Newsletter – April 2015

The unexpected but very welcomed glorious weather, brought with it lots of opportunity for the Under 5s to play, learn and have fun outdoors. Most of the attention was focused on our back garden, which is slowly starting to come to life after the winter. The children have had lots of fun preparing one of the raised beds ready for planting vegetables, and our new little greenhouse is now full of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and other fruit and vegetables. Each child has also planted their own pot of potatoes, which they will then take responsibility for watering and looking after. Over the summer holiday, the children will also be able to continue looking after them at home and enjoying the fruits (or potatoes!) of their labour! Our barrel pond is also water tight and the children had lots of fun filling it with both water and plants. In April, we were also joined for an evening by Jo Chandler, our Early Years Advisory Teacher, who talked to parents about how to support pre-schoolers to learn letters, sounds and the skill of writing. As parents, we’re often eager for our children to be able to write before attending school, however, for a 3 or 4 year old to be achieve this, there is so much more to it than just picking up a pen one day and being taught how to form letters! In order to write, children need to strengthen muscles in their shoulders, arms and hands, have flexible fingers and thumbs and develop the necessary fine motor skills. A child who is made to write before their shoulders,...

Newsletter – March 2015

As Spring is in the air and the daffodils are starting to bloom in the Under 5s garden, the preschool’s young gardeners have been busy! It’s the start of the planting season, and the first activity on the agenda this month was to plant potatoes. Each child had the opportunity to plant their own large tub of potatoes, which they will then water and look after until later in the year when they will be able harvest their very own crop. The children also had fun preparing our large barrel, ready to convert it into a small pond, making it water tight with pebbles and checking for leaks! Ongoing work to the garden has also seen the addition of a mud kitchen for making some lovely mud pies and the children have helped tidy a few areas with the addition of more bark and stones. It’s also been a busy month of occasions, with the children celebrating St David’s Day by making Welsh cakes, and making some lovely cards for Mother Day. With Easter around the corner, themed activities are already in full flow, such as Easter baking and games based on Easter egg counting, which are not only great fun, but educational too! As a community preschool, our dedicated committee are involved in organising a number of events to raise money for the setting and in some cases for other good causes too! This month, the preschool held a very successful tombola and cake sale after school, with the profits being shared by Under 5s and BLISS – the charity for premature babies, which is a cause close...

Newsletter – January 2015

After a hectic December full of Christmas activities, fundraising at the Yatton Keynell market and our own version the nativity, which sadly was minus a poorly Joseph, the children have all now settled back into the preschool routine, full of energy after the Winter break. As is usual at the start of every new term, there were several new starters joining Under 5s and it’s been great time for the children to get to know each other and for the older children to help to settle in the new younger pre-schoolers. There can be a massive difference between a child who has just turned two, and one who is approaching five and starting school, yet it’s always amazing how all the children take care of and help each other, and make lovely friendships irrespective of age. Children often learn best outside, and at this time of year, cold crisp winter days are great for getting the children outside (wrapped up in coats and woolly hats!) and going on nature walks and seeing what the winter season has to offer. That’s not forgetting more rainy days where there is the opportunity for the obligatory jumping in puddles! With more and more parents juggling the preschool run, the school run, work and other commitments too, it’s increasingly important for preschools to offer flexible childcare to suit the needs of as many parents as possible. That’s why, here at Yatton Keynell Under 5s we’re always talking to our current and prospective parents, and adapting our offering and opening times to give the best possible childcare solution. After reopening less than a year...

Newsletter – December 2014

Christmas is always a magical and exciting time of the year for young children and the pre-schoolers at Yatton Keynell Under 5s enjoyed a full month of fun Christmas activities. The children all a whole host of Christmas crafts, including making salt dough decorations, cards and snow globes, whilst playing in the preschools very own Santa’s Grotto! One of the highlights for the children was making make their own individual Christmas puddings, from weighing all the ingredients out, to stirring and spooning the mixture into bowls. The children all had a special treat at the Christmas party, as the staff cooked all the children a Christmas dinner, complete with turkey and all the trimmings…and even sprouts! All the children tucked in and most of them even tried all the vegetables! This was then followed by some party games and Christmas songs. The party ended in the traditional way, with a visit from a very special visitor all dressed in red, who gave each child a little present. The term concluded with a traditional nativity play which the children performed in St Margaret’s Church, Yatton Keynell. be Performing a play with over 20 pre-schoolers is always a challenge for the team, but with lots of practising of the songs, many rehearsals and lots of enthusiastic children, the play to parents and friends was a great success! As we move into January, and whilst the excitement of Christmas is over, there is still set to be lots to enjoy at Under 5s in coming months, with several new starters to the preschool and lots of interesting activities planned. Plus, we will...

Newsletter – November 2014

At Yatton Keynell Under 5s, many of the activities reflect seasons and themes and therefore Bonfire Night and Remembrance Day both featured heavily in November. The children used their imagination and creative skills to make some lovely Bonfire and Firework pictures using black paper and coloured chalks. The pre-schoolers also learnt about keeping themselves safe around fireworks and bonfires, which also extended into awareness of fire safety. To mark Remembrance Day, all the children contributed to a fantastic craft poppy picture, which once complete was displayed at the church in Yatton Keynell. At 11am on 11th November, all the children to part in a one minute silence. Keeping a room full of 2, 3 and 4 year olds still and quiet for any period of time can be challenging, and therefore we are really proud of the children for all observing the minutes silence and understanding its importance. One popular activity at Under 5s this month which is often a favourite, is making items out of balsa wood – after all, most pre-schoolers like hammering and building things! This is a great activity for encouraging children to use their imagination and fine motor skills, whilst adding some (fully supervised!) risk to their learning and development and showing them the correct and safe way to use tools. As we move into December with all the fun and excitement that that entails, the team are already making preparations. The Christmas nativity is one of the highlights for any preschool parents, but for the staff and children it requires lots of practising and learning of Christmas songs to make sure everything goes...

Newsletter – October 2014

At Under 5s, our preschool days are full of hands on experiences, providing the children with an exciting environment to grow, learn and develop friendships. And, this month was no different! Harvest was a key theme in October that really captured the interest of the children and led to a whole host of activities. There was a lot of interest in fruit and vegetables, including counting and matching vegetables, our very own muddy field with hidden vegetables for the children to dig and the opportunity to look at the differences between different types of produce in relation to size, shape, colour and weight. One highlight of the month was a visit from Tracie Philpott, who came to speak to the children about harvest and the process of planting, growing and harvesting corn, then making the flour and then bread. This was then followed by the children drawing pictures of their favourite foods, which then ranged from pizza and cake to marmite sandwiches! Following this, the children all had the opportunity to make their own bread, which all the children found fascinating! They loved weighing the ingredients mixing it all together and most of all watching the bread rise in the bowl. The resultant rolls that the children then formed may have been slightly misshapen, but tasted really good! Despite some rain, there was still an opportunity for the pre-schoolers to spend lots of time outside, and one of their favourite activities was to collect seasonal leaves and pinecones and then make a collage with their finds. Alongside harvest, the children have also had lots of fun with their favourite...