The children recently did balloon painting in class. We used large balloons with just a little air inside thus allowing the children to squish and bounce the balloons with no threat of their popping. This activity seemed to encourage children, who otherwise preferred to not get paint on their hands, to participate and begin to appreciate the fun in getting messy.
Another activity recently implemented in class, involved oil, a food-coloring and water mix, and droppers. The children seemed to enjoy this fine-motor activity. Learning to use the droppers and suck up the food coloring mix, was a learning curve, but most caught on with minimal guidance. The children seemed intrigued watching the drops of colour float around in the oil, and had fun mixing all the colors together, making loads of smaller drops.
On this day, light colored paper was placed on the table and paper-tape was used to secure the paper and to make lines on the paper. The 3's Class worked as a group to freely cover the paper with water paint. At the end of class, after the paint had mostly dried, the tape was removed with the children, revealing a very cool effect.
We, the teachers, are having a very enjoyable time watching the Preschoolers learn fine and gross motor skills, self-help and social skills, be creative and gain confidence, and... make new friends.
This month our class ventured out of our cozy classroom in order to visit the Brighouse Richmond Public Library. Our field trip began with a fun tour led by one of the knowledgeable librarians. As part of our tour we were able to take a behind-the-scenes look at where all of the books are checked in. We were even able to have take turns checking in some books using their large robot-looking machine! Next, we participated in one of the libraries weekly story times. Our students really seemed to enjoy this. There are so many wonderful resources at the library that go beyond checking books out such as the 3D printer tand resources for people in the community.
Deanna and I were inspired by this field trip and so we decided to begin our first round of the share bag with our favorite books from home. When it’s their turn students are to bring in their favorite book from home for us to read in class. Students are also encouraged to share why it’s their favorite story and who gave them their special book. We have already begun this round of the share bag and it has been so fun to share these stories!
Another wonderful morning with our friends at “Grand Pals” senior centre (Courtyard Gardens Retirement Residence). After our arrival, we all gathered in a cozy space at Grand Pals. The fireplace was running and soft music was already playing in the background! This truly set the atmosphere for a rainy morning together. Our friends at Grand pals had planned an activity to make “fruit loop” bracelets! Each preschooler gleamed with excitement when the sweet smell of fruit loops were poured into their plates. Although very tempting to eat, the little children showed great control and worked hard on putting together their bracelets.
There were some great interactions between the preschool children and the seniors: working together to string the fruit loops, problem solving as to how many could fit on a pipe cleaner, focus and eye hand coordination, and just simple joy and smiles exchanged amongst each other! The activity was so fun that most children and seniors made two bracelets.
After making the fruit loop bracelets, the children had a little singing performance with musical sticks. “Tap your sticks in the air, with a 1 2 3...” Being in a smaller room, the sound of the music and sticks tapping was so vibrant and captured the attention of everyone in the room (even those working and resting down the hall). Without a doubt, that catchy song was stuck in our heads on the bus ride back to preschool.
To end the lovely morning together, our friends at Grand Pals offered us some Oreo cookies and juice as a treat. From what we learned, the Oreo cookies was surely a treat for the seniors also! We wished our visit to Grand Pals was longer, but our quality time spent together was more than delightful. Some children (and seniors) appeared a bit "shy" initially, but you can witness such a quick connection soon after. The smiles and laughter in the warm room was infectious and we look forward to our next visit during the Holiday season!
Now that the children have settled in, we are noticing some children are exposed to sensory play for the first time and are avoiding the “messy stuff” in fear of getting their hands dirty.
Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, motor skills, problem solving skills and social interaction.
To support our sensory play, we went outside to play in the leaves and then collect some colorful leaves. Hudson, Salma, Jessie and Jocelyn enjoyed jumping into piles of leaves they had gathered. We then collected leaves in a basket to take back to the classroom. Salma and Allison began putting glue onto leaves in class whilst Jocelyn and Jessie decided to do leaf rubbing using pencils.
At circle time Barbi carved a pumpkin. Elias, Hudson, Jocelyn, Jessie, A.J, Allison, Elsa and Salma pick the seeds out of the pumpkin and they were collected into a bowl. Some of the words the children described when picking out the seeds were slimy, slippery, wet, sticky. We then baked the seeds for the children to taste.
The following class Jocelyn shared a note with her friends, that she had written at home, about her experience tasting pumpkin seeds.
Fall and Harvest Exploration ~ Fine Arts & Science; Tuesday/Thursday
Hello Families, October have been a busy month of sharing experiences and stories, cooking together, getting to know each other and feeling more and more comfortable in the classroom.
As part of our exploration about fall and harvesting, we learned about apples, by playing, tasting, reading and even cooking. We found out that most children preferred red apples
We made apple sauce together to share with our families for Thanksgiving, apparently, for most of the children cutting with a knife was a brand-new experience, however they all did a remarkable work.
In preparation for the Lantern Festival, the children painted and decorated lanterns. The handles were made using wire and beads. Jessie, Jocelyn and Era made sure they filled the wire “all the way” while Scotia and Linden were seeking for the “special” ones. On the other hand, Siya searched and collected only pink beads because that is her favorite color.
Later that week, many of the children participated in the lantern festival joining the rest of the community where we played games, drums and paraded with our lighted lanterns.
Experiences like these, give children a sense of belonging, of being part of a family, a community and being active participants on it. They also create memories, build connections, enhance conversations, and bring family and community together. Many of these meaningful memories your child will treasure for life.
To continue our exploration about fall and harvesting we went on our first fieldtrip to the Westham Island Herb Farm.
During our tour, we visited the chickens, the goats and their kids, Gracie the donkey and a “huge” cow with her calf. The children and parents were curiously listening and observing some details our guide pointed out about the animals, like how the goats have slits that are horizontal a difference of ours that are around, and also how white feathered chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs and brown ones with red earlobes lay brown eggs!
Inside the barn, the children were intrigued about the big machineries and the many bales of straw and hay we found there. The guide explained that the green bales were hay to feed the animals and the yellow were straw used for other things, like sitting at the farm. After learning a little more about the vegetables harvested at the farm we finally walked to the pumpkin patch to look for the perfect pumpkin to take home.
The following class we did some exploration with pumpkins. We review the children’s theories of what they think we will find when we open the pumpkin: “seeds”, “beans”, “gross stuff” were some of the answers the children shared. Many agreed they will find seeds inside.
This sensory experience allowed the children to see, smell, taste and feel as they learnt about pumpkins. It also promoted conversation as they shared stories of what they liked, tested, or done at home. Some children were timid about touching the pumpkin’s guts and they used only spoons, and others were more comfortable feeling and cleaning the inside, separating the seed from the veins using their hands as tools.
I am exited to see the children’s engagement and positive responses to the materials and experiences we offer to them as we strive to follow children’s interest and nurture their curiosity through their learning journey. Until Next time, Silvia
Exploring Fall ~MWF 4 hour class With the season changing, this gave us the opportunity to explore fall in our classroom. When we asked the children what fall is, most of them said leaves are falling. Chelsea said, “We get to pick pumpkins”. For our fall exploration we put leaves and pumpkins at the center of it.
Joven and Ramsey enjoyed playing with the pumpkins and dinosaurs. Joven said “Dinosaurs are very hungry. They’ll eat all of the pumpkins”. Both boys used their imagination as they got engaged in their play.
At the sensory table, we had flax seed, small yellow caps and plastic leaves with some bowls, spoons and tongs. Gavin enjoyed hearing the sound of the flax seed inside the tray when he mixed it. Nicole made pumpkin chocolate soup as she transferred the flax seed and yellow caps into the bowl.
To enhance the children’s fine motor skills, we had a table where they got to string leaves on a pipe cleaner. The children punched a hole on the leaf to be able to get it in the pipe cleaner. Some children were particular as to what pattern they were making. Linden only wanted big leaves on her pipe cleaner. While Aj, made a necklace with
brown and red leaves alternating.
At the park, the children enjoyed throwing leaves up in the air. Midas, Chelsea and Nicole were curious about the big muddy puddle. At first, they started walking across it. Then they jumped on it. But what got them really curious was what will happen if they put leaves in the puddle. Each of them started to put one each. Chelsea said “One leaf floats”. Nicole gathered more leaves and put in the puddle as well. Chelsea saw it and said, “Some float, some sink”. Midas found a rock and dropped it in the puddle as well. Nicole said “For sure that will sink”.
With our first visit to our Grand Pals. The children got to paint fall trees using q-tips. Both the children and the Grand Pals tried to help each other create their masterpieces.
I am looking forward to other activities that we will be doing to explore fall a little bit more. We will be concluding this exploration with a Pumpkin Patch Field Trip next week. I wonder where that experience will take the children’s interest to.
“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” - Mr. Rogers
Hello families, the children are working hard at school! Translation, they have been playing hard which in reality is their way of learning and interacting in their world. They are learning through play. There are so many key factors that play is important to a child’s development, it is the foundation of their early learning stages. Play develops many skills in young children such as problem solving, working with others, language, creativity and socials skills to name some.
Here is Cecily developing many skills like recognizing different animals and sorting like ones together. This is helping her learn math and science. She has also built little homes for her farm which is using her problem-solving skills, creativity, imagination and her fine motor skills.
Ronin, Daya, Laura and Ayden are using their social skills and language skills by sharing and taking turns while playing at the Lego table. The children are also developing their imagination, creativity and problem-solving skills as they build their masterpieces. This group playing is an opportunity for the children to observe and listen to each other which will help them with their emotional development.
These three friends, Cecily, Jayce and Chloe are creating funny faced jack o lanterns. They are interacting and communicating with one another which leads to building their vocabulary and language skills. They are all learning to negotiate and take turns since they are working together on one pumpkin. These skills that they are learning, they will use their entire lives.
Here is Ronin H playing with wooden cars and trains. He is problem solving by putting the appropriate pieces together to build his vehicles. He is recognizing the different sizes and shapes by putting them in order. This play is helping him to build his fine motor skills and his concentration.
As you can see, play is an integral part of how a child learns and develops. It provides their learning journey.
Westham Island Farm Pumpkin Patch Field Trip ~ Fine Art and Sciences M/W/F Class
Hello families, we have been transitioning into our class and it has been a very exciting month. Already we have begun our “All about me” books, celebrated Thanksgiving and baked cranberry muffins. Not to mention all the other activities the children have participated in such as making their lanterns for our upcoming lantern festival on October 19th, celebrating friend’s birthdays, and exploring the many signs of the fall season. To further extend our learning and curiosity of autumn, we find it fitting to tie in a visit to the pumpkin patch.
Our first field trip of the school year was a success. Woohoo! We had beautiful sunny weather and our families to join us on this memorable day at the pumpkin farm.
The field trip began with a tour of the farm and it was led by Marcelle, our tour guide. He took us to the barn, where the owls usually come to sleep during the day. Although we weren’t able to see any at this time, we did get to examine Owl spits up. It was very interesting to investigate what the owl ate. We could tell that a mouse was enjoyed by the owl by the remains of small bones and fur.
Then it was off to another barn where Marcelle talked about the fall harvest. It was surprising to find out that Daya enjoys many vegetables and Cecily could name most of them. The purple carrot stumped all of us because we thought the inside of the carrot would also be purple, but Marcelle proved us wrong by breaking it in half and revealing to the surprised children that it was actually orange inside.
Now, it was time to visit the farm animals. All the children were very excited to discover what animals lived on this farm. Chickens were first and one could even do a jumping trick with an apple then on to the dwarf goats. Marcelle fed them hay and made them jump on to large rocks. We then saw Masey and her son, they are the cows at the farm and then last but not least, we met a donkey. I am pretty confident to say the children enjoyed the animal part of the tour the best. I have a good feeling that we will be extending on farm animals in the coming weeks in our classroom. We then got ready to get what we came for...our pumpkins!
The children were all very excited to pick out their own pumpkins and I saw many of them choosing carefully to call their own. Jayce picked out a yellow pumpkin, colour was his determining factor and Cecily was taking her time to choose the most perfect one to take home. Others, like Asher, Thomas and Ronin seemed to have no problem finding their pumpkin of choice.
Field trips are fun and exciting for children, they provide great opportunities for additional learning and outside experiences just by changing their environment. It creates connections which then help build social, emotional and cognitive structures for them. It is done by making memories which foster expansions of their learning by recounting what they saw, heard or experienced. Which then leads to an opportunity to have a dialogue with our children. You will be amazed at the details of what they remember, that many of us adults won't retain. Field trips provide new experiences which leads to critical thinking for a child.
I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and got some great photo opportunities.
We are just completing the first two weeks of our preschool program and completing the “gradual entry” that some children participated in. As educators, it has been amazing to see how effectively the children are embracing the routines and components of our classroom. It is also incredible to see you they are already forging friendships as they enter into the educational play experiences provided here!
We have already seen many creative collaborations as the students have entered into opportunities to paint, build, imagine, dig, read, sing, draw and discover new things both indoors and outside. Hopefully you can already see that our emphasis is to provide as many meaningful multi-sensory play opportunities as possible each day that we are together.
Since the Fall weather has been quite wonderful, we have enjoyed collecting some nature items (leaves, sticks, dandelions, etc.) that we can bring inside and continue to explore and use or play with in some way.
Please remember that we appreciate you sending weather appropriate outdoor apparel for your child each day. Also, please send your child a healthy snack and water each time they attend…exploring and playing can make them hungry!
If you have any questions concerning our preschool program, please feel free to approach us and we will try our best to answer you. We are looking forward to an amazing year of learning and exploring together!!!
Mrs. Lori Preschool Educator Fine Arts & Science; Tuesday/Thursday