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How We Develop Play

Number rhymes help children count

Five Fat Sausages Sizzling in the Pan All of a Sudden One Went - Bang!'To the untrained eye it will appear that children attending Grapevine Nursery School are doing no more than having fun with members of staff - which they are.

However, at all times our nursery nurses are guiding children in the development of specific skills and concepts. For example, here is how we use playdough. It is a wonderful educational medium, though we don’t supply it to the children - they make their own by following a picture recipe. This helps children develop: early reading skills and mathematical ability (as they measure out the ingredients of water, flour and salt).

As children stir the mixture with a spoon the consistency of the materials begins to change. At this point nursery staff ask: “What’s happening? Why is everything becoming sticky?”

Once the dough has been made it can become a focus for learning. It can be made into play sausages to develop mathematical language: “Who has made the longest/thickest sausage?” Playdough sausages are marvellous for developing counting skills via number rhymes such as:  'Five Fat Sausages Sizzling in the Pan. All of a Sudden One Went - Bang!'

About Our Playground

Our playground is unique - developed thanks to a £30,000 Capital Fund grant, which we received during 2010 in recognition of our consistently high standards.

The central platform is a fort structure reached by climbing up blue scramble netting.

Once on top we can seat up to 20 children for story sessions. Afterwards, everyone - including staff - zooms back to earth down our bizarre-looking yellow tube-slide (it is the creation of a Swiss company).

Beneath 'the fort' children can play inside cosy rooms fitted with tables, chairs and a toy cooker. At the rear - attached to the structure - there is Grapevine's petrol station, where children can fill up their cars. 

Our whole playground is covered with safety-surfacing, and a road track is marked out.
We have a large sand pit, a wall xylophone, garden boxes, a distoring mirror, and a very interesting water game. 

Lengths of guttering are attached to the wall, each with a tap affixed. Children pour water into the top piece of guttering, then control its flow - collecting it at floor level. 

One of our most popular activities is basketball. The children never tire of trying to
hit the target. 

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We use  computers to help children develop the mouse skills that will be so useful to them in later life. On-screen games promote numeracy and literacy, and an awareness of the outside world.

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