Category Archives: Literacy

Scavenger hunt fun!

Hi there, Caroline from the toddler room here. Welcome back to all our Cart Mill families who have been enjoying their Spring break. We all hope that you managed to have fun and enjoyed the lovely weather. I  know we are all missing the buzz of nursery life and particularly today when the children would have been excited to tell tales of Easter bunnies, egg hunts and eating too much chocolate! (That definitely applies to me!)

I have been trying to spend as much time in my garden as possible and today I took my girls on a Scavenger hunt in the fields behind our house. They loved it! Scavenger hunts are an exciting way to get children exploring the natural world and they add great fun to family walks.  They get children outdoors, moving and engaged in the world around them. They encourage the development of motor skills, spatial awareness and identification skills! All this whilst having great fun! This is the Scavenger hunt we chose to do today. From the photos you will see we managed to find  most items on the list!

After our hunt we came back and had some fun on the swings! Even our dog Tara was tired. Why don’t you add some Scavenger hunt fun to your walks or do one in your garden and show us what you can find! Always remember to wash your hands when you get home!!

Here is an indoor Scavenger hunt you could also try! We are saving this one for a rainy day! Hopefully we won’t need it!

Take care everyone, STAY SAFE and hopefully see all your wee faces soon, miss you all xx

Sign a Rainbow with Fiona -BSL

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all well and coping with being indoors. I know it can be tough but I am very much looking at the positives of getting to spend more time with my son. My little boy, Arlo, is deaf and has developmental delays, so we are using this time to brush up on our BSL skills. We are only beginners ourselves but I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some basic signs with you.

Sign language is vitally important and it makes such a huge difference to the deaf community when people know just a couple of basic signs to help deaf children and adults feel included.

I would be happy to make more videos if people are interested.

Anyway, to keep things simple, I thought we would start with “good morning”, “good night”, “please”, “thank you” and for a bit of fun, I have signed “Sing a Rainbow” as well.

Good morning

 

Good night

 

Please / Thank you – It is the same sign for both please and thank you but the lip pattern (simply saying the words) is different

 

♬ Sing a Rainbow 

 

I hope you enjoy, please stay safe and I am looking forward to seeing you all soon

Bookbug at Home

Hello everyone, hello everyone glad that you could come!

Everyone enjoys a Bookbug session did you know you can download the Bookbug app to do your own sessions at home.

Children love stories and singing this helps to support your child’s language, learning and social skills.


Why not try it today, there is a great selection of songs on the app in both English and Gaelic if your feeling brave.


In these unusual times just have fun with it.

Goodbye everyone, goodbye everyone glad that you could come!

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,

 

Pancake Tuesday!

Today the toddlers were celebrating Pancake Tuesday! They were all very involved in helping to make our egg free pancakes! After hand washing the children helped to weigh and mix the ingredients in a bowl. They all had a turn at stirring the mixture. We then all went to the family room to see the mixture turn into pancakes. The children beautifully sang ‘Pop a Little Pancake’ whilst waiting. The pancakes smelled yummy!! Once back in the playroom the children crushed strawberries to make jam and spread it on their own pancake. We had banana on top too! What a tasty snack! The toddlers gave a big thumbs up to eating fresh pancakes!

Upcycling an old table

After observing some children tinkering on the workbench it became apparent that they would require some guidance on how to use the workbench and tools. So an old wooden table was brought in as a life learning experience to help the children develop an understanding of how we can re-use and fix things.

During this 2 week experience some of the skills the children have been developing are; language, cooperation, listening, problem solving, measurement, tool safety and risk assessment.

 

Working together to prepared the old table by washing it ‘to make it clean’

We all took turns sanding the table to take the’ old wood away’ & reveal the wood underneath  ‘smooth’

Measuring the table legs to make sure all ‘4 legs’ are the same size      ‘else it will wobble’

We are learning how to use a saw safely
‘only with a grown up’ & ‘look at the saw’

Protecting the table with beeswax ‘it soaks it up’ & ‘taking care’ of the table so ‘it last a long,long, long time’

We worked together to screw the shorter legs back on the table.

 

Playing with our beautiful new table  ‘ you sit on the cushions’ & ‘like this …..legs under the table’

The children are very proud of their new table ‘I did this’

 

 

Dinosaur World

The children have enjoyed reading our Gigantosaurus book. We discussed where dinosaurs might live and what they might eat? The children excitedly suggested we build a world for our dinosaurs in our garden! We set off round the garden to look for some rocks, sticks and leaves for our world. The children suggested we have some sand for the dinosaurs to play in, just like our sandpit in the garden. Of course, our dinosaurs needed a bath to have a wash in because they would be dirty from playing in the sand! We had lots of fun building our dinosaur world and playing with our dinosaurs. Doesn’t it look amazing!

 

“He’s playing in the sand.”

“He’s all dirty and needs a bath.”

“I’m washing my dinosaur.”

“I’ve built a house for Stegosaurus.”

“My dinosaur likes to eat leaves.”

Our amazing Dinosaur World!

Creating owls with clay…..

The children have been exploring the story “Owl babies” throughout the family center this week. Today the children choice to extend their learning through creating their own owl babies using clay and loose parts of their choice. The children used their imagination and new knowledge of owls to create their beautiful models which are now on display at the entrance to the 3-5 room.

Owl Babies

‘Owl Babies’ is a story written and illustrated  by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson.

Our children have given their opinion on what the story is about ;-

“The story is about owls, the mummy owl went to get food, the baby owl got sad. Mummy owl comes back at the end” – E. M

“The owls waited for their mummy” – S.S

”The baby owls, their mum and dad was gone”N.R

“The owls were sad because their mummy was lost” N.D

After reading the story the children and I started to look up some interesting facts about Owls, did you know ;-

  • There are around 200 different owl species.
  • Owls are active at night (nocturnal).
  • A group of owls is called a parliament.
  • Most owls hunt insects, small mammals and other birds.
  • Some owl species hunt fish.

The children asked a very interesting question, “Do owls live in nests or holes in trees?” The answer is Both !!

We collected some resources from around the nursery that we could use to make nests.

It’s having a drink.

Some children were interested in drawing some pictures of the owls. We did this and had a range of unique owls, some rainbows and some pink ones and also some yellow. The children had great pleasure in displaying their work.

To add  challenge to this experience some children starting to copy some of the key words from the story. The children concentrated well during this experience.