St. Andrews Day

Today in the toddler room we have been learning all about St. Andrews day and how it’s celebrated, we decided to create our very own tartan, the children did this by using cars and rollers and dipping them in different colours of paint. Here are some of the children’s great work.

We watched a lovely story on the the laptop about St. Andrews day, the children found out that St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.

We finished the day off listening to some Scottish music and doing ceilidh dancing, we had lots of fun and used up lots of energy!


Exploring Tartan

With St Andrew’s day this week, the children have been discussing all things Scottish. We decided to have a look at tartan fabric. First, we did some research on how tartan was made. The coloured threads are made from wool and you usually need between two and six colours to make the pattern on the fabric. A machine called a loom is threaded up and it moves forwards and backwards, weaving the threads together to make the design. We discovered that you need over 7 metres of material to make one kilt!!

We also had fun looking for our own family tartans. One child found out that theirs has some red in it red. Some of us could not find our tartan so we decided to make our own Cart Mill family tartans. The children were very creative using cars, wooden blocks and cotton reels rolled in paint before moving them across the paper to create a chequered, tartan design. The children also chose some tartan strips of paper to cut and glue onto their kilts. Cutting helps develop a child’s fine motor skills by encouraging independent movement of each finger, it also promotes hand/eye coordination.
We then decorated our room with our lovely new tartans. Why don’t you have a look and find out if you have a family tartan, if not, you could make one too!

We look forward to learning more about Scotland and its heritage this week.

Hibernation & The Black Bear

The children in the home room have been showing curiosity around dark and colder nights, like what happens to the animals? We got our creative heads on and developed a small world hibernation cave and have been learning about the animals that hibernate in the winter, and how we can accommodate them.

The children have been busy creating animals and their homes all week using natural resources to help keep them warm during hibernation.  Today the children have been enjoying making the black bear. They have been learning what happens when the weather grows cold and food supply dries up, and how the black bear hibernates for the winter.

We have also been extending our learning further today, looking at different stories about hibernation, including ‘The Great Big Sleep’ . The children enjoyed listening to the story, learning how the bear was getting ready for his winter sleep and how the squirrel just wasn’t sleepy.

Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre

On Wednesday we had a visit from Clydebuilt  Puppet Theatre. They told us three cautionary tales- The Ungrateful Crocodile which taught us to be kind to others who are kind to us, The Forgotten Treasure which is about being grateful for what you have and a good old favourite Red Riding Hood- The Wolf’s Story.

The children absolutely loved watching the show! There were lots of oohs and aahs and plenty of giggles too. Thank you so much to Steve and Leigh for the wonderful performances.

Creative Toddlers


Today some of the toddlers got creative mark making, selecting their own paint colours and using large brushes and rollers, developing fine motor skills and muscle dexterity they even made their own natural brushes from recycled flowers.  They painted over different textures  eg Anaglypta , tinfoil, cling film, lining paper and  canvas promoting language development  about how the different materials felt. “That paper is rough” “the shiny is cold and smooth”The toddlers talked about the colours they were using and mixing. “ It’s yellow”  “ I like the blue paint best” “I’m making purple” They enjoyed using the roller and big brushes. “I want the biggest brush” “the roller is fun” The toddlers did great turn taking whilst sharing the resources.  The end result was a beautiful piece of colourful art. Well done toddlers!

Blue days are good days!

We are so lucky at Cart Mill to have Blue as part of our team. Blue has visited the centre since she was a tiny puppy and the children love to see her when she visits. It has been such a pleasure to watch her grow and to give children the opportunity to care for her.


The children benefit so much from having contact with animals. Caring for pets is an enriching experience for children which offers opportunities to experience nurture, relationships and nature. Froebel noted that ‘The child who has cared for another living thing… is more easily led to care for his own life’ (Froebel in Lilley, 1967:128).


The children benefit from outdoor exercise as they accompany her on her walks and understand there are responsibilities from owning a pet.

We love having Blue days in our centre!

Interacting with music

We have been continuing our musical learning in our Studio Room. We have been playing new games on our interactive board that teach us music.
We have  our very own interactive piano. The piano keys are displayed on the board and we use our musical skills to play the notes to make our sounds. We have been learning that the colours represent the notes. When you play a long note it has a long block of colour and a short note produces a small colour. When we play the piano scale, it will make a rainbow of colour notes. We have very much enjoyed this.

The next game we have is blob opera. It’s a very funny game that teaches us about singing in different pitches, the longer the blob goes the higher the note he sings. We can even take the blobs on tour over the world stages. We can record the blobs singing and listen back to what operatic song we made.

Finally,  we have the paint with music game. This game teaches us to paint with sound. We can choose from a range of instruments and make our marks across the screen.  This combines sound with mark making  encouraging children to make music following our marks. We can select from different canvases to create our paint with music.

We have very much enjoyed exploring music in this way, bringing music to life for our learners.

Sew much fun!

The children have been developing and exploring their hand-eye-coordination skills through sewing in the home room. We have also been learning to assess and manage risk when sewing with real sewing needles, and how important it is to be careful. The children have been exploring lots of fun ways to develop this new skill, like practising our “stitches”,  “threading” and using “real life needles”. So we decided to decorate our sewing area to show all our friends our hard work!

Numberblock fun!

Today in the Discovery Room we have had lots of fun developing our numeracy skills through use of our Numberblocks!

Firstly we practiced our number recognition skills. We were able to correctly identify the number on each card. Some of us were able to do this by looking just at the number and some of us counted the blocks.

We then used our amazing 1-1 correspondence and fine motor skills to build the correct number block for each card. It was a bit tricky clicking the blocks together but we worked together as a team and helped each other.

We were also able to recognise and name all the different colours and build a rainbow number 7!

Next we decided to challenge ourselves further to see if we could correctly build and sequence the number blocks in order. We were able to identify the numbers that came before and after and which number block was the biggest and smallest.

“I maked all the blocks1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 10 is the biggest.”

We even used the same colours as the real number blocks!

We were having so much fun that we decided to challenge ourselves further by using the activity cards to see if we could add numbers together.

“It’s 3, 4 and 7!”

We even created our own numberblocks using our fabulous mark making skills!


“It’s all the numberblocks 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10”