Growing - Feb 2015

Over the next few weeks we will be using the theme of 'Growth' to introduce your child to different areas of learning.

There is a wide range of quality fiction and nonfiction books that feature the subject of growing. Several of the activities suggested for the theme of Growth are based on well-known picture books and stories, retelling stories, using drama and reinforcing and extending their vocabulary. Throughout the topic, opportunities are given for children to explore the sounds of words and to see some of their ideas recorded in pictures, words and on tape. Role-play areas are described that will allow children to use their imagination as they buy and sell plants at the garden centre.

The theme of Growth provides a meaningful context for mathematical activities. Sorting and counting skills are used to play number games with flowerpots and plastic animals. There are several fun activities introducing measurement; height of children and plants; length and weight of chicks. Simple money skills are developed in the role-play garden centre. There are also opportunities for children to recognize numbers and shapes as they build number towers, shape giants and use counting rhymes.

The Growth theme offers many opportunities for children to make observations, and find out about the natural world. There are activities to investigate what the baby chicks need to grow, which creatures lay eggs, and to observe first hand the growth of vegetables, flowers, and so on. As they compare themselves as babies with the present day the children will look closely at similarities, differences and change. Throughout all these activities children should be given the chance to talk about their experiences and ask questions.

Activities such as making ladders from construction toys, handling garden tools, using tweezers to sort seeds, and bouncing and throwing balls. Pushing dolls' pushchairs around an obstacle course and having wheelbarrow races in pairs will develop control and coordination. As children join in the keep-fit session they become more aware of how their bodies change when active. Several collaborative games offer opportunities to move with imagination and awareness of space

During this topic children will experience working with a variety of materials as they make baby mobiles, clay handprints, peg butterflies, and salt dough animals. They will be able to develop painting skills to create pictures of the chicks and experiment by blowing paint through straws.

The children will be singing nursery rhymes and use musical instruments to make sounds grow louder and quieter, repeat rhythm patterns and accompany songs. Throughout all the activities children are encouraged to talk about what they see and feel as they communicate their ideas in painting, collage, music and drama

If you would like to follow this up at home, here are a few ideas you might like to try.


• You are in an ideal position to help your child develop an understanding of their own growth. Talk about trousers being 'too short' and shoes 'too small'. Encourage your child to notice how they are growing taller and able to do more things.


• Help your child make a family tree of all the members of your family. Ask grandparents to help with this.

Stories and songs

• Visit your local library to look for poetry, fiction and non-fiction books about growing.
• Make up a story about a boy or girl who couldn't stop growing or shrinking. Encourage your child to help you make up more adventures.
• Sing nursery rhymes about growing such as 'Mary, Mary, quite contrary' and 'Five fat peas in a pea pod pressed'.
• Measure your child and yourselves on a door frame at home. Repeat this regularly and observe how they grow and will eventually catch you up!

In the garden

• Set aside part of the garden or provide a grow bag on the windowsill for your child to plant some seeds and grow some vegetables or flowers. Lettuces, beans, chives, squash and radishes grow very quickly. Encourage your child to water and care for the young plants.
• Grow squash in a bottle. Once the squash plant in the vegetable plot has grown and small vegetables are visible, gently place one of the small squash, still attached to the plant, through the neck of a clear plastic bottle. The plant should grow very quickly inside its own miniature greenhouse. Once the squash is larger than the opening of the bottle, cut it and show it off to friends. Can they tell you how it got inside the bottle?
• Plant a tree on your child's birthday and photograph them standing next to it each year. Compare the growth of your child and the tree by regularly recording measurements.

Out and about

• Visit the local park and look at flowers, plants and trees. If there is ponds look out for frogspawn, fish or ducklings. Talk with your child about all the growing things you see.
• Visit the local pet shop and look at any baby animals

What will the children have the opportunity to learn ?

• about all living things that grow
• to experience handling different materials
• to make up stories and use their imagination
• to enjoy songs, stories and talking
• to ask questions, investigate and explore.

Some songs we are learning

A new slant on Twinkle twinkle little star

Twinkle Twinkle little bat,
How I wonder what your at.
Up above the sky so high,
Like a tea tray in the sky.

Twinkle Twinkle little bat
How I wonder what your at.

Twinkle twinkle traffic light
Standing on the corner bright
When it's red it's no no no!
When it's green it's go go GO!
Twinkle twinkle traffic light
Standing on the corner bright.

Twinkle Twinkle Chocolate bar
My dad drives a rusty car
Start the engine, pull the choke
Off you go in a cloud of smoke

Twinkle Twinkle Chocolate bar
My dad drives a rusty car!

Each child has a communication book as an ongoing dialogue, reporting progress and achievements which the career will write in, so that you can re-enforce them at home you might like to also add comments in your child's diary

There are seven areas, three prime areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language and four specific areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design, covered by the early learning goals and educational programme

Communication and language - educational programme

"Children's learning and competence in communicating speaking and listening being read to and beginning to read and write must be supported and extended. They must be provided with opportunity and skills in a range of situations and for a range of purposes, and be supported in developing the confidence and disposition to do so"

How we can work together

• Speaking and listening
• Encourage language to speak clearly and audibly, and listen with enjoyment and respond to stories, songs and other rhymes and poems.

Reading and writing

Encourage children to hear and say sounds, link sounds and letters, write simple regular words and make phonetical attempts at more plausible words. Teach the letter name is B as in ABC, the letter sounds are b as in bus, c for cup We will be practicing learning the sounds so that the children can speed read them quickly, before they go onto blending the letters to read a range of familiar and common words and simple sentences.

Physical Development-educational programme

"The Physical development of babies and young children must be encouraged through the provision of opportunities for them to be active and interactive and to improve their skills of co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement. They must be supported in using all their senses to learn about the world about them and to make connections between new information and what they already know. They must be supported in developing an understanding of the importance of physical activity and making healthy choices in relation to food"

How we can work together

• Encourage handling small and large tools, objects, construction and malleable objects safely with control.
• Encourage traveling around, under and over through balancing and climbing equipment with confidence, control and co-ordination.
• Recognizing the importance of keeping healthy, and those things that contribute to these

Personal social and emotional development-educational programme

"Children must be provided with experience and support which will help them develop a positive sense of themselves and of others respect for others, social skills and a positive disposition to learn. We as providers must ensure support for children's emotional well being to help them to know themselves and what they can do."

How we can work together

• Encourage them to be more independent, confident and mature.
• Encourage sitting quietly, maintaining concentration, taking turns and sharing fairly.
• Encourage them to understand what is fair and unfair right and wrong.
• Encourage them to dress and undress independently and manage their own personal hygiene

Literacy-educational programme

Children use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read. Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.

Mathematics-educational programme

"Children must be supported in developing their understanding of Mathematics in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore enjoy, learn, practice and talk about their developing understanding. They must be provided with opportunities to practice and extend their skills in these areas and to gain confidence and competence in their use."

How we can work together

Encourage counting and recognizing numbers.
Encourage practical problem solving.
Encourage language such as greater, smaller, heavier, lighter, mare and less.
Encourage language to describe position, shape and size of solids and flat shapes

Understanding of the world-educational programme.

"Children must be supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. Their learning must be supported through offering opportunities for them to use a range of tools safely, encounter creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments and in real- life situations; undertake practical 'experiments': and work with a range of materials."

How we can work together

Encourage about how the choices children make affect other people and the environment
Encourage them to think out how and why  rules are made
Encourage building and construction of appropriate resources to shape join materials they are using.
Encourage information and communication technology to support their learning

Expressive art and design-educational programme

"Children's development must be extended by the provision of support for their curiosity, exploration and play. They must be provided with opportunities to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of art music, movement dance, imaginative and role play activities, mathematics and design technology"

How we can work together

Encourage a response in a variety of ways to what they see, hear, touch, taste and feel, exploring color, texture, shape form and space in three dimensions.
Encouraging communication and imagination in art, design, music dance, imaginative, role play and stories.

Hopefully you as parents and we as practioners should be able to work together in an atmosphere of mutual respect within which our children can have security and confidence.

As promised this is the play dough recipe.

Cooked play dough:
3 cups plain flour
3 cups water
2 cups salt
1 tablespoon cream of tarter
Food colouring

Mix together all the ingredients and cook over a medium heat until the mixture pulls away from the side of the pot and becomes play dough consistency. Knead on a floured surface. Keep in a plastic container

Uncooked play dough
2 cups salt
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 teaspoons cream of tarter
3 cups boiling water
3 cups plain flour

Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl. Add more flour if the mixture seems to sticky. Turn out and knead

We will celebrate:

Mother's Day: 15 March 2015
Easter: 5th  and 6th  April 2015

Opening Times

Bridge Lane Nursery is open every weekday (except bank holidays) from 07:00 until 18:30, for 51 weeks per year.


Bridge Lane is open during all public and school holidays, and is only closed for one week between Christmas and New Year.

Bridge Lane News

Contact Us

18 Bridge Lane,
London SW11 3AD

020 7978 4457
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