Hello and welcome to another Stepping Stones blog post, being sent to you all the way from Never Neverland. Since our last post the plan was to move on from the Peter Pan theme and start exploring Jack and the Beanstalk. However, it appears that Mandy, Harriet and I are far better at channeling our inner Pirates/Crocodiles than we are at channeling our inner beanstalks. The excitement of ticking crocs, snarly pirates, moody mermaids and the gift of flight meant that the children were just not quite ready to move on (this is generally what happens when you get to Neverland). Even a visit from the Giant wasn’t enough to win them over. Despite Jack being pushed aside,  we think it’s absolutely amazing that the children are able to engage and buy into something so much. We have had A LOT of fun “following their lead” and going along with their imaginations.

Never Neverland would not be complete without a Lost Boys hideout so this is what we did next. Adding this den like zone to the room along with the mermaid lagoon has made it that little bit easier to visit Imagination Land every day. The children have not stopped role playing and using some really creative language to describe what they are doing. Always thinking of what is about to happen next. Whether they have been hiding from the pirates or taking flight around the room thinking of their happy thoughts. It’s been beautiful to watch and of course, fun to join in with too. Alas, Crocodile finally got captured and now hangs from the ceiling. Brutal, but necessary. We have been learning ‘Never Smile at a Crocodile’ and the kids have been taking it in terms to make the ‘tick tock’ sounds using the wooden instruments, great sharing going on! However, once you get that catchy ‘tick tock’ rhythm into your head it’s not so easy to get it out again!  

The children have been doing some writing practice in their literacy books. We always have fine motor activities available to the children at all times so that they can practice but it is always good to sit down and encourage them to do some pen practice and they do really well to concentrate and follow the shapes and patterns that we give them to try. For the younger children it is just good for them to practice holding a pen/pencil and for the older ones it’s great for them to start forming letters and even writing their name. They really welcome the encouragement and praise which is excellent for their self awareness and confidence! We do try to make writing fun, as naturally,  it doesn’t have quite the same appeal as hiding from pirates.

Harriet put together another fab Forest School session in which the children were asked to find a variety of different things in the wooded area. Something straight, something furry, something round etc etc. Forest school is amazing for the kids, especially when they are given a focus, thinking about the world around them. It  gives us the opportunity to discuss different shapes, colours, smells, textures, how things grow, why things change etc etc. So not only extending their understanding of the world but extending their vocabulary as well.

Alongside Peter Pan, we couldn’t let the week go by without talking about LOVE. The heart has been our shape of the week and we have been talking a lot about our families and friends and why it is nice to let people know we love them from time to time. We made some sweets with the children on Wednesday so that they could experience being kind and giving a little gift to their loved ones. Also, this was a fantastic sensory activity as we mixed different ingredients and flavours together. Aromas of strawberry, orange and vanilla woffed up our noses. As always with baking, they really enjoyed doing this and we saw some very interesting shaped sweets emerging…Willy Wonka eat your heart out!

Thank you for all of the fab photos/items that have been brought in to add to our Map of the World. The display is starting to fill up and the children really enjoy sharing their adventures/stories from different places and in particular they enjoy looking at the globe to see how far away places are from where we live in England. It’s a difficult concept for little ones to grasp but they do really enjoy asking questions and looking at the world.

We hope that you all have a very lovely half term filled with lots of fun and adventures to Imagination Land!