May 2021

We do hope that you continue to find the weekly nursery newsletter a useful way to keep informed. If you have not been receiving the newsletter via e-mail then please contact the office to ensure we have your correct contact details.

As we are only able to share a snapshot of learning via that channel each week we invite you to use Teams to view recent videos showing the children at play, including Sports Week.

As we approach the end of the session we will also share some of our end-of-year reflections and celebrations with you.

Thank you for your continued support.


Friday 19th February 2021

Good morning! We are so happy to be able to welcome you back to nursery next week (From Monday 22nd February) and to get to know the many new children and families who have joined our nursery in the last few weeks.

The staff team has been preparing for this return in earnest this week. The purpose of the blog in the past few days has been to help you prepare too. We need to work together to ‘rebuild’ our nursery so Lego seemed like a fitting recurring theme.

Many of you have connected with us and with friends during our time apart and we have also encouraged experiences which focus on recognising and managing feelings; be reassured that these will both contribute to a positive transition back to nursery for your child. We must express how proud we are of your resilience, and continued curiosity and kindness in these times. You are all our stars!

Despite our overwhelming optimism about your children’s return, we have shared ideas which should help us all manage time apart from family and returning to nursery – environment, people, play, routines and feelings.

Today we share a final few suggestions and reflections for the weekend as well as a special video that we hope you enjoy.

  • Look back at the blog posts made over the last 6 weeks and try some of the ideas you enjoyed the first time or that you haven’t done before.
  • Try to recall three exciting/interesting/fun things you have done in the 8 weeks since we last saw each other. Maybe you have more than three magic moments. We would love to hear about them next week so talking about them now can help you to remember some of the details.
  • It might be wet and windy but we know you all enjoy getting outdoors. This weekend, try to walk to the nursery as you may not have been in that direction for a while. Can you remember where the stars are painted on the ground? How many are there? I forget! Perhaps you could check and let me know.
  • In our first days back at nursery we might miss our family that we have spent so much time with. Why don’t you plan one thing that you will do after nursery each day next week that will be part of your special family time? You might go to the park, make a snack together, have some hot chocolate, build some tricky Lego or cuddle on the sofa – you decide!
  • Get yourself ready for nursery! Help your adult to pack your bag with a change of clothes. Get all your waterproofs and hats, scarves and gloves ready. Make sure your lunch box and water bottle are clean and ready. Is your name on everything? Can you check?
  • Although we discourage the children from bringing personal items to play with in nursery, you may decide to share a secret token that only you and they will know about. It may help them feel a little closer to you if they miss you next week. This can be something as simple as you and your child wearing matching hair bobbles that day, a sticky note with a smile in their lunchbox, a little fabric heart sewn into the lining of their jacket or a keyring on their bag…Something small for us, but full of love for them.
  • Have a chat about different aspects of the nursery day – drop-off, play, going to different spaces such as the Secret Garden, noisier/quieter times, toilets, snack/lunch, feeling safe, group time… Try to elicit how your child is feeling and address any worries they may have.
  • Remember that there are a many stories on our Team that can help us talk about worries and feelings! Go to Teams, Files (at top of page), Storytime. You might like:
  • In my Heart
  • My Big Shouting Day
  • My Strong Mind
  • Ruby’s Worry
  • No Matter What
  • While We Can’t Hug
  • Same But Different Too
  • The Huge Bag of Worries

And finally… we arrived in nursery one morning this week to find Lego blocks strewn all over the floor! Do you have any ideas how they might have got there?

We couldn’t understand what had happened until we came across this video. It looks like we had a visitor!





Thursday 18th February 2021

Good morning! We are so happy to be able to welcome you back to nursery next week (From Monday 22nd February) and to get to know the many new children and families who have joined our nursery in the last few weeks.

The staff team has been quietly preparing for this return and will do so in earnest for the rest of the week. The purpose of the blog in the next few days will be to help you prepare too. We need to work together to ‘rebuild’ our nursery so Lego (or similar) seems like a fitting recurring theme here.

Many of you have connected with us and with friends during our time apart and we have also encouraged experiences which focus on recognising and managing feelings; be reassured that these will both contribute to a positive transition back to nursery for your child.

Despite our overwhelming optimism about your children’s return, here are a few ideas which should help us all manage time apart from family and returning to nursery – environment, people, play, routines and feelings.

You might want to begin by watching our video from August:


Playing with others

  1. One of the best things about nursery are the many different friends we can play with. Who are you looking forward to playing with next week? What would you like to do together? Why don’t you draw/write a list of the people and games you are going to play? If you share it with us on Teams we will try to have appropriate resources ready to support your choice of play next week. Lego and certain requested books are already on our wishlist…
  2. When nursery is busy we sometimes need to wait. Waiting is tricky when we are excited or really want to tell someone something. Playing turn-taking games is a great way to practice being patient and to learn to enjoy listening to others and celebrating what they can do. Why don’t you play a game that encourages turn-taking?
  • Board game, card game or dominoes
  • Outdoor obstacle course or target practice ball game
  • Make a (fruit) salad together, taking turns to choose the next ingredient
  • Have a living room disco party, taking turns to choose the music
  • Play hide and seek, taking turns to hide or seek!
  • Build a Lego/Duplo/K’Nex model together. Talk to each other about your plan and ideas. This might have to be adapted as you go!


  1. Sometimes when we have so many great ideas in our play we forget that others also have interesting things to say or ask. Or maybe we forget that adults can have important instructions to help us join in with play or to be safe. In both these instances we need to try to get better at listening to others. This can be tricky in a busy and noisy nursery but we all have these skills; we just need to practice them sometimes! Here are some ideas:
  • Play a barrier game

  • Play musical statues
  • In nursery we often play ‘Guess the instrument’ . Show a range of instruments  or toys (or everyday items that make a distinctive noise) and play with them/talk about the sound they make. Next, hide the items and ask your child to close their eyes. Choose an instrument and make a sound. Have your child try to identify it by listening. Take turns!
  • Take a break from using images to help understanding and focus really carefully on what you hear. There are some traditional tales to listen to here:

Or some other listening and movement ideas as well as stories can be found here:


  1. Sometimes in nursery we get upset when we want to play with a friend and it doesn’t work out as we had hoped. Can you think of a time when someone said or did something silly or unkind? Usually we can sort our problems by talking to each other. Here’s a reminder of some of the things you might say to join in with play or sort a problem:
  • Can I play with you?
  • Do you want to play with me?
  • Can I please have the pencil / doll / truck?
  • Let’s play with it together.
  • Thank you.
  • Stop! I don’t like that.
  • Miss/Mrs X can you help me please?
  • Miss/Mrs X I feel …. because…

Do you remember some of the pictures we use to help us say what we mean?

Can you think of other things you might say to let your friends and adults know what you want or how you are feeling?



Daily Routines

  1. We have all been spending lots of time with our close family members. That is such a special time but it is important for you to be back in nursery playing and learning with your friends. So, in the next few days, you will need to say goodbye to your parents for a few hours and hello to all of the nursery children and adults. Here’s one of our favourite ways to do that:



  1. Are you an Amazing Apple or Brilliant Banana? Do you remember? The Red, Yellow, Blue and Pink groups are apples and the Orange, Purple, Green and Aqua groups are bananas.

Could you draw some funny apple and banana characters? Maybe today’s snack could be an apple or banana. Do you remember that we play in different spaces and try to use different toilets and sinks? When we go back to nursery we will need to do this for a little bit longer. The apple and banana pictures are there to remind you of where to go but, remember, it’s okay if you forget or get muddled up some time 😊

If you are an Apple you can expect to play with…Mrs Elliott/Mrs Atherton, Mrs Nugent, Miss Buchanan, Miss Gaff, Miss Paterson, Mrs Harris, Mrs McCulloch and Mrs Rafique.

If you are a Banana, the adults you will spend time with are… Mrs Gentile/Mrs Paton, Mrs Miller, Miss Campbell, Mrs McMenemy, Miss Hardie and Mr Chrystal.

The Apples will play on the side of the room with the ‘real’ kitchen and direct access to the Little Garden and the Bananas will play on the ‘board side’ of the room, also with access to part of the Little Garden. Both groups will use other spaces around the school grounds, such as the Secret Garden,  and of course plan local area walks, where possible.


  1. You know we always take care to wash our hands regularly in nursery but especially in recent times. Here are some ideas to think about how and why we wash our hands. Why don’t you make your own handwashing video today? Maybe you could share it with us.


  1. One of the times we must wash our hands is after we have been to the toilet. Remember that you can use the toilet whenever you need to go but you can always tell and adult and ask for help when you need it. Do you remember some of our toilet rules for feeling safe and healthy? Have I missed anything important?
  • We don’t play or take toys into the toilet.
  • There should only be one person in the toilet at a time. If someone tries to come in say “Stop! I don’t like that” or call for an adult’s help.
  • Close the door but don’t lock it.
  • Try to take only the toilet paper you need.
  • Flush.
  • Pull up your pants/trousers/leggings before you leave the toilet.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Dry them with one paper towel.
  • Put the paper towel in the bin.
  • Go back to play!

Remember that the toilet is one of our private spaces where we should be alone and feel safe. Trusted adults might come to help if you need it but no one else should. Remember – we shouldn’t be sharing our pants!


We hope this helps you remember a little of nursery relationships, routines and expectations. Tomorrow we will focus on feelings and final practical preparations for return.



Wednesday 17th February 2021


Wednesday 17.02 @1pm RED YELLOW GROUPS (Apples)
Wednesday 17.02 @2pm GREEN PURPLE GROUPS (Bananas)


Good morning! We are so happy to be able to welcome you back to nursery next week (From Monday 22nd February) and to get to know the many new children and families who have joined our nursery in the last few weeks.

The staff team has been quietly preparing for this return and will do so in earnest for the rest of the week. The purpose of the blog in the next few days will be to help you prepare too. We need to work together to ‘rebuild’ our nursery so Lego (or similar) seems like a fitting recurring theme here.

Many of you have connected with us and with friends during our time apart and we have also encouraged experiences which focus on recognising and managing feelings; be reassured that these will both contribute to a positive transition back to nursery for your child.

Despite our overwhelming optimism about your children’s return, here are a few ideas which should help us all manage time apart from family and returning to nursery – environment, people, play, routines and feelings.

You might want to begin by watching our video from August:


The environment

  1. Talk about your favourite spaces to play in nursery. The Secret Garden, the Little Garden, the reading corner, the table where you can write and draw…
  2. Use Lego or other materials to build the whole nursery or your favourite area. Send us a photo as we’d love to see!
  3. Why don’t you draw or paint a picture of you at nursery?
  4. Take your adult on a virtual tour of the nursery. Describe what it’s like from when you enter until home time. Where are all the different places you go in your day to play, read, run, climb, eat, wash…?
  5. Can you guess where I am describing?
  • This is where you take off your outdoor clothes and hang them on a peg. You might hang your bag here too. It sometimes gets messy if we forget to hang up our clothes. (CLOAKROOM)
  • This is where you can play on the climbing frame, bridge or mud kitchen. We eat snack out here at the tables and benches. (LITTLE GARDEN)
  • This is where you go if you need the toilet. You can wash your hands here too. (TOILETS)
  • This is where we sometimes get quite muddy. We can find out lots about plants and nature here. We can climb trees and build dens with sticks and branches. (SECRET GARDEN)

Did you guess them all? What other spaces do we play in?



The people

  1. Recently we invited you to think about yourself and how wonderfully unique you are. That’s where we will start today! Lots of people love you but it’s important that we see how amazing we each are and that we love ourselves too. Draw a picture of yourself in the middle of a piece of paper then use these ideas to talk about yourself. Maybe your adult could write some of them around your self-portrait. This is something you could keep and look at together every so often, especially when you are having a difficult day.

2. Your name is part of what is unique about you. As appropriate, why don’t you find/write/copy/magnetic letter your name? Will you be able to spot your name above your peg in the cloakroom when we go back?

3. In our rainbow nursery we each belong to a colour group. Which group are you in? Why don’t you call someone in your family and tell them about your group? The colour, the children in the group, the adult you usually talk to, the things you do at group time….

4. Why don’t you go on a treasure hunt around the house and find as many things as you can with your group colour? Collect them all together and estimate how many you found before you count them. Did you find 5? 10? 20?! Well done! Remember to return them to where they came from.

5. Think about your group or the other friends you like to play with in nursery. Engage in some role play using puppets, dolls or other figures. What will they get up to at nursery? Are they being kind to one another? Do they let others join in with their play? What are they doing? Are they playing inside or outside?

6. When we go back to nursery parents and grandparents can’t stay with you but there are lots of other adults to support your play and learning and look after you. Try to think about who they are. Most of them appear in the video at the start of this post. To help you remember who is there for you why don’t you try this?

Draw around your hand then write your own name in the space created by your thumb. Cat about adults who laugh and play with you and care for you in nursery. As you name one, write their name in one of your fingers. If you name one adult in each finger that will be at least four people who are excited to play and talk with you next week 😊

7. Can you make a nursery friend or adult using Lego, playdough or other materials? I’m sure they would love to see your model!


We hope this helps you remember a little of what we all love about our nursery. Tomorrow and Friday we will focus on playing with others, routines and feelings.

Tuesday 16th February 2021


Blethers today and tomorrow. We invite you to bring along your favourite Julia Donaldson or Sue Hendra/Paul Linnet book, toy or drawing to get the conversation started. Listening ears at the ready for a game too!

Tuesday 16.02 @11am BLUE + PINK GROUPS (Apples)
Tuesday 16.02 @1pm ORANGE + AQUA GROUPS (Bananas)
Wednesday 17.02 @1pm RED + YELLOW GROUPS (Apples)
Wednesday 17.02 @2pm GREEN + PURPLE GROUPS (Bananas)


Subha udaesanak! Today is a traditional Christian festival that has also become a tradition in the UK for many people who are not Christians. Today is known as Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day / Pancake Tuesday.


A. Pancake Day is always on a Tuesday. Can you remember the names of the other days of the week? Can you say or sing them in order? Here are some videos to help:



For Christians, Shrove Tuesday is traditionally the day to use up all the treats in the house before Lent. Lent is a time (about 6 weeks) when Christian people might choose to give up treats or do other personal challenges before Easter.

For people who are not Christian, they might make pancakes just because they enjoy eating them. Pancakes can be thick or thin, sweet or savoury.


C. Pancakes have different names all over the world. What do you call them in your house?

Did you know that they eat pancakes all over the world, not just in Scotland? 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Here is a lovely story set in Africa called Mama Panya’s Pancakes- A village tale from Kenya 🇰🇪  Enjoy!


D. Why don’t you make some pancakes today?


E. Here is a story featuring pancakes. If you know the old tale of The Little Red Hen you might notice some similarities… until the end!

Do you think the characters were kind to one another? What could they have done instead? What would you do if your brother/ sister/ friend asked for help?–im-reading



Why don’t you talk about pancake toppings or fillings? Which do you like / dislike? Which new combination could you try? How does it taste/feel? Sweet/sour/soggy/crunchy/salty etc.

Maybe you could write and draw your own pancake recipe, sign or menu for a pancake cafe. What would the cafe be called? What jobs do you need to do in the cafe? How much will the pancakes cost?



Make collage paper pancakes. On a circle of brown paper use collage materials that resemble toppings that could be put onto a pancake: fruit, chocolate sauce, marshmallows – talk to the children about different toppings they could use and what resources they could use to create their toppings. Maybe these pancakes could be used to decorate your cafe.


H. Sing, move and dance with some pancake songs.


Sing this to 5 Currant Buns tune.

5 flat pancakes in a baker’s shop

Round and flat with sugar on the top

Along came (Childs name) with a penny one day.

Bought a flat pancake and took it away.


Continue the rhyme with 4 flat pancakes.


I. Can you make animals or faces using your pancakes and toppings? Use your imagination!


J. Make your own pancake game.

Pancake maths game

  • Paper or Recycled Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Spatula
  • Pen / stickers
  • Cut out either 11 or 21 (or more) circles (depending on child’s ability).
  • Write either 0-10 or 0-20 on the circles (depending on child’s ability). If you cut out more, your child could copy your numbers.
  • Once the numbers are written, you child can flip them, stack them or sort them in other ways.
  • To encourage your child to put numbers in sequence, ask them to order the numbers in a row.
  • As appropriate, you could ask your child to show you the number after/before/in between X or you could remove a number and ask them which one is missing from the sequence.

K. Join Jaime for some foodie yoga today. Yoga story begins about one minute into video.

Monday 15th February 2021


This week’s Blethers. Please do join us at another time if the designated group time doesn’t work for your family.

Tuesday 16.02 @11am BLUE + PINK GROUPS (Apples)
Tuesday 16.02 @1pm ORANGE + AQUA GROUPS (Bananas)
Wednesday 17.02 @1pm RED + YELLOW GROUPS (Apples)
Wednesday 17.02 @2pm GREEN + PURPLE GROUPS (Bananas)


Buongiorno! The snow may have gone but there are plenty of puddles to jump in on your walk today. If you are looking for other play and learning ideas, today’s suggestions are all inspired by the authors and illustrators Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet.

A. Do you own any books written by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet? Their names should be on the front cover and spine. Why don’t you check? How many did you find? Why don’t you read one of them? If you don’t have any at home, maybe you  could find out about their books and even listen to some of the stories being read here:




Help Supertato gather his squad to teach the Evil Pea a lesson in your own kitchen! It is easy to act out Supertato’s adventures because all you need for the characters are probably already in your own house! Potatoes, carrots, broccoli, even evil frozen peas can join in the action. You could draw on vegetables with a a pen, really get fancy and add arms and legs or a superhero cape or just leave them as they are.
I wonder what adventures you could act out with what vegetables are in your kitchen. How many Supertato characters will you find? Or maybe you could invent a new character that you could tell or help write a story about just like Sue Hendra?



Did you know we can all be everyday Superheroes , a bit like Supertato? Being a hero doesnt need to be about rescuing someone or saving the day. Little acts of kindness or helping someone out are ways we can all be a Superhero. We all have super skills and qualities that make us great.. I wonder what yours are? Maybe you are brilliant at reading or counting, or making things? A really superhero quality is helping others and being kind. I know you are all great at that. I wonder what Superhero acts you will carry out today? Make sure you tell someone in your family if you spot them being a Superhero too !


D. In this video Paul Linnet reads Cake.

When was the last time you went to a party? What was the occasion? Did you wear special clothes or eat party food? Who was there? Which games did you play?

It has been a long time since we have enjoyed parties so why don’t you plan one for today or at the weekend? You could draw and write invitations, get dressed up and prepare special foods. Maybe you could decorate your living room or bedroom or wherever the party is happening. It could be a mini family party or perhaps you can connect with other friends and family on Zoom or Facetime and plan your house parties together. Think of games you could play together but apart.



You might decide you want to bake a cake after hearing that story. What ingredients will you need? How do you put them altogether? You could place some ingredients and utensils, conducive to cake baking, out for your child to experiment with. They can investigate and create their own recipe but should still create something edible if you have given an appropriate selection of ingredients to begin with. This provides a different experience – problem solving, creativity –  and demands different skills from following a set recipe.

Otherwise, you may wish to follow a tried and tested method. Baking is great way to include numbers and mathematical language into play. Let your children measure/weigh ingredients. Count sprinkles and set timers! Talk about amounts such has half and quarters.


Combining two of our favourite things – an amazing no cook edible playdough recipe that smells of cake (yum!) and the new book by author Sue Hendra – Cake! This book inspired activity is perfect for kids who love imaginative and sensory play. Once you have made the playdough you can create whatever you like though adding small candles or decorations may encourage ‘birthday cake’ play and could encourage the exploration o further mathematical concepts such as counting, sorting and sharing. It may also provide vocabulary enrichment as you descibe the dough using your five senses or provide a narrative for what you are doing as you join in with your child e.g. rolling, twisting, squeezing, joining etc,

Recipe 1 Ingredients

1.1/2 Box of White Cake Mix.

2.1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch.

3.1/4 cup oil.

4.3 tablespoons powdered sugar


Method  Mix together and enjoy manipulating the scented playdough!


Recipe 2 Ingredients

  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • 2 tbsp. Cream of Tartar
  • 1/4 cup Salt
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Lots and Lots of Sprinkles


  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients then add boiling water, oil, and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined.
  2. Allow play dough to cool for about 5 minutes and then fold in sprinkles. If the playdough is still warm to the touch the sprinkles may melt a bit, but that will give the dough a very neat swirly color!



In Supertato Run Veggies Run the veggies are having a sports day to keep fit. Set up your own veggie race. Discover which veggies roll the best! Have a look and assemble your veggies! What different kinds have you got? Who is going to compete in the race? Make your own racetrack! This could be a big one outside or a mini race for peas on the table. Have you got something for a finish line? Take turns to roll each of your veggies or roll together with a grown up or someone else in your house. Who is the winner? Let us know the best rollers!

Race yourself! Why not use your time outside to set your own challenges just like the veggies. Their sports were Running, jumping, and spinning! Set yourself some challenges. How many jumps on 2 feet can you do in a minute? Get a grown up to set their phone timer. How many on 1 foot? How many spins can you do? Don’t get dizzy! Can you run on the spot for one minute?


H. Lots of different fruits and vegetables appear in the Supertato stories. This challenge features some of them and invites you to look closely, use what you know and think to identify them. How many can you guess? How many have you tasted before? Why don’t you try to taste at least one new one this week?


I. Get moving and dancing!


J. Why don’t you try to grow some vegetable scraps or make a plan to plant some seeds in the next month or so?




Friday 12th February 2021

Ni hao!

新年快乐 Xinnian kuaile!


Here are the details for next week’s live blether sessions. As always, please join us whenever you can if your group’s designated time doesn’t work for your family.

Tuesday 16.02 @11am BLUE + PINK GROUPS (Apples)
Tuesday 16.02 @1pm ORANGE + AQUA GROUPS (Bananas)
Wednesday 17.02 @1pm RED + YELLOW GROUPS (Apples)
Wednesday 17.02 @2pm GREEN + PURPLE GROUPS (Bananas)


Today marks Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated by billions of people across the world. Maybe you are celebrating or you know someone who is. Why don’t you send them a special message today?


Join Abbie and her brother who live here in the UK as they celebrate Chinese New Year. What do they do? What do they wear? What can you see? What new facts have you learned?



Houses are cleaned out for a fresh start and entrances to the home decorated with red decorations that signify “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. Why don’t you help with some cleaning today then create an interesting decoration for your front door? You may not have any visitors at the moment but it will make you smile every time you return home from a walk or it can be enjoyed by passers by. It doesn’t have to be red. Here are some ideas:



Paper lanterns are a popular decoration. Why don’t you develop your fine motor and design skills by making one of your own? Maybe you could even light it from within with a battery-powered tealight.

Here is what you will need to make the paper lanterns:

  • heavy coloured paper (red is a traditional colour for Chinese New Year)
  • Scissors
  • A ruler
  • A pencil
  • Tape
  • A stapler
  • Glue, glitter, stickers, markers, paint, sequins, and other things to decorate your lantern.

Here is how to make your lantern:

  1. Fold your sheet of paper in half lengthwise.
  2. With your pencil and ruler, draw a line lengthwise on the paper one inch from the top of the unfolded edge. This is your “do not cut line” that marks where you stop cutting.
  3. Now, take your pencil and ruler and draw lines one inch apart from the folded edge to the do not cut line.

  1. Cut the paper along the lines to the “do not cut” line.
  2. Now unfold the paper. If you flip it over and re-crease the fold in the opposite direction you can hide your pencil marks.
  3. Roll the paper into a cylinder and tape the narrow edges of the paper together where they meet. The middle of the lantern will flare out at the crease.
  4. Cut a one-inch-wide strip from the narrow end of another sheet of coloured paper for your lantern’s handle. Use the stapler or tape to affix the handle to the top of the lantern.
  5. Add decorations: stickers, glitter, paint, markers, crayons, and more can be used to make your lantern your own.



We learned that red is thought to be a colour which brings luck and happiness. That is why many of the decorations at Chinese New Year are red. Do you have a favourite colour? Does it make you feel happy to see that colour or have toys or clothes in that colour? Why don’t you draw a picture, make a Lego model or create something else today using only your favourite colour(s). We would love to see how they turn out!



We have recently talked about how food is an important part of many special family celebrations and festivals. Have you ever eaten any food that is popular in China? Do you know any recipes for Chinese style food? Why don’t you try something new this week?



In Britain it is traditional for many people to use cutlery like knives and forks to eat but in other countries and cultures people might use their hands or other tools. Do you know which traditional tool Chinese people use to eat? Yes, chopsticks! Why don’t you try to eat a meal or snack using chopsticks?

Perhaps you could use them in a game to pick up Lego bricks or try an activity like this pompom game. Try to lift as many poms poms as you can, without dropping them. Put them into tubs/ cups/ cardboard tubes.  How many can you manage 1,5, 10…more? Good luck!



Each new year in the Chinese calendar is named after one of 12 animals. Some people believe the year you were born in means that you share some of the traits of that animal.

For hundreds of years, stories have been told about how the animals were chosen and what they represent. As is the way with old stories that are told over and over again, sometimes the details can change a little.  What do you think about the way the rat won the race? What would you have done?



2021 is the year of the ox. The Ox is the second animal in the Chinese Zodiac. As we saw above, it is second, because, during the legendary race the Ox was kind, and gave the Rat a lift on its back. Only then to be cheated of his win, by the Rat jumping off his back and ahead of the Ox in order to secure first place. A cunning Rat, and a trusting Ox.

What do you know about this animal in real-life? Can you find out from a book or by looking on the internet?


I. Can you try and write some numbers in Chinese characters rather than numerals or words?

Maybe you would like to learn how to say the numbers or other words in Chinese (Mandarin). Look and listen here:


J. Here are some other links you may wish to follow:

Thursday 11th February 2021


Blethers today:

Thursday 11.02 @11am RED + YELLOW GROUPS (Apples)
Thursday 11.02 @1pm GREEN + ORANGE GROUPS (Bananas)


Good morning! We are sure you’ve been making the most of the sunshine and snow and doing lots of outdoor play. We hope you also picked up further ideas from the play Scotland Snow Play leaflet we had recently shared- 

Playing in snow and ice can be fun but also brings its risks. Today the blog encourages you to evaluate and manage different risks; stay safe and talk about who can help in a variety of situations.


The pandemic has led us all to rely on technology more for learning, work and communicating with family and friends. We can all readily list the many wonders and benefits of being online but we are equally aware of some of the risks. You may know that Tuesday was ‘Safer Internet Day’. Although your child is likely to be supervised by you when using the internet, you can already begin to discuss internet safety in an age appropriate way. This awareness will be helpful as they become more independent users of digital technology. Here is a link to a video (Episode 1) that might help to start the discussion:



What is risky play in the early years?

Risky play is thrilling and exciting. It has a risk of physical injury. It’s challenging, it tests limits and it helps children to establish boundaries. It could be climbing, sliding, balancing jumping and hanging, rolling or using potentially dangerous tools.

Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, an expert in the area of risky play, breaks it down into six main areas:

  • Rapid speeds – This could be swinging or sliding, running or riding on something with wheels. Anything to get that thrill of high speed.
  • Dangerous tools – This might be knives and saws, drills and hammers or bigger electrical tools. It’s all about the control of something dangerous and the excitement your child feels in being trusted.
  • Dangerous elements – This covers things like fire pits or deep bodies of water.
  • Rough-and-tumble – This play might involve wrestling, fencing with sticks or play fighting.
  • Great heights – Going up high trees or buildings gives a huge feeling of achievement and some good views. Anything which involves climbing, jumping from still or flexible surfaces, balancing or swinging at height provides this kind of risk.
  • Disappearing or getting lost – Hide and seek gives children the temporary feeling of separation without any real danger of being forgotten. Any kind of independent exploration, especially in an unfamiliar environment can help them experience and assess this risk.

Each of these types of risky play are beneficial to your child when planned and supported by you. Before embarking on any of the experiences above – especially if it is the first time – it is important to assess the risks together with your child. Look for potential hazards and name them. What could the consequences be if your child fell/slipped/dropped a tool/couldn’t see you? What can you do together to mitigate these risks? e.g. wear a helmet/keep both hands on the tree trunk/say when it feels unstable or unsafe etc. Be prepared for your child to perceive risks differently from you and be ready to discuss any non-negotiables i.e. running near a busy road.

You can find out some more here:



In nursery we try to incorporate daily opportunities for the children to engage in supported risky play. This may include time at the workbench or using the tools safely on outdoor projects. As well as assessing and managing risks, this promotes concentration and perseverance,  independence, fine motor skills and hand-to-eye coordination. Learning about the importance of staying safe when using tools and using correct safety equipment procedures. i.e. safety goggles and sitting at the correct height of a table or workbench is essential before trying any of the suggestions below.

  • Using safety goggles, a hammer, small nails/pegs, small sticks, a piece of wood/cardboard, practise tapping out letters or numbers (adult supervision at all times).
  • Maybe practise hammering nails/pegs/golf tees into playdough or vegetables. How many did you use?  How many times do you need to hammer before the nail disappears inside? Do you think you could tap out your name or age? How could you remove them safely?



We are all trying to do lots of walking and being outdoors at the moment as it is important to try and get our daily exercise. This can mean being out on local streets which can be busy with traffic, and cars coming out of driveways can take you by surprise especially if you are going fast on your scooter or bike.
Road safety is very important, as they can be dangerous places to be if you are not careful. We all need to practise road safety to keep us and other people safe. Here are some ideas to help you think about this.
  • Talk about the colours on traffic lights and what they mean for drivers. Make a ‘traffic light’ snack or play a physical game with GREEN=RUN; AMBER=RUN ON THE SPOT; RED=STOP; SPEED BUMP=JUMP; ROUNDABOUT=SPIN ONCE.
  • Which signs and symbols to pedestrians need to look out for? What does each of them mean? Stop, look, listen and think!
  • Sing together:
        • Twinkle twinkle traffic light
          (sung to “Twinkle Little Star”)
          Twinkle twinkle traffic light
          Standing on the corner bright
          When its green its time to go
          When its red its stop you know
          Twinkle twinkle traffic light
          Standing on the corner bright
        • Stop, Look and Listen
          Stop, Look and listen,
          Before you cross the street.
          First use your eyes and ears
          Then use your feet!

Early Years

Walk around your house/garage/car together and count how many safety items you can find (first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.) On the reverse side, you could have the children point out all the unsafe items/hazards (open cupboard doors where someone could bump their heads, toys on the floor where they could trip,etc.)
If you can’t get out and about just now why not try creating an obstacle course in your garden or even indoors to help you think about hazards and how they can be avoided.

Children start their safety lessons by learning what an emergency is, then learn about different types of emergencies. They could practise simple skills like dialling 999, using play telephones, and telling the operator the information they need to be able to help.

In nursery we regularly practice fire drills to encourage children to respond appropriately should a fire alarm sound.

Help your child memorise the most important pieces of information they need to know in an emergency – their names and addresses.




In emergency situations, young child should be able to identify firefighters, police officers, nurses and other community helpers. Although little ones may be cautious, they should understand that these adults can be trusted and can offer help to them and their families an emergency.

Who are these people? Where do they usually work? Do you know anyone who does this job? Who might they work alongside? Which tools might they use? How can they help us?

Why don’t you do some role play around the emergency services, maybe dressing up or using some small world toys you have?




Parents, we have previously shared links to the Child accident Prevention Trust and you may find the following links helpful.




Wednesday 10th February 2021

This week’s blether times:

Wednesday 10.02 @1pm BLUE + PINK GROUPS (Apples)
Wednesday 10.02 @2pm PURPLE + AQUA GROUPS (Bananas)
Thursday 11.02 @11am RED + YELLOW GROUPS (Apples)
Thursday 11.02 @1pm GREEN + ORANGE GROUPS (Bananas)


Hola! Welcome back after the long weekend. We hope you managed to get outdoors and enjoy the best of the wintry weather.

Today’s post is inspired by one of our favourite authors – Julia Donaldson!


Julia Donaldson is an author – a person who writes books. How many of her stories do you have at home? Can you find them all? Because she is the author her name will be written on the front cover of the book and maybe on the spine too. Can you point to the front cover, back cover and spine? Where can you find the blurb? What does the blurb tell us about a book?

Now that you have found some of her stories, why not read and talk about them? Talk about interesting words, funny bits or the characters’ feelings. Many of her tales have also been animated so you might decide to watch one of them then talk about what is the same/different compared with the book version.


How about making your own Stick Man family? Some of us have dne this before in nursery. When you are out walking or at the park, keep a look out for interesting twigs and branches that could be the Stick Man or his family. Maybe have a look at the book if you have it, or look online so you can think what kind of shapes the twigs would need to be. How many arms and legs would you need? How many people are in Stick Man’s family?  Count them up and then get hunting! When you bring them home, leave the sticks somewhere warm to dry out for a while. Then you could decorate them. If you couldn’t find sticks with the right arms or legs you could add pipe cleaners, straws or lollipop sticks if you have them. Maybe an adult could help you stick on some googly eyes or a couple of extra leaves on the Stick Man, just like in the book. I wonder what adventures your very own Stick family will get up to in your house?



Julia Donaldson is the author of a lovely book called The Paper Dolls. Maybe you know it.
The little girl in the story makes each doll different. Some are boys, some girls. They have different clothes and hair. They also have great names –  Ticky and Tacky and Jackie the Backie and Jim with two noses and Jo with the bow.
If you’d like to make your own paper dolls you’ll need to ask a grown up to help you. Here are some instructions.

What will your dolls look like? What will you name them?



Read ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ and familiarise yourself with all the characters. (The Ladybird, Fat Red Hen, Woolly Sheep, Hairy Hog, Handsome Horse, Dainty Dog, Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len). Can you hear the pairs of rhyming words? How many can you spot?

If you don’t have the book, you can find the story here:
And here is Julia Donaldson herself, singing a song about the Ladybird:
Once you have read and talked about the story, why not try some of these ideas or modify them for a different favourite story of yours?
  • Make your own story sack, draw pictures of all the characters and attach to straws or lollipop sticks.  See if you can recite the story in sequence using your very own characters/props. Maybe you could make props using wooden spoons, stones or junk modelling?
  • Make your own storybook, drawing pictures of the animals and the story in sequence.  Maybe ask an adult to help you with writing the words, and perhaps your story will have a different ending! Can you act out your story with family members?
  • Make your own ladybirds using black and red playdough, pipe cleaners and googly eyes.  How many spots does a ladybird have? Do they all have spots? See if you can find out information using books or the internet.
  • Play number match game. You might have this game at home, practice your mathematical skills!


E. “A mouse went for a stroll through the deep dark wood….”

If you get hungry after all your reading and play you might want to follow one of these recipes.



Julia Donaldson does not draw the pictures for her books. She works with illustrators who draw all the characters and settings. Settings are places that the stories happen in. She works a lot with an illustrator called Axel Scheffler, but other illustrators like Lydia Monks draw with her too.

Why don’t you try to draw some of your favourite characters from Julia Donaldson’s stories? When there is a description of how they look (like the Gruffalo) you can try to include all the important features and when there aren’t such details just draw them as you imagine them.


G. This website has lots of ideas you may wish to try:


H. You may be outdoors, playing in the snow today. Why don’t you make your own Gruffalo trail e.g can you make a log pile house? Where do you think the owl would be? Where does the Gruffalo live? Can you build a home in the snow?

I. And if it’s an indoors day… why don’t you dress up as a favourite character?


Friday 5th – Tuesday 9th February

Madainn mhath!

We hope you have enjoyed an active week. Highlights of our week have been connecting with many of you on our Blethers. It is wonderful to see how well you are and to hear of your many and varied play activities. Please see the newsletter and Teams calendar for details of next week’s scheduled chats.

This will be the last post until Wednesday 10th February due to the upcoming holiday weekend. We hope you all find time for what matters, be that rest, fresh air, exercise or connecting with family and friends.

For now, here are a few ideas you may wish to dip into.