Over the years, approximately 4000 pre-school children have enjoyed the benefits of pre-school education in Ballymena Nursery School. This year 104 children will have had a very unique nursery experience! Normally in school this week we would transform the house corner into a medieval castle! We do this each year to celebrate the “birthday” of our nursery which was established May 5th 1967, on the former grounds of Ballymena Castle.
The Nursery was built on the grounds of the Adair Family estate in 1967, where the Adair Castle originally stood. While there have been some changes to the Nursery grounds, we like to keep our historical castle theme in mind during our play.
Here are some activities that we do in nursery to celebrate our anniversary. They can all be adapted to suit your needs and available resources at home.
- Create a role play area like a castle. Remove any electronics and mod-cons from that area, remember we are travelling back in time.
- Dressing up in castle attire, knights, princes, princesses and even the odd dragon has been known to appear.
- Have a “feast” for lunch or dinner. We usually have play food in role play for this but you could have your own version of a feast for dinner some night. Provide things to eat with your hands like big turkey legs, bread rolls etc. Serve on large platters and have “goblets” for drinking from.
- We always encourage the children to improve their observational drawing skills during this theme as well. We use the images provided in this post, and ask the children to draw Ballymena Castle using chalk on black card. The high contrast in colour is easy for them to see and also looks very effective when it’s finished.
Send us some of your photos so we can see how you have taken our nursery ideas home!