1. Wake and shake
Every morning and afternoon after register the children join in with wake and shake. It’s a great way to start the day! For those who haven’t heard of this, it is a physical activity and is a great way to introduce daily activity into a child’s routine. It is fun and lively and engages the children as they copy the different movements. Our children are fully involved in this session and are encouraged to come up with some moves of their own which we then use during the activity -they even give their new movements names!
Towards the end of the children’s day (not every day, as of yet), we gather the children together and sit them down to carry out a yoga session with them. This is a calming activity that brings the children down to a level to where they can be creative and use their imaginations to explore their thoughts; you might be baking a cake one minute, out in a boat the next and then be a dinosaur exploring your surroundings! The children enjoy taking part in this and being able to put their ideas forward for the group.
As you are all probably aware we expanded on our garden at the end of last year and have created a large, secure and secluded grassed area. This area now has a tyre swing, teepee, picnic tables, wormery, bird and bug house, and more. We use the wild play garden for our frequent picnic lunches (weather permitting!) and for exploring and learning about wildlife. We have warm hats, and waterproof jackets and trousers for when the weather isn’t the best and children provide their own wellies, although we always have spares available, so the area can be utilised throughout the year.
The mud kitchen is a fully equipped area where the children can explore and create using their imaginations; this area can be used for adult-led or child initiated activities, the ideas here are endless! There are pots and pans, tins and trays, a sink, cooker and washing machine, wooden drums for seating and tables, as well as shelves and crates for storage. The flooring is made of bark, which the children use to help with their creations and all the units in here are made of wood to make the area as natural as possible. Again we have the waterproofs if the weather is unpredictable allowing for daily use.
We follow the Alfred mouse scheme which is used throughout the schools in the Somerset area to help children with their transition to school. We have our own soft ‘Alfred’ mouse here which is always visible to the children, and have a mouse door to help with the children’s understanding and involvement. Once we are made aware of the children’s school for September we start to show the children the slideshow from the laptop of Alfred mouse at their selected primary school, this is so they can get used to what they will see upon arrival for their settling in sessions at school, and have seen that ‘our Alfred’ has already been to check it out for them. Apart from the slideshow, we have a scrapbook the children can look at of Alfred mouse exploring our pre-school and playing with our resources. Children respond well to this and it is a great way to support children in their next step forward.