Puddles and Pumpkins, Witches and Wind

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A wonderful, weather-y week!

The week started with a little potion making (we’ve been turned into all sort of things!) – and this, along with our seasonal exploration of pumpkins and book of the week, was a gentle nod to halloween. We take care to be mindful that not everyone celebrates halloween and that also some elements can be scary for little ones. It was a good chance to share our different family cultures and acknowledge that people celebrate different things in different ways.

There has been exploration of cinnamon scented play dough and hawthorn berries. The children loved the garlic crush brought in by Lu and have been developing their finger muscles and exploring force by squeeeezing dough through, really absorbed in making long ‘worms’ and using scissors to snip them.

We have also explored some beautiful Autumn leaves – our own from site and some extra special ones collected by Steph – the children have used them in their pictures, added them to masks and today we used the light box to have a closer look at their stunning shapes and colours.

Last week lots of the children asked to make apple pies, so this week we had a go using our vintage pie iron to make them for snack – we cheat a little using bread for the pastry but it works well! They were delicious!

It’s good now to see the children working together in our animal teams to tidy up at the end of the day. Washing up, putting away, organising the trollies for the end of the day – all these things develop their sense of responsibility and their co-operative and communication skills were really on display on Wednesday. Well done Wednesday gang!

Of course we have had rain and wind and everything in between this week – the mud and puddles have been an important part of the children’s play. Their favourite puddle at the moment is in the loose parts area – today they realised it had got deeper and the splashes were BIGGER than yesterday. They took turns to take running jumps and make some super splashes. Apart from being a brilliant way to do some real life maths and science and develop physical and co-operative skills – the children looked at how deep it was, tested by jumping higher, further, took turns and refined their jumps – isn’t jumping in a puddle one of the joys of childhood?!

We are so thankful though for the little microclimate we have at the orchard – and how sheltered we are here – and also for our lovely, cosy cabin which we snuggled in today until lunchtime. Then it was outside for a big run around under the rainbows!

The book of the week has been Room on the Broom – and the wild windy weather was a perfect backdrop for the story…

How the cat purred and how the witch grinned, as they sat on the broomstick and flew through the wind.

But how the witch wailed and how the cat spat, when the wind blew so wildly, it blew off the hat!

We’ve listened to it a lot – at story time and throughout the day. Research shows that repetition helps language learning and it’s so much fun to get to know the story and for the children to join in! Iggety Ziggety Zaggety ZOOM!!!!