30 June 2023

Beans, Bugs and Beautiful Teeth

This week we received a visit from Ugne, our local Oral Health Educator. She came to speak to parents and carers about hidden sugars in food advertised as healthy, and to warn about the adverse effects prolonged use of teated bottles and cups upon our children’s teeth. In the nursery room, the children used brushes and foam, along with casts of “teeth” to practise their brushing skills.

Ugne also brought along some of her puppet friends. They needed some help from the children. We told Dinky the dinosaur that we drink milk and water to look after our teeth and that at Thornton Heath Nursery School we are “Rainbow Children!”, this means we eat fruit and vegetables of as many different colours as possible, to not only look after our teeth but our entire bodies.

With a midweek downpour, the snails were out in force. The challenge was set to find 20 snails; a special team worked together and carefully counted a total of 23! The children moved them away from our vegetable crops of pumpkins, courgettes, dill and potatoes and created a temporary habitat for them. This gave us a chance to observe the snails behaviour and closely look at their slithering, slimy bodies and their tiny little eyes. The snails were fed some cucumber from our snack table, but they didn’t seem to be interested. Next week, we shall test different foods chosen by survey to see which food the snails prefer.

From snail slime in the garden, to slime in the Nursery! Throughout the week the children were stretching, squeezing and oozing sticky and wobbly slime. A great opportunity to  develop hand and finger strength, but also an experience to share together; building social and verbal communication. As the slime changes shape and texture throughout the week, the children see first hand how the application of pressure and gravity can transform.

Another pest has blighted our vegetables…the naughty aphids! The children have observed the ants moving the aphids from plant to plant… the children learnt how the ants use the aphids for the sugary juice which they secrete from their backs. We were less humane here I’m afraid to say, as the “blast” setting was used on our hose to clear them from our runner and broad bean plants.

Happily, our first crop was ready this week; enough broad beans for all who wanted to try them and a singular, long, fat courgette! From picking, to shelling, washing, cooking and eating in 5 minutes flat! The children have had the opportunity to see, do and understand exactly how food is grown and prepared from seed to fork! More to come next week.

You may recall our pet caterpillars…By Friday morning, the two year old room had two beautiful, painted lady butterflies. Will the nursery room see any butterflies emerge? The children observed each chrysalis wiggle and shake in response to any movement detected. We found out this happens to startle and scare off any would be chrysalis munchers such as birds and rats. We hope for good news and fluttering wings next week.

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Published on 30th June, 2023

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