The Downstairs children have had a busy week exploring a range of activities inspired by ‘Monkey Puzzle” by Julia Donaldson. Their creative juices were flowing whilst compiling colourful flower collages with tissue paper, painting caterpillars and exploring colour and symmetry creating butterflies. Our counting skills have been put to the test as everyone took turns to roll a dice, identify the numeral and feed a “monkey” the corresponding quantity of bananas. The children found this extremely entertaining.
Developing descriptive language was the focus of our Literacy games; everyone took turns to describe their Mummy’s features and were then invited to draw a portrait of them. We focused on turn taking, listening and following instructions, spooning and practical life activities whilst making granola.
Creating play dough faces provided the platform for further exploration and discussions about emotions, with the added benefit of developing hand strength, and the refinement of hand - eye coordination. The Oaktree Day Nursery was oversubscribed but thankfully the practitioners were very attentive and caring as they fed, changed, and comforted the babies. The children continue to play imaginatively throughout free play as they build with the construction resources and interact with the small world toys. It is always exciting to observe the children extend their games and begin to develop storylines with their peers. The messy play activities, DT area and painting easel remain popular choices as the children explore and investigate different media and textures. As their confidence grows they are becoming more adventurous with the materials often combining them to create props for imaginary games.
This week we have studied portraits and the varying different techniques used by professionals realising that many resources can be used. In particular “Summer” by Guiseppe Arcimboldo, an Italian Artist, who is known for creating portraits with objects such as fruit, vegetables, flowers and books captured the children’s interest. They produced amazing faces with whole fruit and vegetables. Subsequently we used the foods to explore weight, play I spy… and lastly discuss their properties and taste before making fruit salad for Thursday’s snack. In both focus time and one to one sessions everyone has worked incredibly hard on letter formation and word blending. We are all delighted with their progress as they isolate sounds and write short phonic words.
Today we concluded our Artist Topic with a trip to Dulwich Picture Gallery. The children were able to look at a variety of paintings and then participate in a story workshop focused on “Still Life” by Jan van Huysum and “A Brisk Breeze” by William van de Velde the Younger. Our visit was a great success, the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were also able to explore the gardens and sculptures.
Last week Mrs Bailey visited those who are heading to Hornsby House in September and next Monday we are expecting a reception teacher from Broomwood Hall (Nightingale Lane).
The children continue to embrace the extra curriculur activities with our peripatetic teachers and have worked hard on the refinement of their gross motor and listening skills in both Yoga and Sport. Their spacial awareness, muscle strength and coordination are steadily developing.