Throughout the month of May, the boys and girls within the butterfly room have been learning various new skills and continuing to develop and strengthen their current interests, development and learning interests. Part of the children’s learning within the month of May has been focused on their bodies and the various ways in which we nurture and care for our bodies. To begin with we looked at our oral hygiene and how it is very important to clean out teeth using the correct NHS toothbrushing guidance including brushing our teeth in circular motions, brushing time before bedtime and after breakfast, brushing our teeth with the correct strength and pa sized amount of toothpaste and how keeping our teeth clean allows our teeth to strengthen and grow. After looking into our person oral hygiene, what happens when we visit the dentist, using he model teeth and practising brushing our own teeth we began to look at how to strengthen our bone s and nurture our bodies. To further look into how our bodies grow we used a large floor sized pieces of paper and the children too turns to lay down and measure themselves against their peers to see who was the tallest, smallest and compare their heights to the heights of their peers. Using a body outline we also looked at our body parts ad what each of the internal and external body parts functions are such as our heart, bones, brain, muscles, the blood within our bodies, our skin, eyes etc and how each have their own categories such as our organs and the various cells which help our body’s function and grow. Once the children had furthered learned about the human body, we discussed what the body needs to function, the children explained we need food, water, sleep, and exercise to keep our bodies healthy. Over a number of weeks, we further looked into the food plate and each of the food categories and how our bodies relay on all factors of the food plate in the correct proportion and how having a balanced diet allows for a healthy lifestyle. Once we had looked at various aspects of our bodies, various children asked what makes our bodies feel happy, sad and / or angry. To further explain how the children can better understand their emotional and mental wellbeing we played carious games to help the children understand what activities, people and objects make them feel different mentions and feelings. Using mirrors and emotions cards the children copied the emotion cards and looked at their own expressions and/ or their peers’ expressions to see how our body language explains how we feel sometimes. We lastly discussed what the children can do when they feel various emotions / feeling s ad who they can talk to when they feel different emotions and how they can help others who they think are feeling sad, upset, nervous etc. Looking at the human body from the various aspects we covered allowed the children to further gain knowledge on their own bodies and help them understand why they may feel certain ways and the way that their bodies respond which have allowed us to develop their health and well-being in many different ways across the month of May.
We have been learning about school over the past few weeks and have been beginning to look at what happens when the children transition from nursery to primary one. The children who are going to the school have been discussing their transition and settling sessions and what they are enjoying about school, their worries, aspects which are making them nervous and how we can deal with these aspects / what happens when they go to school. Transitioning from nursery to school is a large and daunting change / transition for the children which comes alongside many social and emotion changes. By helping the children learn what happens at school, what to expect during school visits//transitions, what the children’s day routines will be like and what they will need for schools allows the children to begin mentally preparing for when they do begin school. The children have had visits from their new schoolteachers where they have come into nursery to play alongside the children and see how they interact with others. Having the schoolteacher visit nursery again allows the child to begin recognising that their teachers are there to support and help them and allowing them to come int a place the children feel safe and secure will allow initial bonds of trust and starting relationships be made for the children.
Within the garden Sandra and the children have been making a bug life area. Using old wooden stumps of wood which are beginning to rot, turf and various plants Sandra helped the children to create an insect area where the insects can freely live within the turf and wood. Many of the children have keen interests in finding, investigating, and exploring insects which live within our garden so this allows the children an area where they can come and help care for the insects and minibeasts by providing them with the recourses they need, searching for different species of minibeasts / insects and further developing their knowledge of the different minibeast species. To help with this the children have access to various outdoor learning books which help them identify various minibeast /insects, wildlife animals, types of plants / trees and learning how to look after our natural environment. To encourage further wildlife incorporation within our garden the children have been making bird feeders from recycled oat milk cartons, threading cheerios onto string and coating pinecones in lard before rolling them in bird seed. By adding these small and recycled recourses into our garden this has allowed various types of birds to begin feeding within our outdoor environment creating a sustainable place for the bird to find food sources. The children have created a bird watching den within the bottom garden where they have bird checklists and images, binoculars, and magnifying glasses so they can take a closer look at the bird species within our gardens.
To continue developing our gardens the children have been creating loose part marble runs and water walls with the help of Lisa. The children had an old water wall within the bottom garden which Lisa deconstructed and revamped in the top garden. Water walls / Marble run areas are a great way for children to express themselves through play whilst having a sensory based play as they watch the water / balls run down the tracks. These areas also allow for the children mathematic learning to be developed as they look at the problem solving of how to get their water/object from the start to the finish or to end place. Whilst the ball / water travels along the pipes and tubing this also allows the children to begin looking at speed, travel direction, timing, and gravity. Small and simple, activities such as creating a marble run has fantastic learning opportunities whilst showing a few of the many benefits of play-based learning.