Yesterday, Sunday 3rd June, saw Oxfordshire play host to the ‘World Pooh Sticks Championships’.
As all Winnie the Pooh fans will know, Pooh Sticks is the game of dropping twigs into a stream from the bridge above and seeing whose stick emerges first from the other side.
Here at Aston Childcare we love an impromptu game of pooh sticks! The children’s excitement of watching their floating twig arrive safely at the other side of the bridge never fails to amuse.
It’s a game we probably all remember fondly from our own childhoods. There really is nothing simpler than throwing a stick in the water that the children love so much! No childhood is complete without a game of PoohSticks!
Today marks the end of Autumn, where has the time gone?!
I love Autumn, I am glad the heat of the Summer has passed, I am not rushing to cover the children in suncream or hats or frantically hydrating them and cooling them down and I love seeing the first blackberries on hedgerows and pulling on extra cosy layers.
As a childminder it’s a lovely time of year to be with the children. Here at Aston Childcare we have spent this season jumping in crunchy Autumn leaves, blackberry picking, collecting conkers, doing arts and crafts inspired by bonfire night and Halloween, exploring acorns, conkers and leaves in our nature tray and chatting about hibernation.
With Autumn upon us, we can say goodbye to our Summer which we may all remember as being notably wetter than average!
Whilst many were bemoaning the rain filled days however, as a childminder it was an opportunity to indulge in one of the children’s favourite activities – Jumping in muddy puddles!
As adults if we see a muddy puddle our instinct is to avoid them, when children see them they want to jump in and splash in them.
The children love getting bundled up in their waterproofs and wellies and even a short drive to our chosen muddy puddle destination(!) is an adventure for them as we drive over bridges, spot sheep in the fields, pass big tractors, and drive along the bumpy country roads.
The children love it and it’s a great way for them to let off some steam whilst getting some fresh air rather than being cooped up in an overcrowded soft play on a wet day.
It gives great opportunities for the children to learn and discover and to indulge in some “risky play”.
Areas of learning covered: Physical Development, Understanding the World, Communication & Language, Mathematics, Personal, Social and Emotional development
When we said goodbye to our chickens earlier this year I was determined to use the space for something the children could still all enjoy and benefit from. In their place we now have two raised beds, one for growing fruit and vegetables, and one which I am creating a sensory garden in.
I have made a start on this by planting the last of my sunflower seeds that I have used in previous years, I hope the bright colour and eye-catching flowers will be popular with this years mindees.
Along the front of the bed I have planted some mint taken from a cutting elsehwhere in the garden and also some basil and some rosemary which hopefully the children will enjoy using their sense of smell to enjoy.
Next up, I would like to plant something called ‘Lambs ears’. I loved this plant as a child, it has incredibly soft leaves which I hope the children will enjoy with their sense of touch.
I also plan to plant some lavender that we like to use our playdough for a more sensory experience.
I am pleased to report that the sunflowers have started to grow already and I will keep you posted as to how it all progresses.
Our village playground is looking a bit worn and sorry for itself but I was pleased to hear that there are plans underway to improve it. I have spent many hours with my mindees up at the park but feel currently that it is not so good for the little ones so I hope that the new and improved children’s play area rectifies that. Colour plans of the new children’s play area have been produced and I hope it’s not too long before we can enjoy the new and improved facilities.
Luckily we have some great playgrounds in neighbouring villages and I regularly make use of 3 of them and 2 larger ones in neighbouring towns.
Whilst I always strive to provide a rich outside play area in my own garden at home I do feel there are some things that are better enjoyed at the park.