Seeds to Snack
Over the last academic year, the children have had the opportunity to grow and harvest their own flowers and vegetables. Alongside planting the seeds of various vegetables and flowers, the children have been learning about the lifecycle of plants and how to take care of them. The children’s kind and nurturing attitude towards the garden area led to some amazing results and some sky-high sunflowers! Every day the garden would change, the children were delighted as they went out to water the plants. As well as growing the vegetables, the children had the opportunity to taste them. At snack time the children would go out to the garden area and pick their own fresh produce. They felt an immense sense of pride as they were able to try the delicious vegetables they had grown. The garden area attracted a lot of attention from local wildlife and insects, such as slugs, bees and caterpillars. This really ignited a passion in the children to explore all living things. The children were particularly interested in the family of caterpillars that visited. Their curiosity led them to explore the life cycle of the caterpillar and how they change into beautiful butterflies. The growing area will be an ongoing feature outside and all children are encouraged to get involved and learn about nature.
Within the nursery setting, we encourage healthy eating and this follows through into our cooking sessions with all the children. Cooking covers many areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework such as maths where we encourage children to measure out ingredients and use their counting skills, Physical development is explored through cutting and chopping where important fine motor skills are developed. Cooking activities also encourage children to ask questions and have conversations with adults and their peers about what is happening and what they think might happen next which supports language development and strengthens relationships while building confidence.
Having such great outdoor grounds means the nursery are able to grow their own seasonal fruits and vegetables, which the children can harvest and bring to table for snack time or to use as ingredients in their cooking activities.
The added bonus to all of our fabulous cooking is that the children can enjoy healthy and tasty treats together and we encourage our families to have a go at home.
This term we took part in National storytelling week and as part is this, the children enjoyed dressing up and taking part in some exciting activities for Roald Dahl day.
One of the highlights was making potions like in one of the famous stories. The children were all so enthusiastic to join in and make their very own concoctions using a variety of colours buttons, glitter bubbles and oil. The activity allowed lots of speech to be explored and the children used a range of words including “Fizzy”, “Smokey” and “Magical”. Throughout the activity we also were able to explore measuring, pouring and weight as we each helped to mix, add and pour the mixtures.
Also during Storytelling week, we were lucky enough to have a visit from The London Mozart Players and the children were able to explore storytelling through music. The musicians bought a range of different instruments which the children loved to listen to and play themselves.
It was a lovely experience for the children as The London Mozart Players are one of the original pioneers of orchestral outreach work. The London Mozart Players have enjoyed a host of relationships with nurseries, schools and music hubs across the UK (and also in Dubai and Hong Kong), working with teachers and heads of music to inspire the next generation of musicians and music lovers.
Throughout the year when the children are, exploring their curious questions linked to their termly themes eg: Autumn – Why do leaves go crispy? We set out a range of sensory trays linked to the theme to spark their imagination and to provoke the children to ask questions and broaden their knowledge.
Practitioners set out these sensory trays to ignite curiosity and interest and to link in with the seven areas of learning to support children’s learning and development in a fun and exciting way.