Hammersmith went to Virginia Waters
Today our toddler children at Hammersmith Nursery went on an adventure to Virginia Waters! The aim of the trip was to find different signs of Autumn around the park. During their walk, they found leaves in all different shapes, sizes, and colours; with red being the most popular leaf colour! The staff used this interest as an opportunity to introduce new, descriptive, language to the children. Talking about the colours, textures, and appearance of the natural objects they found, such as the prickly chestnut casings, the burgundy leaves, the shimmering conkers and the knobbly branches.
In preparation for the trip, the children read the infamous The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. They looked at the similarities between the setting of the story and the park and the animals they might find in the park. Once they arrived, the children went on a Gruffalo-themed walk through the park. They looked for the animals mentioned in the book and the habitats they live in, though to everyone’s disappointment, they didn’t find any! They talked about the different types of habitats the creatures from the story and tried to find some, looking for holes in the trees for owls, log pile houses for the snake, and a den for the fox. They talked about the type of habitat the Gruffalo might live in and if he might live in Virginia Waters.
One animal the children found plenty of was squirrels! The Children noticed the squirrels collecting sticks and conkers and running away with them up the trees. The teachers asked the children why the squirrels were collecting different materials, allowing the children plenty of time to discuss their answers before talking to them about hibernation and what it means for the woodland creatures in the park. The children then decided they wanted to help the animals by creating little piles of conkers and chestnuts for the animals to take.
Whilst continuing their walk around the park, the children found a huge pond. They spotted a range of different ducks and geese swimming. The teachers also used this as an opportunity to talk about what other animals do during winter if they are not hibernating, such as some birds flying as far as Africa to escape the cold weather in the U.K.! Once they had finished their adventure, they came together to play some parachute games together and read stories, including a recap of The Gruffalo, they settled down to have a lovely picnic lunch before heading back to Willows Hammersmith to tell other children about all they saw, experienced, and learnt from their trip to Virginia Waters.