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Stepping Stones Nursery

Our nursery setting is open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 18:00, for children aged 3 months to 5 years. We offer a warm, welcoming environment supporting the transition from home to nursery, and we provide excellent nutritionally-balanced menus using fresh ingredients prepared by our own chef. Our highly qualified team helped us secure a Good rating in our latest Ofsted inspection.

We are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 18:00

Get directions to Stepping Stones Nursery
23/25 Ashcroft Road | Cirencester GL7 1QX England From Sheep St, at the Waitrose roundabout, turn in to Ascroft Rd, the nursery is situated on the right.

Learning At Home Activities

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Age Groups: Infant, Toddler, Preschool
Play Dough Cakes for Counting Fun
You will need:

Play Dough
Rolling Pin
Muffin Tins
Cellophane inserts from biscuit packets
Paper cake cases
Birthday cake candles


Play alongside your child making cakes with the play dough, roll into balls in your hand or use a rolling pin and cutters.
Place one paper cake case into each ‘hole’ in the tin or cellophane insert, counting out each one aloud.
Do the same when adding your play dough cakes to each paper case. It’s important that children hear this one- to- one counting with objects.
You can then make cherries with small bits of play dough or add buttons, or candles to the top of each cake, again counting each one aloud as you place it on top of the cake. When you and your child have finished, count each cake then affirm the final amount e.g. “we have made six cakes”.
You can add some stretch and challenge by helping your child work out how many cakes are needed for family members and how many will be left, or how many more are needed.


This fun counting activity helps children acquire five important counting principles proposed by Gelman and Gallistel (1978) in meaningful ways.
1. One to one correspondence: principle Understanding that a number word is assigned to an item.
2. Stable order principle: Understanding that order of number words is always consistent. Ideally this should be the conventionally accepted sequence of number words.
3. Cardinal principle: Understanding that the final number said signifies the number in the set.
4. Abstraction principle: Understanding counting can be applied to anything.
5. Order- irrelevance principle: Understanding that items can be counted in any order so long as each item is only counted once.

Age Group: Preschool
Making Christmas Tree Cards
You will need:

A4 card folded in half
A5 Envelopes for posting the cards
Green card cut into equilateral triangles – small, medium and large.
Red card for background
Glue sticks
Sparkly decoration pieces – buttons, glittery items, bits of tinsel, sticky stars. (Craft aisles in large supermarkets and craft shops stock a good range of craft pieces)
Pens for writing greetings inside and addressing the envelope.


Cut out lots of green triangles in small, medium and large sizes. If your child is able to cut you could invite them to cut the triangles out. Lay them out and talk about the sizes and how you could place a medium size one on top of a big one then a little one on top of the medium size one. Stick the triangles onto the folded card then decorate the tree with the sparkly pieces.


For variation you can use silver or gold card and create stars by sticking a triangle upside down on top of another triangle –making magic turning triangles into stars!

Supporting Mathematical Learning
This activity has lots of mathematical learning opportunities making maths fun and enjoyable. Folding the rectangle card in half – match the short side to the other short side and the corners together. Talk about how many sides and how many corners, how many long sides and how many short sides. The properties of a rectangle - two long sides and two short sides. Matching the size of the card to the size of the envelope – the same shape and the same size. Talking about the properties of the triangle - how many sides and how many corners. Different size triangles small/little, medium/middle size, big/large. Size language of bigger than and smaller than. Positional language such as on top, below, underneath, in the middle, in between.

Age Groups: Infant, Toddler, Preschool
Writing in the Sand
You will need:

Sand - or a sunny beach
A stick or index finger


Use a stick to make marks in the sand - vertical and horizontal lines, circles and crosses are good to start with.
Encourage your child to copy you then ask him/her to make marks for you to copy.
Talk about the marks and letters you make and the movements you do to make them. “I’m starting here, then going down, then stop”. “I’m starting here then going round and round and round”. “I’m going to make M for Mummy”


This helps your child develop skills and confidence in forming and connecting the curves, vertical, horizontal and zig-zag lines that form the bias of letter shapes.
Starting big then gradually working down to smaller develops as your child’s hand and eye co-ordination skills and manual dexterity skills mature and integrate.
As your child associates the language of the mark or letter shape with the action of forming these, he/she will be getting kinesthetic feedback which is essential for any motor action.
Kinesthesia is the knowledge of where each body part is and direction in which it is moving.
It is an important component of motor control for legible handwriting.

Age Group: Preschool
Salt Dough Christmas Decorations
You will need:

1 cup of flour
1 cup of salt
1 cup of water
A rolling pin
Shaped Christmas cutters
Glitter and decorations


Make some salt dough together mixing I cup of flour with I cup of salt and adding up to I cup of water a little at a time until the dough is pliable but not sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes on a floured surface then roll out flat with a rolling pin. Add more flour to the surface and the rolling pin to avoid the dough sticking.
Use Christmas shape cookie cutters such as stars, trees and angels and cut out a range of shapes. Place these on grease proof paper on a baking tray then carefully make a hole in the top of each shape. Bake the salt dough shapes at 100 degrees Celsius for about 2 to 3 hours until hard. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Decorate with PVA glue and glitter or paint with shiny water based paint. When dry thread Christmassy ribbon through the holes. Tie a knot then hang on your tree year after year.


Age Group: Preschool
Christmas Thank You Letters
You will need:

A pen or pencil
Writing Paper


A thank you letter to family and friends will always be much appreciated and is a great activity to do on a quiet day soon after Christmas.
Settle down together and create a list recalling the gifts received from family and friends. This recalling activity is good for building memory skills. A wise tip is write a list on Christmas day of the gifts received and who sent them. If your child needs some help remembering you could prompt memory recall by saying, “it was something beginning with L”, “something you can build with…”
If your child is at the stage of copy writing, write down what your child wants to say in the thank you letter then they can copy this onto the paper. Say the words out loud as you write as this helps your child to see that spoken word can be spoken.
If your child is at an earlier stage of making marks you could write the letter leaving spaces for them to draw a picture of the gift they received or cut pictures from a catalogue to stick in to the spaces.
If your child is a more confident writer you could introduce a junior dictionary to help them find the words they need.
Fold the letter to fit into an envelope then use your address book to help your child find the address to send it too. Stick on a stamp then wrap up warm to go out and post the thank you letters in the letter box.