Archives For Activities

As a community playgroup we want our children to be involved in and with their local community. Over the last few months we have organised various visits for them. These have included a visit from the farming community and we also went on visits to local primary schools and a nursing home. As you can see from the photos, a good time was had by all!

Sitting in the cab of a tractor was very exciting!

We had a visit from local farming contractor, Brian Dickey & Co, who brought his tractor and baler to the playgroup grounds. The children loved getting to sit in the tractor cab and seeing the huge machines.

On the bus to go to sing for the residents of a local nursing home
The children enjoy a treat after singing at a local nursing home

The children had an exciting day out as they visited Prospect Nursing Home. As it was coming close to Christmas, they sang Nativity songs for the residents and were well rewarded afterwards with lots of buns! Also in the run-up to Christmas the group visited Ballymena Primary School to see Mr Hullabaloo and also went to hear some storytelling and a Nativity Play at Dunclug Primary.

Our post box for letters to Santa

Coming up to Christmas we had our own special post box for posting letters to Santa. As you can see it looks like Santa has been here to collect some letters and left a bit of a mess behind him! So as you can tell we’ve had a busy few months and the children have had lots of opportunities to connect with the local community.

High Kirk Community Playgroup is based in Ballymena. It provides a quality learning environment for the pre-school child. The sessions starts at 9:10am and end at 12:10pm from Monday to Friday. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.

High Kirk Community Playgroup has opened its doors for a new school year and welcomed lots of new little faces. Starting out in play group is always an exciting event but sometimes children need some time to settle in. We are happy to report that the children of High Kirk playgroup are settling in well and enjoy every day as they learn and play together.

Settling in at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena Settling in at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena Settling in at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena Settling in at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena

Settling in at High Kirk Community Playgroup – Ballymena

Here is some information about our Community Playgroup here in Ballymena:

High Kirk Community Playgroup is a well-established playgroup which is committed to providing a high standard of care and education for your children. In our pre-school setting, your child will be offered the best possible start to their educational life; giving them a head start in life-long learning.

The playgroup is registered with:Early Years: The Organisation for young children (the largest organisation for young children in Northern Ireland)Northern Health and Social Care Trust – The Early Years Team

We offer funded pre-school places for children in their immediate pre-school year as part of the Pre-school Education Expansion Programme provided by the Department of Education. We also provide private fee paying places.

The staff in the playgroup are fully qualified and specialise in pre-school education and the implementation of the Pre-School Curriculum. Our adult:child ratio is 1:8.

In Our recent ETI inspection in March 2017 High Kirk Community Playgroup achieved an OEC1 rating evidenced by “the consistently high quality pre-school education being provided.”

Please visit our website to read more about High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena.

As you have already seen springtime is a busy time for us all at High Kirk Community Playgroup. We have already enjoyed a visit from “Learning with Lambs” and lots of role play coupled with learning.

As it is springtime we checked on our daffodil bulbs that were planted in October to see that they had thrived.

Springtime at High Kirk Community Playgroup : Part 2

We also enjoyed learning about potatoes and planted some. The potatoes were chitted, planted, watered and now we wait for our harvest. Yum.

Springtime at High Kirk Community Playgroup : Part 2

We enjoyed some outdoor play and learned about taking turns and playing together.

 

All this learning can be tiring.  Here are some pictures of the children taking time out with Goldilocks and the three bears.

As you can see we have learned lots during the spring term and enjoyed lots of learning too. Please stay tuned to the High Kirk Community Playgroup website to keep up to date with all of our activities.

High Kirk Community Playgroup continues to be a busy place. The children who attend here had some great visits over the past few month. As we learn and play together we have enjoyed lots of different activities.

Learning with Lambs

The children of High Kirk Community Playgroup thoroughly enjoyed meeting Jill Farmer, from Learning with Lambs, along with Samson and Delilah.  The children were given the opportunity feed and touch the lambs. Additionally they were also involved in a fun craft activity were they made lambs and then participated in song time using their creations for props.

Springtime at High Kirk Community Playgroup : Part 1

Springtime at High Kirk Community Playgroup : Part 1

 

Mothers’ Day Tea Performance

Mothers’ Day Tea Performance was well attended and after Tea and Scones the children’s performance was rapturously applauded.

 

Problem Solving and Role Playing

The children particularly enjoy outdoor play, in all weather, and this can be seen in their enthusiasm as they learn to play collaboratively whilst they problem solve.  Peek a Boo is a good game.  They also enjoy learning cricket, climbing and role play pirates is always fun too. Children learning to put on their own coat is a task that is always appreciated by the staff.

  

Role play indoors and outdoors for Pirates, Knights and Castles has been very popular with the children.  They even stop to ‘read’ and share books for ideas.

We hope that you enjoy seeing the children of High Kirk Playgroup enjoying their time here and learning so much at the same time. Keep checking the High Kirk Community playgroup blog to keep up with what we are doing.

February and the start of March have been very busy and productive months for the children of High Kirk Community Playgroup.

In February our theme was people who help us. There was quite a diverse range of visitors to inspire the children and the photographs show how learning can be fun.

High Kirk Playgroup learn together in February and March

High Kirk Playgroup learn together in February and March

Vets 4 Pets visited to teach the children the importance of caring for their pets as well as the role of Vets. Then later in the month we invited Fire Personnel to visit and to teach the children the importance of safety in the home. They also taught us about the role of the Fire Brigade in our community. The children enjoyed trying on their equipment and using the hose.

High Kirk Playgroup learn together in February and March

Making Playdough is one activity the children of High Kirk Community Playgroup particularly enjoy. This wonderful activity gives the children the opportunity to explore how the ingredients change as they mix together, about quantities and how to be safe in the kitchen and of course the children love to get messy too.

Craft is another activity where children can use their imagination and problem solving skills and in this picture you can see the pleasure obtained in creating their helicopter. This led to a discussion around lifeboats and helicopter rescue and was a brilliant learning opportunity.

Another important visitor was Alison the Optician. The children enjoyed trying on different shaped glasses and the importance of caring for your eyes.

On the 1st March Angela The Librarian visited High Kirk Community Playgroup and the children were enthralled by her puppets, storytelling song and rhyme session. We are really looking forward to a visit to our local library.

2nd March was World Book Day and this is a very important date in the High Kirk Community Playgroup Calendar. We like to use this date to reinforce the importance of early literacy and the positive aspects of sitting down with children and reading.

The children are encouraged to dress up as their favourite character from either a book, rhyme or fairytale. This as you can see, from the pictures, captured the children’s imagination and we would like to thank the parents for all their hard work in putting together the costumes.

Phew, what a month. Please keep an eye on the High Kirk Community Playgroup blog to keep up with all that we do here in Ballymena.

At the start of this year we at High Kirk Community Playgroup have had a jam packed schedule for our children. One of the first things on our list was to invite along the Dogs Trust. They brought in some lovely doggy friends who met the children. Because we feel it is important that the children learn through playing we took the opportunity to teach children about how important it is to take care of their pets

A great start to the year at High Kirk Community Playgroup A great start to the year at High Kirk Community Playgroup

Both children and the dogs were all very well behaved and we had a lovely time. To find out more about the work of the Dogs Trust please click here to visit their website.

Here a picture of one of our pupils who was part of our class about building aeroplanes. The children used their problem solving skills to select resources and follow instruction cards to complete aeroplane. Just take a look at the results below. 

Some other children were learning how to use knives safely. They practiced cutting sticky jelly and we talked about all the different sensations we could feel. The children enjoyed exploring their senses and got very messy by making jelly and then experimenting with its properties after it had set.

We also like to keep the children active so here are some pictures showing them participating in a variety of physical activities to promote balance, jumping and team participation as well as learning to practice turn taking.

We enjoyed a visit from First Touch who taught the children team games and help assist in our physical programme promoting health and fitness.

And finally the children had fun learning how to cook rice and noodles and the really nice part was the role play of a Chinese restaurant where children were encouraged to serve and taste the food. Awareness of Chinese culture was also promoted through books, displays and the Media Initiative resources of puzzles, posters, puppets and stories. Take a look below;

It is such a delight to see the children of High Kirk Playgroup enjoying their time here and learning so much at the same time. As we get closer to springtime we are excited about what our next term will bring. Keep checking the High Kirk Community playgroup blog to keep up with what we are doing.

December can be such a busy time but here at High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena we had lots on. The children who come to our playgroup enjoyed lots of educational and festive themed fun.
Just take a look at the children as they enjoyed their activities below:

December at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena

The children’s performance in the Nursery Rhyme Nativity was excellent and well supported by an audience of Parents/carers, grandparents, aunts and uncles on the 20th December 2016. Everyone did a great job!

Children had eagerly awaited receipt of their Santa letters after they had posted their Christmas Lists to Santa earlier in December and Santa’s Christmas Elf ate the Chocolate Orange!

Sarah the Christmas Elf visited the children during the month of December and brought a variety of friends to visit the children. There weren’t any Reindeer but lots of exciting new animals to learn about.

At High Kirk Playgroup we look forward to another great year learning together. 2017 will have lots more adventures and new experiences for the children to enjoy and we look forward to helping them develop. Stay tuned to the High Kirk Playgroup blog to keep up to date with our latest news.

In Ballymena, High Kirk Community Playgroup have enjoyed lots of activities and games. Although it is lots of fun the best bit about High Kirk Community Playgroup is that our children learn as they play and are exploring the world together.

This month we had lots of great activities which were designed to help the children to learn new lessons.

Firstly we had a pyjama party where the children came in wearing jammies and onesies and explored the concept of Day and Night.  We were even able to encorporate one of our favourite storybooks ‘Can’t you Sleep Little Bear’ by Martin Waddell. If you would like to share this story wth your kids then please click below to watch a beautiful video accompanied by the story.

The children learned about the concept of small, medium and large and we all enjoyed our Farmers Dress up Day! Just take a look below!

October at High Kirk Community Playgroup - Ballymena

Farmers Day invited the children to dress up and meet local farmer Victor Steele who kindly brought his tractor. It was a very big hit with all of the children and everyone enjoyed talking to Victor. The children made soup and learnt about how vegetables are harvested at this time of the year and names of lots of different types of vegetables and fruit.

This month the children also had great fun developing skills with First Touch who teach them how to play together and learn ball skills. And then we enjoyed planting bulbs which we will all keep a close eye on for some new flowers in the springtime. Some of the children will find it hard to wait that long!

And finally last month we investigate a very exciting type of mountain –  A volcano! Not only did we learn lots about volcanos but we actually got to build some too.

As you can see it was educational, fun and fairly messy too! What a great way to learn.

If you are considering sending your child to High Kirk Community Playgroup and have any questions please contact Mrs Dempsey on (028) 256 44834.

September at High Kirk Playgroup was a month where children were getting to know staff and each other. Going to playgroup for the first time can be a big change and the for first few weeks we focus on introducing their new routine, making new friends and familiarising themselves with all the different areas in the playgroup.

September and October at High Kirk Community Playgroup

As you can see it didn’t take long for most of the children to settle in and feel at home!

Playing together is one of the best ways to get to know each other so we love seeing the children share ideas and fun activities with each other.

September and October at High Kirk Community Playgroup

The month of October will be busy, enjoyable and educational the children too.
This month he children will learn about the colour Brown and the shape will be a square. We will have a nature table which ties in with the Harvest theme featuring lots of items including vegetables, leaves chestnuts and acorns.

Will will learn about Healthy Eating, Our book of the month is Autumn is Here and our Nursery Rhyme will be Three Blind Mice.

If is great to have a new class of children at High Kirk community Playgroup and we are delighted to see them settle in so well and look forward to the year ahead.

This month at High Kirk Community Playgroup has the opportunity to meet a shepherdess and some of her lambs. Learn with Lambs had a brilliant visit here and the kids really enjoyed meeting and learning about these lovely little farm animals.

Learning with Lambs at High Kirk Community Playgroup

Learning with Lambs at High Kirk Community PlaygroupLearning with Lambs at High Kirk Community Playgroup

Gill from Learning with Lambs explains:

Each element of the programme has been specifically designed to connect with the children and allow them to have fun while learning about the world around them.  No matter how much I am TOLD about our flock and what we need to do with them, my real learning happens ‘on the job’, handling the lambs and being shown what to look for…that was where our slogan ‘real life learning, real life lambs’ came from.   

I have put my heart into creating ‘Learn with Lambs’ programmes, to ensure that not only are they are factually correct but that they engage and excite children, no matter what their age, background or level of learning. I hope ‘Learn with Lambs’ excites you as much as it does me!

As you can see the visit was a great success. The children had the opportunity to feed lambs and learn how best to care for them. If you would like to find out more about Learn with Lambs then click here to visit their website.

Thanks to Learn with Lambs for visiting us here at High Kirk Community Playgroup in Ballymena.