This time we have been exploring Life Cycles commencing with one of our favourite stories ‘The Hungry Caterpillar.’ The children have loved retelling the story using story props, utilising fine motor control skills to print long wriggly caterpillars with cotton wool balls, explored symmetrical pattern with folded butterflies and created their own simplistic version of the story in a little book.

Moving onto ‘The Teeny Weeny Tadpole’ we investigated the life cycle of the tadpole as it grew into a frog, painted bubble wrap to represent frogs spawn, along with sharing props to retell the story.

Of course, we also celebrated the King’s Coronation where we discussed members of the current Royal Family along with previous kings who were named Charles, embracing all things red white and blue.  Our activities culminated in a wonderful tea party where it was lovely to see so many parents join us for a celebration tea.

This term we have been exploring Life Cycles as our topic in Butterflies. Going with the rhythm of the seasons, and making the most of our wonderful school environment, we started the term looking at frogs and pond life. This of course meant many wonderful trips to the school lake in search of signs of amphibian life! We have particularly enjoyed pond dipping this term, with the children showing great interest in the many creatures we have found. 

The children’s confidence in moving their bodies in more risky ways in the garden has accelerated this term and we have seen our Butterflies become confident tree climbers! If we aren’t climbing trees, we are jumping from the logs and using the large scale loose parts to make tree slides and swings – all this free movement will support our growing bodies to be ready for the next challenges we face when we head off to Reception class. 

Continuing to enjoy the lovely spring weather in our garden, and as part of our preparation for the King’s Coronation celebrations, we made a variety of different bunting. We used many different materials including paint and fresh flowers to create our own fabric which we then used to decorate our classroom. It was lovely to welcome so many of our special grown-ups to share our celebration tea party afternoon!

Moving on to explore the life cycles of trees and plants after the extra bank holiday, we harvested and dried our own pepper seeds from peppers we have eaten for snack. We have planted them and have been very attentive in making sure they have enough water and warmth to grow. The children were intrigued by the pot which didn’t produce little shoots at the same time as the other pots. They didn’t want to give up on this pot, and continued to water the compost, only to discover that it was just a little slower to get going than the other pots, and now has just as many little shoots as the rest emerging. What a wonderful example of how we all do things in our own time! We will continue with this growing project next term. 

As we continued with our topic, we explored the bird life cycle by looking at a range of different kinds of birds and their eggs. This inspired lots of creative exploration as we used watercolour paints for the first time, thinking carefully about the colour pallet we would need to use to make the eggs look like real bird eggs. We also worked with salt dough (of course making our own dough as part of the process) to create some very realistic looking egg decorations. As part of our delve into the bird life cycle, we also read a story about a penguin egg in Central Park Zoo, which was cared for and hatched by two daddy penguins, prompting lots of discussion about how all families are unique and special.