Woodland Play 27 Sept 2018

We had a fantastic session in the woods today. Our children are growing in confidence in the woodland environment.
We were interested to see if there were any changes to the woods after Storm Ali visited last week. We did see several trees that had fallen over and lots and lots of leaves and sticks on the ground. We remembered that the rain had turned the path into a river and we saw how the water had washed away some of the stones and mud and made the path all bumpy.

We were visited by several dogs during our session today and it was lovely to see how our children are learning to respect animals and beginning to understand that they should stand still and wait until the dogs have gone past. We were unlucky however that one passing dog took a fancy to one of our children’s mitts and ran off with it! If anyone finds a (lovely) mutt with a mitt in the neighbourhood please let us know!

We tried out a new activity today and put up a hammock. The children rapidly became experts at getting on to and out of the hammock. They thoroughly enjoyed the gentle swaying motion of swinging in the hammock and gazing at the trees and sky.

We were excited by the number of different mushrooms and toadstool we’ve been finding and also are becoming experts at spotting them in lots of different places. Some grow high up on trees, some in the grass and some in hollows beside the tree roots. There are so many shapes and colours. We have been learning that some mushrooms and toadstools can make us feel very sick so that we never try to eat them and that its best not to touch them. Sometimes we might touch one accidentally though and that’s ok, we just need to remember to wash our hands.

We’ve also been thinking about where the birds and animals in the woods live. We spotted some nest boxes on our walk to the woods today and we think it would be good to make a bird box and put it up in the woods for the birds to make a nest in. We found a den that looked just like the Gruffalo’s den so we decided to see if we could find where Fox, Owl, Snake and Mouse live too!

All in all, a huge amount of fun and just as much learning packed into 3 hours this morning 👍🏻


The Big Soup Share 2018

We were very pleased to host our very first Soup Share at Playgroup today. We made breadsticks, butter and some delicious carrot soup using the carrots we picked from our garden yesterday. We invited our friends from Cambusbarron Nursery to join us since they helped us sow the seeds in our garden in the spring time and we wanted to share our harvest with them. It was a fantastic happy occasion which we hope we will be able to repeat (not sure we will have enough carrots for more soup though!) #bigsoupshare2018

Scones and Soup!

Today we made scones and took them to the Needle and Natter McMillan Coffee Morning. We also donated our snack money. We enjoyed helping our friends at the Needle and Natter and appreciate being part of such a great community.

Tomorrow is our first Soup Share lunch. We picked carrots from our garden – we were amazed at the colours and shapes of the carrots. We will make carrot soup and share it with our friends in the community tomorrow.

Flu Immunisation 2018/2019

Flu is very infectious and can be serious. Flu can lead to complications that may result in hospitalisation or even death.

Even healthy children can become seriously ill from flu and can spread it to family, friends and others. Every year in Scotland, children are hospitalised for the treatment of flu or its complications.

All children aged 2–5 years as of 1 September 2018 and not yet in school will be offered the nasal vaccine between October and December.

You’ll be sent a letter about contacting your GP practice to arrange an appointment for your child.

For more information please visit


Learning through Woodwork

Staff at playgroup have observed the children’s significant and sustained interest in tools. Over the last year we have been building on this interest and providing increasing opportunities to use real tools. Children enjoyed hammering golf tees into a pumpkin last Hallowe’en, they’ve helped dismantle the rotten sandpit in the garden using an electric screwdriver. They’ve become very proficient at assembling Ikea wooden boxes and even helped with the finishing touches to our garden water play feature.


Their interest and enjoyment in these projects has been the primary inspiration for building (!) on the use of real tools in the playgroup setting. Pete Moorhouse’s book has been the secondary inspiration. His enthusiasm and guidance has led to us now having our own workbench complete with vise, saw, screwdrivers, pliers and hammers.

Pete’s book is full of useful information highlighting the way that working with real tools encourages children’s independence and fosters creative learning. We have already witnessed deep learning at the woodwork bench. The children’s concentration and focus is substantial and can only benefit their abilities to be creative, to persevere and problem solve let alone provide significant exposure to opportunities to develop coordination, physical skills, language and communication.

Pete’s book is not just for children! It inspired me to get out my tools and create the workbench.

I’ve rebuilt my garden deck over the summer and I’m learning to carve spoons.


It’s given me a “can do” attitude. When I went through secondary school (and it wasn’t that long ago!) girls all did Home Economics and learned to cook and sew. Admittedly I loved this and still enjoy these activities. I regret now though that I was never given the opportunity to do woodwork, that was reserved for the boys. It’s an activity I’m now getting a lot of enjoyment from. It highlights for me again the learning that is in learning and why I love working in Early Years.  I’m learning just as much as the children are.

I have Pete’s book, if you’d like to read it please let me know, I’m happy to lend it out for short periods. He has an on-line booklet  too though, for anyone who is interested. Both the book and booklet are probably more aimed at professionals working with children but are still worth a read to get a flavour of the massive range of benefits woodworking provides.