Hello and welcome to our Stepping Stones Winter Wonderland. We have it all going on at the moment. As you can see, Christmas is in full swing and we have been hard at work preparing for the festive events that are upon us. Mainly we have been immersed in getting ready for our upcoming nativity which takes place this Friday! Eeeeek. The children have been wonderful at practicing their songs and are enjoying rehearsals down in the school hall! Our Christmas Story is in fact inspired by the children of Stepping Stones. Although, essentially, we have opted for a traditional nativity this year, it does go slightly off piste, so to speak. We wanted the nativity to be about having fun so the children have moulded the narrative, have introduced their own characters or versions of characters and we have made the props with the children as well as encouraging them to help make parts of their own costumes. So far so good. We think it is looking marvellous. We have had but one small incident. Needless to say that our featured Donkey now goes by the name of Stumpy after a member of staff got over excited with the scissors. However, we are quite confident this will go unnoticed.

Although getting crafty with the children seems to take precedence this time of year, it is all still absolutely wonderful for their development across all the areas of learning. Using pens/pencils/paint brushes/scissors is all fantastic in supporting physical development but it also supports the children with making decisions. What colours to choose, what patterns to make, what paper to use. How things feel is all part of the discovery process. This has a been supported by our new mark making area in which the children have easy access to a wide range of resources and tools which are available to them at all times.

We have made some lovely little penguins for a display board and we asked the children to think very carefully about where to put each piece of the penguin offering a range of shapes and textiles. They absolutely loved constructing their own little characters and the results were super cute. Communication and language happens very naturally amongst the children with their friends and with adults during these planned activities and it is lovely to hear the thoughts and ideas that come out of their young minds.

As you can see, we have a new addition to the Stepping Stones Classroom. We were talking to the children a lot about the changing weather and the importance of keeping warm. We allowed the children one morning to dress up the staff in winter clothes which they absolutely loved! (Even if we did get a bit sweaty towards the end). This activity led to the children wanting to make a snowman. Alas, without any snow to hand this initially seemed a tad tricky. However, undeterred, some winter clothes, a couple of boxes a carrot and some sticks later, the children had created their snowman masterpiece! He’s a very happy soul and sits quite contentedly with his penguin friends up on the wall. We appreciate that he does look like he is sat in a giant sized nappy, but we would like to take this opportunity to clarify, it is in fact a snowman hammock! FYI! This was a really lovely child led project as an extension to resources that were supplied to the children. They took initiative, worked together sharing ideas, working out where things should go and thinking about how to keep their new friend warm. Lots of personal, social and emotional development going on! 🙂

To Stepping Stones parents, just to make you aware, we now have our very own Christmas post box! Should you or your children have any cards that you would like delivering then please feel free to use this service. The Stepping Stones Express will be available from 9am – 3.15pm every weekday excluding Thursdays. Thank you very much!