This week our topic book has been The Christmas Pine by Julia Donaldson and it has helped all of us start to get ready for winter and into the festive mood! The book tells the story of a Norwegian pine tree which goes on a journey all the way to England where it is given the role of being the Christmas tree in Trafalgar square. This was a great book to discuss where Christmas trees comes from and why and how they are linked to our Christmas celebrations! It also opened up a lovely conversation about the different ways people celebrate Christmas and the ornaments they put on their Christmas trees at home!
We took inspiration from our topic book in Art by creating symmetrical pine trees. We used this activity to continue our learning from last week about symmetry and learned how to fold our trees in a way that would create two equal sides. We went on to decorate our trees with brightly coloured paint and experimented with the different marks we could make. We also created our very own pine tree display for the classroom where we folded pieces of paper, creating a fan like effect to make our pine trees 3D. We then decorated some colourful lights to adorn our tree.
We continued to get messy in Science where we explored what happens when you mix cornflour with paint. We discovered that when we mixed the two together we were able to make wonderfully vibrant colours and beautiful patterns. The Squirrels loved this activity so much that they then continued to spend most of their Free Play time independently exploring it. Everyone was mesmorised by how the mixture stiffened and became runny without adding anything to it. The Squirrels were also fascinated by the texture of the cornflour and how it could be moulded but also slip right out of your hands and this opened up lots of interesting discussions around materials.
In Free Play this week we have loved looking at games, and have used this to focus on sharing, turn taking and listening to instructions. We also went fishing for letters where we practiced identifying the initial sounds and practised our number writing. Outside we were treated to a wonderful concert by our very own Squirrels band who used the musical instruments to accompany their performance. We also made wonderful food in the outdoor kitchen and had fun with the diggers.
During Focus Time we looked at the days of the week; learning a new days of the week song and working on ordering and sequencing the days in order. We learnt that there are 7 days in a week and these are made up of 5 school days and 2 weekend days.
On our Outdoor Learning Day we continued to focus on our fine motor skills by pegging scarfs to a washing line. We also talked about emotions and created faces on trees made out of animal friendly dough and natural objects which we found in our surrounding area. The children had great fun climbing and playing hide and seek and a particular favourite quote from the week was when one child was hiding and silly me thought they could be seen. "No Miss Ruth, I'm a log!" Argh of course!