Elswick House is a very busy Nursery. There are always a number of activities going on. The Sparrows Room has a permanent sand pit and the lid is frequently used for playdough and foam. Sometimes it is used as a water trough. Painting, cutting, sticking and a wide range of craft materials, from glorious glitter to regal peacock feathers, are employed to produce the wonderful wall displays, not to mention the pictures to take home.
Cooking is a favourite pastime, making bread, cakes, biscuits, fruit salad and pizza; also a very tasty 'stone soup'. Storytime and singing are perennial favourites and, when the weather is good, these can take place in the garden. Keeping active is encouraged with a range of balls, skittles, bean bags and hoops to develop hand eye co-ordination and 'taking turns'.
We do regular 'Keep-Fit' session with music. Members of staff alternate this with action stories, where the children take the parts. A great favourite is "Where The Wild Things Are" which has infinite potential for stomping! Role play is one of the children's favourite activities, especially when it extends into the garden, using the Wendy House, The Den, the Tree House or the Bridge.
Visits and visitors to Elswick House always add special interest. Once a week we have French lessons with an assortment of songs, games and toys and we also have weekly music and dance sessions with Mari-V, who provides music, songs and action games. Occasionally we are visited by the Guide Dogs for the Blind. Once a year - usually at Linden's birthday - we have a visit from The Animal Man, who brings in an interesting assortment of friends - some wriggly and slithery, others furry or feathered.
Local visits are particularly important to give the children a knowledge of their locality. We go on lots of local walks into the village, to the canal, to local farms to see the new-born lambs and to go strawberry picking and into the surrounding countryside for muddy wellie walks. We regularly visit a private estate, which allows us access to their Bluebell Woods and to go pond dipping. The Tractor 'n Trailer ride round the village and the local Fisheries is a great favourite.
In a normal year - and this year has not been normal! - we organise coach trips to theatres in Birmingham, Stafford, Warwick and Stratford – our last visit was to 'We're going on a Bear Hunt' at Warwick Arts Theatre. Parents are always welcome to join their children on these visits. Just before the pandemic, we enjoyed several local productions at the Garrick Theatre in Lichfield.