The wasps are here so summer must be almost done! We had a very busy summer here at Inkster Community Child Care which made the days fly past. We tied in Folklorama’s 50th Anniversary with our theme for the summer. We had many multicultural acts again this year, which have proven a big hit with the children for the past few years. Each year we try to book new performers, along with a couple of perennial favourites.
August 16 was a bittersweet day for us at Inkster Community Child Care. While the staff was eager to begin their summer holidays, they were also saddened to mark that day as Julie’s last. Unfortunately for all here who know her, Julie has left us finish her education and to pursue the next chapter in her life – she’ll appreciate that analogy as she is a writer. Her positive, upbeat personality will be sorely missed but she has promised that she will return to visit.
Preschool and Kindergarten
While always buzzing with activity, our preschool/kindergarten programs really crank it up in the summer. Stations, such as an art table, water table, block area, reading area and more were set up outside every morning to engage the children as they enjoyed the warm summer sun. By bringing our playrooms outside each day, ICCCI staff were able to incorporate experiential learning as they played – the children could read about insects and then run and catch them to have a close-up look.
We had a selection of new equipment the children had a great time trying out; the bubble machine was a particular hit! We also had many theme days, such as: spa day, camping day, messy day, Christmas in July, water day and gardening day. Of course, the kids had the most fun when they were getting mucky and messy.
We had lots of fun on cooking days! We made scones, pancit and poutine. We were also really impressed on exotic fruit tasting with the children’s willingness to try new and unfamiliar fruit! They all gave everything a taste with some definite favourites emerging.
We had a lot of special visitors to the centre this summer. For the third year, we had Phoebe Man, who plays Japanese taiko (drums) out to perform. The kids loved having a chance to try their hand at drumming! We had dance groups from Casa do Minho, a Portuguese troupe; Shanley Spence is an Indigenous hoop dancer who gave an amazing interactive performance; and TiBert le Voyageur, who entertained the children with stories, songs and juggling. We also had Evans Coffie, also known as Coffieman, who performed African drumming and song. The children loved his energetic personality and had a great time singing and playing alongside him. Mr. Ken amazed the children with his magic show and a few lucky children were chosen to be his special assistants – they did an awesome job! Stardome, an indoor planetarium, came out and gave an educational and always entertaining show focusing on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The children ran away to the circus with a performance by the Teakle Family, a sibling group who astounded with their juggling and hula hoop skills. This year, the preschool and kindergarten children joined the school-age kids on a field trip to Kildonan Park! We had loads of fun on the playstructures, we visited the witch’s hut and fed the ducks. We capped the trip off with a hot dog BBQ. The kindergarten and preschool groups enjoyed story time at the West Kildonan Library on each of our two visits. We borrowed a bunch of new books from the library which our children loved having read to them, over and over (and over and over J) again. After a hectic summer, we slowed things down a bit with yoga sessions with Cathy. We think the children enjoyed a little bit of zen during their busy days – we know the staff sure did! As a special end of the summer treat, we had carnival day, complete with Bouncy Castle and cotton candy!
The school-age staff followed the motto, “busy hands are happy hands” and planned a full summer schedule for their group. Weekly field trips were a big hit! They started the summer with a trip to The Children’s Museum and splash pad at The Forks. Next, they experienced early settler life at Lower Fort Garry. The whole centre went to Kildonan Park and the school-age kids decided the hot dog BBQ was the best thing. Our trip to Boonstra Farm was a great success, with great fun had in the corn maze (at least we all made it out unassisted this year). The kids loved playing with the farm animals. They got to feed a horse and take a stab at milking a cow. The kittens were the clear favourite and some parents can count themselves lucky that staff made sure their children didn’t come home with a new furry friend. We visited Kid City and it goes without saying that everyone had loads of fun there. The final field trip was a walk to Cinema City where the children enjoyed a movie complete with popcorn.
The school-age group joined the kindergarten and preschool children for all the Folklorama performers. They really enjoyed all the interactive opportunities they were presented to try out new dance steps or playing instruments. Reading with Raptors, an outreach program of the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, brought out a beautiful owl and cute rabbits (not together, of course), and read rehabilitation themed stories to the children.
Alan Williams, a renowned Winnipeg artist, conducted an Indigenous art workshop. The school-age children expressed their artistic talents beautifully, making colourful wooden plaques. The children channeled their inner chefs, making poutine, bannock, cupcakes, taco salad and pizzas. We think they had much more fun eating the end results, though.
Summer 2019 was filled with lots of activities, lots of field trips but most importantly, lots of fun! We look forward to a great 2019/20 school year.