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Posted by on in Little Explorers

It’s just a pile of logs!

But... for the children at the Little Explorers Forest School, this piles of logs can be so much more, the possibilities are endless.

Child climbing on logs

 

The pile of logs becomes a bonfire – with the children making the pile bigger and bigger as they create a giant bonfire. We learn about sizes as we use large logs and small sticks. Learning how to carry the logs safely and also working together as they build a bonfire. Problem solving as we try to build a big bonfire without it falling down – trying to balance the logs

 

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Mud Kitchen Fun at Little Explorers

The Babies at Little Explorers Nursery in Morley love exploring the mud kitchen, it give the children an opportunity to use all their senses.
The objects allow them to have stimulation of their senses as they experiment using the various natural materials. Sensory development is an important part of baby brain development, the babies can listen to the sound of nature around them, tactile stimulation of feeling the texture of the wet/dry mud, sticks, rain water, wooden discs, leaves, alongside opportunities to experiment how they can transport materials, mix, or squash together in their hands.

a toddler playing in a red rain suit with a saucepan of red liquid filled with leaves and twigsOur mud kitchen at Little Explorers is complete with resources that you would usually find in the kitchen at home. This supports possibilities for imagination and creativity by supporting them to develop real life skills using real life equipment. 

child in a floral coat playing with a bucket and water

Here this baby is making “dinner” using the muddy coloured water in the containers which she transports to a bucket. She also added leaves and “mix mix” using a stick. 

 

Child preparing food in the mud kitchen 

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Little Explorers Light Investigation

 

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The Little Explorers team have recently introduced light as a provocation to support the investigation and exploration of a range of materials.  Light appears have a naturally motivating effect on children and is therefore a fantastic resource to use alongside items of interest to the children. This blog demonstrates how the children’s curiosity has challenged their thinking and supported the development of a range of skills and concepts.

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The autumn activities are now well under way here at little explorers.

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The annual scarecrow competition and autumn walks have begun this week

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Take a look at some of the fantastic work so far. We can't wait to hide them out in our woodland and arboretum. 

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Children love stories, especially well known favourites such as “The Hungry Caterpillar” which the children enjoyed recently as our story of the week. The children enjoyed listening to the nursery practitioners read the story as well as joining in with the repeated refrains of this well known tale.

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During free play time, the children also enjoyed accessing the story book themselves and reading the story to their friends. Familiar stories help children to develop the early skills of reading as they are able to recognise some familiar letters or words as well as telling and recalling the story with the aid of pictures.

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As well as exploring the book, the children also enjoyed exploring bugs. They painted bug stones and hungry caterpillar flash cards in the grass malleable activity that was set up in the toddler room. This helped them to sequence the story using the cards and props.

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The babies have thoroughly enjoyed tyre painting whilst out on forest school. This activity was carried linking in the babies' favourite song.

 

“Red and yellow and pink and green, orange and purple and blue. I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too”

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We sing this song during singing time, and link Makaton signs to the colours in which the babies imitate.

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Jane has just added the finishing touches to the leavers party cake . We are all getting very excited and looking forward to this afternoons celebrations.

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The chicks are now 6 days old and we cant believe how much they have grown and are becoming more active.

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The children are becoming so confident at handling them. They talk about 'gentle touching' and about being caring.

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The preschool children again said how they could feel their heart and bones under their soft fluff. The children also noticed their wings starting to develo. We think the wing development is why they are getting 'fast and fluttery'.

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The chicks are now 5 days old and the children cant believe how much they have grown and changed.

The chicks met the preschool children this morning and we were all amazed at how gentle and caring the children are towards them.

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The children have made some amazing observations such as;

'they have long spikey finger claws'

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The chicks have started to hatch and it is totally amazing how the children have observed this process and talked about the transition from egg to chick , they have paid carefully attention to the colours and how they dry out and fluff up . We have 3 chicks at the moment and hoping that the others will arrive today .

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The special delivery has arrived at little explorers and we are all very eggcited ! As part of our investigation on life and growth we are hatching our own baby chicks who will live with us at nursery for the next couple of weeks .

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The children are listening and watching for any signs of them hatching , continue to follow their progress each day as we have hands on eggsperience of another life cycle 

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The toddlers have loved planting their own individual sunflowers whilst out on forest school.
Little Explorers getting compost from a growbag
Firstly they put soil into their biodegradable plant pot until it was half full.

a little explorer making a hole for the seed to go into

Then they flattened the mud down using their fingers "messy hands" one of the toddlers stated laughing :), and poked their sunflower seed in the centre.

A little explorers placing the seed in the plant pot


After covering their seed with soil and used the water spray to water their seed, this will support the toddlers in developing their fine motor skills.
A little explorer spraying water on the seed


Back at nursery we added each child's photo label onto their plant pot and lined them up across the window sill so they could easily observe which is theirs grow ensuring they water them daily. "Mine is growing big", "We are growing sunflowers", "it gonna be big like me".

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At Forest School the babies loved getting creative by creating their clay art. They used various materials, including feathers, sticks, grass, daisy's and pipe cleaners. 

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The babies showed good use of their fine motor skills as they inserted the various materials one at a time alongside their peers stating "Look feather", "ooooo", "Green one", "stick".

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Little Explorers Puddle Fun

The Little Explorers have been making the most of the stream before the rain dries up the bed.

 

The Babies have loved splashing in the stream in the grounds of Broomfield.

They splashed in the muddy water with their feet lifting one foot at a time "splish, splash, splosh" alongside their peers.


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One of the younger babies, enjoyed putting their whole feet in the muddy water, and splashing with her hands getting very excited about the different textures and sensory experience :).

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Hand eye coordniation is the name of the game in this weeks Funky Finger Challenge

This weeks funky finger challenge is to make a picture using the wooden shapes and pins .

This is a great activity to develop hand and eye coordination, develop an awareness of shape and colour and develop crucial fine motor skills.

Table with challenge instructions a tub of pins and shapes to put on a corkboard

 

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Colourful Critters

 

Aaaaaah such beautiful flowers. They look so pretty and smell so nice, the Pre school children have been enjoying learning all about seasons by looking at all of the spring time changes – such as flowers growing and the Bluebells appearing in the woods. This activity was a mixture of both real flowers and petals and fake ones.

 

Flowers, petals and leaves with pictures of bugs on a black tray

It was a great sensory experience as the lovely smell of the real flowers drifted around the pre school room

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Round 2 of Little Explorers Funky Fingers Challenge and this week's challenge involves threading a colander 

 

It has proven very popular with our children and parents who have been enjoying threading a range of ribbons , feathers and pipe cleaners .  

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This is a great way to encourage children's fine motor skills and could easily be recreated at home with a range of recycled materials.

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This week Little Explorers have launched their funky fingers challenge.

a table with a try of sand for mark making and the instructions in a photo frame

This will be a different challenge each week for parents and children to share together on the way in or out of nursery .  

 

The activities are aimed to develop children’s fine motor skills that are essential for the development of the muscles for writing and other life skills. 

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The Dinosaurs Have Landed

Something strange has happened at nursery. We have some new residents who have set up their home in the toddler room

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On a closer look we could see that some dinosaurs have created their very own dinosaur land
Dinosaurs are always a favourite activity for the children in nursery so they were very excited when they saw this magical land

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Some big dinosaur eggs have been found in dinosaur land…….. 
One of the eggs had hatched already and out popped a baby dinosaur

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Bubble Wrap Brilliance

Do you ever get parcels through your door that has lots of bubble wrap as packaging? Well here is something fun you can do with it before you throw it away

The Pre School children had lots of fun recently doing some bubble wrap painting – a great sensory activity and experience. The tuff spot was covered in bubble wrap and then a glorious pallet of colours was added for the children to explore.

 

At first the Pre School children very slowly started to explore the paint together

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