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What we've been doing

June 2022

The year has flown at Kempshott Under Fives and it’s nearly time to say goodbye to our children leaving for primary school. They’ve all gained so much confidence and independence and are completely ready for their next exciting adventure… But we’ve still got lots more fun to squeeze into our final few weeks!

There has been a lot happening this term. Our older children have been focusing on school readiness and independence. We’ve also had some amazing weather to enjoy time in the garden and the children have been busy tending to their vegetable patch. We had a big week creating special treats for Father's Day and we are currently planning a super fun mini sports day for a few weeks time. 

Very soon our older children will be leaving us for their next adventures at primary school, so we are looking forward to celebrating their time at preschool with a Graduation party.

TRANSITION

Very soon many of the children will be moving on to their new “big” schools. It’s an exciting time but we should remember that change is difficult for us all. At Kempshott Under Fives we do our best to support the children and help them through the transitions into new schools. Research suggests that transitions are central to young children’s development and emotional well being, and the way in which the first transitions are handled could have a significant impact on the child’s capacity to cope with change in the short and long term. At Kempshott Under Fives we support the transition process in a range of ways. We help to prepare a child for school by liaising closely with the schools, working with our families, taking the views of the child into account and providing 'school-like' experiences. What is very important to remember is that TRANSITION IS A PROCESS NOT A SINGLE EVENT.

May 2022

 

Over the past few weeks the children have bug hunting and then using books and the Internet to identify the bugs we have found. Most of our bugs were discovered in the new wildlife area where the children have planted wildflowers to attract bees and butterflies. It’s definitely been the weather to enjoy outdoors so the children have also been painting twigs, gardening, balancing on the beams, using the climbing frame, enjoying outdoor story times and they have even eaten lunch al fresco. We have also had fun flying paper aeroplanes in the sunshine.

 

In this term’s giant junk modelling session the children showed amazing teamwork and made some seriously impressive creations - from cars and shakers, to boats and giant robots.

 

We also took part in mental health awareness week and planned some activities to help the children understand how important it is to look after ourselves, both mentally and physically. We discussed eating the right foods, practised mindfulness to help us relax and listened to calming music and imagined we were on a sunny beach.

 

 

From now until the end of term we will be putting lots of work into school readiness for our older children and each day we will be having fun with activities to promote number recognition, personal and social skills, listening and understanding, health and self care to name a few.

April 2022

 

In the lead up to the Easter holidays the children enjoyed lots of Easter activities – filling up plastic eggs and hiding them in the room, treasure hunts, chick racing and an Easter trail to collect coloured ribbons in exchange for a chocolate egg from the Easter bunny!

 

We have had fun following the children’s interests this month and have learnt all about aeroplanes, we’ve formed a music band and we’ve done some DIY. We’ve also been busy in the garden and have planted carrots, kale, tomatoes and parsley. The children have planted beans and are now doing a beanstalk challenge to see how tall they grow.

 

Our older children had some very exciting news over the Easter holidays – they found out which schools they will be going to in September! It’s always lovely to hear all about the “big” schools and who is going where. So this term is when our “school readiness’ begins. We will begin to introduce lots of activities to prepare our bigger children for school; for example, can the children change into their PE kit by themselves? Can they independently wash their hands and open the food in their lunchbox? We’ll also start focus much more on numbers, health and self-care and communication and language.

March 2022 

 

March has flown by at Kempshott Under Fives.

We have been enjoying the brighter weather and are making big plans for the garden. We’ve been writing lists of things to grow and so far the children have requested tomatoes, carrots, sweetcorn and flowers. They have even drawn some lovely pictures to help us find the correct seeds.

 

The children made beautiful cards for Mothers Day and have been very busy with Easter craft. We celebrated Holi Hindu, an ancient Hindu festival to welcome the arrival of spring and celebrate the end of winter and the children had a great time paint splatting.

 

We also celebrated World Book Day and we all dressed up as our favourite book characters. We had lots of characters coming to preschool, including Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, sharks and dragons. We also really enjoyed the children bringing in their favourite books to share – we read every book, with some of the children joining in to read too. We particularly enjoyed a very funny book about never using a knife and fork... this caused much hilarity, especially at lunchtime when we talked about squeezing our cheese between our knees

 

As well as a great opportunity to have tasty snacks, Pancake Day was a good opportunity to get some coloured blocks out and do come counting. We voted on the best toppings and used coloured blocks for each vote. When we counted up the blocks at the end we found out that nutella was the most popular topping and lemon was the least favourite.

 

Our small group work this month has been focussed on maths and phonics. We have been identifying numerals, looking at simple adding and subtracting and learning to read number sentences. In our small group phonics work we have been listening to the initial sound in a word and matching it to a letter.

 

Our older children will be learning which primary school they are going to over the Easter holidays, so we are eagerly awaiting to hear the big news when we get back to preschool after the holidays. Next term we begin our preparations for the transition to big school. We will start by giving the children lots of mark making opportunities and activities that strengthen little hands for handwriting.

February 2022

 

February is always a busy month for us with Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year and Pancake Day.

2022 is the year of the Tiger and we did lots of activities to celebrate Chinese new year. We made Chinese lanterns and turned our role-play area into a Chinese restaurant (the prawn crackers didn’t last long)! A big project for the week involved making large dragons using cardboard boxes and we did a special dragon dance at the end of the week to traditional Chinese music.

We also had a visit from a local author, Leanne Edney, who grew up in Kempshott. She read the children her new book “The Dancing Dragon” from the Gigi and the Giant Ladle series. It was a lovely end to Chinese New Year for the children.

 

Valentines week was full of arts and crafts and the children made some very special creations for loved ones.

 

It’s been lovely to see the signs of spring appearing at Kempshott Under Fives – we’re making the most of being outdoors and the children have been great detectives and really taken notice of the seasonal changes in the garden. They have pointed out new leaves on trees and we’re starting to see some flowers coming through too. We’re looking forward to doing our own bit of gardening later this term and planting some spring bulbs. We’ve also made warm hedgehog houses from lots of leaves in the garden for our hibernating animals.

 

Lots of our children have a huge interest in dinosaurs so we had a dinosaur week in February, the children also spent a lot of time talking about the new Disney film Encanto, so we did lots of Encanto inspired activities and created an Encanto small world; We had a visit from Cookie the guinea pig and some of the children have been watching the winter Olympics so we made messy play snow from flour, oats and cornflour! Very gloopy!

 

At Kempshott Under Fives we promote mental health and wellbeing every day by role modeling positive language and communications, by showing emotions in positive ways and using calming techniques when we encounter big emotions. We had a lovely focus activity for mental health week, which was ‘filling up each other’s cups’. The children were given a cup of milkshake, but Delphine the puppet only had a cup that was half full so she was feeling sad. We filled her cup up with compliments and then we did the same with all of our friends. Lots of lovely words such as kind, funny and nice shoes were used.

January 2022 - Happy New Year!

 

It was lovely to welcome the children back to Kempshott Under Fives after the Christmas break and to hear about their adventures and their Christmas presents. We also welcomed some new children into preschool who have all settled in brilliantly.

 

Last term we spent time looking at winter and the seasons, so all of our outdoor activities this term will continue to enhance our children’s understanding of the world with more weather and seasons activities in the garden and on our walks. We are also continuing to encourage the children’s growing independence by practicing putting on scarves, hats, gloves and wellies before going outside.

 

We’ve had fun with the role play area this term – the children have been enjoying Mummy’s and Daddy’s, doggies, babies and Paw Patrol!

 

We are continuing with our small group work each week with Write Dance, a super fun session and a fantastic way to build motor skills and introduce writing skills; we are still having fun with our science experiments and makaton signing.  You can see weekly updates from Kempshott Under Fives on our Facebook page “Kempshott Under Fives”, where you will see lots of photos of our preschool in action.

December - Happy Christmas from Kempshott Under Fives!

 

We haven't stopped this month - we have enjoyed Christmas songs, Christmas tree decorating, elf on the shelf antics, Christmas crafting and baking, and we've been practising for our Christmas sing a long!

We marked the end of term with a Christmas party for all the children where we enjoyed games and party food, and we finished it off with a performance of Christmas songs for our families.

Wishing you all a restful Christmas break and we are looking forward to more adventures in the new year!

November 2021 - a month of fun and colour!

 

Over the last month we’ve been exploring the season of autumn and have spent lots of time outdoors looking at autumn colours, listening to autumn sounds and collecting lovely natural resources to use in preschool.

November was full of fun and colour – we started off with fireworks and Diwali. We were joined by a special guest for Diwali who told us the story of Diwali and showed us some lovely outfits and dances. The children designed Mendhi patterns on paper and on our hands, we made clay tea light holders and we watched an episode of Peppa Pig celebrating Diwali too.

For our fireworks theme we used lots of colour and textures to create some wonderful firework pictures. Our best firework pictures were created by throwing painted tea bags at paper in the garden, it captured the explosion effect perfectly!

For Remembrance Day we learnt the Makaton sign for poppy. We also made wreaths, a group poppy picture and we made poppy biscuits with chocolate button centres. The children also joined in with a two-minute silence and did an incredible job!

We helped raise some money for Children in Need in November and we had a lovely week in preschool doing lots of Pudsey inspired activities with the children. We also invited everyone to dress up through the week in their favourite fun clothes and staff came to preschool dressed in pyjamas.

This term we have been busy with mark making in lots of different ways, we have had the table horizontal and vertical, we have created large drawings on the floor, used small bits of paper, experimented with paint, pens, pencils, crayons. We give the children these experiences as the different motions help to promote muscle growth and strength and pre-writing skills as well as gross and fine motor skills. We give the children the freedom to be creative and use any resources they like, in any way they like – in our pre-writing and mark making exercises it is about the process not the product.

We have also celebrated World Nursery Rhyme Week and Odd Sock Day.

We are of course continuing with our small group work every week with Write Dance, a super fun session and a fantastic way to build motor skills and introduce writing skills; Science experiments and our cooking sessions when we make or bake treats each week. Next on the baking table will be some yummy Christmas goodies as we are now entering the month of glitter, sparkle and Christmas cheer!

October 2021 - Our first half term completed!

 

We’ve had a great first half term at Kempshott Under Fives – some lovely new friendships have been formed and our little ones have been getting to know each other with our “All About Me” topic. We’ve also been learning all about autumn.

 

We’ve made the most of our outdoor time and discovered all the autumn colours, patterns and the changes that we see in the environment as the seasons change. We’ve been on scavenger hunts in the fields and church garden looking out for conkers, pine cones, twigs and leaves, which are all great natural resources to use in preschool at this time of year. After half term we will be spending more time outdoors and encouraging the children to get their listening ears on and listen out for the wonderful sounds of autumn such as crunching leaves, wind in the trees, splashy puddles and lots more. We are also looking at animals that hibernate as part of our autumn topic. Lots of children have spoken about hedgehogs, so we had fun playing pin the nose on the hedgehog. Hedgehog has also been one of our words to learn in our weekly Makaton signing lessons.

 

The children have really enjoyed our All About Me topic – they looked in the mirror and made self-portraits using various materials. It’s been fun to notice similarities and differences between us all and we made a tally chart of who had what colour hair and eyes. We also played games to identify if we were wearing pink or blue and if we had short hair, long hair, were a boy, a girl, wore stripy socks, wellyboots or trainers. The children are fascinated with the photocopier so we’ve also been photocopying our hands and comparing them!

 

Coming up in November we will be getting creative with clay when we celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, and with bonfire night coming up we’ll be using lots of colour to create our own fireworks and we’ll be exploring lots of sounds for firework night too. It’s pumpkin season too so we’ll be making some yummy pumpkin soup with the children.

September 2021 - Welcome to a new year at Kempshott Under Fives!

 

Welcome back! We love the start of a new academic year at Kempshott Under Fives – it’s lovely to see how much our returning children have grown over the summer holidays and it’s wonderful to meet our new children too.

Transitions can be challenging for young children, so our first few weeks are all about settling in, exploring the new environment, making new friends and looking after the children's well-being – this helps to make the transition as smooth as possible.  All children are individuals, and while some children will adjust fairly easily and quickly to new routines, others will take longer to feel comfortable and secure. At Kempshott Under Fives we work hard to ensure that all children settle happily.

 

Our first topic “All About Me” is a great chance for the children to learn all about themselves, their new friends and their families. We use stories, arts, crafts and songs to help our children discover what is unique and special about themselves and each other.

 

As the weather is still good the children have been making the most of the garden. We will be using our outdoor learning environment as much as possible and we have some great activities planned for extending our children’s learning outdoors. We’ll also be learning about autumn this term and exploring colours, outdoor sounds and hibernating animals. There will be lots of sticks and leaves to collect to build bug hotels and hedgehog houses. And we’ll be holding weekly cooking sessions and weekly science experiments too.

July 2021 - the end of a wonderful year!

 

What a great year we’ve had at Kempshott Under Fives! We had a lovely send off for our older children that are leaving for school; they enjoyed a party with lots of food and games, followed by a graduation ceremony in the garden. We wish all of our children lots of luck and happiness in their new schools and although we’re sad to see them go, we know they are all completely ready for this next adventure.

There have been so many highlights this year - we’ve hosted a sponsored obstacle course, enjoyed a fun Christmas party, spent lots of time outdoors and built a new climbing frame in the garden. We have even hatched our own butterflies! The children have learnt so much and they’ve grown in confidence and independence too.

Thank you to our wonderful parents for all of their support through the year and to our lovely children for making our jobs so much fun.

We are now looking forward to welcoming our new starters to Kempshott Under Fives in September and hearing all about our returning children’s summer adventures.

Have a great summer!