Somerhill Saplings
Another busy week for our Somerhill Saplings

Last week was another jam-packed week for our Somerhill Saplings.


Our Somerhill Saplings have had a lovely time playing in the shade and in the mud kitchen with water, herbs and black currants. Following on from their interest in looking at the tadpoles in the science labs last week, they read some books about frogs and, after lunch, went to explore the pond in the paddock. They found some mayfly, beetles, wiggly worms and some tadpoles! It was great watching them move around in the water.

Back at Saplings they explored floating and sinking, by creating their own cork tadpoles and frogs. They hammered nails with beads into corks for eyes and adding leaf, feather and stick tails if they were tadpoles. They discussed the differences between materials which float and those which sink. They also discussed the frog life cycle and how it was similar and different to that of the caterpillar and ladybird. They looked at our caterpillars, which are now all chrysalises.

The children had fun watching the tractor drop off some logs from a fallen tree at Somerhill and finished the day by sharing what they had enjoyed and then lying down and watching the clouds in the sky.


This week Nursery are focusing on the Elder tree. It’s a very special tree as it has many uses. They looked at the flowers and discussed that they can be used in cooking to make cordial or added to pancakes or crumbles. In the autumn time, the elder flowers turn into berries, which can be made into drinks that soothe our throats if they are sore, jam or clothes dye. They looked at the bark and noticed that inside the wood there is soft pith, which is very easy to remove using a palm drill or tent peg. They used the elder sticks to make beads.  The children removed the pith leaving a hollow branch which they decorated to make beads. They then threaded the beads onto string to make necklaces and crowns.

The children then read a poem about the Elder tree fairy, learnt the magic spell the Elder fairy says, “Sambucas Nigra” and learnt a new song about the Elder tree;

Elder blossom clouds of white

Cheer us in the Summer’s light

Elder berries round and ripe

Soothe us through the Winter’s night

They observed the caterpillars which have now turned into chrysalis – it won’t be long until they are butterflies! Finally, the children started making paint by grating the chalk and using pipettes to drop and then mix water. They enjoyed making potions in the mud kitchen using lots of different herbs.