Nursery News 8th February 2021


8th February 2021 – Edition 215

Find out About:

A: .Staffing updates.

B. Parent Consultations: (Reminder)

C. February Half Term Holiday.

D. Creative Play

E Box Modelling



A: Staffing Updates

Miss Howe will be absent from school from Wednesday 3rd February to Wednesday 10th February. Her daughter’s bubble at school has closed. Miss Howe has to be at home to look after her.


B. Parent Consultations: (Reminder)

Reminder: Catkins Consultations for two year olds are scheduled to take place on Friday 12th February between 1:00pm and 2:30pm. Appointments have been pre-arranged. Staff will call you at the appropriate time.


C. February Half Term Holiday.

Half Term Holiday is fast approaching. The school will be closed from Monday 15th February to Friday 19th February. The best place to find School holiday dates for our school and other schools in Central Bedfordshire is on the Central Bedfordshire Council website. Type ‘Central Beds Academic Calendar’ into your search engine, and it will take you to the following pages:


D. Creative Play

At Willow, we engage in lots of Creative play with the children. Lots of play can be considered Creative play, from role play, to dance and movement activities, arts and crafts, music and messy play. We can continue with most activities during the pandemic, but some activities have to be avoided to reduce the potential spread of the virus. One type of play that has been affected is malleable play, using playdough, clay, and other malleable materials. It is not possible to use these materials during any kind of infectious outbreak, the idea being that children could be kneading and poking their germs into the playdough, and then these germs could then be passed on to other children who share the playdough.

We usually have playdough available every day in our normal working conditions, but for the past year we have not been able to provide it. We feel this is a great loss to the children. So much so, that Mrs Patterson has decided to teach the children about playdough this week. Mrs Patterson has made a big batch of ‘home made’ playdough. She has decided to work with small groups of children, no more than 8 at a time, to learn about playdough. Each child will be provided with their own individual portion of playdough. They will have their own workspace at a table, and their own tools. Children will be made very aware that they must not touch each others playdough.

(I have just been in to the room that they are working in. They are so engaged in what they are doing. There were some ‘cakes’ being made. Others were decorating their dough with jewels. Some were investigating how to shape their dough using tools and cutters.)

Children will then bring home their dough. Mrs Patterson will attach our playdough recipe to the bag, so you can have a go at making it at home too, if you’d like to try.

Main Nursery children will be having an opportunity to take part in these playdough workshops at some time during this week.

Malleable play is so important for children’s mathematical development. They become aware of size, shape, weight and how these can change. By manipulating the dough, they find out a small ball of dough, can be rolled into a very long thin sausage, or can be squashed to make a flat, round plate shape. This learning is best done hands on in an investigational way. Children learn about quantity, filling a 12 hole bun tin with blobs of playdough, sharing and adjusting the amount of dough into portions, in order to make 12. Children strengthen their finger muscles by manipulating dough, helping to make hands ready to hold a pencil, ready to write. Slamming a lump of dough down hard onto a table, or hammering the dough with a wooden mallet is great for stress relief! Using tools to shape the dough encourage children’s fine motor control. Playing with playdough covers all areas of the curriculum!#


E Box Modelling

Another area of creative play which the children really enjoy is box modelling. This is something the children in Main Nursery can explore every day. We have a box modelling area that is full of resources for the children to join together using glue and sellotape to make 3D creations. We rely on parents to bring in recyclable materials from home for the children to be able to build. I was wondering if parents would be able to collect some materials at home, to bring in to school for us to use in our box modelling area. We will quarantine all materials provided before giving them to the children to use.

Things we can use:

Empty boxes- Generally Cereal boxes or smaller, Toothpaste boxes and small boxes intrigue the children.

Empty toilet roll tubes.

Washed empty yogurt pots, bottle tops, foil cake cases, margarine tubs.