Gingerbread… squirrels?!?! 🐿 One of our children came into nursery recently very excitedly saying to Imogen that they’d really like to do two things that day: go to the park and make ‘gingerbread squirrels’!!Well we do like to follow the children’s interests and their wish is often our command when and where possible… so that day Imogen asked the rest of the children if they’d like to go on a trip out to the park. Unsurprisingly it was a resounding ‘yes!’ that she heard in response to her question, so that’s just what they did. As for the gingerbread squirrels 🐿… we checked our cutters and we had stars, trees, circles, squares, hearts, gingerbread men, but no squirrels!! So on that day we felt one out of two wasn’t bad?!? But…Tracey got Sian on the case and shortly after Sian was making an Amazon special order and a few days later a squirrel cutter arrived! So a week later the children were able to get busy making…. gingerbread squirrels – HURRAH!!!!Where will our children’s interests take us to next on our exciting Jolly learning journeys… we simply can’t wait to see♥️ xxxx

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

Stephen has been making it snow for his children in the movement room this morning… their minds were clearly on all things Christmassy and wintry and wonderful as they turned our spinning seats and balance boards into Santa’s sleigh being pulled by reindeer!!So following their lead Stephen carefully placed the white ball pool balls into the nets above the ball pool (contained in its own special tent) and then with the gentlest of shakes (and the hugest of smiles from our little ones!) it began to ‘snow’

Santa’s on a repair mission…

After watching Fiona replace the baby gate on the doorway into their room one of our little ones became fascinated with the toy tools and replicated what they’d seen.Then when playing outside ‘Santa’ just couldn’t resist fixing anything and everything in sight! Clearly Fiona had been an excellent and inspiring role model with her DIY skills….After mending everything a tea break was on the cards… although not just any old builder’s tea!! Ours was served up care of the mud kitchen in a silver goblet!!! Only at Jollies 😂🤣😂🤣😂 xxxx

Santa’s Little Helpers

🎅🏻Our children have been loving taking turns each day at being superb ‘Helper Elves’ as they have lovingly delivered all the Christmas cards, from our children and their families, from our Jolly Christmas postbox. They have been so excited as they’ve helped the grown ups to sort all the cards into piles and they have then delivered them to each room with the hugest of smiles!!We’ve also had the most magical role playing occurring too, as our children turned a crate and some red material into Santa’s sleigh! With the addition of some clipboards (they’ve been making their lists and checking them twice!!) and some wrapped up boxes they were soon on their way delivering presents to all their friends. They all took it in turns to be Santa, reindeer, or helper elves and they had a magical time role-playing together!

Fine motor skills…

……developed in true Christmas styyyylllleeeee! Our children have been honing their fine motor control and developing their finger strength whilst encountering some unusual, fun Christmas challenges!We had miniature Christmas trees that could be decorated with Santa pegs and as the children opened and closed these to clip them onto the branches they were strengthening their pincer grips to perfection♥️ (Not to mention the counting skills that were naturally occurring and the discussion around whether each Santa was being placed on a higher or lower branch than another….)Whilst in a mini exploratory tray full of ‘Christmas’ the next challenge involved pom-poms, reindeer pegs and Santa hats… all under the close supervision of the long legged Santa sitting in the corner!! The reindeers (again little pegs that facilitated both fine motor control development and finger strengthening) had to pick up the pom-poms and then pop them into upturned Santa hats or in mini Christmas present boxes. Again lots of discussion naturally occurred around whether boxes and hats were full or empty, could have more in or needed less… as well as the natural counting of pom-poms collected and all this was an aside from the intention that the skilful practitioners who had set these activities up had had for their children’s learning… Their focus was upon developing fine motor control and finger strength (as part of our carefully planned curriculum for developing and progressing writing skills/abilities), but all these magical mathematical concepts were also being organically explored and naturally developed too.

I love to do it myself!

Encouraging independence is the future (quite literally!)At Jollies we are constantly supporting our children to develop their independence skills and become confident, capable and resilient lovely little learners ♥️Recently the focus at snack and tea times has been upon our children being given the chance to be even more independent. They usually drive the choice as they frequently express their preferences; from the fruit/food they eat at snack times to the sandwich fillings they enjoy in their individual sandwiches, but this was taken a step further as the children made their own sandwiches.They developed their knife control as they spread the butter evenly across their slices of bread and after they had selected the filling many opted for a quick fold method as they had problem-solved and decided this was definitely the fastest way to complete their individual sandwiches and be ready to eat and enjoy them!! The sandwiches seemed to taste that extra bit yummy as they had made them themselves… 😋 At snack time the children have had the opportunity to show off their pouring skills too as they have filled their cups ready to enjoy some lovely milk to accompany their self-chosen pieces of fruit. They have shown themselves to be great pourers as they have worked out exactly how much to tilt the jug, held onto the cup to steady it and maintained concentration throughout to avoid spillages. Lots of lovely mathematical language was also naturally reinforced as they chatted to the grown-ups about jugs being empty and full and requiring more/less etc…We regularly practice filling, tipping, pouring and transferring in water trays and physical skills and fine motor control are developed through the games we play, the activities we set up and actions explored in our movement room/outside and we think we can safely say the development of these skills is definitely paying off as our children are quite the independent superstars ⭐️🌟✨ and we are VERY proud of them!! xxxx

You can call me on my cellphone

You can call me on my cellphone 📱🎶(….. arch from the construction set/piece of the rainbow 🌈)Our children love to use found objects to represent other everyday things that can then drive their imaginative play forward. Even though we have play phones in our role-play area, nothing beats finding something and turning it into your very own personal mobile phone…This little gang inspired each other and had THE best conversation together as they role-played happily together ♥️📱Whereas we just called to say….. 📞📞📞

Making choices….

If you popped into Pouncing Possums you’d find shelves full of wonderful possibilities…We ♥️ our babies to make choices (based upon their current interests and obsessions) as they enthusiastically select which toys and resources they’d like to play with throughout their nursery day.The shelves are full of exciting, inviting resources and they are all easily accessible to little hands so they can be freely explored.It is great to see our babies showing their preferences as they drive their own play forwards. The grown-ups follow their lead and sensitively observe to see when it’s appropriate to intervene in their play, to scaffold learning for them and develop play experiences further, or when to just sit back and observe (as sometimes as adults we can spoil their play if we try to take it off in a direction that doesn’t meet the child’s brief!!)We love supporting our babies to explore, explore, explore… will it be the ball pool, the soft play, the kitchen or will we just explore from shelf, to shelf, to shelf today?!

Is there a doctor in the house?!?!

Yes there is… 🩺🥼Some of our children were observed making ‘thermometers’ and ‘medicine’ out of the stickle bricks within their room and they were spontaneously using these to pretend to take their friends’ temperatures and make them feel better. They were overheard by Natalie talking about doctors and having appointments and as they had started roleplaying being ‘poorly’ that was it… Natalie went on a hunt in the attic for doctors’ kits, dressing up, bandages and all things medical!The role-playing that ensued was simply brilliant! We had great communication skills being developed as children pretended to answer the phone and booked appointments for their friends, mark making was encouraged as children took medical notes about the differing conditions and illnesses they were encountering too.Total absorption was observed and best of all total fun was had by one and all!Miracles were occurring at Jollies today as our genius doctors and nurses showed their lovely empathetic, caring ways and found cures for all ailments!! 💙💛🥼🩺🥼🩺💙💛 xxxx

The Christmas fairies came to visit!

Warning! Warning!Tomorrow’s drop off may take a little longer than usual as tonight the Christmas Fairies fluttered into Jollies to bring Christmas to nursery!Our fairies this year may have been few, but they were FABULOUS, and we thank them for their flittery, fluttery magic…Watch out for Santas, snowmen, penguins, polar bears, elves, Christmas trees, snowflakes, lights and sparkle…We hope you enjoy the magic in the morning…. when it will be 24 sleeps to go!!!! Eeeeeeek exciting!!! Xxxx