Friday, January 25, 2013

Magnet Mess and Cake Pops!


My husband went a little Starbucks crazy and delivered lots of goodies for us to share this week!  Sorry for the amount of sugar we all consumed, but it really felt like a party and I loved sharing my birthday with you!  The "pretty birthday song" made my day!

  We welcomed Joyette and her sons JaNoah and ZaKhai this week!   



I added magnets for exploring and experimenting with this week.  


 The little scientists took their magnet wands and "tested" items in our classroom to see what would and would not stick!  They discovered we have both metal and wood doors!


 With concern for our little ones the children decided to "clean" the magnets up.  I am amazed once again how the activities change and develop with the children's imagination!  


Playdough play...

 and one of my favorite things.... reading books!  

 We read a book about worms and then we checked out our compost worms! 









We added a perfect kid size table and chairs to our dramatic play kitchen area this week! Our new fire engine also got lots of use.



 



Asher made some great roads in the mulch.


And the moment for each child to shine....sharing!










We headed outside as the sun made an appearance!  We dug and poured in our sand and moon sand sensory tubs.  The children spent time working together to cover the volcano.  I heard them decide that the volcano was cold and it would be warmer under the sand!



We ended our day with yummy cake pops and fun songs! Then we RAN off the sugar in the open field!

Parent Chat: See most of you tomorrow at 10:30 AM for our first parent chat.  We will meet in the Robinwood house to the left of the garden at LCR.  Look forward to chatting and making plans for Natural Learning!  

RAINY DAY PLAY!

  My apologies for not getting a newsletter out last week.  I have been busy making costumes for my daughters school play. Thankfully that project is done!   Anyway, you will be receiving two newsletters this week!  



 "There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing."~ Alfred Wainwright 


We had a wet day last Wednesday but we were able to head out in our rain boots for a little bit!

  

 We explored real locks and keys. This takes such concentration!  


 We cooked!


  We worked hard digging and making roads....


and swinging too!



With rain comes the opportunity to watch the flow of water and get down and dirty in the mud!  












Inside we made nature collages.  




The children worked hard cleaning our "store." I loved how the children used the brushes and chairs and devised this creative game on their own!


Kian wants and is ready to write!  Book suggestion here to help with this subject: The Write Start by Jennifer Hallissy.  The author does a great job at explaining that children write when they are ready...she even has a "ready" or "not" checklist.  She explains how children move from scribblers to writers.  All of the painting, playing with playdough, practice with scissors, doing puzzles helps to strengthen the muscles in our hands which eventually leads to writing!  I own this book and will be happy to loan it out!  I am thinking of adding a school library area to our room were we can all share good books! 


 And of course we shared.......







Information about our Parent Chat in the next newsletter!  See you next week, Joy

Friday, January 11, 2013

Boy Play!



Running and chasing!


      Our Wednesday gathering stirred up lots of fond memories of when my own boys were 3 and 4 years old (they are now men at 21 and almost 20).  As most of you know I have two boys and two girls.  I had my two boys first and I saw such differences between these two boys...one being more interested in people, outgoing and athletic and the other needing more cuddle and alone time.   While I do not ever like to make assumptions or generalizations about a child's likes or dislikes because of their gender (I have seen plenty of boys enjoying the dramatic play area), I do know for a fact that there IS a real difference in how they play.  When my boys played there was lots of movement and bursts of energy throughout the day.  We most always ended up at a park and found ourselves outside even if it was raining!  They just needed space!                                                          


    When I attended the Bev Bos teaching workshop years ago there was a whole separate speaker on the subject of Boys.  He shared interesting studies that showed the differences in a "boy" and "girl" brain and gave us lots of important information about how and why they learn differently.  Some of the information I remember includes: Boys need more physical space, boys have a shorter attention span, they have trouble sitting for long periods of time, they can focus on one idea/concept at a time, and they are more competitive.  The speaker also gave us a list of things boys may need more of: lots of space, more visual guidance, less talking and more listening, roughhousing, less directions, more running and more power play! While there may always be a boy who loves dramatic play and prefers quieter activities, for the most part boys play is loud and explosive!    I know all of this information has helped me tremendously as a teacher working with young children!  Understanding what children need (developmentally and gender wise) is super important.  Although, we missed our girls on Wednesday and we love how gender balanced our program has become, it was interesting to witness the just boy energy!  Loved every second of it!  Hard to believe we reigned a few of them in for a story and music to end our day.  I would never insist that a boy sit and join us though because sometimes they just can't!    

   We welcomed another new family this week.  Welcome to Blake (aka Little Blake...this is how he introduced himself to me), his brother Chase and Mother Sha-Toina.  So nice to have you! 

  I was grateful the rain held out and the temperatures were not too cold allowing us some glorious outside time.



 


We practiced our hammering skills!  Sam found a unique place to keep his treasure safe..perfect!

     









   We painted!

                             


                          We decorated the sidewalks!






We added birdseed to the volcano (hot lava and water).


 We cooked in the outdoor kitchen...Davis made eggs and hot cocoa pancakes!


A ladybug joined the boys at the play dough table!  We observed it and as gently as we could we held it until it had enough and flew away. Davis said, "The ladybug went to his family again.  He's gone."


 We later decided to go on a bug hunt and see if we could find our ladybug.


We got our measuring tapes and measured everything.



                                        We shared!











We checked out the scarecrow and played on the train!


                               It was a great day boys!

Parent Chat: Jan 26th at 10:30 AM at LCR youth pavilion. Let me know if this works for everyone.

Have a great weekend, Joy