early Years are always busy learning through a variety of activities. Children learn by doing, they learn through play but most importantly they have fun, which is by far the best way to learn!

Gardening

  

 

Water Play

  

 

Construction

 

Writing

  

Counting peas in a pod                                           Counting clothes pegs

 

Hand painting                                                       Playing a number game

 

ICT                                                                         Sticking blossoms on a tree

 

Moving in different ways

 

Collecting snack 

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget”

 

 

Blog 26

 

Fun on the Farm!

Last Monday children in Early Years went on a day trip to Fattoria Salvucci. They enjoyed their day out on the farm, where they learnt about farm animals and how to make fresh pasta (fettuccine).  

The day was organised to offer the children a fun-filled, hands-on experience with a variety of activities. They first visited the hen house to see the hens and collect eggs. They also saw some ducks, geese, a peahen and a peacock.

The children then toured the farm to meet and learn about other farm animals, which included two ostriches!

 

The children fed the cows and horses and they held and stroked one of the rabbits.

 

 

After a thorough hand wash, they went on to prepare fettuccine using the eggs they had collected from the hen house.

 

 

 

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After lunch, the children spent the rest of the day playing and exploring before getting the bus back to school.

 

A good time was had by all!

 

 

Blog 25

SPRING IS HERE...FINALLY!

 

It’s wonderful to see the gardens transform at this time of year. Everyday, something new comes to life or blooms with vibrant spring colour.  Last week children in Early Years walked around our beautiful garden to see the changes that have occurred. We also took a few photos to share with you. The butterflies took their own and also made some comments about spring...

Elvira:- The flowers grow...

 

Adam:-  I saw the wisteria growed behind Beyonce’s fence.

  

Alex:- It’s going to get hotter

Matteo:- The flowers are growing...in the garden at school.

 

Elvira:- The animals...go up...wake up.

Annie:- It’s rainy.

Alex:- Fruits grow…I have a pear tree. Me and Kemi saw buddies.

 

Serena:- Plants is growing...sun.

Charlotte:- The birds get food...trees....I have a bag in my garden.

 

The caterpillars also enjoyed walking around the garden. They found blossoms, daisies, buttercups and dandelions.

  

Talking about Spring….

Nicholas:- I see flowers

Tommaso:- Lots of flowers…

Beatrice:- I fiori crescono...

Vera:- Flowers grow when you put water on them.

Mikel:- Flower (he picks up a daisy)

 

Hello Spring!

 

Blog 24

World Water Week - Pyjama Day and Crazy Hair Day!

Water bottles, drinking fountains, toilet trips and hand washing – in many schools, it is easy to take clean water for granted. Yet lots of children around the world do not have access to safe drinking water.

In order to raise money for water week, teachers and children in Early Years came to school in their pyjamas.

Circle time wearing pyjamas!

On another day the children came to school with their hair in crazy styles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the week we talked about about why we were raising money...

Barbara: Why are we doing Water Week?   

Serena: Because we can do money   Alex: To get water and give to other people who don’t have water.

Barbara: Who do we give the money to?

Serena: Someone

Barbara: WaterAid.  What is WaterAid’s dream?

Serena: Have water

Barbara: Who?

Serena: Everyone

Barbara: Where do we get water from at school?

Matteo: from the sink, the tap

Barbara: Why has she got a bucket?

Serena: For putting water in

Barbara: Where is she getting water from?

Adam: A puddle!

Barbara: How can we help?

Serena: Doing money

On the last day of World Water Week everyone came to school wearing blue. Children, teachers, parents and grandparents walked together to experience what millions of people do every single day.

Walk for Water!

 

Blog 23 

Loose Parts - Inspiring play in young children

“The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences.”

Loris Malaguzzi - Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach

 

What are Loose Parts?

Loose parts are items and materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, taken apart and put back together in a variety of ways. Children usually prefer play that stimulates their curiosity, allowing them to use their imagination and creativity. This is why we introduce a variety of materials (natural or man-made) which we call “loose parts”. We encourage the children to make use of these materials both indoors and outdoors.

When children pick up ‘loose parts’ it can be anything they imagine it to be. Our Children love to play, experiment, discover and invent but most of all have fun!

As you can see from the pictures below…

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

“Children learn as they play. More importantly, in play, children learn how to learn.”

 

Blog 22

 

Children in Early Years have been developing their eating skills!

This week as part of our ‘Hands on’ activities we have been learning how to use a knife and fork. We rolled out sausages of play dough and then we started cutting. After modelling to the children how to hold a knife and fork to encourage the correct “stab and see-saw” action, we then left them to experiment. On a second attempt we cut bananas which were then used to make ice-cream.  Like scissors, cutting with a knife is a complex skill and needs a lot of practice.

As a consequence, the children are becoming more confident at lunch time using their knife and fork independently.

  

  

  

  

Hands on as we grow!

 

Blog 21 

Snow much fun with Early Years!

After two extra days of holiday, we came back to find the school still blanketed in snow! Despite the cold, the children wrapped up warmly and played outside in the crispy snow.

  

They discovered that the mud kitchen had transformed into an ice kitchen and they were surprised to see and observe that the once muddy water had turned into thick, brown ice!

  

They swept and dug the snow instead of the sand and they had fun going down the slide and landing in the snow! After a good half an hour of playing outside, the children went back indoors to enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate. However, after a while they were eager to go outside again to enjoy this special moment.

  

Click here to see more photographs of the day

'Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.'

-Robert Brault -



Blog 20

Pancake Day & Chinese New Year

Children in Early Years had a very busy week leading up to half term, celebrating both Shrove Tuesday and Chinese New Year.

On Tuesday the children ate pancakes in the morning and then in the afternoon they had a pancake race, running and tossing the pancakes in a frying pan!

  

  

  

On Thursday morning Daniel (Charlotte’s father) came into school and recited the story of the animal race, which is what the zodiac year is based on. He also told the children that in China, Chinese New Year is called “Spring Festival” and lasts for fifteen days! The children received red envelopes with chinese money inside as a gift to wish them good fortune. They also received beautiful Chinese New Year window decorations to take home.

 

 

Thank you Daniel for offering your time.

 

Blog 19

Exploring Ice

As part of our Winter topic, children have been investigating ice. We filled various containers with water - balloons, ice cube trays, cups, bowls and latex gloves! We then placed them in the freezer. Once frozen we put the shapes into a tray and the children explored the various ice shapes.

Here are just a few of their comments…

Annie: The ice is cold Alex: It’s so shiny, there are bubbles inside!
Tommaso: It’s cold Gaia: E’ ghiaccio è freddo!
Alex: Ice is opening up                                 Adam: And it’s melting…
Matteo: It’s cold      Charlotte: Freezing cold ice.
Serena: It’s so cold Isabella: Cold (shivering)
Max: It’s freezing Marco: It doesn’t look like ice
Elvira: It’s freezing Marco: Mine is the coldest of all!

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