This year we couldn’t invite parents in to nursery to read stories so we invited them to read to us remotely! Some were able to join us live for a Google Meet and some shared videos of themselves reading with us. A huge “Thank you!” to all our storytellers.
All the children will receive a World Book Day voucher to spend – find out more in this fun song… how many stories to you recognise?
We made some chocolate playdough in nursery today. It smelt delicious – but we knew we couldn’t eat it! Here is how we made it…
First we measured our ingredients and put them in the bowl: 2 cups plain flour, 1 cup salt, half a cup of cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons oil, 4 teaspoons cream of tartar and 2 cups water.
Then we stirred it until it was smooth – “It looks like chocolate icing!”
We cooked ours in the microwave – stir every minute until it is cooked.
Fairtrade Fortnight began on 22nd February and our cocoa powder had a Fairtrade logo on it. Fairtrade means the farmers get paid a ‘fair price’ for the crop. Can you find any logos on anything in your house?
As a nursery community, we are on a continuous journey to empower our children to improve their environmental awareness.
There are lots of wonderful ideas that you can do as a family to learn more about the natural world and care for the environment, which supports STEM and literacy learning, as well as your child’s health and wellbeing.
Introduce your children to the concept of sorting household rubbish for recycling into categories such as plastic, paper, metal and glass. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about different types of materials used for packaging, how they are made and how they can be reused.
Instead of throwing things away, encourage your child to think of great ways to reuse items. Egg cartons work really well for growing herbs, glass jars are perfect for storing loose parts for play, and tin cans make really good pen and pencil holders.
Composting helps to teach our children about reducing the waste that heads to landfills by converting it into nutrient-rich soil.
There are lots of free and easy ways for your family to start composting.
Greens – these are things that rot quickly, and provide important nitrogen and moisture
Vegetable peelings, salad leaves and fruit scraps
Old flowers and nettles
Browns – these are things that rot more slowly. They provide carbon and fibre and also allow air pockets to form
Twigs and branches
Visit a local park and spend some time cleaning up the litter. You will not only be protecting the wildlife and caring for the world around you but you will also be helping your community. It will hopefully inspire others to join in too. Count how many bits of rubbish you find – you will be amazed! Don’t forget to wear protective gloves and take a rubbish bag.
You don’t have to go far to encounter some amazing living things. Going on a back garden safari in your own garden or to a local park or woods will be a real voyage of discovery. It is such a fun way to explore and learn about local plants, animals and minibeasts. You can simply sit and watch, take photos or a video, do a scavenger checklist or record what you found by drawing a picture.
Getting your child involved in growing fruit and vegetables is a great way for them to learn where their food comes from and make healthy eating choices. Children can see first hand the growing cycle and develop an awareness of the seasonal nature of food.
Try growing indoors whilst the weather is still cold. Tomatoes, carrots, peppers and beans work well on a nice sunny windowsill using a recycled container that allows drainage.
Healthy Henry likes to eat healthy food but he says it’s OK to have a treat sometimes.
As it’s Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day, Mrs Collins would like to share her pancake recipe with you.
Mrs Collin’s Pancakes
First of all you will have to wash your hands with soap and water to make sure they are clean and dry them well. If you have an apron you can wear this as well to keep your clothes clean .
You will need:
1 level mug of self raising flour
1 level tablespoon of caster sugar
1 cup of milk for mixing
Oil for your pan
Mix until smooth.
Now we can start making our pancakes.
First of all you will need to ask an adult to help you with this part as we are going to use the cooker and we have to be very careful so we don’t get burnt .
We need the frying pan to be hot.
So put a little drop of oil in the pan and wait until it is hot.
Put a spoonful of your mixture into the pan and wait for the bubbles and then turn and cook the other side.
I made 12 pancakes out of my mixture you could make big pancakes or small pancakes it is up to you.
Here are some ideas for toppings:
Chocolate spread (but just a little)
Mrs Collins hopes you have as much fun making them as she did.
Cooking together provides us with lots of opportunities to practise our maths skills – measuring out our ingredients, talking about colours, shapes and sizes, using a timer – as well as helping develop fine motor skills – chopping, mixing, spreading – and literacy skills as we read a recipe.
Here are some other ideas for simple cooking activities:
fruit salad or fruit kebabs
pitta bread pizzas
Let us know what you like to cook together and show us your pancakes on Google Classroom or Twitter @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome
Today marks the start of the Chinese New Year. This year is the year of the Ox. The Ox represents strength and confidence in others, something those of us at Glenwood have shown in recent months.
Chinese New Year has been celebrated in China and other Asian cultures for thousands of years. It is also celebrated as part of the Spring festival which allows this holiday to mark the end of the coldest days and allows the people to welcome in the Spring season with planting and new beginnings.
Fireworks are a big tradition to mark the celebrations of Chinese New Year with firecrackers used to scare off bad luck with these being set off at midnight. The following day firecrackers are used again to welcome in the new year with good luck.
Red and gold envelopes which contain money are given during the festival to children from their relatives. The envelopes are a symbolism of good luck and wishes, but it is the red paper which is significant and not the money inside as this represents happiness and blessings to the children receiving them.
There are 12 different Zodiac Signs which the years are named after: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
We have created a Sway with a selection of websites that might be helpful to you at home.
We have included a selection of sites – some online activities and games for your child, some with ideas of activities for you to try together and also some sites offering support and advice for parents and carers.
The Scottish Book Trust has a Bookbug App for you to share stories, songs and rhymes together. Find out more here.
The CBeebies website also has lots of nursery rhymes to share. Click here.
Once your child understands rhyme you could make up some silly ones together… why not try Humpty Dumpty?
Humpty Dumpty sat in a tree, he fell down and hurt his …
Humpty Dumpty sat on a bed, he fell down and broke his…
Or Twinkle, Twinkle?
Twinkle, Twinkle little mouse, hiding in your little…
Twinkle, Twinkle little moon, I’d like to eat you with a …
Rhyming Stories – Lots of children’s stories are written in rhyme. As you read with your child, try missing out the last word to let them fill it in.
Here are just a few authors who write rhyming stories:
Lynley Dodd – Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy
Jez Alborough – Fix It Duck, Some Dogs Do
Kes Gray – Oi Frog, Oi Dog, Oi Cat, How Many Legs?
Nick Sharratt – Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose, Don’t Put Your Finger in the Jelly, Nelly!, Octopus Socktopus
Giles Andreae – Commotion in the Ocean, Mad About Minibeasts
Clare Freedman – Aliens Love Underpants
Dr Seuss – The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham
One of our favourite authors is Julia Donaldson and some of her rhyming stories have been made into animations. Why not watch some together? Zog and the Flying Doctors
Create a rhyming basket – Collect together pairs of rhyming objects – they could be toys or household items. Take out an object… can you find it’s rhyming partner?
Go on a rhyming treasure hunt – Collect together some objects again but this time challenge your child to find a rhyme around your house or garden. You might put in a star (to rhyme with car), a parrot (rhymes with carrot), a bee (to match with knee or tree), a cat (rhymes with mat or hat) or a bear (to rhyme with pear). I’m sure you will think of many more!
Play I-Spy – On a walk or in the house, you could play a rhyming version of I-spy…
I spy with my little eye, something that rhymes with bee.
I spy with my little eye, something that rhymes with bog.
It’s OK if your child makes up nonsense words – that means that they have understood the concept of rhyme.
Playing board and card games is another way to develop number recognition and practise counting.
Snakes and Ladders
Snap (using playing cards)
Another favourite game we play in Glenwood is Number Splat. This is a great way to develop number recognition. All you need is numbers 0-10 or 0-20 written on pieces of paper and a spatula or wooden spoon. Ask your child to splat different numbers in a random order. Why not have a competition?
Share with us on Google Classroom or Twitter how you have been practising your counting and number recognition. @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome
Story telling is said to have been dated right back to 30,000 BC where cavemen would draw pictures on the wall of their cave showing a short series of events usually depicting their rituals of hunting. 1,000 BC Greek myths and legends came about, and then in 700 BC the first written story was printed.
Benefits of Storytelling
Helps with understanding of social behaviour – telling right from wrong and teaching empathy.
Develops language and communication.
Improves listening skills.
Encourages creativity and imagination.
Promotes higher order thinking skills.
Can helps understanding of difficult ideas and situations.
Ideas to try at home…
Helicopter Stories is a way of creating stories with your children. As a parent you’re the scribe and write word for word your child’s story down. Then have a go at acting it out…let your child decide who plays which character and what props to use.
Find out more in Miss MacLean’s Helicopter Stories Blog here.
What’s in the bag?
All you need is a bag or a box filled with objects (can be anything you find around the house.) You then take turns with your child to take an object out and create a story around the object.
You could make up a station to go with the bag full of cuddly toys or dolls or toys that you could use to be the characters for your story.
This is a game that can have endless results and can be played repeatedly, as so many different stories could be told.
In Nursery we use Hanen’s Abc and Beyond approach to develop early literacy skills. Find out more about how to turn stories into conversations in this Sway.
Why not join in with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch which is happening from the 29th to 31st January and you can sign up for free. There are lots of other things to do on their website too, including stories to read and games to play.
I wonder which birds you will have visiting your garden?
Why not let us know on Google Classroom or Twitter?
Respected Rhiya encourages us to think and talk, and to share our ideas and views.
Rhiya has got some sad news, happy news and she wants to give you a challenge.
The sad news is that we can’t all be at nursery together as we have to make sure everyone is safe from the virus. Also when we come back together, our nursery building might have disappeared. Big machines are going to knock it down.
How does that make you feel?
Some people think that will be exciting and they want to see it all smashed. Some people are worried it will be very noisy and messy. For lots of people the building and garden have lots of happy memories. The happy news that we are getting a new nursery with lots of lovely new toys inside. It is much bigger, with large playrooms, lots of windows and a little garden in the middle. Everything is new and clean and there will be lots of new things to try and we will see our friends there.
What do you think?Are you excited, worried or not sure?
The adults are getting things ready in the new nursery – here are a few photos for you to see what it looks like.
Rhiya’s challenges are:
Can you tell us what you liked best about our old nursery?
What are you looking forward to at our new nursery?
Can you draw us a picture or make us a model or write us a story or make a game?
What should our rules be for our nursery and what is important?
Rhiya hopes you like the challenges and that you will post into Google Classroom.
Completing the challenges will help you use lots of skills – you will be remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating and creating. These are called higher order thinking skills.
Sorting and matching objects is an important mathematical skill for young children to develop. It helps children to develop their thinking and awareness of number and quantity. Children organise, match and sort items in different ways, by colour, shape, design, size, and sometimes using their own criteria. They may sort by using simple categories such as colour, size or shape, or by using categories such as, type of transport (cars, trains, boats) or types of animals (farm, zoo, sea). Matching encourages children to look for similarities and differences.
Here are just a few ideas…
Sorting toys You could start by asking your child to gather some of their favourite toys (maybe suggest small toys like Lego or animals) then ask them to sort them using different criteria, shape, colour or size.
Loose parts are things like bottle tops, buttons, beads or natural objects – there are many wonderful possibilities.
You might choose stones or shells of different colours, shapes, sizes and textures.
Loose parts can provide good opportunities to challenge children’s thinking because of variations – Will all the different shades of blue go in one set? How will you decide if an item is ‘big’ or ‘small’? Encourage your child to explain why they have chosen to put an object in a particular set.
Household sorting jobs
Putting away the shopping – sorting the fruit, vegetables, tins, frozen food into the correct places.
You could talk to your child about what you are doing as you sort and separate clothes for washing (whites, colours, and darks) or get them to help you sort and match socks.
At lunchtime or dinner time encourage children to set the table by matching knives and forks or plates with cups, you could talk about the different sizes of spoons you might use. How many will you need?
Involve them in recycling waste (paper, plastic, cans and food waste).
Will you read a story (fiction) book together or will you choose non-fiction? Are they all muddled up on the book shelf?
Putting toys away into the right place!
Putting in order of size
Challenge your child to put a selection of items into size order – coins, sticks, shoes or lego bricks perhaps. This encourages measuring skills as well.
Play Odd One Out
Show your child 3 objects, start simple perhaps 2 red and 1 blue – can they spot the odd one out? As they get the idea, increase the challenge – perhaps a red car, a blue car and a green train.
Let your child have a turn at choosing the items for you to say which is the odd one out.
Mrs Russell wonders who can spot the odd one out in the picture below… remember to say why!
Show us what you have been sorting and matching on Google Classroom or Twitter @Glenwood FC #Glenwoodlearningathome
Fine motor skills involve the use of the muscles and joints of the hands that interconnect and work together to allow you to complete dexterous tasks. They are the smaller hand and finger movements used, for example, to open a lunch box, zip up a coat or write with a pencil. A young child cannot be expected to be able to do these tasks or learn to write appropriately if they haven’t yet developed the strength needed in their hands and fingers. Here are some ideas you can try at home with your families to help develop your fine motor skills and have some fun as well.
Ice and snow melt
Use a pipette to squeeze some warm water on to some ice cubes or snow. How long does it take to melt? Maybe you could try adding some food colouring or paint to the water or try using different liquids such as vinegar or fizzy juice.
Try squeezing, stretching, squashing, pinching and rolling some play dough. Can you make some snakes or wiggly worms? Maybe you could try using scissors to cut the play dough into small pieces and then rolling them into little balls. How many can you make? Can you make different sizes of play dough balls? Try holding a masher in both hands and find out how flat you can squash your play dough. You could also try using some loose parts to add to your play dough. Have fun.
Plain flour – 2 cups
Water – 1 cup
Salt – ¼ cup
Vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon
Food colouring or paint (It helps to add this to the cup of water)
Add everything together into a large bowl and stir well with a spoon until it turns into a soft dough.
If the mixture is too sticky add some more flour. If it’s too dry add some more water.
Empty the play dough onto a floured surface and mix together with your hands.
Bottle top blaster
Ask an adult to help you cut the top from a plastic bottle and then attach a balloon where the lid would normally be.
Put a pompom into the bottle funnel.
Hold the bottle funnel with one hand and pull the balloon back hard with your other hand.
Let go of the balloon and your pompom will shoot out. How far can your missile travel?
Why not rip or cut some paper to stick on to decorate your bottle top blaster.
Fill a tray with rice, or spread a thin layer of shaving foam or salt on a worktop or old baking tray. Try different items to draw, write or make patterns with such as your fingertip, twig, lollipop stick or paper straw.
Rice RacePut three small empty bowls on a table. Divide a handful of uncooked rice into two of the bowls, leaving the middle one empty. Have a race with someone from home to find out who can be the first to empty their bowl using a teaspoon to put their rice into the middle empty bowl. Try using your left hand and your right hand.
Activities such as jigsaws, building with Lego or playing with loose parts are also great ways to help develop your fine motor skills. Collect a variety of small loose parts from around your home such as buttons, dried pasta, beads, coins or bottle lids. Experiment with making shapes or patterns with your loose parts or perhaps you could make some pictures, or build towers.
Please remember to share your learning on Google Classroom or Twitter @GlenwoodFC#Glenwoodlearningathome
2021 has been named ‘Year of Childhood’ and while already full of challenges, let’s look for opportunity and community building. Here are some ways we hope that we can work together this year.
At Glenwood, we have the exciting opportunity to work alongside Save the Children with the project they have created called ‘Children’s Places’. Through this project we will work with the children to look at their community using the wellbeing indicators from ‘Getting it Right for Every Child’ – GIRFEC.
Save the Children have created some fantastic resources to help us work together to do this – including our Wellbeing Buddies.
We have prepared a learning at home bag for every child to introduce you and your family to the Wellbeing Buddies, alongside some ideas that will help your child understand what each of the indicators mean for them. There is also a diary for you to record your experiences together.
Here are our 8 Wellbeing Buddies…
Don’t forget to come to Glenwood to collect your learning at home bag.
Please remember to share your learning on Google Classroom or Twitter @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome
Just because it’s winter and the days are short doesn’t mean going outside is not fun!
In fact, fresh air really is good for you! It can:
help you feel more energised
help you sleep better
help decongest you if you have a cold
restore your mood
Here are some ideas of things that you can do with your families outdoors at this time of year…
Play in the Snow – Why not build a snowman, go sledging or throw some snowballs? Just going for a walk in the snow is exciting – everything looks and sounds different! Can you see different footprints? Who do you think made them? Which way did they go?
Ice and Frost – Go exploring – look for different patterns of frost and different places to find ice. You might slide on it, smash it or pick it up and look through it.
Try blowing bubbles when it’s cold – if you are lucky they will freeze.
Have a go at making ice decorations click here to find out how.Go on a Bear Hunt – Use all your senses as you squelch through mud, scrunch over frosty grass and splash through puddles! You might need to climb through branches or scramble up a hill… will you find the bear’s den?
Puddle Jumping – It’s always fun to jump and splash in puddles! Who can make the biggest splash? Which puddle is deepest? Can you splash all the water out of the puddle?
Fun with Sticks – You could try a game of Pooh Sticks if you are near a bridge over a stream or take some sticks home and make a Stickman using what you have in your house.
Go exploring with a torch – Why not go for an adventure after dark? Take a torch with you and explore the woods or just have a turn in the play park! You might choose to watch the sun go down while you are out as well.
Have a campfire – Some of you might be lucky enough to be able to have a fire in your garden. Why not try cooking some tasty treats on it, such as foil wrapped bananas or marshmallows?
Remember to wrap up warm – Several thin layers are better than one very thick one – then if you get too warm you can take one off! Adults please remember that children will not feel the cold as much as you do BUT they also may not realise when they get too cold – especially when hands and feet get wet.
Whatever you do outdoors – have fun and please share your adventures on Google Classroom or on Twitter @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome
All of us at Glenwood hope that you had a good break and wish you all the best for the New Year.We are disappointed that we are not able to welcome you all back to nursery this week but have been busy making plans for the upcoming weeks.
We will again be providing regular ideas for learning experiences for you to use at home if you wish. This will be both through our website and on Google Classroom. We are also getting another Home Learning Bag put together along with a booklet full of ideas for you to use as a family.
We hope that you will share your learning with us through Google Classroom – by doing this your child can show their friends what they have been doing and also see what their friends have been doing to! We will also add your pictures to your child’s learning journal to show their learning at home.
This is an unsettling time for everyone, so you may like to look back at some of our previous blogs….
Family First- Work with families living in ERC and have children aged 0-11years
The Family First Team offer a free, confidential service to support with any worries you might have. They can help you find the right people when you don’t know who to ask for help. The highly skilled team will try to stop any issues you bring to them from getting worse and help you find the right support.
Our website provides an overview of the Family First service and contact details for the team.
Psychology of Parenting Programme/ PoPP
If you are starting to worry about the behaviour of your child or a child you care for you may be interested in our new online parenting programme for children aged 2-8 years. The programme is aimed at increasing parents/carers confidence in dealing with unwanted behaviour and preventing it from getting worse.