Good morning, for those of you at home here is the link to the Hungry Little Minds campaign which includes a host of activity suggestions for children aged 0-5 years old, take a look if you are running out of ideas!
Please find a poster below which might be useful to help your child practice good hand washing techniques prior to their return to pre-school.....(Fingers Crossed!).
These will be displayed at the handwashing facilities in the setting and so will become familiar to your child if you use the guide at home also.
We hope the sunshine has got you smiling? Speaking of smiling, did you know it is National Smile Month?
Please find attached a booklet with a great variety of activities to do with your children as a family to encourage them to think about oral health and hygiene.
Here are 3 fantastic new short YouTube clips featuring Dr Ranj from the TV and 'Supertooth' which give the essential messages to 0-3, 3-6 and 7+ age groups:
Many of you really enjoyed the planting with scrap food activities we suggested a little while ago. Along a similar theme you can recycle food and junk at home to make bird feeders with your children, helping them to develop the care and understanding to nurture living things.
You will need some of the following items which you may have at home, can order from the internet, or should be readily available in the supermarkets when you buy your essential shopping:
Toilet roll tubes or pine cones
Orange/grapefruit skins or halved apples
Plastic cups or small containers
Large mixing bowl
To make the mix simply soften the lard with a wooden spoon in a bowl and stir in your chosen birdseed. This can be used to fill containers and fruit skins up or rolled into balls in the palms of your hands with a string loop pushed into the centre (a big knot in the middle will help the mix cling to the string!).
To make a tube or pine cone feeders soften the lard and spread it around your tube or cone, then roll in a plate of dry birdseed.
Here are some pictures for inspiration...
It is common for young children to struggle with sharing and taking turns. They are learning to accept that others have needs as well as themselves, and that sometimes there might be a delay in their wants and wishes being met.
It is important that from a young age children learn to treat others how they wish to be treated themselves which will help them form relationships and develop mutual respect and tolerance for later life.
Why not play a game today that involves sharing a toy or taking turns. You can use a simple board game, build a tower together each placing a block on top in turn or taking it in turns to place a jigsaw piece, roll a ball between you, start a roleplay activity which requires you to share (play shops/post office/tea party etc).
The more family members that join in the longer your child will have to wait for their turn so you can practice this over a number of days, adding a player each time if possible.
Use language to help model dealing with emotions to your child "I'm getting a bit cross and I need to calm down, so I am going to...…... and then I can play nicely again" or "We only have one of those, I wonder if you could have it for 2 minutes and then me?" etc etc
Remember, your child may not develop this skill over night and may needs lots of support!!
A few of you have been asking for some more work sheet style home learning activities.
Please find attached a Spring themed book designed by one of our resources suppliers TTS.
It will be available to download from our website also.
We hope you enjoy it!
Please find attached four fact sheets created by SPACE (Supporting Parents and Children Emotionally)
The aim of these factsheets is to provide support and strategies, whatever your situation, and are based on what SPACE know about people’s responses to events that provoke uncertainty and anxiety. The fact sheets will give you some techniques to look after your children by looking after yourself, some activity ideas and strategies to consider to help you deal with all types of behaviours in your children.
Last week we gave you some craft ideas to help you create your own decorations to celebrate VE Day tomorrow.
But.....what are you going to have at your picnic at home?
Use some time today to plan your food and drink by writing lists, drawing pictures or cutting out images from magazines or using pictures downloaded from the internet to make a mood board.
As well as supporting fine motor skills and expressive arts this activity will encourage your child to develop critical and creative thinking. This means they learn how to make links in their experiences and knowledge, they choose how to do things and have their own ideas regarding how a task should be approached before they dive in! Planning helps them to consider obstacles they might face in advance and solve problems. For example, if they want to have a tuna sandwich at their VE Day tea party but you have no mayonnaise....what could they use instead of or do you need to choose a different sandwich?
Enjoy your picnics and have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend!
This week is Sun Awareness Week.
National Sun Awareness Week is a campaign led by The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD). it aims to highlight the dangers of exposure to the sun.
UV radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV light from sunbeds is just as dangerous, and the campaign focuses a lot of attention on discouraging people from using them. Ultimately, National Sun Awareness Week offers professional guidance on how we can all enjoy the sun safely.
Why is it important?
It’s a fact that exposure to the sun and using sunbeds increase your likelihood of getting skin cancer. They can also:
* Speed up ageing
* Cause blisters, headaches and sunstroke
* Weaken your immune system
* Cause permanent damage to your eyes
* Lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding what exactly constitutes “exposure to the sun”. For example, lots of people don’t realise that a sunny day in winter can be just as dangerous as a beautiful summer’s day.
National Sun Awareness Week steps in to shatter all the myths surrounding sun exposure. Here are some of the misconceptions:
* People with dark skin don’t need to wear sun cream
* Tanning is always safe as long as you don’t burn
* You can only burn in summer or when the weather’s warm
* You can’t burn through glass
* Sunbeds are safer than exposure to the sun
5 ways you can stay safe in the sun
* Wear protective clothing (sleeves)
* Use sun cream - the more protection the better - and apply it throughout the day. Check the star ratings for UVA and UVB, you should use a 5* rated cream with an SPF of at least 30.
* Limit your time in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm as these are peak hours
* Wear sunglasses
* Sit in the shade at regular intervals
Start early and teach your children about sun safety now while they are young. At pre-school children are not allowed into the garden without a hat in the spring and summer months, they must have their shoulders covered, they take regular shade and drink breaks and we provide lots of water play and shaded activities to keep the children cooler and reduce their exposure to harmful rays. We also provide our own sensitive skin sun cream which we apply throughout the day for children attending all-day sessions, which has an SPF50 and a 5* UVA/UVB rating.
Use some of the worksheets below to introduce your child to the concept of staying healthy in the sun. These sheets will be available to download from our website later today also...
Activities that encourage children to use their fingers to manipulate materials, tools and resources provide the first and most important steps towards holding a pencil and forming letters correctly. Children have to learn to refine their broad, brash and sweeping large movements into smaller delicate articulations before considering writing.
At home you can develop fine motor skills in many ways using the things you already have around the house, here are some ideas to try...
Cutting, threading, weaving, pinching, rolling, squeezing......have fun!!
Good morning. What a beautiful day to get out in the garden and do some planting! At the moment it might be tricky to get hold of seeds unless you can order on the internet, so have you considered growing from your food waste?
This is a great way to use up your scraps and is helpful to the environment. Children love to watch things grow, noting the changes and tending to nature. This helps them learn about growth and decay, show care and concern about the environment and living things, encourages critical thinking as they work out why things happen and learn to explain it using language.
Use a photograph diary to look back on the growth of your chosen fruit or vegetable or measure with rulers and keep a growth chart on paper. Try and use the correct terms for parts of plants so children can increase their vocabulary and enjoy naming aspects of a plant correctly.
You can use containers from around your home or recycle tubs and bottles as pots. Try a cut up drinks bottle (taping the edges if they are sharp),washed out tins/cans, margarine tubs etc.
Try the following and see what happens.....don't forget if you aren't successful and it doesn't grow as expected there is still something to learn!
Celery (or lettuce) ends - grow in soil or water - use the leafy shoots in salads etc
Carrot or parsnip tops - grow in water - eat the greens
Onions - grow in soil - use the green leaves like a spring onion
Potatoes - grow in soil
Experiment with slices of tomato or cucumber, pepper hearts or whole strawberries in soil or if you would like to try fruit pips and seeds, follow these instructions:
Push a ripe pip from an orange or lemon about 1cm (0.4in) deep into the soil in your container. Give it some water, then cover the pot with cling film and secure it with an elastic band. In a sunny spot it should take about four to eight weeks to grow. Once the seedling appears, the children can remove the plastic. And when it has three or four leaves, they can repot it into a small pot of compost.
Happy growing.....don't forget to share your photographs and child's comments on EyLog with us!
Although the May Day bank holiday has been moved to Friday 8th May to coincide with the VE Day celebrations, today is May Day, the first day of spring!
Traditionally May Day is celebrated with dancing around the maypole, singing and eating cake! Flowers are closely linked as a symbol for May Day as the festival marks the beginning of the spring season and the division of the year between the dark months and the light.
There are a number of ways you can celebrate May Day with your children, we have shown you some images below for inspiration.
The key is to talk to your child about May Day and its origins, explaining why you are carrying out the activities you choose. This will give meaning (in an age-appropriate way) to their tasks, help them to develop an awareness of the community around them and the diversities of society.
Marking occasions such as this, from a variety of backgrounds and countries, helps children to appreciate and respect their own culture and the traditions of other cultures around them.
And of course, they will develop many other skills along the way whilst having some fun too!
May Day Flower Baskets
Small World May Day Pole - for your figurines or fairy garden
Ribbon or Scarf Dancing
May Day Baking - Fairy Cakes, Biscuits etc
It feels like a cookery day!
From our previous posts, you will know how much your child will learn and explore through following simple recipes and cooking with you, from learning about weights and measuring to oven and knife safety. It also boosts their confidence in their own abilities and gives them a positive sense of themselves which is great for their mental well being. Watch their little faces beam with pride when you pull their baking from the oven!
Today we have chosen an easy egg muffin recipe which is great for breakfasts, lunches and can be sent in a packed lunch too!
Try and step back and allow your child to do as much of the preparation, safely, as they can.....this is when the most successful learning takes place.
Don't forget to send us your observations from home while you make these muffins using EyLog!
6 eggs slightly beaten
2 tbsp milk
½ tsp salt
½ cup chopped veggies (of your choice)
¼ cup shredded cheese
Grease muffin pan
Add veggies and cheese to a muffin pan
Pour eggs over veggies and cheese--3/4 way to the top
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes
You can use any variation of veggies/cheese/meat in this recipe. Broccoli and cheese work well.
These will store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days just throw in the microwave for 25 seconds when ready to serve if you want to eat them warm......
A few of you have asked us to help you with ideas to engage your sons with mark making or writing, here are some suggestions to help and some information to consider too (which of course can be useful for girls as well, when we talk about boys we know they are all different and we know some girls who this rings true for too!):
Studies show that male brains are wired differently to female brains. Boys are hands-on learners: they learn best by moving, climbing, touching, building and taking things apart. When boys move, their brain wakes up and they will react physically to everything around them, its not them being challenging, its the way they learn! Boys prefer concentrating on one thing at a time, so let them finish one activity properly before starting another.
Boys fine motor skills take longer to develop than a girls, which means they generally do not hold a pencil correctly until they are a bit older. Pre-writing activities will help them develop dexterity and muscles in their fingers to manipulate writing tools. Try activities like weaving, threading, play dough, clay, twisting pipe cleaners or hair curlers, using clothes pegs, tweezers and tongs.
Boys often appear more reluctant to write, they relate the best to learning when the activity has purpose or relevance to them. Mark making activities that capture boy’s interests and preferred activities and support a means to an ends work best! Try mark making under the table in the dark with a torch, putting together a tool belt of writing implements and explore the garden writing or drawing as they go, making treasure maps for pirates or making a list of junk modelling parts needed to create a superhero den.....what ever interests them!
Boys are attracted more, generally, to writing that does not involve paper, pens and a desk! Try using chalks on the patio, large sheets of wall paper on the floor or pinned to a wall, use sticks and mud to leave lines and squiggles, slime, foam.....anything messy that requires action!
Boys like screens, so using a paint app to mark make is a good solution, especially if they hold a scribe or digital pen.
We hope this helps!
It's International Dance Day on Wednesday 29th April!!
Ribbon twirling is a great activity to support the development of gross motor skills in young children. It's also a fun activity to encourage physical development too. Children can make large circles, zigzags and make wiggly snakes and move gently to music twirling their ribbons.
They will learn to experience different ways to move their bodies, develop listening skills and critical thinking. they will learn about rhythm through the music and enhance their opportunities to be physically active.
You will only need some type of ribbon tied together (material, present curling ribbon or florists ribbon) / fabrics strips or scarves and music!
Firstly, discuss how to use the ribbon safely so your child thinks about their movements, managing the risks of tripping!
Now all you need is some music to move to and to have fun!
Your child might need you to show them some moves to begin with:
Try waving the ribbon above your head
Bending over and waving it between your legs
Waving to one side and then crossing the mid line of your body and waving it at the other side and then swap hands
The children will probably have some super and individual moves of their own once you model the idea.
To extend this activity...….
Why not try a ‘wake up shake up’ movement activity a few times a day?
You could explore the Disney 10 minutes Shake Ups via the Change4Life resources
Try playing Simons Says e.g. "Jump three times, hop three times, turn around, run to the wall, touch your head" etc – there are lots of opportunities to practice listening and attention!!
Today, take a little time to be still, silent and practise some mindfulness breathing. Wellbeing is crucial at this time which has brought a massive change in routine for children and some uncertainty. These feelings can create anxiety which young children will not always be able to describe to you or label. Children are adaptable creatures but need time to be calm and gather themselves, just like us adults!
Your child will need you to read the cards below to your children and demonstrate, pick and choose the ones you like.....perhaps you could do this as a family, start the day with this activity or use it to wind down before bedtime?
Good morning and happy St George's Day!
A few of you have asked for some more printable worksheets and activities so today we will be sending you some via EyLog around a St George's Day theme. If you are unable to print from home perhaps you could use them as inspiration and draw up your own sheets?
If you are not in a 'work sheet' kind of mood today why not have some fun in the garden finding things to make a role play castle and be St George! Make a cape, shield and hat from materials and cardboard, use garden furniture and blankets to make a castle. Use chalk to draw a dragon on the fence breathing fire and the hose to extinguish the fire!! Have a banquet for lunch!! All knights like a ham sandwich right??
Following yesterday's post many of you have asked how you can make contact with your child's key worker at Rainbow and send them pictures, letters or a video message.
There are several ways you can do this....
You can upload video messages to EyLog as a parent observation. The system allows for short clips to be taken and shared. This will be viewed by the staff who can then type a little message back to your child which will appear on their learning journey!
You can take the same stance with letters and photographs of your child's artwork, send the images via a parent observation on EyLog and we will comment back!
Please do bare in mind that not all staff are working so your child may get a response from their co-keyworker or another familiar member of the team instead......it may be worth discussing this with them to avoid disappointment. BUT rest assured we will respond to EVERY message we receive from the children.
If you already have stamps and wish to post us a letter on your daily walk, please send it to the following address.
Rainbow Pre-School & Extended Services
Nursery Building, St Andrews Lower School
Beds SG18 0LY
When we receive it we will photograph it and add it to your child's learning journey with our message back. If your child wants to communicate with another child please provide us with your permission to share your child's work to another child's learning journey when you contact us!
We can't wait to see your letters and messages! We miss you ALL!!
Watch this space for something else we are hoping to provide too!
Good afternoon, we recognise the huge pressure that some families are feeling about 'home schooling' so today we decided not to post an activity but to remind you of a few things;
You were your child's first teacher, you taught them all the skills they learned before they started at pre-school and they continue to learn from you every day. You don't need to do anything 'special'......you already did all that!
Your child's keyworker and all the practitioners at Rainbow are trained in child development and the Early Years Foundation Stage (plus much, much more!),we are experienced and knowledgeable in how to deliver 'academic' learning through play and exploration. We will do our very best for all the children when they come back...….and we can't wait!
At the moment your children need a safe and secure place, somewhere to be calm, learn strength and resilience. A place to explore their emotions and ask questions, time to play with you and their loved ones. Time is the best thing you can give your child!
Don't worry about keeping up with our daily activities or the hundreds of online activities advertised on social media, do what is right for your child and your family. Use our activities as suggestions, pick and choose what will interest your child and meet their needs. Every family's situation is different...…"we are all riding the same wave but using different boats!"
Lastly, let us know what you would like more (or less of) in relation to activity suggestions, what are you finding hard, what are your children interested in, what information would you like.....we will try our best to help!
Please continue to stay at home and stay safe! We hope to see you all very soon...….
The National Autistic Society has created a useful set of resources for autistic people and their families to help at this challenging time of constant change and anxiety. Please feel free to share if this may be beneficial to someone you know!
We are sure you have all heard the amazing story of Captain Tom, who lives in Bedfordshire and has vowed to walk 100 times round his garden to see in his 100th birthday. Not only has he smashed his physical target he has raised over £12m for the NHS...….and he is still going!
The children at Holiday Club today will be making Captain Tom a birthday card each which we will post to help this inspirational man celebrate his 100th birthday!
For your activity today why not make a card for Captain Tom at home and on your daily walk take it to the post box with your child.
Use this as an opportunity to talk to your children about job roles that people do to help us, widening their understanding of their community and different ways of life. You could share information with them about WWII in an age appropriate way, talk to them about our NHS and also discuss how their card will get to Captain Tom.
There are many lessons we can all learn from Captain Tom and his wonderfully positive outlook on life......share the video clips on this local BBC News link with your children.
The address to send your cards to is posted in the comments below.....and don't forget to send us pictures of your cards and feedback on your discussions via EyLog for pre-school children or email firstname.lastname@example.org for extended services children!
Many of you will have received confirmation of your child's lower school admission today, we hope that you are all happy with your allocated Reception place.
As you may be thinking about gearing up for school the BBC has some amazing information on their 'Starting Primary School' online campaign.....take a look...
With the Queen's birthday (21st April) and St George's Day (23rd April) just around the corner, why not start making some patriotic decorations to celebrate in style. You could keep them for the VE Day street party celebrations being encouraged across the town on the 8th May! Here are some craft ideas to help you...
It's a nice day to get your clothes washing out on the line, but hold on to your pegs one moment!
Here is a simple maths activity designed to help children match written numerals to quantities. This is something you can easily recreate at home.
If you think your child is not ready to work with numbers how about drawing little symbols, shapes, faces etc for them to match together instead? Alternatively divide your wheel into more sections to add numbers to challenge your child further, perhaps you could make your wheel double sided! If your bright spark has been showing an interest in simple addition and subtraction concepts you could try the second picture!
Using their fine motor skills to squeeze open the pegs will help children develop the finger strength and dexterity they need for future writing too! And guess what, this is portable, so you can do this any where in your house or garden!
There are lots of ways of delivering this activity to meet your child's individual needs, we've added some images for inspiration.
The NSPCC have created online Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers. Whether you're working from home with your children for the first time or supporting children with anxiety due to coronavirus, they've got some really great tips and advice for you.
We have taken a quick look at this information and would recommend having a browse, it is very comprehensive and so there is something for everyone and it is a user-friendly website too!
It's a little chillier today so why not snuggle up with your child and 'listen' to a story.
For as long as schools are closed, Amazon has made their children's audible stories FREE!! You can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories at no charge from your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.
Explore the collection, select a title and start listening. It's that easy.
Why not make a 'calm den' with cushions and fairy lights to listen from, encourage your child to operate the technology you choose to use, this will help them seek to acquire the basic skills to operate IT equipment and learn that information can be retrieved from computers etc. Talk about the apparatus and how to use it safely. There is a guide to online safety on our website!
A little Easter message to all of our pre-school and extended services children, past and present!!
“There is a rainbow of hope at the end of every storm. Stay safe. Stay home. Your teachers miss you and are very proud”
Love from the entire Rainbow Pre-School & Extended Services team, East and West!!!