We have had another move around in the baby room and as the babies sleep outside most of the time, we have turned the sleep room into a ‘cosy room’. There are still cots in the room, and we can close the door to give them a safe, dark and quiet place to sleep but for most of the day, the door is open with dimmed lights. Our cosy area is the home for our tepee, with our books, lots of cushions, a duvet and blankets. This area is also a lovely space for sensory activities; we had a bubble machine with fish very kindly donated which plays music and displays lights. This provides the opportunity for some lovely time engaging different senses.
As the weather has been changing with an autumnal chill filling the air, the children have been loving all things autumn, using the many natural resources in the garden within our activities. Our playdough station is extending, and we have been enjoying the smell of cinnamon and using conkers and leaves to make lots of new creations. Our mud kitchen has been used to create acorn soup and leaf tea! Our group time is filled with conversations of cold weather, colour changes and lots of singing to help the children to recognise rhythmic patterns and extend ideas of weather amongst friends.
Our art and crafts station also helps us to explore new materials, allowing the children to embrace new colours, textures and new ways to make marks on paper with materials such as feathers and leaves. We are also getting used to putting on our wet weather clothing of rain suits and wellies. Then we can enjoy splashing in puddles and walks through leaves and collecting our autumn treasures! We are continuing our explorations and we shall be experimenting very soon with a variety of pumpkins and using all parts in lots of areas of our play.
It might seem strange, but the children have very few traditional toys to play with. They have core items such as trains, cars and dolls, the rest of the resources are what we describe as authentic resources. Using these authentic resources means that the children get to explore things they see in the real world, making sense of what they see adults using. Imagine being three or four years old and using real teacups and a teapot in the water, being trusted to use china, not being told you can only have plastic items in case you break things. The children are learning how to respect these resources, understanding that if they are dropped or banged together, they will break.
Exploring an environment where the children are learning that plastic isn’t needed all the time and exploring different textures and learning how things work, builds up confidence and self-esteem and trust. We find that the children concentrate for longer and are calmer when using these items, taking time to discover how to make something work. These resources can be used however the children need to use them in their play, although much of what we see is the children copying what they see adults around them do.
The Meerkats have been enjoying the occasional sunny session. We have had the mats out on the playing field, developing physical skills with lots of rolling and stretching exercises. In the club garden, the daddy-longlegs have been intriguing to watch and the number of them is amazing. Whilst indoors Hama beads seem to be trending again; these are always a firm favourite and we have been making lots of colourful creations.
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