It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas..

Our children have had lots of lovely stories to share with us of decorating their Christmas trees at home with their families.  They decided that as we have our very own Cart Mill Christmas tree growing in our garden, we should decorate it!

After much discussion, we decided that we would make our decorations a little different using some of the beautiful pine cones that were kindly dontated to us. Of course at Cart Mill we do love a  little bit of sparkle, so out came the glue and glitter (sorry Michelle!)The children chose their own colour of glitter and ribbon and worked very hard to decorate their pine cones. We then had lots of fun hanging them on our tree. Doesn’t it look beautiful!

A few of our children chatted about the decorations they had outside our houses and some had “special things” on their front door. We had a look at some pictures and decided we would make our very own Cart Mill Christmas wreath.  We had a look around our garden and decided we really needed to collect some “interesting things” to put on our wreath. The children remembered we had seen some leaves and pine cones at our Forest School site so we decided we would go foraging to see what we could find!

The children excitedly changed into their Forest School waterproofs and wellies and we set off, we were so lucky that Val and Blue decided to come with us! Our children had lots of fun foraging and found some beautiful confier foliage, ivy, rosehip and holly.  This sparked lots of interesting discussion on how ivy grows up trees “to touch the sky” and that “holly is very jaggy so you have to be careful” and that “we must  not eat berries we find in the forest” and ” we need to wash our hands when we get back” Great work boys and girls!

We were so excited to start making our wreath. We have been learning about patterns in nature and the children carefully examined all of our leaves and pine cones and spotted lots of different patterns such as “spirals”, “jaggy bits round the edges, they look like triangles” and that our leaves “have lots of different lines on them” you are so clever boys and girls!

We decided to “stick” our different leaves to some cardboard to make our wreath. The children correctly identified we should make our wreath in the shape of a circle. We decided this should be an adult job (with the children giving me some advice on how I should hold my scissors and that I should be careful). We decided to try and stick our leaves with some glue. We were able to glue on our smaller leaves but we needed to do a bit of problem solving as our conifer foliage was  “too heavy and keeps falling off”. We decided we should try to staple on our leaves. We decided this was an adult job and that the children could help by “squashing down Fiona’s hand to make them stick”. The children chose where to place our leaves and of course they decided we must have some extra special sparkle and a great big bow! We had so much fun and our wreath will look fabulous on our outdoor stage.

Finally, yes it has been a very creative week in our garden, we decided to make one last decoration. Paper chains! The children demonstarted excellent team work, sharing and fine motor skills in threading our strips of paper, glueing them together and making sure everyone had a turn. Our children were so clever to identify their own patterns by using different colours in sequence.  We decided to see how long we could make our chain and to see if it would stretch all the way along our garden. Our children proudly held onto their chain and they counted that it was 28 children long! Amazing work boys and girls.

 

We would love you to share any Christmas decorations you have made at home with us.

 

Food Bank Collection

As you know we have been collecting toiletries and food for the East Renfrewshire Foodbank and we are quite overwhelmed at your generosity. They say Christmas is the time for giving and you truly have. Gail will be dropping all the goodies off tomorrow, just in time to make a difference to many families at Christmas.
Thank you ❤️🎄🎅🏼

“The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its
value.”

Making bird feeders


In the garden admiring the rainbow the toddlers were looking to see if we could see any birds……?  We wondered what could we do to encourage the birds to visit our garden???


we decided to make some delicious food that birds would enjoy, we mixed some lard and bird seeds together……lovely!!!


The children agreed the feeders looked good for the birds but they would prefer their own lunch.


The blackbirds got together and spread the word around Clarkston that the toddlers at Cart Mill Family Centre had made some fabulous feeders for them.

They were joined by some magpies and a robin (please excuse the photography 🤪)

We will be planting some bulbs soon to hopefully encourage more wildlife to visit our garden.

The McDougalls Christmas Party

The children have all been enjoying watching the ‘McDougalls Christmas Party’. There has been lots of dancing, singing and laughing! The children particularly found the jokes from the Christmas crackers funny!!

‘What did one snowman say to another snowman?’
‘I smell carrots!’

’What did Santa’s little helper learn at school?’
’The elfabet!’

This certainly got us into the Christmas spirit!! We saw a cheeky elf, Santa and a Christmas fairy visiting the McDougalls. We had great fun doing the Hokey Cokey. It’s a big thumbs up for the pantomime from the children at Cart Mill.

Polar Express

The children had been discussing different festive movies they have been watching at home.

A favourite was Polar Express, this led to the children deciding they wanted their own Polar Express in Cart Mill.

The children selected boxes and wanted to decorate them. They used various media and techniques that were available throughout the studio to design and decorate the train.

 

The children used the various boxes and discussed size and placement as they put it together.

Once they were happy they all jumped inside and  took a magical trip in the Polar Express and used lots of expressive language and actions.

“sparkling snow”

“shouts of ho ho ho “

 

It was great to see the children all working collaboratively, sharing resources and experiencing festive joy.

I wonder what the children will create next ?

 

 

There is no Snow dough like playdough

We were experimenting today at our playdough area. We decided to make our own Snow,

We collected our ingredients of cornflour and conditioner and mixed them together to form a soft snow like dough.

We decided to use Christmas shapes to make prints in our snow dough. We even used the Christmas baubles to make our snow dough flat.

We used different gems and sparkles to create cookies that we think  Santa might like us to leave out for him when he visits us on Christmas Eve.

We had lots of fun in the Home room using our experimental thinking and creative design to make the snow dough and create all all wonderful things. We also developed our fine manipulative skills as we rolled, and transformed the dough. And selected the small materials we needed for it.

Why do you have a go at creating your own snow. What ingredients will you use?

Christmas in the Cart Mill garden!

Today in our garden we were exploring different Christmas experiences..

The children were using different materials to create some transient art Christmas trees, developing their fine motor skills by practicing Christmas words in the rice and exploring different sized and shaped pine cones and counting them out.

 

They selected different coloured materials to create decorations on their Christmas trees.

They also worked together to count out the different sized pine cones. Great teamwork!

D was able to copy the word ”Elf” by using his mark-making and fine motor skills to create the letters in the rice!

I wonder what other fun Christmas experiences we will explore throughout the week.

A little bit of Kindness

Our children have been waiting patiently to see if the “egg” in our Curiosity Cube would hatch!

We had a lovely surprise this week when we noticed our egg had hatched and left us our Kindness Elves! The Kindness Elves are our magical friends who love to sprinkle a little kindness and happiness wherever they go. Our Elves have their own wee house and they left us a lovely little letter asking if they could stay with us at Cart Mill and make friends will all the children. We are so lucky!

Each day our Elves leave us a little note in their postbox asking us to carry out an act of kindness.  So far they have asked us to smile at everyone we meet, say please and thank you all day, and to share toys with our friends. Our children have loved looking in the little postbox and have been so good at carrying out their acts of kindness.

The children decided they would like to write some notes back to our Elves.  We had lots of fun making our Kindness Post Box and the children decorated it with lots of hearts and wrote their own signs. The children had lots of fun posting the letters in their Kindness Post Box!

We are going to have so much fun with our Kindness Elves and we would love you to share any acts of Kindness from our children.

“No little kindness is too small and each act will add up to make a BIG difference.”