Activities to engage children in learning and play
We place great emphasis on outdoor play. The children play outside every session unless the weather is very poor. In addition to a wide range of outdoor toys and equipment, we also have a sandpit, a children’s garden, a wildlife garden, and a learning den, a woodland area with a story circle, mud kitchen, digging area, balancing logs, willow den, and chalkboards. The development continues and we recently worked on a project with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, which resulted in a fairy glade, an area of wooden seating nestled between the trees, that we use for listening games and storytimes.
Creative Movement sessions
We have been running these sessions on a Friday morning for many years and they have proved to be extremely popular. Run by teachers specialising in ‘early years’ from DEDA, they help the children to develop physical and spatial awareness, listen to instructions, use their imagination and match movement to rhythm and beat. We have to make a small charge for this.
Olive the Owl
Olive, our owl, goes home with each of the Pre-School children for a few days. During that time the child should look after Olive and take her wherever he/she goes; to the shops, the park etc. The aim is for the child to be responsible for Oliven and for parents to become involved in this activity by writing up a short diary of the visit. Upon returning to Pre-School the child, with the help of a member of staff reading the diary, then tells all the other children about Olive’s latest adventures!
Packed Lunch Club
This has proved to be extremely popular with both parents and children! You may tack it onto a morning or afternoon session, so that your child spends 3 ½ hours with us, or use it to provide the older child with full-day care.
Wake up, shake up!
At the beginning of each session, we do about 10 minutes of exercise to music. This has proven to be hugely beneficial to children’s co-ordination, rhythm, and concentration. There is an element of ‘brain gym’ incorporated into the exercises which it is claimed helps to link parts of the developing brain, supporting learning across the board. The exercises also help to use excess energy before we sit down as a group to do the register and calendar.