Category Archives: Health and Wellbeing

Developing our fine motor skills

Today the children have been developing their fine motor skills in a variety of ways.

Fine motor skills is the coordination of small muscles in movement with the eyes, hands and fingers.

We played a game called ‘Pickle Pop’ where the children had to use their hand muscles by moving the pickle with their finger to pop the bubbles.

“ I have to move it over there to catch the bubble”

We put shaving foam on the light board and used our hands and  fingers to draw shapes and make patterns. This provides children with the opportunity to strengthen their hand muscles and hand eye coordination.

“ The thread goes  up and down ”

“ I made a line through it”


We spent some time at the mark making table where the children drew pictures, copied and continued shape and number patterns.

Sew Much Fun

In the home room we have created a new sewing area which the children have shown a great interest in. Today we had a discussion on a variety of the resources available and explored these by touching, naming and there purpose. The children could confidently identify lots of things connected with sewing:

“Needles are jaggy”

“scissors can be sharp”

“Wool is nice and soft and squishy”

“thread is hard”

The children were keen to try and thread a needle so with great patience , concentration and hand and eye co-ordination each child had a go. During this time we talked about the whole in the needle is called an eye and when you thread you put a knot at end so the stitch stays in. The older children were able to complete this and were excited to try to do a stitch on the sewing table. They listened well to instructions and were able to follow this with little support. They helped each other when got a bit tangled and commented on each other’s stitches.

“Look at your big one”

“ you have done lots”

The younger children were able to thread the large shaped buttons using laces.

The children were unsure what the wheel, block and trees were for so I demonstrated weaving, encouraging them to take part. All the children enjoyed the weaving and had fun experimenting with the the different coloured wool and objects.

“ it looks like a rainbow”

” I like these trees”

Why not try exploring simple weaving techniques at home using ribbon or paper. This is a great activity for hand and eye co-ordination and a good way for building up fine motor skills.

Crunchy Fruit Cups!

Today the children decided they would make something new and a little different. They looked through our ingredients and chose what they wanted to use.

“I think we could use Cornflakes I know they taste good, I have them for my breakfast”.

“What about some cherries, they are my favourite fruit and my favourite colour , red”.

“Yogurt is nice I have that for my lunch.”

“Raisins are my favourite, I want to use them.”

“ I like syrup it is sweet I want to. Put that into my cake.”

Everyone got to work crunching up the corn flakes using rolling pins. Then it was time to put our cornflakes into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of syrup. “Only a little it’s not good for your teeth.”

“mix, mix mix”

The children carefully cut up their cherries using their fantastic fine motor skills.  “1,2,3,4,5 I have 5 cherries”

Next it was time to add two tablespoons of raisins and mix it all together.  “It’s a bit sticky” I will need to wash my hands after this.”

Finally, they then transferred the mixture to paper cases and added a tablespoon of dairy free yogurt.

“ I need more yogurt .” “ I think the cakes will taste yummy!”

It was time to put them  into the freezer to set . The children worked well together and demonstrated good use of mathematical language, for example more and less.  They also used lots descriptive language such as bumpy, crunchy, sticky. The children noticed that the texture of the yogurt  changed after it came out of the freezer.

“It’s cold and hard now”

The children are so excited to finally taste their Crunchy Fruit Cups! Fabulous work everyone, well done!

Play-dough fun!

Today in the home room, the children have enjoyed making different textures of playdough and exploring their fine motor skills in different ways. Some children enjoyed using the stampers to create different shapes and imprints in the playdough, like a “Seahorse. Look, he’s got a big long tail!”

We made different colours, using our manipulative skills to mix and squish all the ingredients together to form the dough.

Some children even explored some role playing with their peers, sharing the playdough and had a little ‘cupcake’ and ‘tea party!’

“I’m making a strawberry pie”

“Cupcakes are ready!”

‘Too burny. Need to blow it!’

”Tea! Hot hot.’

Playdough is great for developing many skills, and it is super easy to make. You’ll probably have all the ingredients in your home! All you need is; Flour, salt, oil, and water. You can make it more fun by adding paints/food colouring/scents etc. You could even brave glitter!! Have fun everyone!

Glitter Bug

We had a special visitor at Cart Mill today! One of our nursery mum’s came to teach us all about hand washing. Eilidh brought her special germ finding equipment to show us what happens when we don’t wash our hands properly.

First Eilidh asked us if we knew when and why we wash our hands. Of course our clever Cart Mill children could tell us. “Before my lunch/snack” “when you go to the toilet.”  “If you touch anything that’s muddy” “when you blow your nose”.
Eilidh told us about Glitter Bug. Glitter bug was shy and was hiding in the bottle. Glitter bug is a special soap that shows us what we miss when we clean our hands.

When we had the glitter bug Soap on, Eilidh showed us her method of checking our hands. We put our hands in the black tent and a UV light was able to highlight any spots that were dirty.

When the UV light was on, our hands went a purple colour and we could see the white “germs”. Next Eilidh asked us to re-wash our hands and look at the difference.

We put our freshly washed hands back in the tent, under the UV light and all the “germs” had vanished.

We loved seeing the difference good hand washing with soap makes, and we learned the importance of properly washing our hands. It was so much fun! Even Emma and Helen had a turn. Thank you so much for coming to visit  us today Eilidh!

Cart Mill Olympics

We have recently been enjoying incorporating jumps into our obstacle course.  To further develop the skills involved in jumping, we decided to create our own hurdles.   The hurdles were placed at three different heights to allow for differing abilities and levels of confidence. By the end of our game we were all feeling really confident and were attempting to jump the final hurdle.

As we cleared the hurdles we all clapped and cheered each other on.  Sometimes we didn’t manage to clear all of the hurdles, so we worked as a team to build them back up again.   Great team work everyone!

We discussed the importance of taking a run up first to allow us to clear more challenging hurdles. Just look how high we can all jump! Olympics here we come 😄

Happy Campers ⛺️

Today, the children were talking about camping in tents and shared their some of their own experiences together in a small group.

”I have been camping”

”I have a tent in my living room”

“ I would like to go camping “

We decided to bring the outdoors in to the discovery room and build our own tent in our block area.  We shared our thoughts on how we could create this and what resources we would need to collect.

Some suggestions of what we could make or need for our camping experience were – ”a roof ”, “a camp fire”,  “torches”, sleeping bag” and of course “ food”

The children  gathered a variety of resources and began to build the tent using and exercising their gross motor skills. They communicated well and helped one another when building their tent. During this time they were able to problem solve together when they had to think and decide “how will the roof stay on ?” The children had some great ideas – “we could use cellotape”  “string” “blocks” and “pegs” . We decided the pegs and blocks worked the best .

Finally the tent was complete and the children were excited to get inside and begin to make a campfire using some sticks, stones and tissue paper. The children used their imaginations creating a variety of scenarios they have tried before such as toasting marshmallows, fishing, playing mummy’s and daddy’s and Going on a Bear Hunt.

” It’s sleepover time”

”I have made real life marshmallows on a fire ”🔥

”Fire is burny”

Later,  I was invited into the tent join the children and read one of our favourite stories – The Tiger Who Came to Tea before we snuggled down cosy for our sleep in our tent! ⛺️ Goodnight campers! See you in the morning!⛺️

Internet Safety

Today in the Discovery Room the boys and girls have been learning about staying safe online. The children enjoy using the Promethean Board and are beginning to explore and investigate different things online so we decided we needed to find out how to stay safe while we were ‘surfing’.

We watched Hector’s World to help us learn about keeping our personal information safe, it is a very informative cartoon which helps us understand what internet safety means.

The children were very curious and discussed how Hector was able to stop his friend, the crab, from sending his personal information all the way across the ocean to lots of other creatures he didn’t really know, just to make new friends.

After the video we discussed that not everyone is your friend especially online. Even though people try to make friends with you, we don’t know everyone. Everyone spotted that Hector was a really good friend to crab as he suggested that crab should not to use his real name. Hector helped crab make up a user name to use which would keep him safer. Hector even knew not to let crab send his address to anyone he didn’t know.

We then discussed how we can keep safe on the internet. Some of the children said :
“We can ask our mummy’s and daddy’s or grown-ups to help us to keep safe on the computer”

“I have a password on my tablet so no one can play my games”
“My daddy has a password on his phone so I can’t get in”
“Passwords are used so we can keep our information safe”.

We discussed how some passwords are made up from our favourite names, colours and numbers so that we can remember them. We then decided to have a go at making our own favourite passwords up.
Look at our favourite passwords!



Some were secrets ones so we can’t tell you 🤫

We had so much fun exploring and investigating how to keep personal information safe.
Why not visit Hectors World and his friends again at home and enjoy learning more on how to keep safe on the internet.

Our own Rhubarb Scones

Today we have picked our own rhubarb from the garden to use in our scones . We could easily spot the rhubarb in the garden because it has very big green leaves.  When the rhubarb is ready to use we discovered that you can easily pull it out the ground.

We then prepared the rhubarb . The children listened to some safety rules before using knives to cut it into smaller pieces. We then washed it clean and added a little sugar before stewing it in the microwave. Don’t touch the bowl now as it is very hot !

We put the rhubarb aside to cool. “Smells yummy”.  As the children are now very good at making scones they were able to prepare the scone mix themselves ready to add the rhubarb. We cut out the scones using our circular cutter (sometimes it’s flower shaped) today . It’s a bit sticky so we knew that the mixture need some more flour.

The scones were now ready for the oven.

The children have really enjoyed watching the rhubarb grow in the garden then being able to pick this themselves and use in our scone recipe. This is a great way to see where and how foods get from the garden to our table. We are looking forward to discovering some more recipes using our home grown fruits.

Spring Break!

On behalf of all of the staff at Cart Mill we would like to wish our Term-Time children and families a really lovely, well-earned holiday fortnight. Please keep safe, enjoy some downtime and as much time as you can having fun outdoors.

We will be here, looking forward to seeing all of our children back in our centre again from Tuesday 19th April.

While some of our staff are on holiday, Val and the rest of the team are here for a chat or to answer any queries you may have.