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Lanterns Nursery School and Extended Services

A Hampshire Maintained Nursery School

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Weekly learning

Week ending 27th January 2023


What a jam packed week it has been! This week we have had a Chinese New Year theme as it marks the year of the rabbit! ๐Ÿ‡

In our sensory tray this week we have had some rabbit figures hidden in shredded paper. The shredded paper went down a hit!! The children loved throwing it into the air and watching it fall slowly like rain. This was a great opportunity to practice counting skills as the children uncovered the hidden rabbits. It was also an opportunity for them to practice their imaginary play skills as some of them hopped the rabbits through the paper!

On the floor this week we have had out a Chinese New Year themed role play, with bowls and chopsticks. We also had wool cut up as pretend noodles. Some of the children enjoyed filling the bowls with the noodles and carried out cooking play sequences. Interestingly a lot of the children enjoyed using the chopsticks as drum sticks and explored the different sounds they could make tapping the chopsticks on different surfaces.๐Ÿ๐Ÿœ

On the table we had out some posting activities, a lot of the children are working on posting activities in the targeted table time so we decided to extend this by bringing it into the classroom too. We have had some butter pots with holes in and the children were encouraged to post milk bottle lids into the pot (a bit like a money bank!!) this is fantastic for their fine motor skills as they navigate picking up the lids and manipulating them into the hoes. For some children we extended this further by providing them with shape sorting posting activities to challenge them to find the correct shape for the correct hole!

At messy this week we began the week mark making Chinese symbols with paintbrushes and black paint. We gave the children pictures to copy and supported them, making fine lines but we also let them add their own flare, as you can see some of the children really enjoyed getting stuck into the paints…literally! This is good experience for those children who do not like to get messy as there is no expectation for them to get it on their hands with different options of tools to use to support them accessing that activities. For those that love getting messy they enjoyed the sensory experience of their hands in the cold wet paint!

This week we continued the theme of Chinese New Year into group time. For stage two we poured coloured rice onto the xylophone. All of the children were so calm as they watched the rice drop and listened to the lovely sound it made dropping onto the xylophone, we have never seen them so still and quiet (The adults too!!!) For stage three we have been using the body board and the children lay on their tummies as we sang a song and pushed them along on it! This is a great exercise for children to build up strength in their arms and shoulders as they pull themselves along.

Food explorers this week consisted of raw noodles and prawn crackers… we discovered a lot of our grasshoppers enjoy prawn crackers!!! They used their hands and a variety of utensils to fill the bowls up with noodles and pour them back out!

In the garden we have been using the bikes and scooters, here we have been working on their gross motor skills and building up strength in their core and their legs, which will support their overall physical development.

Well done grasshoppers!!

From the Grasshopper team, Ellie, Helen, Amy and Angie๐Ÿ˜†

Week ending 20th January 2023


A rather belated post but here is what we got up to last week in Grasshoppers!

In our sensory tray we had some blue streamer like ribbon to explore! Visual it was very shiny but it also made a lovely noise as you moved it around! Some of the children really enjoyed sitting in the tray and covering themselves with it like a nest! Some of the children enjoyed throwing it in the air and watching it fall down!

On the floor we had out the wooden bricks and some small world characters. A lot of the children have been really enjoying the small world characters so we made a little village for them on the floor! The adults were playing alongside the children and modelling to them different play scripts such as getting the characters to climb the tower, or jump off. This was a fantastic opportunity to model to the children imaginary play skills to broaden their play sequences. It was also an opportunity to practice fine motor skills like picking up the bricks and carefully building towers. We were able to also do lots of modelling of language around colours as we played with the bricks.

On the table we have been practicing our threading skills! This is excellent for challenging our children’s fine motor skills as they manipulated the string into the holes! We differentiated this by using different sized holes and different materials to thread through!

At the messy table we were practicing our mark making with the crayons! Some children preferred to use the pens as it requires less pressure on the paper to make those marks so we offered them the choice of crayons or pens. Throughout the week we noticed a lot of the children were showing interest in drawing on the whiteboards around the room so the second part of the week we swapped to whiteboards and whiteboard pens! They made some fantastic pictures and artwork!

For group time last week, we continued some water pouring as they were really enjoying it the week before, they loved watching us put the food colouring into the water and watch it spread and then watching and listening to the water pouring through the bowls! Later on in the week we poured pain the bowls and the children watched the paint slide down and cover the bowls in lovely patterns! They were mesmerised!!! For stage three where we take a turn we continued to do ‘raining on you’ where the children sit holding the umbrella and we make it rain on them using the watering can whilst singing our song!

For food explorers we had raw spaghetti and Weetabix, a very strange combination! However the children were enjoying poking the spaghetti into the Weetabix and watching the Weetabix ping when it broke!! We found that you can ping spaghetti quite high and far! They really enjoyed exploring the crumbly texture of the Weetabix too!!
Thank you for a fun week grasshoppers!

From the Grasshopper team Ellie, Shannon, Angie and Amy ๐Ÿ˜€

Welcome back Grasshoppers.

Sorry for the late update we’ve been so busy settling the children back in after the busy Christmas season.
All the children have settled back into Grasshoppers quickly and happily.

We’ve carried on with the cold winter theme for activities and for group time.

Last week for group time in stage 2 we used flour and shakers to create snowmen and snowflake pictures. Then this week we added the flour to the tuff tray in Messy with small shakers so the children can recreate what they’ve seen.
This week for stage 2 we had bowls with water, the bowls had holes in the bottom so the water could slowly pour through. this was very therapeutic to watch, even for the adults!๐Ÿ˜…

For stage 3 we used a chair or stall and sat the children down with an umbrella whilst we poured water over the umbrella like it was raining. We sang a song about the rain and the children looked up watching the water pitter pattering onto the umbrella.

The table has consisted of mr potato head and Pegs to encourage that fine motor strength. Mr potato head provides Children with the opportunity to develop a wide range of aspects including hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, body part recognition, and body map awareness.

We’ve had Duplo and stickle bricks on the floor. Construction is great for children’s fine motor, hand eye coordination and improve their hand dexterity strength.

Over the next few weeks, the staffing will change slightly. Ellie will be supporting on a Tuesday and Thursday. On a Monday and Wednesday it will either be myself (Shannon) or Helen. We will still keep it as consistent as we can for the children as they know Myself and Helen.

Thank you
Shannon, Ellie, Helen, Amy and Angie โœจ

Oops! Apologies that the observation for last week is so late, we have been having too much fun in Grasshopper’s class!!
Last week we had a Pudsey Bear themed week as it was children in need the previous Friday! We had various Bear and Spot themed activities out as you will see throughout the photos!
In the sensory tray we had, milk bottle lids and little pots with cut outs. We encouraged the children to post the lids into the pots, this really supports their fine motor skills as they navigated picking up the lids using their fingers and their hands, then posting it carefully into the box. These went down a hit with the children and they really enjoyed the noise it makes running your hand through the lids! We practiced the skill of posting even more throughout table time. We sat with the children one to one and they all had a turn at the posting pig, for some children this activity was helping to support their attainment to an activity and their following adult led direction and some it was to practice their fine motor skills as they manipulated the coins into the pig.
On the floor we had cars and ramps. We had noticed that the week prior a lot of the children were using PECS to request the cars off of the choose board and were really interested in playing with the cars. We decided to get a car mat, the car run and some cars and the children loved putting the cars down the run! This was a great opportunity to introduce some turn taking games to practice their waiting skills! You will notice in the photograph that we use red ‘wait’ symbols to support our children’s understanding of waiting their turn, it turns learning these social skills into a fun and interactive game.
On the table we had different size pegs and peg boards. This is another fantastic activity to encourage their developing fine motor skills. For some children the smaller pegs were more difficult to manipulate into the peg board as they are tiny, so we offered a variety of different sizes so that they could all have an opportunity to practice. A lot of them found this activity really calming and showed fantastic levels of attainment as they completed the task!
At messy we had some Pudsey Bear masks with the dabbers for the children to decorate their own Pudsey. The children love the dabbers and it is a fantastic activity for those children who love to mark make but have sensory processing differences and might not like to get messy. As the children used the dabbers they were practicing their hand grip which underpin those early writing skills.
As usual stage one of group time was our bucket filled with fun and inviting toys!! Stage two last week was focused around flour and powder paint shaking! The adult would shake flour onto the paper then draw Pudsey bear and different faces! The children were mesmerised by the flour shaking and were all so focused watching it fall down and listening to the noise as it gently landed on the paper! Stage three was ‘cuddle the teddy’ we sang a song about cuddling the teddy and the children took it in turns to have a cuddle!!
At food explorers we had oats with raisins in!! Some children enjoyed this as their second breakfast! We had a variety of different pots and bowls out with some utensils for the children to practice using these tools for a purpose, such as scooping into the bowl or pretending to feed us!!
Outside in the garden we had some painting activities, this followed on from group time last week where we had lots of paint splattering. This gave the children the opportunity to interact with these resources after the adults had modelled ways in which the children could play with it.
Again apologies for the late post! If you can, drop us a like or a comment so that we know you have read this!
From the Grasshoppers team Ellie, Shannon, Angie and Amy ๐Ÿ˜

Week ending Friday 18th November 2022

It is the end of another busy and fun week in Grasshoppers!๐Ÿ˜

You will notice as we share with you the weekly observations, we are starting to include photos of children participating in the activities we put out. We usually share with you the activities set up ready for the children and share with you the reason we have put out those specific activities and which areas of development these aim to support. However every child has different interpretations of how they would like play with the resources and what those resources mean to them.

For example we could provide paint and paintbrushes for the children aiming to support their hand grip of the paintbrushes in preparation for early writing skills, but they may decide to use their hands instead, making this into a sensory activities. It is about us responding to the children’s ideas and extending them through their own interests as well as our own ideas of what we want them to learn.

In the sensory tray this week we have had shredded paper, as you can see from the photos this was a big hit with the children! The children used their whole bodies to explore the texture of tiny bits of shredded paper. The children through it, they watched it fall, they collected it, they put it in containers, they felt it with their feet, they sat in it and they lay in it! We had a lot of fun covering ourselves in it the most! We encourage this mess as it shows how engaged the children are with the resources and how much fun they have had exploring them!

On the floor this week we have had the Tublo construction, this has been a great opportunity to model to the children lots of language around shapes and colours. Some of the children carefully made towers and stacked up the Tublo whilst others would sort the Tublo into colour or shape categories!

On the table this week we have had the wooden trees and a wooden stacker. This has been supporting children developing their fine motor skills as the pick up the small rings but also their hand eye coordination as they put them on the wooden tree. Some children decided to put them on the tree in size order. Some children would put them on the lowest branch first then the medium then the highest, some children put them on in their own order!

At messy this week we had paper taped to the floor/table and paint with cotton buds or paintbrushes. This correlates to the Stage 2 activities we have been doing at group. The children will have watched the adult’s model ideas of how they can engage with this resource and had the opportunity to experience it themselves! Some children’s sensory needs mean that they are opposed to getting their hands dirty therefore we always ensure we have other options like paintbrushes to ensure that they can also access these activities.

This week group time had a focus on dropping and splatting! Stage one consisted of lots of fun and interesting toys as always! Their favourite was the paper rocket! Stage two we did lots of splatter painting and cotton wool splats, the children enjoyed the anticipation of the paint splats and it was a good opportunity to practice ‘Ready, Steady, Go’ they also loved watching and listening the paint ‘pitter-patter’ onto the paper! Stage 3 we have been using the peanut ball and the children have taken it in turns to roll on it on their tummies!

Food explorers this week contained parsnips and potatoes with lentils! The children were very engaged with filling the bowls with the lentils and covering the vegetables in lentils!

See you next week! From the Grasshoppers team, Ellie, Shannon, Amy and Angie๐Ÿ˜

Week ending Friday 11th November 2022

This week we have been participating in fun activities around fireworks. 

The children this week have adapted well to myself and Ellie being the new members of staff in the room with Angie and Amy.  They have allowed us to join in with their play and came to us when they needed comfort. 

On the Messy table this week we made our own firework pictures using paint, and toilet roll tubes. The children dabbed the tubes into the paint to make different coloured fireworks. Throughout the week we alternated between these and the dabber paint pens which made great marks. Both activities used different grips for the children which is great for their fine motor skills. Towards the end of the week we added paint to the Tuff tray and allowed the children to explore with their hands and arms, allowing them to explore different types of sensory play. 

On our Table we used a variety of fidget toys which made different types of sounds. We found noisy toys to represent the fireworks (obviously not quite as loud). The children used their hands to manipulate the different toys by popping, pushing, squeezing, pulling, unzipping and twisting. Different types of fidget toys help improve focus and concentration and provide a sensory stimulation.  

The sensory tray consisted of shiny items and tinsel, the tinsel ended up around the entire room which the children found hilarious when it got stuck to them. 

This weeks group time consisted of firework activities.
The Bucket had a variety of shiny, flashing, noisy toys to gain the children’s attention.
For stage 2 we made firework pictures with 
Paint, cotton wool balls, splatting them onto paper. We also used marbles in paint, rolling them back and forth.

I wonder if you could attempt any of these activities at home and see whether the children remember? 

Please like or comment so we know you have read this. 
We will be completing a weekly entry every week so you can see what the children have been learning and enjoying that week. 

Thank you- Grasshopper Team.
Shannon, Ellie, Amy and Angie โœจ

It has been a real pleasure to welcome some new Grasshoppers in to the class. We are all getting to know each other and what we like to do.
For some of you this might take a little longer which is why you are only staying for part of the session. Once you are feeling confident you can stay for longer and join in more of the fun!

We have had some fun activities for you all to explore including Pom poms in the sensory tray. You have enjoyed putting the Pom poms in to cones filling and emptying and dropping them from a height.
There was red,white and blue rice in the messy area with long clear tube’s. When we put rice in the tube and shake it side to side it sounds just like the rain โ˜”๏ธ
The train track on the floor proved to be a popular choice too. Tolerating our friends playing alongside us is a really good skill which we have seen this week.
There have also been some different inset puzzles on the table. The animal and alphabet puzzles are our favourites.

We have started to introduce our Attention Autism group times too. Some of us are able to sit in the group and some of us prefer to look from a distance. It is of our Grasshopper session and it won’t be too long before we all sit together. It is all part of being familiar with the routine.

It has been a busy couple of weeks getting to know how things work and we are always grateful to the parents who are also getting used to Lanterns ways! We really do appreciate your patience and understanding and realise that for you as parents it is also a new experience. We are privileged that you put your trust in us to do our very best for your children.

As the weather is now starting to turn and Autumn is upon us๐Ÿ‚ I would like to remind you to send in wellies and waterproofs. Please can you name all spare clothes as we do get duplicates!

We realise that drop off and pick up is often a brief handover and doesn’t always allow an opportunity for a catch up. Please do ask if you would like time to talk to your child’s key worker as we can arrange a separate time. There will be initial reviews for your child around half term and this will be an opportunity to discuss how your children have settled as well as answering any questions that you may have. The dates and times of the reviews will be arranged by our assistant SENDco Ellie.