This week our topic book was Fergal is Fuming by Robert Starling. The book is all about a little dragon called Fergal who has trouble controlling his emotions and often gets angry and feels fiery. Throughout the book he learns how to calm himself down using counting, breathing and other relaxing techniques.
We took inspiration from our topic book and the conversations it started around the different ways that we calm ourselves down to set up a different type of Art activity this week. While the children were painting we listened to Indian music and during our drawing activity the children drew to classical music using oil pastels. We encouraged the children to listen to the music and to create marks on the paper based on how the music made them feel. It was very interesting to see how the children drew and painted slower when the music was slower and drew and painted faster when the music sped up. The Indian music also inspired the children to use a lot of bright and warm colours such as red, orange and yellow.
This week our Role Play area was set up with babies and potties and the children had a wonderful time pretending to be Mummies and Daddies and helping to potty train the babies. It was lovely to see the Fledglings using their imagination to extend the role play scenarios with each other and incorporating experiences from their home life into their play.
During Free Play the most popular activities were the messy play, Montessori Dressing frames, fine motor skills boards and our stacking blocks. In the messy tray we used shaving foam and paint to extend our Art activity and the children loved having the opportunity to explore the texture of the paint and shaving foam with their hands and observing the different marks they could make. We asked the Fledglings to try and use their words to describe how the shaving foam felt in their hands and many of them described it as "cold" and "soft". This was a great activity to develop the children's confidence in feeling new materials and getting messy and encouraged the children to extend their vocabulary whilst having loads of fun.
We used the stacking shapes in Free Play to extend the children’s interest in learning about and exploring shapes last week. They practised identifying big, medium and small shapes and ordering them by size as well as naming shapes and matching them to picture cards. Our Montessori Frames encouraged the children to practise using zippers, buttons and shoelaces which also continues to support their refinement of fine motor skills and their independence.
On Tuesday we went out for our Outdoor Learning Day. We discussed the rules of our Safety Zone and what to do if we see rubbish on the ground or if we see a dog or a stranger. The children showed a good understanding of staying within the Safety Zone and close to their teachers and walked excellently together on the rope. Once we arrived at the common the children were excited to be able to explore their surroundings and set out on their activity to work in pairs to find different natural objects on their checklist. This activity generated a lot of discussion amongst the children about colours and the types of plants that they discovered. We of course also made time for tree climbing which is always one of the children's favourite activities!
In our Focus Time activity we created a Science experiment with the children about actions and consequences. The children took turns to say unkind words and to use unkind hands to an apple. We then cut the apple in half and discovered that the apple was bruised and hurt inside. We learnt that sometimes we look okay from the outside but actions and words can still hurt us on the inside. The children then experimented with saying kind words and using kind hands to another apple and when we cut that this one in half we observed that the apple was healthy and happy inside. This encouraged the children to reflect on how they want to feel and how they want to make others feel. It was wonderful to see the children making connections between actions and consequences through a hands on experience which helped them understand their own and others’ emotions better.