Tuesday, 31 January 2012

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Monday 30th January 2012
Today we have been taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. This has been a yearly event and our participation means that the children become much more aware of the wide range of birds that visit our nursery garden.
We have our sheets printed and the children are primed and ready to go.  They know it is a simple matter of watching the birds and in our garden and using the charts to record what we see....A line for each bird beside the relevant picture.

3 boys appear outside - clipboards and markers at the ready and full of enthusiasm bouncing up and down and saying "we need to count the birds... where are they?"  They run around busily looking for birds to count - but this morning it is cold and there is very  little food left in our feeders.  We chat and agree that the first thing we need to do is get some food...so we find stale crackers, peanuts and some wildbird seed.  Lots of children are keen to crumble up the crackers and scatter them on the ground.  The bird seed is filled into the large recycled bottle that we use as a feeder...

And would you believe it - Birds are the topic of play for  some children indoors too!!

Angry birds that is!  Isn't it amazing how capable 3-4 year olds are with technology....A few weeks ago we played Angry Birds on an iphone and I was astounded at the level of skill shown by some boys.  They then transferred this skill to the block area where they created a structure that mirrored the Angry Birds game.  A small raffia ball was covered in masking tape and used to throw at the targets standing on the structure!!
Think of the thinking that has gone into the planning, preparation, plus physical skills, turn taking, rebuilding etc.. being developed!

Meanwhile back outside......

No clip boards left for me, but I can manage
I'll just write my name here    

The small group of children who chose this activity were full of enthusiasm and they were delighted to see the different birds....
chaffinches - who amused the children when the dominant one chased the others away so he could eat the seed!!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Would you like to tickle the fox....

It was my intention to post here regularly this school year but pressures of time have meant I didn't stick to my plan!!!  Hopefully there will be more posts in the next few weeks as I share with you some of the highlights of our visits and visitors to nursery....

Yesterday we had a visit from Debbie who brought some animals with her. 
Debbie works for TACT   http://www.tactwildlifecentre.org.uk/
and spends most of the school year visiting schools and groups throughout Northern Ireland.  She is enthusiastic and loves her job, imparting a wealth of knowledge to the children about each animal and telling how they all became residents at the sanctuary.

This year she brought a ferret, 

a fluffy rabbit who appeared to have a lion's mane,

a blind hedgehog who wasn't really prickly,

an owl  with one wing

and of course a fox who wanted to be a baby!
The children were excited about the visit which we had been preparing for, many brought gifts of pet food and bird food, sawdust, kitchen roll etc to donate to Debbie for the Centre.
There was great excitement and for some children mixed emotions because they have never been so close to real live animals before - and discovered how different they smell!!
Debbie however was reassuring and spoke gently and quietly to the children and talked about how to handle animals safely, the safest way to stroke a hedgehog or a ferret and how different they feel! 
 Almost every child had a chance to stroke the fox  if they wished to do so....Debbie also reinforced the importance of washing our hands after touching animals.  An interesting and informative visit for all our children!!