Welcome back everybody! We hope you all had a lovely summer. It has been wonderful seeing everyone back at Acorns and hearing all about their summer adventures.
We have started each morning this week with circle time and reminded ourselves of the five skills we need - listening, looking, thinking, concentrating and speaking. It has been a lovely way to say good morning to each other and to our friend, Woofy the dog, who joins us for circle time. We love to give Woofy big hugs!
We have spent most of our time outside this week thanks to the dry, warm weather, although we could definitely spot some signs of Autumn during our nature walks around the grounds. Some leaves are starting to turn brown and fall from the trees and we found plenty of seeds on the ground, including sycamore 'helicopter' seeds - we had great fun throwing these into the air and watching them twirl to the ground.
It was also fun to gently touch the different leaves on the trees. "This leaf is soft" one of us noticed and someone else noticed some seeds hiding beneath the leaves. It was a good reminder not to pick anything from the trees.
We collected leaves from the ground to use in some art work. We found such an array of colours - green, brown, yellow and even red. The colourful leaves made some pretty pictures when we stuck them onto paper using runny glue and we did our best to remember the names of the trees they had come from.
On our nature walks, we also spotted plenty our evidence of animals, such as seeds and leaves that had been nibbled; holes in the ground and even some animal poo! Rabbits' we suspected!
There are plenty of signs to read around the Westmeston site. The older children read the signs and the younger children tried to identify letters from their names.
Over the summer Mrs Butcher had some furniture delivered and she gave us the cardboard it had come packed in. We had great fun using it for making dens, building tractors and drawing on.
One of the most popular activities with the boxes was using real screwdrivers to put screws into the cardboard. It took real concentration and hand eye coordination to use the tools.
The soft mats were very popular for jumping, rolling and resting on. We made up some good games of our own using them and showed off our forward rolls.
This week we've been helping Mrs Tubb and Mrs Spencer with the food preparation. We buttered our toast at snack time and had a go at peeling carrots. We've been serving ourselves at lunchtime, clearing our own plates and folding up our aprons. With a bit of practise, we'll get really good at these little jobs which help us to become more independent.
Of course we've had a great time on our bikes and scooters this week. Some of us have even learnt to ride pedal bikes over the summer! A few of us decided that our ride on toys were a bit muddy, so we set up a washing station. Clean bikes and scooters go faster we think!
On our Friday walk this week, we had a mission - to pick enough blackberries to make smoothies! Our task took us to some interesting places, such as the edge of a corn field. We noticed that the corn which had fallen to the floor looked like it had been eaten by animals, whereas the growing corn was all wrapped up and protected by leaves.
Not only did we find lots of blackberries on our walk....
...but we also found animals big and small.
Hiding amongst the leaves we found a Devil's Coach Horse which we learnt raises it's tail and lets out a stinky smell when it feels threatened. We must have been very gentle as, luckily, we didn't smell anything!
A much friendlier animal was Freddy the dog who we met walking through the woods. He was very kind and calm as we stroked him.
Look at all the blackberries we found. Plenty to make smoothies with.
We worked together as a team to make our smoothies. We mashed bananas, peeled apples, added a splash of apple juice and carefully used the blender to make a delicious drink.
So what did we think of the smoothies?
"It's the best smoothie I've ever had!",
"I liked the apples and blackberries."
"Ooo, I've got a chunky bit of apple!"
They were delicious and we finished it all up with wonderful blackberry smiles!
We enjoyed doing some crafts on Friday. We used clam shells and bits of bark and slate that we had found to create some lovely painted artwork. It was also fun to clean the paint brushes and pots and make the water go a lovely purple colour.
What a fantastic week to start of the new year at Acorns. Please don't forget to fill in and return the 'All About Me' information if you haven't done so already.