Hello everyone,

We hope you are all keeping safe & well.  We miss the children a lot and hope we will all get a chance to be together again before too long.  The letters offering notifications of school & pre-school places should arrive on Wednesday 29th April.  This year because of the situation they are being issued by the Education Authority rather than the setting.  Details of the school or pre-school email addresses will be in the letter so you may accept or refuse your place.  As some of the post is delayed at present the EA Citizen Portal will be opened on Wednesday 29th April to allow parents who applied online to log in to view placement offers.  Guidance on how to log in and access placement offers is available on EA website.

We’ve been very lucky with the weather since the schools closed so I’m sure the children are making the most of any outdoor space near to them.  Just in case you might be running out of ideas, I thought I’d let you know a few of the things we would be doing at this time of year.

Colouring flowers –Find or buy some white flowers and mix some food colouring & a small amount water to place them in.  Watch as they change colour over the next few days.

Sensory/calming bottles – Use any clear bottle with a lid.  Fill with water and add any of the following -glitter, glitter glue, food colouring, rice, beads, buttons, oil etc.  Anything you can think off!  Very therapeutic!

Water play – Fill anything with water and add any equipment you have handy.  Milk cartons, jugs, tubing, funnels etc. Check out the kitchen cupboards and see what can be used.  Attach a couple of milk cartons or other containers to a fence and make your own water wall.

Making music – In school we have old pots, tin trays, tin cans etc. attached to a fence.  The children use wooden spoons and other kitchen items to make music.  Be brave and try this at home!!

Rain shaker – Kitchen roll tube – seal one end with paper or card, add rice, pasta or dried peas.  Seal other end & shake!

Mini beast hunt- Go searching for mini beasts in the garden or when you’re out for your daily walk.  Make a bug hotel using any old bits of wood or boxes you have sitting around.

Egg box caterpillars – When we read “The Hungry Caterpillar” we always make our own egg box caterpillars.  Use a cardboard egg box, just paint or colour with crayons, add a little face and there he is!

Planting seeds – A range of seeds can be bought online.  We usually plant sunflower seeds and they grow quite quickly so the children don’t have to wait too long for the results.  Add a stick to the pot so you can mark and measure how much they grow each week.

Fruit kebabs –Let the children help to chop up a range of fruit and then place the pieces of fruit on a stick.  If they’ve been really good and like me, the healthy eating rules don’t always apply during lockdown, melt some chocolate and let them dip the fruit in. Yummy!!

Being independent – Make the children do everything!!  This is a great opportunity to make them really independent.  Let them make their own sandwiches, wash the dishes, do some dusting, help make the bed, sort out the washing, pair up socks, get dressed, put on socks & shoes, anything you can think of to increase their independence!  Usually coming up near the end of term we get them to wash lots of the toys and they really enjoy it.  We don’t even have to pay them!!!

As I’m sure you know there are brilliant ideas online.  Pinterest is great and there are also some great story telling & singing sessions on youtube.  Getting Ready to Learn (parents tab) also has some good ideas.  We found the children really enjoyed Bubble Guppies at TV time.  Have some fun finding things together.

If you need to contact me about anything, please do so by email

Keep safe & well everyone.

Hope to see you all soon.

Linda & the girls