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Squirrels News - 5th November 2021

The Squirrels have had a wonderful time learning all about Diwali this week. We started the week by introducing our topic book Mr Men, Little Miss Happy Diwali. In the story we follow all the Mr Men and Little Miss characters as they busily prepare for their Diwali celebrations including making Rangolis, lighting lamps and preparing food. The children loved this book and particularly enjoyed how it explained the various rituals carried out during the period of Diwali, through rich text and vibrant pictures.

On Monday we were lucky enough to welcome Miss Bonita and her son into Nursery to tell us all about how their family celebrate Diwali. She shared lots of stories related to Diwali and special objects with the children to help enrich their understanding of why and how Diwali is celebrated.

Our learning about Diwali offered up a great opportunity to think about other times we celebrate together. We thought about when we celebrate as a family and looked at the similarities and differences between these celebrations and Diwali. One difference the children discussed was how making Rangoli patterns were specific to Diwali. They loved learning about how these patterns are made and throughout the week we delved further into this by making Rangoli patterns out of chalk in the Outdoor Leaning Environment and from the 'loose parts' in the classroom.

We extended this activity on our Outdoor Leaning Day by working together and individually to create Rangoli patterns out of natural objects. We discussed how many of the patterns were symmetrical and what exactly this word means. We also managed to spot some beautiful Rangoli patterns whilst walking down Tooting High Street!

In our Focus Times this week we have explored positional language; learning about what the different words mean as well as how we can use these words to describe what we can see in a picture and using the connective 'and' to link our ideas. During Free Play the children loved using the marble runs to experiment with the speed at which different objects run down as well as cooking up wonderful Diwali treats in our Role Play Area. In Art, the Squirrels were extremely excited to be able to get messy with paints to create firework pictures, discussing the different types of fireworks they had seen and where. After their paintings were completed we cut them out and stuck 2D shapes on top of them to create the silhouette of houses with the fireworks behind.

We experimented with different materials and textures in the Outdoor Learning Environment by exploring the various ways we can manipulate sand. One of the ways we explored using sand was by experimenting with the differences when we add water versus when it is dry. The squirrels observed that the when we use dry sand through a sieve it looks like snow! We also looked at planting through the exploration of seeds and mud and talked through what plants need to survive.

It has been a wonderful week full of celebrations and new discoveries where we have learned about other cultures, their traditions and compared them with our own.


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