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Our 25th birthday celebrations….

On Monday we celebrated our 25th birthday at Mulberry Corner.  When we opened in 1992, we were the very first day nursery in the whole of the Test Valley area.  25 years later, we are still going strong, with two extensions to the nursery building, two ratings of outstanding by Ofsted and lots of new projects underway, including our new Forest School programme.

To help us celebrate, we invited Miller’s Ark to come and see us with their mobile farm.  The children were lucky enough to meet kuni-kuni pigs, two Mediterranean miniature donkeys, some African pygmy goats, two large Oxford Downs sheep, white Indian runner ducks, chickens, guinea pigs and a floppy eared bunny.

Janine baked us a delicious rainbow birthday cake, decorated with a Mulberry tree and we all sang happy birthday to the nursery.  We even had a visit from our friends at the Daily Echo!  Here are a few photos of our birthday celebrations:

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From seed to snack

A couple of months ago some of our nursery children planted lots of different seeds in our large planters in our garden.  We have been checking them regularly during garden time and we have been fascinated watching them grow into different vegetables and herbs.

Today, as the sun was shining, we decided to pick the carrots, some of the mint and do a bit of weeding.  This afternoon the children then got the opportunity to really examine the different carrots we had picked, as well as wash them and cut them.  We also explored the smell and feel of the mint and combined it with couscous in our tuff spot for a bit of a different sensory experience in our art room.  Just before tea time, we then all sat down together to taste the carrots we had grown.  The children seemed pleased with the results!

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Our Forest School programme begins….

We have been very excited at Mulberry Corner this half term, with the introduction of our brand new Forest School programme and it has been such a success that we have decided to roll it out to all our preschoolers for next year.  We are lucky enough to have an ancient woodland, Titlark Copse, only 5 minutes walk from our nursery and with the consent of the Woodland Trust, we now have permission to use this space for our Forest School each week.  We have teamed up with Kindling Forest School and have been lucky enough to secure one of their fantastic forest school leaders to lead each session alongside three Mulberry Corner members of staff.  The children who came along for the first 6 week course have learnt so much in the forest – we have been climbing trees, playing in the mud kitchen, making fires, building dens, using tools to saw pieces of wood, we have learnt all about different animals and plant species that live in the woods and experimented with knot tying and pulleys.  Here are a few photos:

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Our new garden

Over the past couple of months we have been working hard to improve and redesign parts of our garden, just in time for the summer.  We are really pleased with the results, but more importantly the children have loved it too.  We now have many different areas of learning in our garden, just like we do indoors.  This has meant less running around and more engagement in our outdoor space.  We have a literacy station, a reading shed with wooden sofa and comfy cushions, a new home corner area, a “pots and pans” music wall, a mathematical bike shed, natural small world area, sensory planters and two new climbing frames.  The children worked very hard to replant all our planters and have been enjoying watering our herbs, vegetables and flowers and watching them grow.  We even spotted some carrots today!

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