This month has been a whirlwind of activity as we draw to a close on this academic year. Eggs and spoons have been united, uniform buttons accomplished, smiling teachers received, transition meetings completed, the excitement has been contagious. We have joyfully reviewed and celebrated our pre schoolers achievements, every child's journey unique and a privilege to share. It might have been the end of an era for some children and their families, but we still had our usual action packed days enabled by the weather and our children's love of learning and curiosity. We've also welcomed new children and their families to begin their journey with us, excited at the prospect of the fun to come.
The weather has provided us with an opportunity to explore the season of summer, the impact of extreme weather and to do things just a little differently. Ice, water, usual play resources for play in the sunshine, but frozen play dough was a new experience. Together we made strips of play dough and carefully put them into the freezer to see what would happen. Excitedly we retrieved them from the freezer, the children intrigued by the apparent 'steam' rising from the tray. Squeals of 'it's cold!' as they touched the strips, overwhelmed by just how cold the dough felt. Eagerly strips were taken and explored, scissors providing just the right tool for children to cut the still malleable but frozen dough. So much discussion and conclusions were drawn, why was the dough not solid like ice, would it melt as it defrosted? we were all fascinated with the new experience, one which we look forward to repeating.
The benefit of operating from a large community hall was evident during the height of the summer heatwave, the children observing the difference from the heat of early morning play in the garden to the coolness of the hall as we moved our play inside. Despite the challenging heat outside, with care and team work we all enjoyed our play, relaxing yoga, small world safari and exploring fruit, celebrating the story of Handa's Surprise and developing our finger muscles with dough disco and pencil play.
Another of this month's activities, sports day has been part of childhood experience for decades and this year, finally after the challenge of COVID, we were all able to fully participate. Every child invited to join in with lots of fun activities, showcasing their skill and ability in a safe and positive way, supported by their friends, family and Stepping Stones staff, underpinned by the ever professional Neil from Cool Sportz, who ran the session flawlessly. Running, finding, jumping, balancing, laughing, every child found their moment, recognised and rewarded. Proud does not do justice to the incredible efforts and achievements made by every child, who relentlessly tried their hardest, cheered their loudest and recognised their friend's efforts. Every physical activity we do, day in day out, whether music and movement, yoga, cool sportz, obstacle courses, tail balls, basketball, the list goes on, has given our children the opportunity to develop a solid foundation not just in moving and handling but across every area of the Early Years Foundation stage; and let's not forget, enjoy an incredible sports day experience that we all treasure.
Finally, an unexpected call led to another activity the penultimate week of term, welcoming a representative from Ofsted into our setting. The outcome? you'll have to wait for the next blog.