The outdoor environment has massive potential for learning. Here at Cart Mill we provide opportunities for children to learn and assess their outdoor surroundings. This morning we had fun splashing in the puddles and using the funnels and pipes to pour the rain in to. The children were estimating how fast they thought the water would flow.
This afternoon we decided to extend the bike track. We had a go at drawing our own parking spaces for our bikes and used some chalk to draw pictures on the ground.
“If we want a society that promotes happiness and well-being among children, we could start by giving them back space where they are happiest along with the freedom to enjoy it”, Children society, (2012).
This week we welcomed some children from nearby nursery classes. We have all been busy playing together and building new friendships. The children from Cart Mill have helped to settle some familiar and new faces. We have been out in our local environment learning about boundaries, hazards and risks. We have been using rope, tools and ring games to build our social skills and team work. As we are so close to the park we can’t resist going in and having a play there too.
Today was a very exciting day in Cart Mill. We took our first delivery of plants and seeds for the garden. This afternoon we were all kept very busy, and muddy, planting our herbs. The children enjoyed touching them, feeling the different leaves and smelling all the different smells that come from herbs. The children talked about the herbs they already know and have seen being used in cooking. Today is the start of our growing programme in the garden. Over the next few weeks we will be planting our seeds and plants so that we can harvest different vegetables later in the year for cooking with and eating!
The toddlers had a great time in the garden this week. The rain did not stop them!! They made their own characters out of potatoes, painting them and decorating them with different materials. Some of the children used feathers to give their potatoes wings or superhero capes!! They were very proud of their unique creations and had fun chatting about what they were called.
Today in our outdoor area children were excited to place the tubes into the bars and pour water into them. They watched the water spouting in all different directions. They had great fun filling the tubes and trying to collect the water as it gushed out. They used a variety of containers to fill, pour and collect water. Children practiced filling, transferring and pouring using different sized containers too.
Today we decided that we were going to complete an experiment in the snow. This was conducted at the grass area behind Cart Mill where we wanted to find out who could go further in the snow! It was a very serious experiment which involved a group of children, and also a couple of CDOs, taking turns to slide down the snowy slope and see how far they got. We also decided to investigate if we travelled further on our puddle suits or on some black bin bags. The results of the experiment clearly showed the bin bags made us all go faster and the bigger ‘children’ went further!
The children were watching some birds this morning and decided that they must be hungry because the ground was covered in snow. We talked about things that birds could eat, such as nuts and seeds but as we are a nut free centre we thought we could put something else out for the birds to eat. Always wanting to encourage recycling, we found some apples that had been left over from last week’s snack and we wondered if the birds would like to eat them. One of the children said we should hang the apples up so we started looking at ways to do this. After some problem solving, we came up with our own bird feeder.