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Squirrels News - 1st October 2021

We have had a wonderful week delving into our topic book My Grandparents Love Me by Claire Freedman and Judi Abbot in preparation for Grandparents' Day this Sunday. This book is all about a little zebra who goes to stay with their grandparents and it made us think of all the different ways our own Grandparents show us love. It also started some wonderful conversations about all the different things which make our Grandparents important to us. The children thought of all sorts of lovely reasons ranging from"they teach me how to play cards","they help me ride my bike" to "they are fluffy"!

In Art, we focused on depicting our Grandparents individual features and characteristics and had a lot of fun using paint to create portraits. We worked hard to really focus on remembering their facial features and what shapes to use, thinking about whether their faces were round or oval. We also concentrated on using the right colours to depict their hair and eyes and it was wonderful to see the children discussing the similarities and differences between their Grandparents! The children produced wonderful portraits of their special family members and learnt a few new words along the way. We introduced the words, 'portrait' and 'landscape' and the children had the chance to think and choose which way round they wanted to create their artworks.

To extend our learning of shapes further we decided to get the shape sponges out and create shape pictures of our grandparents' too, discussing what shapes we needed for their eyes, noses and ears! We continued exploring shapes in Free Play with a range of activities including hunting for 2D shapes mixed amongst the bugs in our classroom, getting our hands messy whilst exploring the textures and feelings of shapes hidden in a concoction of cornflour and water and using playdough to cut out various sized shapes.

In other areas of the classroom we built puzzles, created our own class band using the musical instruments and opened the Squirrels hairdressers, which produced some marvellous hairstyles, especially for the teachers! The highlight this week however was our activity around oral hygiene where the Squirrels were able to put their knowledge and skills to the test by working together to brush the toy dinosaurs' teeth. This was a great activity to discuss the reasons why we brush our teeth how important it is for our health and hygiene. This activity revealed that we have lots of budding dentists in the making and everyone loved getting their hands messy with the toothpaste and water.

In the Outdoor Learning Environment we were extremely busy making deadly potions which turned people into ants! To everyone's relief however the children also managed to create the antidote so all was not lost as some of us weren't convinced that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives as an ant! We got messy racing cars through shaving foam, played hopscotch, tennis, looked after the babies, discovered magnets and used tools to build a new wall!

Last but not least we had great fun getting muddy on our Outdoor Learning Day by jumping in puddles and turning a fallen down tree into a seesaw. We also used our natural environment to introduce addition. We started by counting how many children were on each side of the log before adding the numbers together to find the total. We continued by collecting a range of twigs and sticks for our next activity where we used the sticks to help us create addition number sentences on the ground, focusing on how to make the addition and equals signs.

It has been a wonderful jam packed week full of fun, laughter and happy reflection!


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