Our learning – 14 February 2019

Don’t forget it is the mid-term holiday on Friday 15 and Monday 18 February and nursery remains closed to children and families on Tuesday 19 February for staff in-service training. We re-open for children on Wednesday 20 February. 


In our 3 – 5 room, we have moved to a new ABC & Beyond text for this planning session you may be familiar with. We are reading “Where’s My Teddy?” by Jez Alborough.

Each book we look at, we choose some “sparkle words”, words which may be new to the children’s vocabulary.

We have been discussing what the children think these words might mean, in relation to the story.  You can see from the photos below, some children have been acting out their own interpretations of the words. Can you guess which photo relates to which word? 

You may be aware of our weekly visits to our local care home, where our children take part in activities, such as playdough, animal handling and games with our older friends.  One friend has recently celebrated her 100th birthday. We made a card for her, and took it when we visited, with a bunch of flowers. We sang “Happy Birthday” to her of course! She was absolutely delighted!  Unfortunately, we are not allowed to share any photos of our visits to the care home, but you can see below, how busy our children were, making the special card.

Outdoors, the children have been really enjoying the large loose parts, creating some magnificent buildings, obstacle courses and vehicles. Loose parts really let children use their imaginations to the greatest extend, without having any pre-conceived ideas from items specific to a purpose. For example, bread crates can be walls, a car, steps, a tower, or anything!  There is always an element of risk involved, but as research has found, controlled risk can increase children’s confidence and resilience.

Although there has been lots of other learning happening this week, that’s all on the blog for now. have a great long weekend everyone! If you have any exciting plans, don’t forget to Tweet us! @menzieshill_ns







Our learning – 1 February 2019

This week in nursery, the children wanted to learn about Mexico, because someone is going there on holiday. They looked at maps to find out where it is and looked at a Spanish dictionary to learn some words. The children learned how to say, “cat”, “pig”, “hello” and “goodbye”, in Spanish, and the fact that Mexico is next to Puerto Rico.

Some other children were also talking about holidays to Australia. One of our families is soon to be emigrating there. They decided they would change the home corner to become a “travel shop”.  One child suggested we could phone the travel agent to get some books to find a holiday. We did this and Ms D went to collect them one evening.  We worked with the children to create some mind maps of their ideas. As you can see below, we have some experienced travellers in our nursery!
Children began to create their own space in home corner deciding where the door should be. “We wont need the beds or tables now!”  They made some drawings of aeroplanes to decorate the travel shop.

You can see some photos so far of the children planning their area, phoning the travel shop and bringing into the nursery, the resources kindly donated by a local travel agent.  We look forward to watching how this develops!

Also this week, we have had the Code-a-pillar out a lot.  Children can learn lots of problem solving skills,  logic and pattern making skills using this cool toy. We have created obstacles for Code-a-pillar to go under, around and through. The children have had to consider which direction segment they will need to select to make it more in the correct direction.

Because the weather has been so frosty this week, we have had lots of opportunities for science explorations outdoors. Children in the 2’s and 3 – 5’s have been finding out what happens when we add salt to ice (it makes a fantastic crackly sound and begins to melt the ice!)

Continuing our love of Outdoor Learning, you can see the large Loose Parts play is always popular.

Unfortunately that’s it for this week, but keep checking  the Learning walls in the nursery and our Twitter Feed.  Have a great weekend!

Our Learning – 25 January 2019

Here are our Family Learning Groups for this week!

Our ABC & Beyond book just now is “There’s A Bear On My Chair” by Ross Collins. The whole book is a fantastic rhyming opportunity, with the main rhyme being words which rhyme with ‘bear’.

Children are learning about sharing, and being friends with others, how to solve a problem amicably, and not getting upset when you don’t get what you want! There are opportunities for prediction, for example, “Do you think the mouse will actually get to sit on the chair?”, and  “what would YOU do if someone sat in your special seat?” “would you be like the mouse?”

With the very cold weather we’ve had this week, the children have had lots of science opportunities exploring the frost and having fun drawing and pattern making in it. There has been lots of scope for discussion about where it comes from, why has it gone away on some parts of the garden, and how cold it is.

The RSPB Garden Birdwatch  takes place this weekend and Mrs T has been helping the children outside, to spot some garden birds who are starting to visit the nursery garden.  We would love to erect our Birdbox Camera we had in the former Menzieshill Nursery garden, but we are struggling to find a suitable site.

After the firepit on Wednesday, (macaroni in the morning and hot dogs in the afternoon!) we used the last of the heat on the pit to melt some fat to make bird cakes. The children were confident in their preparation – tearing up the bread, breaking up the apple slices, and stirring those and the sunflower hearts and raisins into the fat in the pan.   We used the bird cakes to entice our feathered friends to visit the garden  so we could record the different types of birds in our RSPB Birdwatch.

Our Play Along Maths sessions for Mrs Hunter’s group is going well. Children and parents are both enjoying the opportunity to work together.

Some of our Bookbug sessions will run in partnership with Virginie (French tutor) to help support and promote French language. Virginie will be joining our sessions over this term, sharing stories and songs in French.

Speaking of Bookbug, the Scottish Book Trust have launched a fab new Bookbug app, available for Android and IOS systems. Download from your app store for lots of new and familiar songs, rhymes and stories!  It’s great!

As always, hope you have a great weekend and follow us on Twitter! @menzieshill_ns



Our learning – 18 January 2019



This week we have continued to welcome our remaining new children and families. It has been lovely to watch some of our older children beginning to make friends with them, showing them around and including them in their play.

Another wee reminder to register for school – last day, Monday 4 February 2019.

Some of our children attend yoga sessions in their own time, and have been keen to share their yoga knowledge with their friends.  The children have been watching and taking part in some Cosmic Kids Yoga sessions online.  The children have been really good at following the directions and copying the moves. They really seem to enjoy this and we will continue to offer opportunities like this.

We are constantly encouraging the children to remember to wash their hands, particularly relevant just now with so many coughs, colds and bugs going around.  This week, we had the use of a Ultra Violet light box.  With staff support, the children have had the opportunity to apply the ‘special’ cream to their hands and place their hands under the light. The cream, although invisible on skin, shows up bright blue when viewed under the UV lamp.  The children have been fascinated by this!  After viewing, the children wash their hands, using soap and water at the sink, then return to the light box to view their hands again – Wow! Their hands are not bright blue any more, they are so clean! That’s what washing your hands does!


The weaving in the art area has continued this week, with children’s fine motor skills increasing with practice.  They are showing incredible perseverance with this, really trying hard to get the wool/ribbon/pipe cleaner etc through the fabric holes.

For dates and times of Family Learning Groups, please check our information screen in the foyer and as always, watch our @menzieshill_ns Twitter feed.

Our Learning – 10 January 2019

Happy New Year everyone! We hope you all had an enjoyable festive break!  This first week back we have been welcoming our new children and families, getting to know each other and supporting the children in building new friendships.


Expressive arts:

In the art area, we have been using hula-hoops with string attached as the inspiration for creative designs.  The children were very interested in this and were keen to find ways to attach lots of different resources.


Outdoor Learning:   (Please ensure your child has a warm coat with them at nursery, as they will have the opportunity to spend time outside each day.) 


We have been trying our weaving on a hoop, outside as well, as the activities we offer inside are also available outdoors. The children have been learning the “up and down”, “over and under” sequence to create the weaving pattern.

We have also re-started out fire-pit snack for the new session, beginning with some cosy tomato soup and toast. Just what we need on a cold winter’s day outside.

We reminded everyone about the very important rules needed for the fire-pit.

  • Only walk when near the fire-pit.
  • Once you are in the area, sit down on the benches around the fire-pit.
  • Don’t come onto the ‘fire square’ unless an adult invites you. 

Family Learning:

Our family learning groups are continuing in the new year, with our first Rhyme-time session taking place this week.  We welcome all new children and families to join us on:

Wednesdays at 11.30am

Thursdays at 10.45am

Fridays at 2.30pm

The current Play on Pedals sessions have only 2 weeks left, finishing on Friday 18 January, however we are planning to start more in the future.  If you are interested, please let Carol, Wendy, Susan, Jenny or Vicky know.


Our new Play Along Maths group begins on Monday 21st January at 2.15pm (pm) and Friday 25 January at 10.30am (am)  – this session is for Mrs Hunter’s group, who have had letters with further details.

Look our in your emails for a short  PEEP group survey coming shortly. We really appreciate a high response.

As always, keep an eye out for our tweets on our Twitter page, @menzieshill_ns







Christmas Concerts – 14 December 2018

** UPDATE ** Most of our songs uploaded now – hope you enjoy! Feel free to leave a comment here, either yours, or your child’s. 

Here’s a wee sneak peek of one of our numbers from the morning. We know you are all very keen to see the videos we’ve taken.

We will share more in the foyer of the nursery and here, of the afternoon show too.


Click on the links below to view the videos

AM – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 

AM – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

AM – Must Be Santa

AM – When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney

AM – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

AM – Baby Shark


PM – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

PM – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

PM – Must Be Santa 

PM – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

PM – When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney

PM – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

PM – Baby Shark

PM – Jingle Bells




Our learning – 13 December 2018

Nursery life continues to be very busy and we can’t quite believe it’s THAT time of year already!

Outdoor learning:

The children have decorated a beautiful living Christmas tree for the garden.  Every day the add and remove all the decorations according to their choice.  The discussions we overhear are often telling their friends about their own tree in their home, describing the decorations and of course, leading onto what they hope Santa might bring!




We have been getting ready for our Christmas Concert, which takes place on Friday 14 December.  We have been creating props for the stage, such as 2 giant Christmas trees and a huge poster wishing everyone “Happy Christmas”. One child who is interested in writing letters and copying environmental print, has created a sign for the back of the stage. She and her friends put the finishing touches to it this afternoon.  She was very happy with her work!

Visit to the Community Centre:

The whole nursery had the opportunity to visit the Community Centre during the week, to see a puppet show and to visit Santa’s Grotto.   Everyone who visited was lucky enough to receive a little present from Santa, just to keep us going until the ‘big day’!




Our learning – 19 November 2018

Maths and numeracy:

We have been learning a lot about measuring over the last few weeks, exploring different ways to measure different things.  We have learned new vocabulary to help to describe our findings.

Some groups have been marking everyone’s height using tape on the floor to record our learning.

Family Learning Groups:

Our family learning groups are a huge success and many children and families are joining us for lots of fun group learning opportunities.



Our learning this week – 29 October 2018

The weather is really changing now and we are noticing much colder days, darker mornings and lots of leaves falling off the trees.  Autumn is very much here. Our trips to Ninewells Woods continue, with children,  parents and staff working together to spot and collect some evidence of Autumn.


Mrs Roberts took some children up to the community garden this week, to clear the beds of the plants from the summer, getting ready for winter.  If we don’t do this, they will die back and go mushy with the cold and frost and it won’t be nice to clear it for planting in the spring.

The children discovered the last of the marigolds and some onions, which we brought back. They are in the foyer, if you would like to help yourself.


On Wednesday, we had a lot of fun dressing up for our Autumn Party.  Children had the opportunity to take part in some traditional autumn activities, such as designing and creating pumpkin lanterns, dook for apples and catch hanging doughnuts in their teeth!


There were lots of outside activities too, for example, slime, more pumpkin carving, using our OWN pumpkins, grown at the Giving Garden, potion making and a game to help children develop their fine motor skills, using tweezers to collect the spooky objects from the spider’s web. We had lots of fun!

In our 2’s room, there were lots of spooky sensory activities, such as jelly play, painting and printing, and doughnut catching too, of course.  The 2’s joined in the party snack with the 3 – 5’s in the big room.

Our Blythswood Shoebox appeal is going well – thank you so much for your donations so far.  We will be taking these to the collection point next week, so any last minute donations to the box will be gratefully received.  Children have been helping to wrap the boxes and pack the donations inside.  This has created lots of opportunities to talk about helping others.


As always, keep an eye out for our tweets on our Twitter page, @menzieshill_ns








Our learning this week – 22 October 2018

It’s been lovely to return after the holidays and seeing all our lovely children and families back with such enthusiasm!  We have hit the ground running this first week of the new term, with trips to the woods, the Giving Garden and our family groups getting up and running again.

Our Autumn trips to Ninewells Woods have been great, with lots of discussion about which animals might live in the woods, what they might eat,  looking at the different sizes and shapes of leaves we can find on the ground, discovering seeds and nuts from various trees, such as pine cones, acorns, sycamore “helicopters” , and berries for the birds and toadstools for the rabbits.

Mrs Regan took a “go-pro” type camera with her group to record a child’s-eye view of the trip.  The video is on the screen in the entrance of the nursery.  The children loved having a go!  We’ll use it again on some other trips.

We have been experimenting with making ‘Lunar Sand’. The children took turns to measure out 6 cups of sand and 3 cups of cornflour into a large tray. We then used our hands to give the mixture a good mix. “It smells disgusting” We then added 1-2 cups of water to the mixture and Kara was “excited”. We mixed the water in with our hands and it felt like “glooberry sand” The children explored the lunar sand by moulding it in their hands and running it through their fingers.

Mrs Tasker took some children to the Giving Garden today, to harvest the pumpkins we have been growing since April. The children were amazed how big there were! Not all of them had ripened to orange and were still green and some were a mixture of both.

We plan to contribute to the Blythswood Shoebox appeal – something we try to do every Christmas.  You can find our more about this charity here.  We have been talking with the children about helping others and what kind of things we might donate in a shoebox.  Please ask your keyworker for more information about how you can help. 🙂

We will be having an Autumn Party on Wednesday 31 October. Children are invited to dress up if they wish, but we would ask, please, no scary masks!  There will be an opportunity for children to try the traditional Scottish activity of “dooking” of apples as well as trying to catch a hanging doughnut, and some pumpkin carving too!  Lots of fun!