Welcome to week two. I hope everyone is doing ok in these crazy times!
Check in a couple of times each week as I will add additional bits and pieces.
Love and best wishes to you all,
If you send me some photos of your kids at play,
I will post to the nursery section of our website. It would be nice for the children to see what each other is up to.
Parent/ teacher interviews
I am really aware that in nursery we never got the opportunity to have our interviews to discuss the children’s progress with the nursery curriculum. If you would like a short update on your child’s progress to date send me an email and I can let you know if there are any areas of the curriculum which be beneficial to focus on.
Making Marks on Paper
This week let’s encourage lots of mark making. It’s the beginning of a journey towards writing and an important step in handwriting, creativity and developing fine motor skills.
Don’t worry if all you see is scribbles. For your child it’s so much more and as your child starts to control their marks their creativity will really begin to thrive.
In nursery we develop language by asking a child to tell us about their work.
We say- “What can you tell me about your drawing?” This is an open ended question which will encourage conversation rather than just saying- “What have you drawn?”
Finally I often act as a scribe recording some of the children’s spoken words on their work. This allows children to see the connection between spoken and written language. They see that words are written left to right and they will develop an awareness of letters, words and spacing.
Some of the children are already making letter type marks left to right and giving them meaning as they imitate writing.
Remember children are always more interested and engaged if the activity interests them. Give children free reign with their mark making to create whatever they like. Encourage them to draw a picture of the tower they have just built, make marks on paper to list how many cars have gone by, draw a superhero. Adult initiated but child led can often be a great combination to encourage mark making.
Finally don’t worry if your child is still holding their pen with a fist grasp. When they are ready they will hold their pen in the correct three finger grasp.
Please do not force your child to hold their pen in a three finger grasp instead encourage and develop their grasp by: playing with small Lego and dough, peel stickers, thread beads, twist pipe cleaners and keep using scissors. Most importantly don’t worry, as children all develop at different rates and it’s perfectly fine for a child to go to primary one with a palmar/fist grasp.
Let’s get counting!!
Let’s play games
Any time I bring out a board game the children are all over wanting a turn. Board games develop so many skills including turn taking, patience, decision making, concentration, problem solving, counting, matching, healthy competition and finally resilience as the children learn to accept that they will not always win especially when they play with Mrs Hamilton.
Below are some of my preschool favourites.
A nursery favourite. The children develop early reading skills as they have to read a spinner. The tweezers are great for developing their pencil grasp.
A great game for developing fine motor skills. Early reading and numeracy skills are developed with the dice. The children also love playing with the little wooden animals balancing and matching them.
This game is a good challenge for a mature preschool child. Children have to sequence and match dice.
Colour and Shape hunt
Challenge your child to head off around the house and gather up things which are Yellow or Purple. Sort by colour and count how many things they found. You may wish to set a timer and see how many things they can find in 2 minutes etc. Why not use the objects to play a. Kim’s game. The children know this game from nursery.
Later in the week you can do the same for our oval and diamond shapes.
Playing Kim´s game is a good way of developing your child´s memory skills and concentration – both skills useful for all learning.
Put 10 things from around the house on a tray - it could be things like a pencil, an orange, some cotton wool, a toy etc.. Ask your child to look carefully at them for about thirty seconds. Then take the tray away and ask them to call out what they remember.
Another way of playing the game is to cover the things, take one thing away and ask the child to spot what is missing. You can put more things on the tray as they get better.
250g Plain flour
140ml Water (warm)
1-2 tbsp veg. oil
Mix dry ingredients. Add water oil, and food colouring . Knead until smooth. Keep in fridge in plastic bag.
Mix 2pts cornflour, 1pt water. Add food colouring. Child can explore the gloop – how it feels & moves. Is it a solid or liquid?
Washing Up liquid 50ml
300 ml water (add slowly) Mix gently and rest for a while. Put straw into suds and blow.
4. Water Play
Washing Up liquid
Fill sink/bowl with water, jugs and containers. A whisk and washing up liquid makes great bubbles.
Dye rice and pasta by filling container with large cup of rice or pasta add a teaspoon of vinegar, then food colouring, place lid and shake. Spread out to dry. Add dinosaurs, animals, mini-figures, sea creatures etc.
6. Kinetic Sand (ratio 5:3:1) use a small container—5 parts sand, 3 parts cornflour and 1 part oil. Beach sand or play sand can be used. Add containers and toys to make play more stimulating.
7. Cold As Ice
Balloons, mini dinosaurs/birds/ reptiles.
Put toy inside balloon, then fill with water to egg size, tie and freeze. Once frozen, balloon will peel away. Game—how to get dinosaurs out of ice quickly? Learn how to defrost.
8.It’s A Small World
Use items such as rice/lentils/ coffee beans and natural leaves, twigs in a tray to enhance imaginative play. Add vehicles and people for a worksite, or a fairy forest, farm with animals.