With our worlds turned upside down earlier this week, I have to confess Mother’s Day had slipped completely out my mind until late on Thursday. The little ones just had time to make their Mums a simple card. I am sure that now, more than ever, we are all feeling beyond lucky and grateful for the simple things in life.
I would like to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mums out there and particularly to all the wonderful Mothers of the children I have been lucky to care for over the past 5 years.
I’d like to wish you all Gung Hay Fat Choy! A happy Chinese New Year that is!
Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. In Chinese tradition, each year is named after one of twelve animals, which feature in the Chinese zodiac – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. The animals have a year dedicated to them once every 12 years, in a cycle.
This year is the year of the Rat, the first of all the zodiac animals. In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus.
The children ( ages 1, 1.5, 2, 5 and 6) have had great fun enjoying all manner of Chinese New Year related crafts the past couple of weeks. They have had fun colouring in and wearing fun Chinese hats, making their own chopstick picture frames, using their Chinese fans, making dragon masks and puppets and snake mobiles all the while learning about Chinese Customs. They have enjoyed dressing up in our Chinese Outfits and twirling Chinese parasols above their heads.
Exploring Chinese New Year is a great way to get the kids interested in the wider world. I recall very vividly being taken to China Town as a young girl and observing in wide eyed fascination all the Chinese New Year customs. I remember dragons dancing through the street and loved getting my name written for me in Chinese. I think it’s lovely that the School the older ones attend are exploring China as a topic too.
As you can imagine we have ticked off many EYFS areas of learning including – Communication & Language, Physical Development (Fine Motor Skills), Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Expressive Arts and Design and Understanding the World.
Unlike many other Childminders, I point blank refuse to start anything Christmas related before 1st December! I like to avoid Christmas fatigue setting in before the big day which can be overwhelming in itself for children. That said, it doesn’t give us long to motor through all our Christmas related activities!
So far, the children have enjoyed pretty Snow Princess sticker scene boards and some fun Santas workshop ones. We have been reading Dear Santa by Rod Campbell and colouring in Christmas Present pictures. We have made some lovely cone angel decorations and decorated some wooden decorations for the children to take home for their Christmas trees.
The younger children have also been extending their vocabulary learning new words such as “halo” and “sleigh”.
Check back soon to see what other Christmas fun we have been having!
The children have been loving their Halloween themed Arts and Crafts the past week or so. We try not to start too early to avoid Halloween fatigue setting in! We’ve read spooky Halloween themed books, coloured pumpkin masks, painted and coloured fun, hanging bats and enjoyed lots of spooky stickers!
These were all enjoyed by children ages 2, 4, 5 and 6.
Stickers and Bats from our favourite Arts and Crafts suppliers Baker Ross.
Today, Tuesday 5th February, Chinese New Year begins.
This year is the year of the pig.
In nurseries and schools up and down the country today, children will be celebrating and learning about Chinese New Year in lots of fun and exciting ways. With just two little ones aged just 16 and 19 months however, we kept it simple with this fab Peppa Pig Chinese New Year book. Because, if there’s one thing all my mindees love it’s Peppa Pig!
This week my mindees have been enjoying some Valentines Day related arts and crafts. Using tissue paper cut into different shapes we created heart shaped collages, lots of gluing and sticking was great for developing fine motor skills. We learnt new words such as “collage”. We learnt that Valentine’s Day, or St Valentine’s Day, is celebrated every year on 14 February and explained that it’s the day when people show their affection for another person or people by sending cards, flowers or chocolates with messages of love. We also enjoyed some playdough and some mark making and sensory rice play too.
Areas of Learning covered: Expressive Arts and Design, Understanding the World, Communication & Language, Mathematics, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.