The Little Seedling's teaching team includes Miss Brookfield (Teacher), Mrs Davis (Teaching Assistant) and Mrs Hatton (Teaching Assistant).
Please find the links for our festive songs below.
We had lots of fun practising and recording our songs, we hope you enjoy them.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Twinkle Twinkle Little star Overview
Making New Friends
In our nursery we support children in making friendships and relationships and ensure we give the opportunity for a positive early school experience in order for children to succeed. If recent times have taught us anything, it is the importance of human connections when things are uncertain in life.
Learning to make friends with other children is an important part of developing social skills. Nursery is one of the best places for children to learn and practice these skills with each other. While parents and carers can help their children develop good manners, respect for others, and good communication skills, children often learn the most about relationships like friendship from other children. Early friendships are the building blocks for later adult relationships among neighbours and colleagues. Friends help us solve problems and let us know through their similar experiences that we are not alone.
In the nursery we are making friends through many activities such as music, sharing books and stories, turn taking, working in pairs, playing games, helping each other, role play and sharing the same interests.
Exploring Colours, Marks and Shapes
In our art area, children began to explore many ways of expressing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through marks, colours and shapes. With the use of paint, coloured paper, collage pieces, mark making equipment and tools such as glue sticks and scissors, children are experimenting with wide range of media and materials. as well as having opportunities to share their compositions with peers and adults. At this age, creative processes and physical skill are the key factors to develop - technique and style come later on. Please take look at our virtual gallery.
In the nursery we have many opportunities that offer children the chance for free exploration and investigation. From our "Loose Parts" corner, through to art, nature and garden we enjoy time finding out, taking apart, cutting through, observing closely and commenting on our findings.
Children learn best through their own curiosity and discovery. By observing their environment and peers, interacting with their surroundings, and obeying their instincts and impulses in a safe, educational space, children are able to craft their own education. Exploration is an essential part of development in academic spaces as well as in everyday life.
Every aspect of learning sparks children's curiosity: from exploring bubbles and water through to finding out how sand can flow through a funnel to noticing some aspects of our close environment such as wind that turns the small paper windmill, shadows on the wall, small bugs and insects and plants. This is an important cycle of learning.
When it comes to teaching maths in the early years, it is important that children begin to develop a sense of the underlying concepts and structures of maths.
We provide time and opportunities for children to make connections in their mathematical understanding, which helps them to develop understanding of number, space, shape, time and measure.
The aim of all our activities in the nursery is to equip all children with a deep, secure and adaptable understanding of mathematical concepts.
Mathematical concepts are developed through the indoor and outdoor environments, everyday play and through discrete teaching sessions lead by an adult such as posing problems, modelling language and helping children to focus on some mathematical ideas.
There are plenty of opportunities to explore and learn such as counting objects, sharing, playing with numerals, arranging a visual time table, waiting in the queue, completing puzzles and shape sorters, comparing the sizes of the constructions, sorting toys or arranging plates for picnic play.
These activities help children to develop deep understanding of the composition of numbers, finding patterns and shapes and categorising objects according to some aspects such as colour, shape or size.
One of the most fascinating aspects in observing children is seeing them experimenting with mark making.
These are the marks that will gradually develop into writing and drawing, and those that allow children to express themselves and their ideas. Even before they are able to talk fluently, we gain an insight into our children's thinking through the marks that they make.
Drawing and writing in all its forms is a powerful tool for communication. But how does it begin? And what role does early mark-making have?
A key area for development in the early years is the physical aspect of mark making, which is building the strength and coordination needed to make those marks. The core strength is needed before children can even begin to make the fine motor movements required to manipulate a writing tool.
In our nursery we provide many activities allowing children to develop gross motor skills such as drawing on a large interactive board, making marks on a large paper on the floor or wall, making marks with chalk or large pens and large brushes. There is also plenty of opportunities for children to build up the muscles in their arms and hands to develop those fine motor skills such as threading beads, using tweezers and playing with play dough.
Exploring the many ways in which children make marks encourages them to pick a pen to express own needs, interests and fascinations. Making marks for a purpose has a great power for children to draw and write. This includes drawing important people in their lives, favourite characters from TV or stories, sharing with the family celebrations, making shopping list, writing a letter or drawing what has been observed.
The mud kitchen is an exciting, messy and creative area to play in. The learning potential from mud kitchens is immense due to their creative nature. Children experience sensory, emotional and imaginative play as well as developing maths, science and language skills. They also benefit from playing outside and interacting with others.
Mud kitchen play promotes role play amongst children and it's not uncommon to see children taking on the role of a chef in the kitchen or mum or dad cooking at home. By taking on these roles, children are developing their social skills and heightening emotional understanding.
Mud kitchen play encourages children to talk about what they are doing and often the excitement of being outside and involvement in messy play gets them feeling even more confident about talking and sharing their thoughts and ideas.
Physically, children need to able to grip hold of utensils such as spoons and spatulas, as well as lift heavy bowls. This helps to develop the muscles in the hands supporting development of fine motor skills. Mixing and stirring also boosts hand-eye coordination.
Children are able to explore the outdoor environment as they dig in the mud and encounter plants and maybe even creepy crawlies. Mud kitchen play also involves some science based learning as children can get their hands dirty and experience the different textures and consistency of mud, seeing how this changes as they add more water.
Mud kitchen play is an amazing place for sparking children's imagination. It takes a good deal of creative thinking to transform muddy creations into culinary delights. With a bit of creativity, sloppy mud can become a smooth cake batter, chocolate muffin, tomato soup or ice cream of many flavours.
Physical play includes activities that use physical movements to allow children to use their energy, gives them the chance to develop gross and fine motor skills and learn new things and socialize.
In our nursery we spend a lot of time outdoors to stay active but we also investigate lots of physical play indoors that helps us to develop the whole body and muscles.
Developing gross motor skills through play is an important role in developing the upper body and shoulders which enables children in the future to master more precise functions such as writing, manipulating small objects and using one handed tools and equipment.
Physical activities help also to build confidence, social skills, elevate the mood, encourage children to try new activities. enhance concentration and resilience and maintain mental and emotional wellbeing.
Music ignites all areas of child development and skill for school readiness, including intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and mind to work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expressions. Music helps also strengthen memory skills.
In addition to the developmental benefits, music brings us joy. Just think about listening to a good song in the car, on the long journey, on a beautiful day.
In our nursery we provide regular opportunities for rich and varied music experiences in big and small groups using live music and the use of simple instruments. We sing, dance and explore different sounds indoors and also outside. We created together our special musical wall that encourages us to sing, play and make new music.
Music sessions provide a great tool for encouraging self-expression and as an inclusive uplifting activity that can be accessed by all children, at whatever stage of development.
Music makes us move! and of course, our music and movement activities have a direct impact on physical development. Some songs get everyone on their feet and help to explore the movement, rhythm and dynamics of the music.
Role Play and Make Believe!
Children are experts in play and their imagination is enviable due to its creative powers. Without play the children lose the ability to think and experiment with their ideas.
Children learn about life by imitating the people around them. Role play provides the perfect opportunity for children to imagine what it's like to be a parent, a doctor, driver, shopkeeper, police officer, chef or a builder.
Children use objects to represent something else or assign themselves and others, roles and then act them out. It may seem very simple, but in pushing back the barriers of reality these children are learning and developing many different and important life skills. This pretend play, which ideas and emotions are moulded and rearranged, is a major feature of a child's social and cognitive development.
"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"
In Autumn 1 we have enjoyed listening to and joining in with a range of nursery rhymes and songs. We explored nursery rhymes in many ways, making learning them fun and enjoyable by using props, actions, music and musical instruments.
Singing nursery rhymes helps to build up children's social skills as it is a great opportunity for them to get to know their peers. Sitting next to one another and holding hands during songs such as: "Row, row, row your boat" is ideal for helping to develop those social skills. As children develop at different rates, using nursery rhymes will support children's communication and language development at whatever stage of development.
Introducing children to a variety of nursery rhymes can help them understand and learn about different sounds. This is an important part of developing early literacy skills such as listening to different sounds in the environment as well as in nursery rhymes. Naming different sounds and using them in songs and play provides children with the opportunities to develop the foundations in reading and writing. Nursery rhymes are fun and full of sounds, children will tune into these sounds, then will experiment in combining sounds and blend them together to form a word.
Nursery rhymes and songs have a huge impact on children's language and communication development. Children relish in listening to songs full of rhyming, rhythm and repetition. By singing songs containing these core elements, we are helping boost children's language, communication and literacy skills.
Many songs we have listened to and learnt are songs that involve counting and reciting some numbers in sequence such as "5 Little Ducks" or "One, two, three, five, once I caught a fish alive". The patterns and repetitive structure help children to learn simple mathematical skills such as counting, comparing quantities or get to know that numerals represent particular amount of objects.
Please take a look at our fun with nursery rhymes where each of us is like a "Twinkling Star" shining in the sky!
Autumn is a wonderful time of year to use nature to promote and enrich many learning opportunities. It offers so many incredible benefits from maths, literacy, sensory experiences and understanding of the world.
The children in our nursery noticed that leaves in our garden began to change colour and fall on the ground. We used this opportunity to compare colours, shapes and sizes of different leaves collected outside.
We explored conkers, their shiny, smooth and brown skin and spikey shell they are hiding in. Sometimes a spiky shell hid inside more than one conker. There were two or three conkers inside and they were all different sizes. We spent a lot of time counting, sorting and comparing sizes of conkers we found hiding in the shells.
Autumn is also when the pumpkin harvest comes in. It is a one of the symbolic vegetables of that time of the year. With the great interest we explored the hard skin and its weight. We tried to nail golf tees in in order to find out what is hiding inside.
We spent some time after each exploration with observational drawings of conkers, leaves, pumpkins and pinecones. On the large sheet of paper, we recorded our observations and findings. We drew many pictures that allowed us to share with others about what we know about Autumn - rain, sun, trees, rainbows, leaves, and variety of colours.
This type of activity helps the children to slow down and learn how to record what they see, rather than merely what we think something looks like.
Tell me a story.
Have a look at our lovely photos and you will see how
Have a look at our lovely photos and you will see how
Reading, along with writing, makes up literacy, one of the four specific areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
To be ready to start reading, children need to have a variety of skills in place. These early reading skills include matching, rhyming, awareness of phonics and the skills associated with language development such as listening, attention, alliteration and sound discrimination.
During our activities we concentrate on developing children’s listening skills and speaking. These abilities are critical to the success of learning a complex skill such as reading and writing in future years.
During the time spent in the nursery we encourage listening and talking through many games and activities where we are modelling good listening and support speaking and developing vocabulary, sentence structure, dialogue and confidence in in using language to express their own thoughts, ideas and findings.
The hour was late, and Mr Bear was tired. But he could not sleep – no matter where or how he tried. SNORE, SNORE went Mrs Bear. TICK-TOCK, TICK-TOCK went the clock. Would he never get to sleep? The familiar noises, repetition and beautiful illustrations make this delightful picture book an excellent story for talking about noises and sounds we can hear inside and outside.
Equipped with clip boards and sound charts we took part in the listening walk to tune in to the outside environment.
Listening walk is one of the first activities where we learn to listen, attend, hear and name the sounds that surround us. In the garden we can hear many environmental sounds such as birds, children talking and shouting, whistle blowing, sound of the rain and wind. Sometimes we can hear aeroplanes and helicopters flying over our garden. We often stop and observe and share with each other what we can hear and see.
We like making music using simple percussion instruments such as tambourines, shakers, claves, bells, triangles. We learn that we can make sounds and copy a rhythm to the nursery rhymes by shaking, hitting, slapping, tapping or scratching. Making music is like making own visual artwork – we use blobs, swirls of paint and squiggles of coloured pencil. The same attention and value should be given to children’s own music. It is also made up of sounding blobs, swirls and squiggles that arise from body movement, shape of instrument or rhythm patterns.
Play serves an important process for promoting children’s learning and development besides enhancing emotional, intellectual, and social skills of a child in ways that cannot be taught through formal classroom instruction.
During play the children learn how to control themselves and their environment besides learning how to control their sense of competition and enjoyment.
We like to talk about our celebrations especially when we are getting close to our birthdays. We like to share how we celebrate this special day with family and friends. Carter made his birthday cake with Duplo blocks. He announced that his is four and he would like to have a party. We all joined in with dancing and singing in the garden. We had music and showed off our dance moves. We were also singing along to some of the pop songs we were familiar with.
After our party we read the story “Kipper’s Birthday” to extend our learning about birthdays.
Hello Yellow Day! Hello Pudsey Bear!
By wearing something yellow we have supported Hello Yellow Day. We talked about different feelings we have and how to help someone who is sad. We had a lot of ideas such as smile, share with toys, play together or hold each other's hand.
At the same time, we also celebrated Pudsey Bear Day discussing how we can help children that are in need - children that are affected by disability, illness or distress.
We designed our own yellow teddy head bands to wear in the nursery.
"We're Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen
The book "We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury is about a family going on a hunt for a bear. On each page the family must overcome different obstacles they come across in order to continue their hunt. As the family encounter each obstacle, they describe it by using sensory descriptions such as: long, wavy grass; a deep, cold river; thick oozy mud, a big, dark forest, a swirling, whirling snowstorm and a narrow, gloomy cave. By using a range of descriptive vocabulary, the children were imagining themselves being on the hunt, for the big, brown bear. We followed and joined the family’s excitement in search of the bear by re-telling the story, acting out during our Yoga play, small world play, sensory experiences, drawing and other art activities.
“Biscuit Bear" by Mini Grey is another book we enjoyed reading, sharing with our experiences and exploring play possibilities based on this interesting story. In the story a boy called Horace during baking time with mum made a biscuit in shape of the bear. However, despite all his best efforts to the contrary he is made to wait until the next day to eat him. In the middle of the night, however, the bear comes to life and finding himself alone decides to make some friends of his own, using flour, butter and sugar to make a whole circus of delectable friends. And so, the fun begins until it attracts the attention of a hungry visitor… Bongo the dog joined the party.
We loved the story and best of all making and decorating biscuits. We loved exploring tactile activities mixing many ingredients to make a “cake” of our own, just like in the song:
Let’s make a cake!
Let’s make a cake!
And put it all the things
we like it best!
With the little bit of this
And the little bit of that!
What shall we put it first!
We like to read
The benefits of books are significant, we should never overlook the emotional impact that sharing books can have on a child. Cuddled up with a favourite adult, sharing a book with a friend, can help children feel loved and safe. Books can also help children explore and understand emotions such as loss, anger and jealousy safely. Some books also give children thrill and excitement as they take an unknown journey and visit undiscovered places in the company of a character.
Sharing books with peers is a great way to provoke comments, questions and conversations. Books can also help children to develop vocabulary as the text may include words that are new to them. The illustrations can also trigger children’s interest and be a way of building vocabulary.
Sharing books is a key way in which children can meaningfully see how words work in print. Very early on, children start to recognise that the print on the page represents words and that in English, words go from left to right and from top to bottom. Children who have had high-quality and personalised reading experiences are more likely to be motivated to learn to read as they have already been signed up to the magic of books.
Many books will provide opportunities to draw children’s attention to time, shapes and patterns as well as to number. While in some books it is the text that may have references to mathematical concepts, in many books there are opportunities for mathematical discussions to be found within the illustrations.
Books show children a world different from their own and as such are one way of widening children’s knowledge and horizons. The variety of backdrops where stories are set is huge and so the simple act of sharing a book with a child introduces them to parks, beaches, trains and even lands where dinosaurs roam. Some books can be springboards for children’s play, especially role play and construction. It is always worth considering whether a child or group of children may benefit from props that will enable them to play imaginatively and explore further the themes of a book.
The Nursery Library
In our nursery we are supporting children with their Literacy (Reading) development as we have set up a library book system for children to access. We have a catalogue of all the books that they can take home to share with their family and spend special time looking at and reading books together.
The children can keep the book at home for a week and then return it, once returned they can choose a different one. Feedback from parents has been beneficial as it can inform us what type of books and stories they enjoyed reading with their children at home.
Christmas time with young children is a magical experience, as they encounter all its wonders: the expectation of waiting and counting the days till Santa’s visit, decorating Christmas tree, talking about presents and planning for party. During this time of year children work through arts and crafts activities, stories and tales, and rehearse performances for parents, carers and families and friends.
During this period in the nursery it was important to us that all the children were encouraged to be creative and independent in their learning and choices. Being creative in our nursery means to observe freely, experiment happily, explore with interest, imagine, plan and create masterpieces by choice – rather than, for example, colouring predetermined outlines, using only red paint, and sticking pre-selected, universally square-shaped pieces of fabric onto pre-cut card, so adults can skilfully turn them into Christmas symbols in a bid to create the so-called ‘Christmas spirit’!
We provided the children with information about Christmas, through books, songs, stories and objects, so they could gain an insight into the celebration, an understanding about its meaning, being able to recall memories or create new ones.
Through these, children make connections, enhance memories and develop an awareness of the culture of the celebration.
Looking for Seeds
Children are the masters of exploration and investigation, showing a curiosity about their environment. These skills are an important factor in learning about themselves and the world in which they live. Areas and objects can spark a child’s curiosity and allow them to use a range of senses to investigate. This leads them to gain knowledge and experience, supporting their development further.
Real objects provide unparalleled, multi-sensory engagement and is something that most children can have access to. We have been investigating how things grow and where the seeds come from. During the snack some children noticed little pips inside the apple. This sparked the idea to investigate other fruits to find out where the seeds are hiding. Investigation of seeds in the fruits provided opportunities to smell the items, feel the texture, observe the colours inside and outside, feel the flesh and notice shapes.
Using the real fruits when playing provided opportunities for conversation, language and thinking critically. It offered the chance to count and explore mathematical concepts such as weight, size & measure. It also provided endless opportunities for curiosity, awe, and wonder.
Jack and the Beanstalk
In the Early Years Foundation Stage we are basing the children's learning around their favourite stories. 'Jack and the Beanstalk' has always been very popular - the children love chanting 'fe, fi, fo, fum' and are fascinated with giants and magic properties of bean seeds.
5 Magic Beans were a subject of discussion in the group. The children enjoyed studying beans and looking at their different shapes and colour on the bean seeds.
The curiosity of growing was fulfilled with planting them in the pots and then sharing with own thoughts and ideas how would they grow!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
We enjoyed listening to the story by Eric Carle called: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. This story provided many opportunities for learning, discussion, and play.
In the story the new-born caterpillar snacks through the pages with fruits and “party food”. He gets bigger, fatter, and turns into a lovely butterfly with colourful wings.
The children came with many different ideas about the story, presenting them on the large piece of paper. Many were focused on beautiful butterfly, and some compared the sizes of the caterpillar before and after the big meal of fruits and party food. Some children began to share what their favourite fruits are, and during the snack time they shared with what they would eat if they want to grow big and strong.
During this week we were able to help children to explore their chosen interests such as: comparing sizes of caterpillars, learning how to use “butterfly painting” technique to make our completely unique butterfly patterns and use favourite fruits to make repeatable patterns.
Our Art Gallery
Becoming independent and confident
Snack time is one of the parts of nursery routine that involves the sharing of food.
Domestic experiences involved with snack time are in place because they meet their developmental needs for learning. Snack time may seem like fun and relaxation at first glance, but in fact the children are working extremely hard to develop those necessary social skills such as sharing, taking turns, following instructions, and remembering a long sequencing of events, communicate their needs and preferences. Children are learning independence by setting the table, tidy up after themselves and showing responsibility for taking suggested amount of snack making sure that it will be enough for everyone.
Wednesday is the Library Day
Every Wednesday is the Library Day where we set the table with our library cards and we spend some time choosing books and sharing with the stories we liked best.
Reading books to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word. Even after children learn to read by themselves, it's still important for you to read aloud together. In the nursery we have our own library, where children can choose their own books to take home and share them with their families and friends.
Easter Egg Hunt
We enjoyed looking for small gift bags in our garden. We used name labels to find the bags with our names on!
Role play is an important part of child development, as it builds confidence, creativity communication, physical development and problem solving. Along with being a fun activity, it also allows children to get into character and act out real life roles or fictional performances.
We had a chance to explore Farm Play in our small world area by exploring model farm animals, caring for them, feeding and keeping them safe. In the garden we used our large-scale play space to handle big tools such as spades, rakes, wheelbarrow and large trucks and tractors.
Our play was based on experiences from books, stories, videos, and observation of adults playing alongside us.
What animals we can find in the Zoo?
A little boy wants a pet, but the zoo keeps sending him animals that just won't make good pets. An elephant is too heavy, a giraffe is too tall, and a snake is too scary! Until, at last, they send the perfect pet. “Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell, is another favourite picture book that we like to read again and again.
There were many ways we shared this book.
We talked about pets that the children have or would like to have. We also explored our feelings towards animals, including animals we find frightening, such as spiders, snakes or even some dogs.
We learnt the names of animals, but also some simple descriptive words such as ‘big’ or ‘grumpy’, ‘fragile’, or ‘dangerous’.
We also speculated and to reasoned – for example, ‘Why was the monkey naughty?’
We liked to read the book independently and for each other repeating simple texts and phrases.
We explored containers of different shapes and sizes. We put out a range of different small-world animals and some small boxes. We could see which boxes fit which animals and how many animals fit in each box.
Walking through the jungle...
We followed a small child as he walks, creeps, leaps, and swings through the jungle in this lively adaptation of a familiar nursery rhyme. And what does he see? Wild animals! A snake, a tiger, and an elephant—to name a few— each hissing, growling, or trumpeting. Could they be following him? Hope they’re not hungry! Full of thrilling exotic noises and bright tropical colours, Julie Lacome’s jungle makes an inviting setting for playing an imaginary game, plays and exploration .
Bears Like Honey
We like to play one of our favourite group games "Bears like honey" We recite the rhyme:
Isn't it funny
How Bears Like Honey
Buzz, buzz, buzz
I wonder why she does?
Go to sleep Mrs Bear!
Don't peep Mrs Bear!
And then we chase a person that took Mrs Bear's honey pot.
After the trip to the Zoo we can pop in to McDonalds to have something to eat and drink. The service in this restaurant is very nice and food is delicious.
“I can do that” – this is our focus learning for the next six weeks. We will look at the books and stories that show how we can learn and master many skills, not giving up and reaching for dreams! Children are continuously learning and developing, and it is important to ensure that they are provided with the environment that enables children to do this. In the garden children will have opportunities to set their own equipment for their play, being able to put on suitable clothing such as wellies or aprons when they play with water or messy play. During our group times we will encourage them to use their language to explain what and how are they going to solve their problems. Everyday routine will offer them chance to become independent in self-care and being able to support peers that need help