April/May 2023

Here we are at another half term. My doesn’t the time fly when you are having fun!!

We returned after the Easter holidays refreshed and ready to learn.

We started the term by following the children’s lead, allowing them to show us any new skills or interests that may have developed over the holidays. The children are still super keen on building, we placed some huge boxes in the garden and the children used them to create and imagine. Building towers, houses, dens for animals, castles. It was fun to watch the wind blow the boxes over, we needed to change tactics and use our critical thinking to figure out a way of stacking the boxes so they wouldn’t fall down so easily.

We celebrated International dance week by making dancing rings, and exploring different types of dance using props and music. We watched some maypole dancing then decorated our own maypole before propping it up in the grass to dance around.

Then it was time to introduce the “kings coronation.” We added many activities including, afternoon tea for snack, creating our own crowns, stories, even a throne to have a go at being “royal”.

Moving on to our theme of occupations, the children have been roleplaying in St Helens doctors surgery. Using the apparatus to check their patients in, taking turns to be the patient or the doctor and even caring for some of the ladies!

We celebrated international day of families by drawing the people in our families and who lives with us in our homes.

This term we will be been learning about life cycles, starting with “bee week”. We painted bee stones, tasted honey for snack and took part in “the great bumblebee race” where we had to collect nectar and take it back to the hive. We have also begun to plant some veggies in our garden, some sunflowers and after half term we will welcome the caterpillars to the preschool for us to take care of and watch grow into butterflies.

The last half term is a time for transition to primary school for some of our older children. We will provide the children with some fun activities to encourage independence and give them as many skills as possible before they move onto their new schools. If you would like any advice or support during this time please speak to a member of staff.

March 2023

Wahoo it’s spring!! And we’re ready for it with spring themed activities and preparations underway for our Easter open morning!

Carrying on from World Book Day the children came in wearing their costumes and brought their favourite books to share in our “book nook”. We had various book themed activities, including making a stick man, gingerbread man playdough, and story sacks.

Just when we thought it was time to bust out the summer hats… the heavens opened and coated our garden in soft white snow. So we wrapped up warm and went out to explore!! Some children were definitely not keen on this strange, cold, white stuff (it was the first time some of our children had ever experienced snow)… others loved it.. making snow angels and throwing snowballs at the ladies!

We took advantage of the bad weather with some indoor physical activities. We got out the parachute and the children learned how to listen and follow instructions, making the parachute loud, quiet and listening when to start and stop. Windy weather saw us in the garden with ribbons, making circles and waves. We loved holding them up to see which way the wind was blowing.

A heavy downpour of rain brought lots of wiggly worms onto the concrete. A group of children were keen to ‘save’ the worms and carefully collected them before placing them in one of our flower pots.

The children are really enjoying building of any kind at the moment. We’ve set up lots of activities, giving them the opportunity to use their critical thinking in building using different resources. Large cardboard boxes in the garden, woodwork, building blocks using house templates, and tools and bricks.

A very special visitor popped in to see us towards the end of the month. Kim and her lovely new little baby boy. The children were very excited to see her and the baby.

Thankyou all that came to our Easter Open morning, and to those that bought raffle tickets. It was a great success and we hope you enjoyed our special activities. We raised a fantastic £800 which will be put towards 2 new laptops and an entertainer for the end of year celebration.

We would like to wish you all a “Hoppy Easter”!! Have a great break!

February 2022

Happy February!!

A few exciting celebrations happened this month. We celebrated Valentine’s Day, pancake day, St David’s day, we enjoyed a half term holiday and when we returned we had lots of story based activities to coincide with World Book Day.

We do love our messy play here at St Helens, and this month we were not short of fun opportunities to get messy. Shaving foam, painting with sponges, heart shapes, our hands and fingers, more shaving foam, playdough (valentines themed) and a sensory fruity water tray using fruits we have on our pancakes.

Indoor and outdoor physical activities this month saw us scoring goals into happy and sad themed goals, playing musical statues then when the music stopped the children had to find the correct coloured heart and stand by it. The great pancake race took place during pancake week (like egg and spoon race… but with a pancake… in a frying pan) what fun we have had! We introduced Danny Go Go (you’re welcome parents) to our music and movement sessions! The ice king is now a firm daily favourite, the monkey song coming a close second.

During one of our yoga sessions we practised breathing while feeling our tummies rising up and down. Then we placed teddy’s on our tummy’s and watched them rise up and down as we breathed in and out.

The children have been practising concentration and control, following lines using scissors, or pencils, and colouring sheets. And some children had a turn in the woodwork area, creating their own masterpieces.

We begun our World Book day celebrations early, to ensure all children have a chance to join in the festivities. We set up a cosy corner in the lunch room to share stories the children have brought from home and some story sacks.

Now we look forward to March!! Hoping for lots of lovely warmer weather so we can get outside and enjoy the fresh air. As much as we love the wintery weather… nothing beats the joy that comes from spring.

Keep your eyes peeled for news of our Easter Open morning… coming soon!!

January 2023

It’s a new year and what a great way to celebrate by welcoming you back to preschool. We hope you enjoyed your Christmas break and are ready for a new year of learning and exploring.

Our book theme for this half term is “we’re going on a bear hunt.” So we’ve set out lots of activities based on the book. For example, bear hunt yoga, a bear hunt around the garden, bear hunt hide and seek, a bear hunt sensory experience. We added a cave to the yellow room.

Chinese new year came along and this year is the year of the rabbit. The children tried some Chinese food at snack time, ate with chopsticks, had a go at Chinese dragon dancing, made some Chinese fans and money wallets and with lots of conversation on Chinese traditions and celebrations.

The weather has been super cold, but as you know we love all weathers, so we wrapped up warm and headed out to explore the wintery scene. The frost made our garden look magical and sparkly, especially spiderwebs. The children noticed when breathing out they could see their breath, some of them called it “dragon breath.” We had great fun breaking up the ice, watching it melt in the sun and inspecting the bubbles and patterns inside. We took some ice inside to carry on our learning adding different tools, paint and glitter.

The children have been exploring colour mixing using paint in ziplock backs, to poke, squish and squeeze, guessing what colour it might change to. Some boys and girls carried this on at the paint easel, wondering what would happen to mix colours on the paper… and in their hands. What a lovely squishy experience.

As always, dinosaurs are a firm favourite at preschool. So we transformed the lunch room into the dinosaur park!! With lots of physical play, climbing, balancing, throwing, but also building, colouring and some books to sit and read. Some boys and girls shared their stories from going to the dinosaur park.

It was great to welcome some of our parents in for parents evening. We would like to Thank you for all the positive feedback we received.

December 2022

How is it December already!! Time really flies when you are having fun.

We started the month celebrating St Andrews day, we took part in some Scottish dancing and had a special visit from 2 of our parents playing some Scottish sounds using flutes. The children tried haggis, and neeps and tattys and decorated Scottish flags.

On December the 1st a very special visitor appeared in the setting, inside a balloon. He said he was sent from the North Pole and using a suggestion from one of the children we named him Alan the elf. He was a mischievous little elf and played lots of tricks on us.. including drawing over the ladies photos, ziplining across the snack area, riding on the back of incy our spider, and invading the Christmas stay and play sessions with his friends.

We’ve enjoyed lots of Christmas/winter themed activities this month. A snowball throwing target game, present wrapping station, card making, snowy small world play, gingerbread play dough, marble painting, dressing up, pine cone decorating, cosy Christmas stories, ice colour mixing, Christmas music and movement, just to name a few.

The children wrote letters to Santa, the older children went for a walk with some ladies to the post box to post their letters and the younger children posted theirs in our very special post box sent from the North Pole.

The Christmas stay and play sessions were a huge success, it was great to welcome our families in to join in some Christmas activities with the children and for a snowy surprise at the end.

The staff and committee at St Helens would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

We look forward to welcoming you back on Wednesday 4th January.

November 2022

We return for the second half of the autumn term, we hope you all had a nice break.

Our first celebration of the term was bonfire night. The children shared their stories of fireworks while we watched some firework videos on YouTube. We then experimented with being a firework and whizzing into the air before making a big bang. We made our own firework pictures, made firework patterns in glitter and threaded pipe cleaners through colanders to make shooting rockets.

We celebrated remembrance day, with poppy printing, soldier marching with drums and a sand tray, set up with soldiers, tanks and a story called “where the poppies now grow”.

Children in need this year was great fun with lots of spotty activities, it was lovely to see all the children in their spotty clothes. Thankyou for taking part in our “choose a square” game.

Following on from our book of the term “dear zoo” the children decorated boxes and recited the story opening the different boxes to see which animals were in which.

This term we’re reading “the colour monster”. This book is based on emotions, in support of this we’ve set out some activities to encourage the children’s emotional knowledge. This will help the children in learning how to name their feelings and giving them the language to express their needs.

Another week another celebration!! This week St Andrews Day. The children made flags and had a go at Scottish dancing. Next week we will have a very special visit from one of our parents, who is coming in to play the bagpipes for us.

December is always an exciting month with lots of activities and events in the run up to Christmas. We look forward to welcoming some of you to our stay and play sessions, and to take part in our exciting Christmas raffle! Watch out on our Facebook for a special visitor coming in the next few days…. Sent to us from the “North pole!!!”

October 2022

🎃 Happy Halloween 🎃

First of all we hope you had a lovely half term break. Here’s some things we’ve been doing throughout October.

The fact we have such a big garden and large windows brings some great learning opportunities, the leaves have been changing and turning into some really interesting colours. In celebration of harvest, we added some real vegetables (carrots, potatoes, and pumpkins) to our indoor and outdoor role play kitchens. The children practised balancing by carrying the veg on plates, and maths by counting the potatoes.

The children took park in an activity using tweezers to pick up conkers and place them in cups, this required precision, patience and coordination. Practising our fine motor skills. We also read the helpful hedgehog which is a lovely book focusing on autumn and how to be kind.

Helping the children with learning names of their peers, building relationships and confidence amongst their friends, we introduced a ball rolling game. Rolling the ball to our friends by calling their names.

We looked at our bodies, drew around them and stuck on hair and facial features. We spoke about the differences between us and our friends. Also the children helped to make a tree, and measured each other, noticing who was tallest and shortest and who was the same.

This month we celebrated Halloween with some Halloween themed activities. Including, scooping, balancing, creating, rolling, dancing, building, mixing, pouring, filling, painting, sticking, counting and most importantly of all enjoying!!!

What a brilliant month full of learning fun. We look forward to what November will bring….

September 2022

After a busy first 2 weeks at St Helens, we’ve settled back into our daily routine. Enjoying the last of the warmer dry weather we’ve been outside as much as possible.

We noticed a nest in the tree, with a mummy pigeon carefully warming her eggs. A few days later 2 little heads were seen poking out of the nest. The children left bird feed on the ground for the birds. It was interesting to see how quickly the baby birds grew and finally were strong enough to leave the nest. What a fantastic experience for our boys and girls.

Following on from our book of the term “dear zoo”, we’ve been looking at big and small animals, matching the babies to their mummy or daddy, talking about the story and the differences in the animals. On a particularly warm day we took the yoga mats outside and practised some animal poses before a mindfulness activity exploring the natural world using our senses.

The children have been practising balance and coordination, this will support them in carrying out daily routines, for example, carrying food on a plate, pouring drinks, getting themselves dressed.

We celebrated recycle week with some junk modelling and lots of conversation around the environment in which we live and why we need to take care of it. The water tray (the ocean) became polluted with lots of rubbish, the children helped to remove it using fishing nets, saving the living creatures from harmful objects.

Lots of messy play this last 2 weeks, gloop, mud, chalking, and a bubble wrap activity that involved lots of paint and colour!!

In October we will be looking forward to the changing season, watching the leaves in our garden turn and feeling the cooler weather when we go outside. We will have some autumn activities set up, ready to explore new experiences. Look out for our scavenger hunt fundraiser coming up in October, and St Helens will be taking park in the scarecrow trail set up through costessey.

Welcome back sept 22

Wow!! What a brilliant 2 weeks we’ve had, welcoming back our lovely families AND meeting some new faces that have joined the preschool. We’ve really enjoyed getting to know you all and welcome to the preschool blog.

As you can see from the pictures, we’ve provided the children with some familiar activities, ones we know they love and enjoy and follow their interests. This helps the children to feel comfortable and happy while settling back into the daily routine.

There’s been a couple of small changes as we continue to lift restrictions within the setting. We have invited parents inside at drop off and collection times, it’s a great way for our families to feel included and welcomed by staff. You can see what your children have been up to, and they can show you where they like to play, encouraging positive conversations about preschool.

We’ve returned to our self serving snack. The children are able to choose their own snack and, with adult support, can now serve themselves (after washing their hands of course). This promotes independence, teaching the children how to listen to their needs, making choices, following instructions, fine motor skills, tipping, pouring, drinking from a cup, and later we will include spreading, and using a knife and fork.

We’ve re-introduced our morning sensory circuit, this helps the children to feel grounded and ready to start their day. It’s a great way to burn off some energy and excitement, before bringing our bodies back down to earth with some mindfulness and relaxation .

This is an exciting term for preschool, with lots of celebrations coming up. Keep your eyes on our Facebook page, request to join our private group if you haven’t already, and don’t forget to check out parent portal. Remember you can add your own photos or observations, which we can look through with the children while they are at preschool. If you have any questions please see your key person or a member of staff, we’re always happy to help ☺️

July 2022

July!!! It’s been hot… it’s been fun… and it’s been full of new experiences!!

Here’s what we’ve been doing this term….

Finally we’ve able to welcome some lovely guests into setting, a group of residents from a local care home came to visit, bringing lots of smiles and laughter for us and the residents. We had a special visit from some musical guests just in time for “world music day”. They showed us some different instruments and styles of music and dancing from all over the world.

Our caterpillars built their cocoons and emerged as the most beautiful butterflies which we set free into the garden.

The older children have been learning about their new schools, some have welcomed their new teachers into the setting and been to visit their new classrooms. It’s a very exciting time but can also be quite scary for our little people… we try to support them as much as possible in their independence, and emotional well-being in preparation for this transition. We will miss them very much but are so excited for them to take the next step in their educational journey.

We celebrated “onam” festival with some colourful pictures and jewels. We shared a story, learning all about the festival and why it’s celebrated.

The weather has been super duper hot this last week and what better way to cool down than some water play, ice play, jelly baff and mindfulness!!! Paddling in the tuff trays was a real treat, some children deciding to cool off even more by laying and sitting in the water. They really enjoyed making footprints over the ground, before watching them quickly dry up in the sun, and not forgetting splashing the ladies (which was much appreciated in the hot weather😉).

The time has come to finish off our preschool year with a big Thankyou to all our children, parents and families. Your continued support and kind words make our job all the more worth while.

We wish you all an amazing summer… good luck to our little people moving on to new schools, we look forward to welcoming some of you back in September, and also some new families too.


June 2022

Just a little update on some of the great activities and wonderful new things we’ve experienced over the last few weeks.

You will see some pictures from “jubilee” week. We were so excited to celebrate the queens jubilee, we explained to the children what it meant, they made their own crowns, built castles in the garden, enjoyed a royal afternoon tea snack, practised pouring fruit tea using tea pots and cups, added some maths by counting jewels and role played using the wooden castle and characters.

As we begin to prepare our boys and girls for the next stage in their learning journey “moving on to big school”, we will have many activities set out to support them through this time. Over the last 2 weeks we’ve been looking at our new schools logos and marble painting using the corresponding colours and logos. Over the next few weeks we’re looking forward to meeting some new teachers.

The last week we have welcomed some “caterpillars” . The children will be able to watch them grow, while learning about living things. Once they have emerged from their cocoons we will set them free. How exciting!!!

Look how well our vegetable patch is growing!! It’s amazing what can be achieved if we all work together at taking care of things. The strawberries are almost ripe enough to try… we’re looking forward to trying those!!

Bugs have been a firm favourite this last month!! We’ve been reading “super worm” and enjoying activities based on the book. We do love a bug hunt and how lucky we are to have such an amazing garden for it!!

Dont forget to book an appointment to see you key person for parents evening which is happening this week! The first face to face parents evening we’ve had in a while and it feel great to be able to welcome everyone inside again!!

Only a few weeks until the summer holidays!! We have so many fun learning opportunities planned… it’s going to be AMAZING!!!