The children in Pre-School Minors at Daisykins Nursery in Rugby had a special autumn visitor come to say hello. One of the practitioners brought in their pet African Pygmy hedgehog so that the children could meet one in real life. The children sat in a circle and were then encouraged to wear gloves to stroke the hedgehog while it was held by a practitioner.
They took it in turns to have a go and the children talked about what it felt like, one said “It’s spiky” while another said “It’s very prickly”. One of the children then said “Is it a boy or a girl?”. The member of staff replied “It’s a boy” so the child then asked “What’s his name?”. The adult informed the children his name was “Ronald” and they whispered “Hello Ronald” and repeated his name while stroking him.
The Pre-School Minors were then given pieces of paper and some pencils and were encouraged to draw their own pictures of the hedgehog while he roamed around the middle of the circle. They used different coloured pencils to draw his body then added lots of straight lines to make his spikes.
Following on from the visit the children enjoyed doing lots of other hedgehog themed activities. They made their own handprint hedgehogs by painting their hands in different coloured paints and then pressing them onto the paper. They were then encouraged to draw a pointy nose and a face on their hedgehog. The children also made their own hedgehogs out of leaves, sticking them onto the paper and then drawing their own faces and feet.
Other activities the children took part in included making hedgehogs out of knex, making chocolate rice crispie hedgehogs using melted chocolate and rice crispies (using dairy free chocolate for those with an intolerance), stirring them together and adding raisins for eyes. They also made there own clay hedgehogs with a practitioner. The children were given a ball of clay to roll around the table and mold into a hedgehog shape with a pointy nose. They then used small coloured craft matchsticks to add spikes to their models. When they had dried out the children then painted them.
At Daisykins Nursery in Rugby the practitioners like to come up with themes based on the children’s interests and enhance their learning through engaging them in different activities related to these. Practitioners risk assessed a trip to the park and took the children on a hedgehog hunt, they looked in bushes and under piles of leaves. The practitioners have also read the children some stories with autumn animals in and they watched the John Lewis advert with the hedgehog, and the children shouted “It’s Ronald!”