All posts by Miss Brown

All About Helen

Hi boys and girls!

So today it’s my turn to share a little  bit about myself with you. I was born in the south side of Glasgow and have stayed here ever since.

The picture below is of the day I was born and has my two big sisters visiting me in hospital. I’m sure some of you remember visiting your little brother or sister when they were born too! I look very different to the big lady you see in nursery! My Dad tells me the day they brought me home from hospital I had to sleep in a drawer as they didn’t have a cot for me yet as we’d just moved in!

I was brought up with my two big sisters and my younger brother, you can see us in the picture below.  I bet you are are glad you weren’t born in those times or you might have ended up with bad hair cuts like us!

When we first moved into our house all those years ago it needed a lot of work done to it and my Dad worked through one room at a time. One of my best memories is we had no wall paper in our kitchen so we were allowed to draw on the walls until we got it papered! We had great fun drawing lots of lovely pictures! Can you imagine that, getting to write on your walls?! Although when my Dad went to paper over, the pictures kept showing through the walls so he had to paint over them!!

When I was growing up my favourite holidays were always to a place called Scarborough . And my favourite thing to do there was ride the donkeys on the beach! I wanted to do it all day long and used to nag my Mum and Dad to let me have lots of turns! Here is a picture of me riding my favourite donkey, he was called Scooby Doo! !

I live at home with my dog Bella who is a border terrier. She’s very cute but has a very grumpy face, which you can see below!

One of my favourite times of year is Halloween because as you know boys and girls I love dressing up! Here is a picture of me at Cart Mill in my cowboy and horse costume, do you remember?

Sometimes I like to dress up my dog too but I don’t think she enjoys it as much as me do you? She has her grumpy face on again!

Anyway boys and girls, that’s all from me just now. Missing all your wee faces and can’t wait to see you all again soon. Helen xx

It’s Ok To Have A Blue Day

Hello Everybody!

Helen here, hope you are all well and have been out enjoying the sunshine on your daily walks and in your gardens. ☀

Today I thought I’d start by sharing one of my favourite stories with you called Lucy’s Blue Day by Christopher Duke. Lucy is a very special little girl who has magical hair which changes colour depending on how she is feeling. When she is happy, it turns purple, when she is angry, it turns red! This charming story is the tale of when Lucy wakes up and her hair is blue and she doesn’t understand  why! She soon learns that what she is feeling is sadness and that some days, it’s okay to feel sad.

You can find the link to Lucy”s story below

Managing our emotions is hard, whether your four or forty four! Teaching our children to recognise and manage their emotions and feelings is such an important job for us as teachers and parents.  There is no one way to help children understand their feelings, but it does take regular interactions to guide our children through the following stages of their emotional development:

  • Recognising emotions and feelings in themselves and others.
  • Recognising some physical and emotional responses they have to certain feelings.
  • Learning to share their emotions verbally.
  • Learning to deal with their overwhelming emotions in a safe way.
  • Learning to treat others with kindness and empathy.

During these challenging times I thought it might be helpful to share some ideas on how to support our children with some of the feelings they may find themselves overwhelmed with just now.

One strategy  to help reduce stress and worry is using yoga. I found these lovely yoga ideas for children  from the childhood101 website and have posted them below:

Another technique I find helpful when I’m feeling worried or stressed is using breathing techniques. Below I have included an example and the link to some other child friendly ones:

https://childhood101.com/download/28744/

Finally I found this lovely story read by Alistair Bryce-Clegg called Silly Billy written by Anthony Browne. It tells the story of a little boy called Billy who worries about absolutely everything until one day his Gran helps him to make some worry dolls…. At the end of the story, Alistair shares how you and your child can make your own worry dolls.

https://abcdoes.com/abc-does-a-blog/2020/03/31/abc-does-a-story-silly-billy-by-anthony-browne/

I hope you all have a lovely day, stay safe, and remember just like Lucy, it’s ok to have a blue day.

Preaching out to our loved ones to share how we are feeling and talking through our problems will help us feel better.

Love Helen xx

P.S The author  who wrote Lucy’s Blue Day has written s story specifically all about our current situation called Lucy’s in Lockdown. Here is a link to the story below :

 

 

 

 

 

Play dough Play

Who doesn’t love a bit of playdough play? It’s squishy, it’s squashy but most of all it’s fun!

During these challenging times playdough can be the  perfect play experience to calm your child from noisy play into quiet time,

Here are some other ways that playdough exploration can develop your child’s learning……

  • Develops Fine Motor Control- Before they learn to write, children need to develop their finger muscles, strength  and control. During playdough play, children will mould, flatten , squish pinch, break and roll the playdough, all the while developing finger muscles they need to help them hold a pencil correctly.
  • Develops vocabulary-As your child creates and explores with the playdough, they will form new ideas and concepts. Through  this process they will learn new words such as squeeze, roll, flatten etc as well as words describing what they are doing.
  • Encourages Creativity –Playdough is a blank canvas waiting to be moulded into  a unique  creation by your child. Exploring playdough will encourage your child’s creativity as they mould and create from an image they hold mentally into a masterpiece.
  • Numeracy Skills-Following a playdough recipe where your child will measure out the correct amount of ingredients is the perfect opportunity for them to develop their counting and measuring skills.

Playdough is very easy to make! Below I have included a link for some easy non cook playdough.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/playdough-recipe

Changing the texture or adding different smells to can enhance the sensory experience for your child. Here are some ideas…

Adding some herbs and spices

https://craftulate.com/homemade-herb-and-spice-play-dough/

Adding some shaving foam and corn starch to make some foam dough

http://earlylearning.momtrusted.com/2013/05/foam-dough-shaving-cream-corn-starch/

Our children at Cart Mill love when we add different resources to their playdough to explore with. Here are some ‘playdough invitations’ to play…..

Adding different household objects to imprint into the playdough is a great way to explore pattern and texture.

 

Adding some nature to explore. Flowers have the added bonus of making your playdough smell nice!

Getting creative by adding marker pens….

As always please keep in mind any allergies your child has when  making additions to your playdough fun.

Please share with us any fun playdough experiences you have done via our twitter page.

Helicopter Stories

Over the last few months at Cart Mill the children have been using the ‘Helicopter Stories’ approach to develop their story telling skills.

Helicopter Stories is an Early Years approach to communication and literacy skills based on the Storytelling and Story Acting curriculum of  Vivian Gussin Paley. MakeBelieve Arts company has been pioneering this work in the UK since its conception in 2002.

  Helicopter Stories lets children dictate their stories which are written down exactly as they are told by the  adult.  The children then gather around a ‘stage’ and the stories are acted out by the children.

The  Makebelieve Arts website highlights some of the benefits of Helicopter Stories as being :

  • An inclusive approach which values every child’s contribution;
  • Facilitates high levels of engagement
  • Creates confidence and self-assurance;
  • Supports the development of speaking skills as children express and share their ideas;
  • Helps to develop accurate, active listening skills and understanding;
  • Supports co-operative and collaborative and creative learning;
  • Develops positive relationships within a shared storytelling experience;
  • Allows children to explore early literacy and the power of words as they see their stories come to life, and develop their ability to use and adapt language to communicate;
  • Offers children a bridge into the world of creative writing as they begin to see the links between the oral stories they compose and the words on a page.

The children take turns to share their stories with the adult who is leading the session. As you can see below there  are always lots of children who are super excited to share their stories with their friends.

     

        

After the story has been written, the author choses what character from their story they would like to play and with the help of their friends, the story is acted out. Performing the story is always met with lots of great actions,  fun, and laughter.

Here are some of or stories from today, written then performed by the children.

Title : My Chocolate

“A minion was trying to catch a monkey. Minions are funny. And that was a bad minion and he caught the monkey and he putted him in the bin. And then a crocodile eated the bin and the minion and then the crocodile was sick.”

Title : Tilly

A rocket and a race car and a monster came along. Then the monster was going to stop the race car. Then the rocket was going to stop the monster. A bird was going to scare the monster.

Title: Nothing

A robot catched a monkey. A crocodile try and catch the monkey.

     

Title: Lewis

A tiger and then a lion comed and catched him. And then a gardener comed and catched them again.

 

Potatoes!

As part of our World Book Month we invited our children to create their own potato characters and stories.

The children (and families!) have created some truly amazing characters and written some fantastic  stories! We think we definitely have a few budding authors in our midst!

We have loved seeing some familiar faces……

And also the  creative skills of our children and families in designing their own potato characters…..

Well Done Everybody,

 

Button’s BIG Adventure

Our World Book Month celebrations continued today when one of our parents Lizzie Finnigan came in to share her new story Button’s BIG Adventure with  the children.

Button’s BIG Adventure tells the story of a button who gets lost when he falls off a little girl’s jacket and meets lots of different characters along the way in his journey to be found!

Our adventure with Button began when Lizzie realised one of her three lovely yellow buttons was missing from her cardigan!

We all began to look for Lizzie’s yellow button around the nursery. We had to look high and look low!
Luckily we finally found her button hiding in the kitchen! We were ready to start our story.

Lizzie read us the story of Button’s BIG Adventure, introducing us to all the different characters that Button met along the way.

Some of the characters were a boy with a kite, a Granny with a dog and a mermaid!

After she had finished reading the story, we shared some of our favourite parts of the story with Lizzie. She told us her favourite part was when the button twirled and whirled round and round and she even taught us the dance she had made up ! We had a great time whirling and twirling up and down and round and round just like the Button!

Thank you so much to Lizzie for visiting us and sharing her wonderful story with us. We had an awesome time!