As the toddlers arrived today they let their friends know that it had snowed again. The toddlers were excited to make their own snow. We measured out some cornflour and conditioner and mixed it together. The toddlers then found some animals that live in the snow and ice , penguins and seals. The toddlers made icebergs for the animals to rest on when they were not in the water and snow. The toddlers discovered that they could see the penguins footprints in the snow and some seals hid under the water.
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.
A robot catched a monkey. A crocodile try and catch the monkey.
A tiger and then a lion comed and catched him. And then a gardener comed and catched them again.
The toddlers were really busy learning about how a seed can grow into a beautiful flower. We listened to a story about growing plants and flowers and wanted to make our own.
We filled some pots with compost and added some seeds.
We watered the seeds in the pot to help them grow and sat them by the window for some sunlight.
We will be looking after our plants by watering them and hopefully repotting them in April when we will add them into the greenhouse in the big garden.
Sadly it looks like forest school could be cancelled at short notice for tomorrow. We have another weather warning of high winds followed by the potential for snow and ice. The children’s safety and positive experience is always our priority.
Exciting times in the Cart Mill garden this week with the arrival of our new greenhouse. Michelle, Fiona and Val have been working to build this beautiful new addition to our outdoor space. Having somewhere to start our seedlings grow will provide so many wonderful experiences for the children at Cart Mill. Not only will it help explain the wonders of nature and life cycles, it will encourage children to care for and nurture their very own plants.
We have been eagerly waiting for our greenhouse for a few weeks and now the hard work begins. The shelves are up, the seed trays are ready. So, what will we plant first?
Today (Monday 9th) we decided not to go to the forest due to the low temperature, heavy rain and strong wind. We always think about the children and how the weather might make them feel.
We may have to cancel tomorrow’s session (Tuesday 10th) due to the weather forecast for rain and strong gusts of wind 40 mph.
Today in the studio the children were exploring colour and mark making on a variety of different materials such as cling film, corrugated card and tin foil.
They choose to use every day objects such as rollers, sponges and brushes to create their wonderful artwork, developing their creativity, fine and gross motor skills.
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,
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!
Lizzie read us the story of Button’s BIG Adventure, introducing us to all the different characters that Button met along the way.
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!