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May 2016

What a quick year, May already! Hope you enjoy reading what we have done over the last three months.

Mother's Day kept is busy this year as the children practiced their writing skills on special mum Certificates. We used the children's favourite activity - baking to make heart shaped chocolate truffles which are always well received. Mums love flowers so instead of the real thing the children put their personal touch in flower bouquet that they coloured in using bright Spring colours.

To keep active on rainy days, we have been practising Cosmic Kids Yoga which the children have all enjoyed, even the youngest of children has given it a go. There is a variety of videos on YouTube from under the sea to Frozen and Star Wars which immediately gets their attention to teach them the moves.

The children were included in the idea process for our activities during the school holidays. This gave them the opportunity to put their thoughts down on paper and be respected and listened to. They came up with some great ideas, some we planned into our two weeks and some we are saving for the summer, hopeful for more sunshine. The imaginative youngsters wanted to dangle upside down in trees like monkeys..... So, that's what they did! You will find the photos of proof in the gallery section.

Easter brought many opportunities of crafting and creativity. The children decorated head bands which they were so proud of they wore on the school run, enjoying the attention they got for impressed parents and childminders. In keeping with tradition, we painted boiled eggs and even gave them hair like Repunzel. The children neatly painted little chick shaped ceramics and coloured in some wooden egg decorations as gifts for their parents. Some of the children grew cress in egg shells as hair for the egg heads they carefully designed.

Our budding Chefs re-created the famous Mystery box Challenge from Masterchef. Each box contained different ingredients that the children could use to cook a dish for us all to taste. They took on the challenge with great enthusiasm and produced fantastic things. Each dish was named by the children, we had a meat pasta hotdog feast, the sausage express and sweet honey pasta. We all took pleasure in tasting every dish, sharing opinions and making sure we cleared each plate! After the vote, the winner was proud to be presented with a very special homemade Masterchef medal!

Our trip to Mill Farm was fantastic. We managed to experience every section of the farm as the weather stayed dry for us. The children even had the opportunity to stroke a baby chick, a rabbit and a Guinea pig. They were very brave and most importantly gentle. The children were safe and healthy as they knew to find the sinks to wash their hands straight away. The big bouncy air pillow was a favourite as well as the spinning camera where they could see the world upside down.

As the children love exploring and experimenting with the natural environment of the garden I decided to add a different dimension by adding curry powder to the water play. The children were excited as the new smell and decided to make Spicy garden soup, pouring the water into a large container as the pot.

We were being very creative one day and made Footprint butterflies. The girls were amazed at their beautifully coloured feet that they pressed into a canvas. The picture will soon take pride of place in the new playroom when we move house. This wasn't the only painting we we did. On one of our many walks through the woods the children asked if they could bring back large twigs/branches. So, that's what they did, they brought them in and started painting them some wonderful colours. They enjoyed watching the twigs transform in appearance.

We decided to visit the Science Festival at the National Museum in Edinburgh this year. We met up with other childminders and took the train which the children always love. The museum was fantastic! They watched a 'rubbish' puppet show which kept all of their attention as puppets were moving above the audience. The children were able to examine them further when they had a feel of all the different materials used to make them. They then learned about the different parts of the brain, their heart and looked at the hearts of a lamb and a pig. The children showed great interest and were keen to ask questions and find out more.

As always, we have been using the many local play parks to help keep us fit, healthy and active. We occasionally visit play parks in Bathgate and Whitburn too so that we can explore all the different equipment. We continue to enjoy our peaceful strolls through the woods on our way home from school each day where the children are getting more adventurous and finding pathways through the trees which gives them a little freedom and sense of achievement once they've found their way back out.

We have a big change coming soon as we prepare to move house. I will get the children involved as much as possible and they have already designed a house that they wanted us to move to. You will find out in the next update how we get on.