Magical Activities in Free Flow for Over 2’s
Twice a day the children are given the opportunity to explore in all areas of learning, please see a list below:
Water Play – Lets Splash!
We encourage every child to explore with bottles, funnels, sponges, floating and sinking items, bubbles and washing dolls. It’s so much fun. We create under the sea reefs with fresh herbs and natural materials so we can go exploring these with pirates or we go fishing or we can play hook a duck! The children really enjoy splashing with the water and in the nursery environment we are equipped for the children to enjoy this in a safe environment.
Messy Play – Lets get Messy!
We provide varied activities in this area so that every child can explore using all of their senses. We provide jelly, gloop, corn flour, flour, ice, pasta, spaghetti all of these activities encourage your child to explore through their senses. We also like to make our own play dough then we roll, pinch, pat and squeeze it. The children have so much fun in this Messy Play Area.
Sand Play – Lets dig!
We provide both wet and dry sand on a daily basis. The children are then able to explore using a wide range of equipment to dig, sieve, funnel, fill and empty. There are a large range of moulds of different sizes, shapes and textures for the children to fill and make. We also like to make tracks in the sand with trains, cars and animals. We also love to hide treasure in the sand and look for it. And create dinosaur’s lands so the children can explore their scary side!
Mark making – Lets draw
In this area there is a variety of paper, note pads, coloured paper both small and large sizes. The children have access to scissors, magazines, cards and envelopes. The children have name cards so that they are able to learn how to write their name. Different writing materials from chalks, felt tip pens, pencil crayons and crayons are available for the children to experience. The team place the children’s work into their home storage box for parents to take home. The children love to discuss all about their pictures that they have created and love to share their creative genius with you at home.
Mathematics – Lets count
There are puzzles and jigsaw available for all children to explore their problem solving skills. We like to measure with items that are heavy or light using the weighing scales. We can measure our hands and feet and compare sizes. With picture cards, blocks, dominos and many counting equipment we challenge the children’s counting ability and extend their knowledge in many game formats. We have measuring tapes and calculators and we like to pretend play with the children in making houses or doing the shopping. Maths is all around us and the team are always thinking of great activities to investigate so your child will be coming home with lots of knowledge.
Creative – Lets paint – Lets use our imagination
Using large and small paint brushes, shaped sponges, natural materials such as potatoes or apples and rollers the children are able to print using a vast range of paints creating artwork on a large and small scale. We can create many pieces of artwork with crate paper, card, coloured sands, bubble wrap, cloth materials, feathers and buttons. Whichever the material used to create your child’s master piece they always take great pride in it and love to take their work home and sharing it with all of the family.
Role play – Lets dress up
With different outfits from superheroes, princess, fairies, fire fighters and much, much more the children are able to dress up and role play in these characters. With the help and support from the nursery team we create hospitals, doctor’s surgeries and fire stations. The children especially enjoy when we have the different service professionals to visit and talk to the children.
The role play area is set out as a real life home so for all of those children that love to help in the kitchen and love to clean and tidy then our home area is great for them.
Large imaginative – Lets be animals
This area is forever changing…into a Zoo, Fairies Garden, Outer Space, Fire Station and much more. The children’s creative and imaginative skills are extended and wonderful inspirational games, stories and role play are created with the team asking key questions to develop these. What will this area be next? We’ll have to ask the children…
Stories – Lets listen
A large number of informative, imaginative and educational books both large and small are provided. The children are able to explore with a book on their own and in small and large groups. We provide textured books so that children are able to feel as well as see and hear. The children like to make up their own stories and the team encourages them to illustrate their work. The team like to recreate stories with dressing up from the modern stories such as the Gruffalo to classic favourites such as the Gingerbread Man.
Small imaginative – Lets be farm animals
Exploring with farm animals, dinosaurs, zoo animals, the doll’s house, the play village, the trains, planes and automobiles the children are encouraged to use their imaginative skills. The team like to extend this type of play by going on visits to local Farms or the East Lancs Railway. A great day trip out to see further details of our outings click here.
Construction – Lets build a tower
Let’s build a tower, a bridge, a house, a farmyard pen, a train, a car…….using natural materials such as cardboard boxes both large and small, rubber bricks or building blocks the children use their imagination to create all of these things. They have so much fun playing with them. The team extend the children’s learning in this area with a great many activities.
Jigsaws and games – Lets play a game
Jigsaws and games can be on a large or small scale and played both indoors or outdoors. The children love to play, ‘What Time is it Mr.Wolf?’ hide and seek or farmers in his den. Jigsaws provide the children the opportunity to explore independently or with their friends.
Music – Lets make music
Music is a big factor in the nursery day as the children like to express their emotions with bashing the drums, tapping the tambourine or strumming a guitar in a small or large group. We play a variety of cultured music in lots of different styles so the children can move to the music or make the music alongside. Whichever way the children listen to or create the music the children always enjoy it.
Tidy up time
The children are assisted by members of the team to help tidy up the activities that they have been playing with. This encourages their independence skills. The children are rewarded with stickers and high fives.
Small group times
Each child’s over all development is assessed by their key person. Please see section Observations, Assessments and Planning for full details of how this is carried out. Each individual child is placed within a small group with one of our professional members of the team. Within this group time children like to explore a variety of themes, topics and educational activities in a fun way. The children begin small group times with a welcome song; the children like to use Makaton alongside. Once all of the children say hello the practitioner will then explain the activity and the children start to join in with this. At the end of the group time all children can show, tell and explain what they have been doing. They are recognised for their hard work by a sticker, high five or asked to on the special table for lunch time.
The children then explore a variety of educational focused activities please see examples of a week of fun educational activities.
The nursery team plans out exciting activities for the children to explore from bikes, trikes, creating and hiding dens, ribbon dancing, water and sand play, ring games such as ‘What time is Mr.Wolf and Tig’ and chasing bubbles. The children love to water and nurture the nursery garden with watering the plants, herbs and flowers.
Setting Up for Lunch Time
The older children in the nursery have the big responsibility of setting up for the children’s lunches. With this the children place all of the eating equipment out for every child in the nursery. The children really enjoy this part of the day because they are the helpers. The children are rewarded for their great work.
Washing Hands and Toileting
Good Hygiene levels are paramount within the nursery environment the children wash and dry their hands every time they eat at the nursery this can be at snack time or lunch time. We have fun visual images in the toilets at the nursery from Disney Princess to Buzz Light Year this encourages the children to go to their favourite toilet and encourages their independence skills. If your child has not started toilet training the nursery has great advice and tips to try and a very successful rate of toileting training. Please click here for advice from toilet training advice link.
The children sit with their peers at lunchtime and are encouraged to serve themselves this encourages both independence and confidence. The menus are thoughtfully planned out to consider children’s preferred choices and are seasoned using fresh ingredients. For full details please see healthy meals.
Our daily feedback for parents
When picking your child up from Magical Tree nursery you will be greeted by one of your child’s practitioners, who will let you know what your child has eaten, which particular activities they have enjoyed that day and if appropriate how they have got on with any toileting matters. This time is also key for parents to ask any questions they may have regarding their child’s time at nursery. The nursery parents give the nursery excellent feedback regarding this part of the day. The parents look forward to hearing all about their precious day.
Care and Education for the Under 2’s at Magical Tree Nurseries
At Magical Tree Nurseries we strive to provide the best possible care and education for our under 2’s age range. We aim to achieve this through an individual child centred approach of child initiated activities, small focused group times and holistic play resources such as treasure baskets.
What is a Treasure Basket?
The idea of treasure baskets was first pioneered by Elinor Goldschmied in the 1940’s, after observing young children’s love of all things natural. She emphasised the importance of natural materials that support the senses and promote relaxed exploratory play. Treasure baskets are a rich learning experience which encourage heuristic play. Children are able to learn through their senses and explore whilst also inspiring their imagination and developing their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
The Early Years Foundation Stage encourages us to ‘provide resources that stimulate babies’ interest and provide a range of objects of various textures and weight in baskets to excite and encourage babies’ interests.’ (EYFS, 2012)
Therefore at Magical Tree we endeavour to provide treasure baskets which enhance children’s learning and development.
|Sensory Basket Theme||Items included|
|Wooden/ Natural||Wooden brushes, sisal sponge, sponges, wooden egg & cup, curtain rings – shells, large corks, loafer, pumice stone.|
|Textured materials||Spoons, metal beakers, teapot, whisk, empty tin, measuring spoons, large bells.|
|Metal||Leather purse, rubber ball, fur fabric, velvet, hessian, coloured ribbon.|
|Colour theme/ sensory shakers||Items of all one colour – bricks, cars, materials, etc. – sensory bottles with water and glitter in or with beads or rice in to create a sound shaker.|
What is Group Time?
During group time your child will have the opportunity to interact with their friends and the nursery team. Throughout this your child will take part in interactive activities such as, stories, games, music and movement, baking, arts and crafts and many more exciting and stimulating activities. These activities are created with your child interests in mind.
We will provide many hours of fun and stimulation for your child and all of these experiences will be collected in your child’s personal Magical Memories Learning Journey.
On entering our Under 2’s room, as well as smiling faces, you will be greeted by our inspiring areas of learning. Which include;
Messy – within the ‘messy’ play area are two containers which the team fill daily with a variety of messy activities. A few of these worth mentioning include sand, water, jelly and shaving foam! The under two’s have access to digging and moulding items as well which encourage creativity and fine motor skills.
Home – the under two’s have access to a children’s size kitchen, a mirror and dressing up for role play. This area engages the children’s focus and imagination through the clothes and props provided. The children love having tea parties and looking at themselves dressed up in the mirror!
Construction – within the construction area the under two’s children have the opportunity to build, construct and create with cardboard boxes, tubes, a variety of different materials and different sized building blocks. The display in this area and all the areas have photograph’s of the children exploring and engaging and key words relevant to the area. This area promotes both large and fine motor skills and problem solving.
Music & Movement – the under two’s enjoy a mixed assortment of music in their room from classical children’s tunes to reggae! The area provides a tuneful selection of instruments to assist the children in their music and movement sessions. Also provided are ribbons so that the children can express themselves
Sensory & Treasure Baskets – the sensory area provides a heuristic experience for all, giving opportunity for the children to feel, hear, see and enjoy a range of treasure baskets. These treasure baskets include sensory bottles, natural resources, brushes and an assortment of paper, materials and sponges. This area aids the under two’s with their concentration and encourages hand-eye coordination.
Story – the book area provides a ‘cosy’ cushioned area perfect for learning first words or engaging in a magical fairytale. Within our book area we offer a wide range of books include, electronic, material, picture, story and information. These coincide with various puppets and props which inspire the children’s imagination. Children and their key worker develop a special relationship through sharing quiet time and stories together.
Jigsaws & Small World – these activities are great for practising fine motor skills. Jigsaws are very popular with the children and are used as a table top activity, encouraging hand-eye coordination and communication. Small world play is also a favourite of the under 2’s allowing them to explore, the zoo, the farm, train tracks and the car garage. In addition these encourage knowledge and understanding of the world, communication and imagination.