The Learning Tree Day Nursery  

...where we learn to share and we learn to care

Abstract Tree with Flower Patterns

The Learning Tree Blog

By rwhitemarketing, Jul 12 2017 12:29PM

We have recently been doing some training on how to raise early achievement in Literacy and one of our events was a Doodle Play Day.

On this day we worked with a local school to support parents in understanding how early mark making really helps children to develop the fine motor skills they need to start writing.

Adults will often call the earliest attempts at mark making and drawing, ‘scribble.' However, young children are very interested in their marks and the movements that make them.

These marks will gradually develop into forms that children recognise, for example circular shapes and lines. Movement and form come together as children think "If I do that, I will see a circle or a line here."

Children will eventually move on to representing things they know and an awareness of the distinction between writing and drawing emerges.

Activities such as making marks in shaving foam and cornflour, big and small marks with paint, pens and chalk, manipulating playdough, making large movements with ‘light sabres' and even just spreading butter/soft cheese on toast/crackers all support a child's development in writing.

The aim of our play day at the park, was to show parents how all these fun activities are really great ways to support their children in building up the muscles they need to become great writers. These activities are also exciting for children to engage in and won't be limited to sitting down with a pencil and paper, which despite the best of intentions can end up with a frustrated child! That's not to say this isn't a great idea, sometimes this will be exactly what you both want to do but as our day demonstrated, if you are thinking of some ideas to support your child's early writing, there are endless ways to do this.

During the day parents were shown that they are powerful role models and their children will likely copy what they are doing, so even when you are writing a shopping list or making notes at home and your child is copying and making different marks, they are learning to distinguish and support their gross and fine motor skills.

We hope you have plenty of fun rediscovering the joy of 'doodling' with your children!

By rwhitemarketing, May 10 2017 04:08PM

We have really enjoyed getting musical at our latest training with BANES.

Using songs and rhymes can support babies and young children's listening and attention skills, the development of children's turn taking, providing a sense of wellbeing and can be very soothing for children.

We have also used songs to learn different cultural songs and invited a variety of families from different backgrounds into our setting to all enjoy singing together.

Making time for singing is so important for our children, we make lots of time for it here at The Learning Tree, and this latest training has been a great way for us to learn new songs and enhance what we already do.

We will all enjoy using props such as tap sticks, ribbons, instruments and puppets to make the experience even more fun for the children.


We have even had a large sensory scrunchie made, which we enjoy using when we sing ''we are riding on a pony'', we shake it and shake it and then we stop!! The children have become so involved in the songs and love joining in!

We have noticed singing helps to settle new children into our setting and has been a great tool in helping children with English as an additional language.

All the songs we have learnt have been great for children on a one-to-one or large group basis.

From this training, we will be handing out weekly song sheets so that all our families can enjoy learning new songs with their children at home.


In the meantime, we hope you enjoy listening to your children repeating all our lovely new songs at home!

We love the Jelly song best!

Danielle and Charlotte, Baby Room.

By rwhitemarketing, Feb 23 2017 01:31PM

The Learning Tree Day Nursery Country Walks
The Learning Tree Day Nursery Country Walks

We have been focusing on Forest School again this term, using Jennie's skills to lead some wonderful walks in our local area.

The children have explored the beautiful rural countryside on our doorstep. We have squelched in the mud, climbed gates, waded through swishy swashy grass and jumped in many muddy puddles! This has tied in nicely with the 'bear hunt' active bedtime story making sessions Sam and Jennie have been running, and which many of our families attended.

The Learning Tree Day Nursery Exploring
The Learning Tree Day Nursery Exploring

During our time outdoors we have also been making good use of the opportunity to explore extremes in climate and weather. Making sure we are wearing appropriate clothing, discussing what we need to wear to stay warm and dry and how to stay safe during our Forest sessions.

We run Forest sessions every Tuesday, however, if this is not your child's usual day at nursery please don't feel left out. We carry out lots of Forest inspired activities throughout the week and go on many walks. It is, therefore, important to always have suitable outdoor clothing at the ready for your child to join in the fun.

The Learning Tree Day Nursery Outdoor Learning
The Learning Tree Day Nursery Outdoor Learning

Sam will also be running a 'Bear Hunt' Forest session at Peasdown School's outdoor classroom in the Spring, for all our transitioning children.

The Learning Tree Day Nursery Forest School
The Learning Tree Day Nursery Forest School

By rwhitemarketing, Sep 29 2016 11:56AM

Danielle and Annabel, from our baby room, have been working on this month's blog and it is all about babies feeling and being free!

As a society we encourage our babies to spend as much time as possible in highchairs, baby seats, Bumbo chairs and buggies, all of which restrict a baby's physical movement and development.

Here at The Learning Tree Day Nursery we encourage our babies to spend as much time as possible exploring the environment around them, allowing them to use all their senses.

We have set up our baby room to provide rich learning experiences for our babies. Our areas and resources are accessible for the babies to move around and access themselves. We have also recently been developing a baby sensory garden. We can often be found using this garden and our main garden for free-flow play. The baby sensory garden has been designed to enhance the children's physcial development, encouraging them to crawl, reach, stretch bend and climb. These are all the skills babies require in order to learn how to walk and run.

The recent installation of a 'crawl-in' sandpit in our baby room, allows the babies to experience and play with sand and other sensory activities all day every day!

Sensory activities are often carried out away from the constriants of chairs and hihgchairs. We can frequently be found on the floor, where babies are able to move freely, using their whole bodies and not just their hands. The babies are able to 'come and go' from the activity at their own pace.

We have noticed that not all babies enjoy traditional 'tummy time' however these same children have really enjoyed creative and sensory experiences on their tummies and as such are taking part and enjoying these tummy activities, thanks to the freedom!

For more information on physical development and babies please see the following NHS website:

By rwhitemarketing, Sep 14 2016 09:25AM

We are really chuffed with our beautiful new hollow blocks that we have purchased for the nursery.

We decided to buy the blocks using our 'Early Years Pupil Premium Funding'. This additional funding has meant we can enhance our learning environment to give the children these wonderful new blocks to access everyday. The blocks provide endless play opportunities, because there is no correct use of blocks there is no failure; each success encourages the next experiment.

Blocks give children endless opportunities for open-ended play. Blocks can be anything from a simple tower, a house, a train, a car, becoming anything or taking the children's imaginations anywhere.

Since introducing the blocks to our nursery enviroment we have observed the children playing with them in many diffrent ways. The children didn't use the blocks at first but after support from staff, they were able to see how they could accesss these resources independently and without the need to ask. They have since started to use them independently and as a part of their every day play.

We have observed children using them both individually and as a group. The blocks have given children skills in every area in the EYFS and we have seen the congnitive, social and language benefits of this resource.

We have observed children spending a whole morning and even a whole day building with the blocks. The children have taken great pride and ownership over their structures and we have been photographing their structures at tidy up time, with the children, as they can get upset when the blocks need to be put away!

As the weeks have progressed the children have been adding other resources to the blocks such as small world figures, shells, stones and cars to enhance their play and imagination further. We have seen the blocks being made into a beach, a road, a house etc. Lots of children also like to hide the animals and other objects in the hollows of the blocks. We are excitied to observe the children using this resource more and each day and seeing the play that they bring to our nursery.

For a good artical on block play in early years please see the following link: