During the year, many of the children had shown a lot of interest in mini-beasts. With this in mind we decided to explore the topic further and develop their knowledge of some small creatures. To start our project off we went on a bug hunt and we found worms, slugs, snails, millipedes, centipedes, woodlice, spiders and beetles. The children brought some inside and used magnifying glasses to look at them more closely.
We were surprised at how long a fairly small looking slug can become when it stretches itself full length and the snails, we discovered, were escape artists capable of scaling the tallest of our containers. In the following weeks we learnt many interesting things including the difference between millipedes and centipedes and it is not the number of feet each have! We learnt that spiders turn the insides of their prey into mush before sucking them up and that ladybird larvae don’t look anything like the adults.
We also found hundreds mini-beasts on our willow den. Maike brought us some caterpillars and in the course of a couple of weeks we watched them grow into enormous caterpillars before becoming pupae hanging from a thin thread. Before butterflies emerge, the pupae shake so we were able to watch some of the butterflies as they wriggled their way out. It was lovely to set them free on a fine afternoon and to watch them settle on clover and honeysuckle to feed on the nectar.
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Of course lots of our arts and craft work centred around the creatures we were learning about. We printed pictures of spiders with the cut ends of toilet rolls, painted pebbles to look like ladybirds and made caterpillars by folding strips of paper together. The children loved walking spirals we set out on the floor using a rope and they enthusiastically moved around the room pretending to be slugs, caterpillars, butterflies and bees!
When the Nursery was closed in June for Polling Day we went to Roessa’s for a nature walk in the woods. We listened to the birds and the sound of the wind in the trees. We made magic potions and gathered flowers, leaves, sticks etc to take back to Roessa’s house and create natural collage pictures. During our walk we also made colour charts, observing the infinite variety of colours in the environment around us.
In July, Lorna very kindly organised Sports Day for us again and the children were able to demonstrate some of the skills they have been practising in their Playball lessons this year. They also participated in an obstacle course and some parachute games, always a favourite. It was one of the hottest days of the year and we completely forgot to invite parents to participate in running races! However, nobody reminded us!
At the end of term Amanda and Jacqui organised a tea party for the leavers and made delicious cakes for us all to enjoy. As always, we are very sad to say goodbye to our children starting school this September. We wish them success and happiness and very much hope that they will visit us and let us know how they are getting on. We look forward to the start of another year in September and to welcoming new children and parents.