Welcome to the Little Green Man News page, where we talk about all the latest goings-on in our Nursery and Kids’ Club along with recent developments in childcare and education in the UK.
Merry Christmas from LGM
Our Christmas Celebrations went down a storm
Here at LGM Toddler and Pre-School really enjoyed their visit from Mr. Custard the entertainer. All children received a present from Santa and had lots of fun at their Christmas parties.
Infants cooked yummy mince pies, while Toddlers made beautiful Christmas wreaths and snow-globes. Pre-School had fun writing letters to Father Christmas and seeing what the naughty elf got up to .
A big well done to all our Pre-School children and staff that took part in our critically acclaimed LGM Nativity.
Thank you to our cook Karen for our delicious Christmas dinner. We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2020.
To celebrate Diwali, the festival of light for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, children in the Infant groups made pictures of beautiful fireworks popping, banging and whizzing across the sky.
Lisa celebrates 20 years
We would like to congratulate our Manager Lisa on her 20th anniversary at Little Green Man.
Lisa joied our team as a Room Leader and through constant hardwork, learning and dedication moved up the LGM Ladder to become Nursery Manager.
She is a constant source of information and inspiration, with an unparalleled passion for childcare. We don’t know what we’d do without her, Thank you Lisa for everything that you do for the staff, children, parents and management team.
Pour on water, Pour on Water!
As part of their learning topic of People Who Help Us and to add to activities around the learning area of Understanding the World – part of the EYFS – children from Little Green Man met some firefighters from the local fire brigade .
Not only did they get to sit inside the fire engine, they were taught all about what the firefighters do, how they where protective clothing and had a go at the hose. They were also taught the importance of fire safety.
Thank you to Leytonstone Fire Services for coming to teach the children these important lessons.
Congratulations class of 2019
It was a bitter sweet day on Friday 26 July as we held our annual graduation. We celebrated the amazing work the Pre-School children have done during their time at Little Green Man, with a fete and show, lots of food and drink and a performance from the children.
We would like to wish a huge congratulations to all graduating children and a massive amount of luck for their trip to big school. We will miss you all.
Pre-School has pride
Pre-School children celebrated tolerance and diversity in the community this month by holding Pride events.
Staff spoke to the three and four-year-olds about the importance of understanding different people and unique families with discussions and videos created for children. They painted and drew rainbow flags and even held a mini parade to celebrate.
Proprietor of the nursery Jan Bloomfield says: ‘We live in a wonderfully diverse world and it’s important for us to ensure that the children who we care for grow up with an understanding that families come in all shapes and sizes. Whether that’s one parent or two, grandparents, two mummies, two daddies or whichever combination may be relevant.
‘As part of teaching the children to understand the world around us, we strive to ensure that our education reflects both our nursery community along with the wider society. We’re really proud to be able to work with our parents, to create a safe space to discuss these themes.’
The Big Toddle raises money for Barnardos
Over the week of the 22nd to the 26th of June the children in Toddlers were participating in a charity fundraiser for Barnardo’s. This year’s theme was animals so all of the children were encouraged to dress up for a Big Toddle over to Henry Reynolds Park. All the children were very excited and were discussing the different animals that they had dressed as. One group even saw some ducklings out on the trip!
At the end of the week, we held our fundraiser in the back garden with lots of games, face painting, and yummy treats. We managed to raise an amazing £160.20 for the charity which will go towards helping some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.
We would like to thank everyone who participated and donated and we look forward to doing this again next year!
We’ve been learning all about the Muslim festivals of Ramadan and Eid at Little Green Man nursery, with children exploring one of their religion bags. As part of our ‘understanding the world’ teaching at the nursery we learn all about festivals and special occasions from many faiths and cultures.
We would like to wish all of our Muslim families and staff and anyone else who is celebrating Eid Mubarak!!
In a week of graduation preparation for our pre-school class of 2018, Headteacher, Ms. Drew (Rosanna’s mum) came to visit the nursery to tell the children a little bit more about their next big steps. The children then went on to visit local primary schools, George Tomlinson and Gwyn Jones to get a taste of what primary school is like.
The first day of school is undoubtedly a key rite of passage.
This is the start of a new adventure: playing and interacting with new friends, sharing, taking turns and settling into a new routine.
As the big ‘first-day’ approaches, we have some recommendations for parents.
- Make trips past the school – discuss with your child how they will go into school (with a friend or with you or maybe by themselves?)
- Mention the teachers by name
- Have playdates in the holidays with another new starter and potentially making an arrangement to come in together on the first day of term
- Try on the uniform – always exciting (and then label everything!)
- Read stories relating to starting school
- Encourage independence in dressing/undressing, hanging up clothes, putting on/taking off shoes as well as in using the bathroom, and washing/drying hands
Being good at such skills at this stage is far more important than knowing letters or numbers or being able to read. We would also encourage parents to take on board the value of “chatter” with your child – share a book or talk over the breakfast table. This naturally enriches vocabulary and gives your child important opportunities to ask and explore meaningful questions.
During your child’s first year in school, much time will be spent in learning to read and he or she needs to know that this is fun and worthwhile.
Your child will naturally copy you so it is important that you are seen reading and enjoying books, newspapers and magazines rather than just engrossed in screens. Make reading fun – cuddle up together, enjoy a book together, talk about the pictures, ask questions and involve your child.
Common concerns of children before starting school often centre on food and going to the toilet. Reassure your child that they will be able to use the bathroom whenever they wish and prepare yourself that your child might have eaten very little for lunch – you should have a large snack to hand when they leave school.
Starting school is usually an exhausting business — emotionally, physically, socially and mentally. Your child will be spending every moment trying their hardest to fit into a new environment.
Don’t be surprised if they come home feeling very tired and reluctant to talk about their day. This is not the time for playdates and organised after school activities – feeding the ducks is far more valuable followed by a meal, a bath, a cuddle, a story and, above all an early bedtime.
If you are lucky enough to have reports of school, take any negatives with a pinch of salt. But check things out, however trivial they may seem, with a teacher, so that you can be reassured. Never let things fester.
Ultimately, an excellent education should be a complementary partnership between parents and teachers. A child’s year splits fairly neatly into thirds: a third at school, a third asleep and a third awake at home or on holiday.
Irrespective of the quality of a school, a child’s home life is of key importance; it is the critical determinant of their academic success. Your child may have started on a new journey but your work is far from finished.
Experience shows us that the most successful pupils (in all senses)…
- Have the most sleep
- Have genuine free time
- Have the least ‘screen time’
- Do not have tutors
- Experience play at home – building LEGO spaceships, cutting, gluing and sticking, baking etc.
- Are encouraged always to think for themselves
- Are not waited on hand and foot
Preschool children learn best through play and yoga provides an ideal channel for these high-energy youngsters! In addition to the extensive physical benefits, yoga builds a foundation for healthy development of body and mind.
5 Key Ways Preschool Children Benefit from Yoga:
- Yoga increases coordination. Yoga poses strengthen muscles and maintain flexibility in youngsters. More challenging poses like donkey pose and tree pose help develop balance and coordination.
- Yoga improves concentration. Yoga poses require full attention to a child’s body, muscles and joints to properly execute each move. This focus brings attention to the here and now and helps prevent a wandering mind. These skills transfer to a classroom environment with students more alert and receptive to instruction.
- Yoga encourages a calmer mind. Focus and breathing create a winning combination for calming the mind and being able to release distracting or negative thoughts. Adults who practice yoga can attest to this benefit. Now just imagine how amazing it would be to learn these tools as a young child!
- Yoga alleviates stress. Can a 3-year old get stressed out? Well, tension often presents itself as temper tantrums in toddlers and preschoolers. Through yoga, children learn breathing exercises to help diffuse those emotional flare-ups during the day.
- Yoga promotes self-expression. Yoga for preschoolers is not a zen-like experience! Imagination and creativity take center stage as children imitate animals and express themselves in a non-competitive, nurturing environment.
Check you, Einstein…
To celebrate fathers day, pre-school invited dads or someone special to take part in superhero Father’s Day event on Friday. With fancy dress optional, we were excited to see that many of our dads came dressed up…and everybody enjoyed superhero plate making, creating a mug with clay and decorating superhero themed cakes.
The real life hungry caterpillar
We all know what happens when the hungry caterpillar eats lots of food, but have we ever seen it?
The children at Little Green Man did! As part of their learning about the famous book and discovering the fantastic things that happen in spring, the staff at the nursery created a caterpillar sanctuary and watched as their mini-beast friends turned from pupa to cocoon.
Today they broke out as beautiful butterflies, which the children set free in our front garden area and watched as they joined nature.
Raising money for Save the Children – the Peppa Pig way!
Little green man children took part in a sponsored Peppa Pig muddy puddle walk this week. The children put on their wellies and warm clothes and went for a stroll through the park, jumping in muddy puddles, just like the most famous British pig would herself.
The money raised has been donated to Save the Children, who gives children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm, all around the world.
There once was an ugly duckling…
Actually at Little Green Man there were six little ducklings and they were very cute. The Pre-School group has been looking after duck eggs for last few months as part of their learning on spring and life-cycles, keeping them nice and warm, and safe.
Last week the eggs hatched and Pre-School has been learning about taking care of living things and caring for them, which is a lovely way to learn more about understanding the world. The ducklings have now gone quack quacking to their new home of a farm in the Essex countryside.
If you go to down to toddlers today…
…you’re in for a big surprise. Toddlers were having a Teddy Bears Picnic this week to support their learning of one of Little Green Man’s favourite children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. s
The two-year-olds in Toddler Room 3 spread out their picnic blanket and brought in their favourite stuffed animals, before having their lunch with their furry friends.
Along with their picnic, the group enjoyed activities with their specially made touch trays created to look like a mini part, discovering new textures and promoting discussions around the topic.
Pre-School invited all their mums to nursery today, to celebrate Mothers’ Day this year and enjoy activities and baking with their little ones.
The children and their mummies made their own tea bags,
decorated biscuits and got artistic by creating clay models.
Mothering Sunday came early this week with a little cream tea was serves with everyone enjoying scones and juice.
Happy Mothers’ Day to all our parents and to all mums.
Tips for challenging gender stereotypes at nursery
Even from birth, girls and boys are treated differently, so it is unsurprising children as young as four can have defined ideas about what jobs are suitable for men and women, and whether ‘being smart’ is determined by gender.
Baby girls are often dressed in pink with boys in blue. Studies show baby boys are bounced in the air more, with raspberries blown on their tummies and baby girls get more cuddles. As they get older, boys get practical clothes and girls get ‘pretty’ clothes.
It is not long before boys are being bought train sets and cars and girls given dolls and toy cookers. Boys are called assertive and when the same behaviour is displayed by girls, they are called bossy. Boys are told to ‘man up’ when they cry while girls are comforted.
It can be hard to combat a lot of this gender stereotyping as it seems to be ingrained in our daily lives. However, with many attitudes being formed at a young age, it is vital to challenge these stereotypes early on, with nurseries playing a huge role in ensuring children are not limited by assumptions about gender.
Off to the farm
Toddlers wrapped up warm this week and went to go an visit the local farm.
The boys and girls in Rainbow Room have been learning all about different types of animals this months; from pets to zoo animals, from jungle beasts to farm animals. To help spark the children’s imaginations, they grabbed their wellies and coats and went to go and see the cows, pigs, sheep, goats and ponies.Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!
It’s not just hippopotami, who get to enjoy the mud! As part of continuing improvements to Little Green Man, the nursery have installed a mud kitchen in the front garden.
The new play structure enables the children to extend their messy play beyond just sand and water, adding extra textures. Children have been enjoying feel, see and smell the peat, dirt and mud and also explore for minibeasts and creepy crawlies.
Aside from this brand new sensory experience, the installation allows children to meet the Understand the World section of the Early Years Foundation Stage for all groups; from infants all the way up to Pre-School.
Along with the mud kitchen, the nursery has bought brand new, snazzy, waterproof ponchos to keep the little ones’ clothes clean and safe.
“I am the Music Man, I come from down your way…”
Thursday is Music Man Day now at Little Green Man and once a week, Dave our music teacher will be coming to sing and play with the children.
During the sessions he will be singing and playing with each of the groups, enjoying songs and nursery rhymes whilst strumming along to his guitar. The children also have the chance to help with the playing and Dave will encourage them to strum along with him.
With our Pre-School group he will be playing games to start talking about music and notes and how music is put together. The children from all groups have a lovely time and each of them is looking forward to seeing him the next week.
Say hello to our Weekend Friends
They like to go on adventures with the children and have pictures taken with them. If you’re lucky enough to have a Weekend Friend staying with you, please take them wherever you go and take pictures of the fun that you have been having over the weekend.
Their names are:
- Infant 1: Harriet the Hippo
- Infant 2: Dave the Dinosaur
- Infant 3: Ziggy the Zebra
Toddlers have a picnic tea party
To celebrate today’s bright and sunny weather, Red and Blue Room staff members Magda, James and Fatima decided to pack up their tea and have a picnic on the front garden.
There were sandwiches, yoghurts and drinks galore passed out among the two-year-olds as they enjoyed the sunshine.
Keeping IN TOUCH digitally
This month Little Green Man’s newsletter In Touch went digital. The email newsletter will still be tailored to each group (Infants, Toddlers, Rainbow Room and Pre-School) include all of the great information, events and news as the printed version, but with added extras, cool design and much more easily received.
Now our parents and carers can read our newsletter on the go from their laptop, tablet or phone. This is just one more step forward into the digital age for Little Green Man. Recently we updated our website, created our Parent Zone page and implemented Tapestry to keep our parents up-to-date with all the goings on with their little ones, with observations sent straight through to their devices.
There is more to come. Keep your eyes peeled!
Kids’ Club get their groove on
It was a great Half Term at Little Green Man Kids’ Club this February, with lots of fun and loads to do. There was arts and crafts, trips to the park, cooking and of course Super Heroes Day.
The great week came to a close with a fantastic dance lesson courtesy of the new performing arts club Make Believe, which is opening a branch in Leytonstone soon.
The children had a great time and came out raving about what they had learnt.
For more information about our Holiday Scheme, download the holiday pack here.
Pre-School go on a Bear Hunt
Excitement was in the air all last week and all of the Pre-Schoolers at Little Green Man stuck on their wellies, wrapped up in their hats, coats, scarves and gloves and set off for the deepest, darkest wilderness of Hollow Ponds, hunting for bears.
Pre-School’s book this week is We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and they were hoping to catch a big one! The groups left the nursery ready for action; there were logs to conquer, puddles to splash in and bears to be found.
They got back to nature, playing in the leaves, running about the ‘ big, dark forest’, trudging through the ‘thick, oozy mud’, looking out at the ‘deep, cold river’ and skipping across the ‘long wavy grass’just like in the book. They weren’t scared! Event the ‘swirling, whirling snowstorms’ couldn’t stop the. Then the hunting really began.
Tenacious and determined they searched high and low, under the bushes and over the ponds until finally they found what they were looking for. A Bear! Good old Freddy the Teddy, the Pre-School soft toy, had been lost in the forest and was happy to see his friends again.
A fun time was had by all.
Toddlers take a trip to the Library
January have been a month of books, nursery rhymes and fables, as all the children have been learning about a new story each week.
As the month comes to a close and Toddlers move onto the their next theme, the group took a trip to Leytonstone Library to look at their favourite books.
Later they were in for a treat, having a story read to them by one the lovely staff members there as part of the library’s Draw Me a Story, which takes place every Wednesday at 10:30.
Everyone from children to staff had a lovely time and they’re looking forward to going back soon.
Pre-School visits real Three Little Pigs and all their friends
This month the nursery’s theme is Books and Nursery Rhymes, with each group learning about a new story each week. This week Pre-School as part of finding out more about their week’s fable, Three Little Pigs, staff decided to take the children to Brooks Farm to look for some real little pigs.
The preschoolers wrapped up nice and warm and took there snacks with them, before travelling over to the farm in search on their piglet pals. Whilst there they also found some cows, geese, rabbits, peacocks and llamas.
There was lots to see and talk about, which created a great discussion when they got back to Apple & Lemon and Cherry & Grape rooms, and lots of fun for the week!