In Autumn 2 we're looking at celebrations. At this time of the year there are many celebrations from different cultures and religions and we enjoy learning about special events that are different from ours to help develop our understanding of the world around us. We begin to notice similarities and differences between ourselves and other people and show interest in different way's of life.
Before our half term holiday in October, we'd already started to show an interest in celebrations by discussing Halloween as many of our children were aware of it and get involved in it at home with their families. The children began to dress up in Halloween costumes and go trick or treating around the classroom.
Coming back from the holidays, children had started to notice fireworks in the sky. Our investigation area was set up to explore light as many celebrations have a theme of light around this time. Children had a go at creating bonfires and fireworks with construction material and media for paint. Rather than using paint brushes, children used sponges, stubby brushes and forks to create firework effect pictures.
We took the opportunity to explore Diwali which was on the 27th October this year. Children have enjoyed learning about the story of Rama and Sita, making diva lamps with clay which has been a new experience in nursery and helping me create raita to learn about food from other cultures. Some children have taken a particular interest in Diwali because it reminded them of Eid with the colours and mehndi designs.
Although it is not a celebration, we have made children aware of Remembrance Day through a focus on poppies. The children have developed their art skills even further by creating poppies through different material and media, using both paint and tissue paper. It's amazing how detailed their artwork has been since coming back from the holidays as they . Children had noticed that poppies were suddenly everywhere in the shops. We didn't go into a lot of detail about Remembrance Day but we wanted children to know that it was a time to remember how people helped us a long, long time ago. Some children knew a little bit more about the day which was lovely to hear about.
As we get closer to the end of term, we are exploring Christmas. As we've practised for our school Nativity performance and set up our Christmas tree, children are using it as an opportunity to explore different ways of life as some of us celebrate for religious reasons and others don't. We've enjoyed learning about the Nativity story and how it links to our upcoming performance as well as talking about Christmas around us. Many children are already putting up their decorations at home and talking to us about what they've experienced of Christmas so far.
Spring 1 and Spring 2 has allowed us to carry on our exploration of celebrations. In January we celebrated Chinese New Year where we created dragons, tried writing in Chinese and looked at the country China.
Putting noodles in our sand area with chopsticks and setting up a Chinese takeaway in our home corner gave children an opportunity to develop their PD skills by learning how to use chopsticks. Glitter in our outdoor tuff tray invited children to explore mark marking and write numbers in Chinese. We used animal masks to recreate the race from the Chinese New Year story, exploring different ways to move.
In Spring 2, we began our new half term learning about Pancake Day. Children had a lovely opportunity to visit the teaching kitchen where we made pancakes from scratch and brought them down to Acorns classroom, choosing a topping to go with their fresh pancakes. There was a choice of lemon juice, sugar and chocolate spread. Pancake Day encouraged children to talk about cooking at home and past experiences cooking pancakes or other meals with their adults.
Later in Spring 2, there was the festival of Holi and the children enjoyed exploring colour and learning how Hindus celebrate. You can have a look at our challenge 'Can you throw a Rainbow Party' to find out more about Holi week in Acorns.