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Important Nursery Diary Dates
A year in the life of the nursery
Calendar of Events
The Oxford Nursery has always been proud of the very full and traditional calendar of events we celebrate…here are some we have enjoyed over twelve months….
January has seen the nurseries enjoy celebrating National ‘Winnie The Pooh’ day where 18th January marks the birthday of the author, A.A. Milne. A fun day enjoying ‘Pooh Bear’ stories, arts and crafts and the famous ‘pooh stick’ racing.
Similarly, we enjoy a celebration of all things Scottish when we mark ‘Burn’s Night’…a great excuse to try some vegetarian ‘haggis’, wear something tartan, listen to some bagpipe music and look at the Scottish flag.
Chinese New Year gave us an opportunity to dress up, have stories and a Chinese tea party. We enjoy making the lucky red envelopes called ‘Hongbao’ (Mandarin) or lai see (Cantonese). Some of us make dancing dragons and Chinese art work.
February enjoys seeing the colours of the first signs of Spring but the colour really is all about red when we celebrate who we love for ‘St Valentine’s Day’ On 14th February. We talk about love and caring and enjoy dressing up in something red.
Shrove Tuesday or ‘Pancake Day’ is a must in our celebratory calendar….the children enjoy a day of cooking…mixing the batter for our pancakes and then smelling the delicious mix as they cook. The children have fun in their own play kitchens trying to toss their pretend play dough pancakes and catch them in the frying pan…great for co-ordination skill practise! Undoubtedly, the best bit, though, is in the eating of the pancakes.
March St David’s Day on March 1st starts lovely Spring in the most floral way celebrating all things Welsh with Daffodils and Leeks. We enjoy exploring the beauty of these national flowers and learn about the Welsh Dragon Flag.
March also often brings us the Easter dates where we celebrate this Christian holiday by hearing the story of Jesus and the Easter Story. The children love having Easter egg hunts, making Easter Bonnets and lots of art and crafts.
Mother’s day is celebrated and gives us a chance to draw pictures and make something lovely for or ‘mummies’. We extend this celebration by recognising someone who cares for us and share stories that promote ‘thankfulness’.
March 17th sees the nurseries going completely ‘green’ for their celebrations of the Irish ‘St Patrick’s’ Day. We love to dress up as little green Irish Leprechauns and learn about good luck by making four leaf clovers and finding out about kissing the ‘Blarney’ stone.
April The first day of the month (April Fools Day) is all about laughter and playing tricks on each other and learning about safety in our play. It’s a fun day of making up funny things to play tricks on the carers and enjoy sharing funny stories.
April 23rd is St George’s day and we share more stories about Dragons and look at The English flag.. We bake cakes and role play stories relating to dragons whilst celebrating all things English.
May This month brings us a real celebration of the spring. We take time to learn some very traditional May dancing, around a May pole with ribbons or Morris dancing with Bells. The children enjoy some spring Picnics and prepare different food for sharing.
June We celebrate the Queen’s ‘Trooping of the Colour’. This is a lovely way to dress up as royalty and enjoy learning about our monarchy.
June also sees our Midsummer celebrations on June 21st when we have a Shakespearian take on the Summer Solstice and enjoy dressing up as fairies and elves….another opportunity to have a tea party.
July Summer is in full swing and we enjoy celebrating some occasions widely enjoyed by other countries…namely 4th July American Independence Day. We have fun making clay statues of Liberty and recreating American flags. Also French Bastille Day July 14th is a great day to make castles and drawbridges to ‘storm’ with a French flag flying.
August August is a month of simply celebrating the Summer. The last Monday of the month is our bank holiday and this month our oldest children go to ‘big school’. We celebrate this ‘moving on’ with a family sports day and graduation ceremony and party.
September We enjoy the coming of the bountiful Harvest by recognising a traditional Harvest supper as well as the Jewish Sukkot. We build Jewish ‘Sukkah’s’ (beautifully adorned garden dens) and this month we celebrate harvesting all the lovely vegetables we have grown. We make lots of soups and learn a lot about eating healthily.
October As well as our Harvest celebrations which may spill over into October we look forward to the clocks going backwards and the coming of the darker evenings…we celebrate this rather than mourn the loss of the summer…it a great opportunity to celebrate darkness by filling it with light. We celebrate a cheery ‘Halloween’ (October 31st) with lots of dressing up and parties. We share ‘spooky’ poetry and love hearing stories about funny witches and making magic spells for fun
November We continue celebrating our focus on light by enjoying the Hindu ‘Diwali Festival of light’ which falls at the beginning of November each year. At the same time we all learn about ‘Bonfire night’ (5th November) by having a ‘soup and sparkler’ celebration. We make soup for mummies and daddies and create lots of firework art.
We spend some time ‘remembering’ people who do wonderful things to mark ‘Remembrance Day’. We make poppies and talk about kindness and try very hard to have a minute silence to think about people who we think have been very kind to us.
On the last day of the month the carers all stay late to ‘Deck The Halls’ or decorate the nurseries into a winter wonderland of seasonal ‘awe and Wonder’. Children arrive on December 1st to a magical nursery
December This the month where we try to recognise a world of celebrations….We enjoy Christmas celebrations around the world from Hanukkah to Santa Lucia, Baboushka and Kwaanza.. We try to recognise every culture’s special time…tell us if we’re missing something!
And just for good measure we have a Christmas performance and sing song…sometimes it’s pantomime style and sometimes it’s a traditional Nativity…always good fun…lots of dressing up and creativity in abundance!
So there you have a flavour of the Oxford Nursery calendar of fun…arts, crafts, baking, parties, performance, story sharing and learning.