Monthly Reflections: September 2017
September at Bright Beginnings
September is always a very busy month at Bright Beginnings with a fresh term kicking off at the University of Leeds, and September 2017 has been no exception! This September we welcomed lots of new families and children to the Centre, and lots of children have moved from their old rooms into new rooms for bigger boys and girls. The staff in all of our play areas have been busy getting to know all of the new faces and helping our new children settle into life at Bright Beginnings.
This year we introduced Welcome Week for the first time, sharing important and useful information with our families via Facebook and Twitter during the final week of September. We hope that this information was useful to our new parents and also families who have been with us for a while; if you have any questions about any of the info shared during Welcome Week or about something that wasn’t covered, please do not hesitate to contact us or speak to one of our receptionists!
The Great Bright Beginnings Bake Off (or BBs Bake Off) also returned to the Centre, with a grand total of seven of our staff members taking part this year in a bid to be named our ultimate Star Baker! All of their bakes have been very popular so far with our families and staff, and our most recent week was our most popular ever, with an amazing 607 votes for our winner! BBs Bake Off will continue through October and some of November, as the Great British Bake Off continues to run on Channel 4, with lots of delicious and exciting bakes to come!
Gill and Ruth visited Târgu Mureș, Transylvania, on Thursday 21st September and helped deliver play sessions and resources for the Roma children of Valea Rece. They were in the village of Valea Rece for seven days, using resources from Bright Beginnings to deliver a variety of play activities, and assisting village volunteers in providing hot meals to the local children. It was an amazing and humbling experience, and as a Centre we are really eager to continue supporting this little community by sending the children sorely needed resources on an ongoing basis. We will be setting up a display in reception in the next few days to share Gill and Ruth’s experiences in Romania with our families, as well as installing a permanent donation box for clothes and shoes, particular those for the upcoming winter season.
We introduced our new seasonal menus in September to coincide with the arrival of autumn! Our new four-weekly menus were designed by our brilliant kitchen team, and can be downloaded here.
BabyBallet and Jo Jingles returned in September, and are even more popular than ever! Our preschool French classes also resumed on alternate Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can learn more about our classes here.
What have our rooms been up to?
The common theme across the entire Centre in September was, of course, the brand new season! Autumn officially arrived on September 22nd, and the staff in all of our rooms have encouraged the children’s growing interest in the season with lots of different activities and outings.
Caterpillars & Butterflies
We have had lots of new babies joining our baby rooms in September, and they have been busy getting to know the staff and their new friends! They have been especially interested in climbing, exploring the play equipment in the room, and have loved playing with balls. The staff have also been encouraging their interest in buttons, locks, chains and zips, for example encouraging babies to zip up their own coats. Exploring the outdoors has also been popular; our babies have been getting to know their dedicated garden space, playing in the sandpit and jumping in puddles, and they have also been exploring the Forest Frogs garden! They have also been mixing herbs to taste and smell and enjoying similar sensory activities.
Ladybirds & Bumblebees
Ladybirds recently put out a request for autumn resources and our families did not disappoint! Our parents have been kind enough to bring in conkers, twigs, and acorns that they collected with their children into the Centre for us to use in their autumn arts and crafts, which Ladybirds and Bumblebees have been using in lots of exciting arts and crafts. Bumblebees have been making lovely autumn pictures for their art gallery by rolling conkers in paint, and making lovely pictures by sticking glitter and pieces of fabric in lovely autumn shades on leaf templates. Like Caterpillars and Bumblebees, our 2-3 year olds have also been interested in sensory activities; Ladybirds have been exploring different smells, and Bumblebees enjoyed a fruit tasting session with Tia.
Grasshoppers, Dragonflies & Millipedes
Grasshoppers had a new arrival in September in addition to their new children; a goldfish! They were given the opportunity to name their new friend among themselves, and, after much reflection, decided unanimously on ‘Peppa George’. Peppa George is very happy with his new home, and is very well looked after. Grasshoppers were also delighted by the arrival of lots of recorders, which they have been learning to play with Ann. Dragonflies have been making their own tea! They collected fennel, rhubarb, lemon, thyme and mint, and mixed them all together to create their own unique blend of Dragonflies Tea, which they strained into china mugs and tasted together. They also did some bird watching. Millipedes reopened in September after closing for the summer for Playscheme and welcomed a brand new group of children! They have all been getting to know each other and the Millipedes staff, and exploring their new room. Jenna, our Forest School Leader, led several groups of children from Grasshoppers, Dragonflies, and Millipedes on autumn walks around campus. They collected conkers, played in brightly coloured autumn leaves, and spent time at the Sustainable Garden playing leaf matching games and making collages from natural materials.