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Winter wonders

Early years settings have been making the most of the snow and ice thisDecember. The reception class from Ashcott Primary School in Somerset(top) created an ice window using water, leaves and string which theyleft to freeze. The crystals of frost that had formed on objects andstructures outdoors entranced the threeand four-year-olds cared for byHerefordshire childminder Lizzie McAteer (middle), as well as childrenfrom Busy Bees Nursery in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Nothing beatsnowmen for children at Bright Sparks Nursery in Edinburgh (bottom).

Shoebox appeal

Fledglings Nursery at Myerscough College in Preston has been collectingand filling shoeboxes for the Operation Christmas Child appeal. Nurserymanager Julie Fazackerley said, 'The children waited eagerly eachmorning to see how many boxes parents would bring in. We have had agreat response and children have been very excited by the growing pileof presents in the nursery reception.'

All our own work

Staff and children from Children's Cottage Day Nursery in Clavering,Essex, saw a project come to fruition when they decorated the Christmastree that was grown in their newly developed forest garden. Nurseryowner Nadine Bailey said, 'It was the children's idea to plant aChristmas tree in the garden so they could see it all year long.'

Starting a forest

Little Acorns Nursery in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, planted 30 trees thatwere gained through collecting Sainsbury's Active Kids vouchers withinthe grounds of their neighbouring school, after being inspired by anarticle on forest schools in Nursery World.

A mini adventure

The nursery children from Longacre School in Guildford, Surrey, weretaken on a magical mystery tour aboard the school's minibus as part oftheir topic on transport. The role play was extended when they usedpennies to buy tickets from the minibus driver.

Competition winner

One-year-old Harley Thacker (pictured) and his mother Clair were thewinners of the Learning Made Fun photo competition held by MusicalMinis, which runs music classes for children across the country. Theirprize was a free photo shoot with a professional photographer. Theevent, organised for Musical Minis 21st anniversary, invited parents andchildren to send in a photo that depicted the competition's theme.Entries were judged by TV presenter Sarah Walker, star of 'To Buy or Notto Buy'. For details visit

Photo of the week

Children at Little Acorns in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, got hands-on witha builders' tray filled with cous cous grains. The activity was one ofmany taken from Helen Bromley's book, Fifty Exciting Ways to Use aBuilders' Tray.

Deputy manager Dawn Shirley said, 'We invested in equipment and a smallhandful of builder trays to try out with the children in the nurseryeach week. The children enjoyed playing with paint and mark makingequipment, soil and plants, dinosaurs, and soap and water.'

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The best photo of the week will win 30 worth of books andposters.

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