What's Happening in The Caterpillar Room

Caterpillars

Hayley and the caterpillar team have been busy getting their garden summer ready as they have been giving the front garden an upcycle over the past few weeks. Hayley and the children revamped their music wall as the changed the no longer used pallet of musical instruments into a loose parts music wall with various pots and pans, shakers etc to allow the children to create music and discover sounds as part of their outdoor learning. Having a musical wall also allows the children to begin exploring early off set rhythms and timing as they create various sounds repeating and following their favourite nursery rhymes or creating their own rhythms and tunes.

Within the garden the children have been expressing themselves as they begin exploring the sand play which the children can find within old rebus suitcases providing the loose part play whilst upcycling the cases into fantastic learning experiences for the children. Hayley, the caterpillar staff, and the children have also been further developing their mud kitchen resources as they added various items and loose parts to allow the boys and girls to further develop their curiosity, investigation, and discovery skills as the mix, dig, and transport mud, water, and sand from one place to the other. Digging, mixing, and transporting not only allows for fantastic schematic play but it also allows the children begin developing early off set mathematical learning as the are scooping measurements of sand / mud / water and begin learning about different volumes / weight.

The children now have mark making opportunities within the front garden where they can begin expressive themselves through the use of paints, pens, and chalks. The children have opportunities to make make vertically on the easel and horizontally on paper and the pathways. Mark making is important for early development as it begins strengthening the children’s hand muscles to help them learn how to hold their pen / pencil correctly in up coming years. Mark making also allows for creativity, imagination and expressive development as the children create images, they believe to be something else and begin looking at what those images represent.

 

For more outdoor learning opportunities the Caterpillar room have been thoroughly enjoying taking walks throughout the local community and begins to explore the local meadows. Within the meadows the children have the opportunity to develop their physical skills freely whilst remaining stimulated within the new outdoor environment. The children show great enthusiasm when able to run and explore freely with the open woodland spaces. Learning within the meadows means the children are learning about different animal including the miniature horses the love to go and visit and the smaller insects in which they explore on the woodland grounds. Hayley and the girls developed this further within nursery as they began learning about various minibeast, going on min beast hunts, setting up minibeast tuff trays and allowing the children to explore the grassy grounds at nursery to find some minibeast that live within the nursery garden. Community and meadows-based learning creates wonderful opportunities for the children to begin learning how to remain safe when out with the nursery setting and begin learning about road safety.

Within the rom the caterpillar children have also been learning about their body parts much like the butterfly room. The caterpillars have been using mirrors to look at their self-reflection and using their own reflections to mark make representations of their own self portrait. To look at their whole bodies further the children used chalk on the garden pathways and the staff drew around each of the children’s bodies shapes before letting them point to and name various aspects of their bodies such as their arms, legs, head, hands etc. This activity also allowed the children to recognise their outlined figures and begin trying to match the other figures upon the pathways to their peers, matching and recognising helps to further develop the children’s cognitive skills as they used their problem-solving skills to work out whose outline belonged to who.

The boys and girls have been developing their independence kills as they begin learning to recognise their own clothing, shoes, bags etc and have been learning the beginning steps of how to put on their outdoor clothing and remove it after outdoor play times. Learning to recognise their own belongings has also encourage the caterpillar children to begin placing their belongings away in the morning and taken them back off of their pegs before returning home at night-time. The older children have been further developing their independence as they begin transitions to lidded cups to non-lidded cups, bowls to plates and from spoons to forks. All of these small steps create pathways for the children to achieve new development milestones as they become more confident and independent every day.

Through play the caterpillar children have been further exploring schematic trajectory and transporting play as they used the cars to explore, express and develop their imaginative play. Due to this interest the girls facilitated this learning further by providing the children with cardboard to make ramps for the cars or tunnels for the cars to go beneath adding a constructive learning experience to the children play. Using the cardboard allowed the children to look at the speed the cars came down the ramps or through the tunnels, the sizes in which their vehicles have to be to fit through the tunnel or go down the ramp without breaking and the space in which they needed to carry out these activities safely. The following day the girls furthers facilitated this play by adding water for the children to create tracks over the cardboard with the vehicle wheels. This allowed for further expression whilst continuing their mathematical learning experiences about size, weight, hieght and speeds.

The Caterpillar room have ended to month learning all about the Gruffalo and his habitat within the woods. The children have been listing to and reading the Gruffalo story creating literacy learning experiences. The children enjoyed making Gruffalo crumble within the tuff tray using crushes cheerios, biscuits, water, and baking utensils, and have been Gruffalo hunting as they take a trip throughout the meadows in search for the Gruffalo, the snake, the owl the fox and the mouse. Let’s hope they don’t bump into him anytime soon, or they may have to make a giant Gruffalo crumble…

 

 

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