Our Learning – wb 13 May 2019

This week has been National Digital Learning Week across Scotland, and schools all over the country have been sharing their digital learning on Twitter, using the hashtag, #NDLW19.  It’s been amazing to see the huge amount of talent and skills happened all over Scotland. At Menzieshill Nursery, we have been very active in our contribution in this, you may have seen our tweets relating to this.

In other news, we were quite sad to find that none of our eggs hatched last week, after looking after them carefully in the incubator for 21 days.   Mrs Tasker contacted the farm we got the eggs from and they kindly gave us 2 newly hatched chicks to keep in nursery for a week.  They also gave us 6 more eggs, which Mrs T will keep in her incubator at home, to avoid any possible “incubator malfunction issues” which may have been the reason for no hatching.  We are crossing our fingers for a more successful outcome from these. We will keep you posted!

The children have had lots of opportunities this week to look at the chicks and for those who wished to stroke, to be able to do so.  It is a really lovely experience for the children to see such new life and to understand the very important need to be kind and gentle with them.

Don’t forget it’s the In-service Day on Thursday 23 May so nursery will be closed to children, but we are open again on Friday 24 May.   Monday 27 May is the Victoria Day holiday, for which we are closed, re-opening on Tuesday 28 May.  



Our Learning – wb 29 April 2019


This week, we have been learning about lifecycles, particularly about chicks.  You may have noticed on our Twitter feed that we have 10 hens eggs in the nursery just now, in an incubator.  We are hoping to welcome some new arrivals next week – watch this space for updates!

This offers great opportunities for learning about lifecycle development and patience (it’s been a long 21 days!) and caring for others.

Outside, we have been planting potatoes in the bottles you’ve been collecting for us (thank you!).  We are hoping to see the white roots begin to grow down into the compost and then begin to notice the green shoots peeking out of the top of the bottle.   Again, this offers hands on learning experiences for the children, to find out more about how plants grow.   Here’s some of our green fingered gardeners planting their potatoes!

In the art area, children have been developing their “nimble fingers” by having a go at tie-dye.  It’s quite tricky to put an elastic band over something and make it tight, but with encouragement and perseverance, they have been managing quite well.  We were using a small pebble with an elastic band attached around it.  This means that when the material is soaked in the dye, the area underneath the band does not take up any colour, remaining white.  Once rinsed, the pebbles can be removed from the fabric, resulting in white ‘circles’ where the bands have been.

The children really seemed to enjoy working together on a really big piece of collaborative art. There were lots of opportunities for sharing, of ideas and resources.  They enjoyed it so much, that they asked to make another, “for the sky”.  So we did!


We had a very interesting and special visitor today in nursery.  One of our children’s Nanas, has a pet tortoise and she brought it in to let us see it.  His name is Herbie and he is an amazing 39 years old!  The children were surprised to feel him, saying, “he’s hard”, “it’s like a stone” and “he’s hiding his head inside”.

Don’t forget it’s the May Day holiday on Monday so nursery is closed.  Back Tuesday. Enjoy your weekend!

Our trip to Clark’s Bakery – 28 March 2019

It may be the last week of term but there is no slowing down for us!

We have been very busy making changes to our role play area.  Following conversations with the children about making cakes using playdough and which cakes were their favourites, we got busy on Monday working with the children to create a café/bakers area in our role play corner of the nursery.

This led to discussions about visiting a real bakers, with children suggesting, “why don’t we go to see the bakers in Tesco, then we could go to Clarks Bakery on a trip?” Well, that’s just what we did!

Danny talked about the procedure for roll making, and we were shown the texture of the dough inside of a roll, and even got a sneaky wee taste! We were also shown a tray of empty pie cases, and Danny told us how they make their pie shells to be vegan, vegetarian and suitable for most allergies – with the only 2 ingredients being water and flour. We were given a taste of the pie shells also, and asked to compare the texture of both the roll and the pie shell.
We then came back through to the preparation table, where they had readymade dough laying out for the children to roll out and explore. Danny talked to us about the main ingredient in bread being yeast, and we got to smell it and the children all agreed it smelled like cheesy feet! He gave us a mini experiment to carry out after we had a chance of rolling out fresh dough, and it was to mould a piece of yeast into a ball and add a little drop of salt to it, Danny explained to us that this was going to be a chemical reaction and that we would need to watch closely for it happening on our plates.

Mr Alan Clark came to meet the children and tell them all about his experiences in the bakery industry, and that he had been a baker since he was 10 years old! He told us and showed us how to knead dough properly, and the children enjoyed copying his actions with their dough. A few children even told Mr Clark that they wanted to be real bakers when they grow up! He was delighted at this response and told them it was a very enjoyable job. He brought through some freshly baked loafs of white and brown bread, and the children got to taste bits of these and compare the taste of what they preferred.

After the bread tasting, we shifted our attention back to our paper plates of yeast and salt, and watched for the salt dissolving into the yeast to create a melting liquid that they use in bread.

We then started to round up our trip when Danny suggested, because the children had been so good, that the bakery would provide us with a treat bag each, and some cake boxes/bags/props to take back to our nursery to recreate in role play what we were so lucky to experience today!
We then all left the bakery feeling hungry with the scents we smelled, and eager to return back to nursery to share with everybody what we were able to see and learn on our trip!







Our learning – wb 18 March 2019

The children have been continuing their learning about syllables  – “parts of words” this week, with everyone clapping out syllables of Sparkle words, names and lots of other words.

We were lucky enough to have a visit (afternoon only sadly) from a visiting music specialist, David, who worked with the children to learn about the different tones to music – high and low.

The video below shows this:

In the art area, we have been talking about different objects for printing and the textures they have and the patterns they make. 





Another part of our plan has included learning to balance.  The children are becoming skilled at this and are enjoying practising this in different ways.

You can see some balancing skills being developed at the ActivPanel, with the children watching and copying some skill videos.


Outside, we have continued to look for signs of spring, and it is getting easier as the days get warmer.  There have been more bug sightings this week!

That’s all we’ve time for this week.  Enjoy your weekend and continue to watch our for our tweets at @Menzieshill_ns





Our learning – 11 March 2019

We finished our learning about bears (Where’s My Teddy?  ABC&Beyond text) with many children bringing their teddy or other cuddly toy to nursery.  Some groups had a Teddy sing-a-long, where we sang the bear songs we had been learning to our toys! We think they enjoyed it!

This week has seen us begin our new ABC & Beyond text, Ernest, by Catherine Rayner. It’s the story of a rather large moose, who finds he has trouble fitting inside the book!

The Sparkle Words associated with this book are:

  • determined

  • disappointed

  • collect

  • finally

You can help your child learn these by using them in context in conversation.


Other activities this week include:

That’s all we’ve time for this week. You can see more photos on the screen in the foyer.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @menzieshill_ns    Have a great weekend everyone!








Our learning – 25 February 2019

This block, our planning includes a maths outcome which refers to gathering information, and organising and displaying our findings in different ways. We have looked at this in a number of different ways:

Also this week, we have been linking our ABC & Beyond text, “Where’s My Teddy?” in lots of areas.

Our family learning groups continue to go from strength to strength, with  taster sessions from Urban Moves Dance group this week.  As this was only a taster session, we will evaluate your feedback and look to address your thoughts.  It sure looks a lot of fun!

Play on Pedals is in week 2 just now, so children are learning how to balance. This is an important skill to learn before you try a bike! It’s trickier than you’d think!  Looking good guys!

Hope you’ve enjoyed out update of some of our learning this week. Keep up to date on our Twitter page, @menzieshill_ns .  Have a great weekend!





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!