Fall Blog 2017

Hi everyone! Welcome back to all our returning families and a BIG WELCOME to all our new families who have recently started at Inkster Community Child Care Inc  🙂

We had a crazy jam-packed and wonderful past few months!  Summer just flew by!!! All rooms were extremely busy with all the fun-filled activities, fieldtrips, and all the special guests who came to our centre.

There have been some changes that have taken place here at the centre with regard to some of our staff members. We had to say “Good Bye” to Aretha, our Program Coordinator who moved with her family to Alberta at the end of July; Andrew, who worked in every room in the daycare for 7+ years has gone back to school full time to finish his post-secondary education; Kqeim, who was in the Kindergarten room, retired at the beginning of the summer; and Mackenzy, who finished her degree in July, is now working full time at a physiotherapy office. We are going to miss each and every one of you very much but wish you “Good Luck” in all your future endeavours! On a positive note, we welcomed Nicole back into the centre and she is now working in the school-age room. Krystle has also returned part-time and is back in the school age-room. Danica started with ICCCI this past April and is the team leader in the Preschool room. Jasvir works in the Preschool and Kindergarten rooms and started a few months ago. The newest addition to our staff is Leslie who is in the preschool room and has just recently started at the centre. We welcome all you ladies to our Inkster family 🙂

Kindergarten Room

Summer was great and it went by so quickly! The children enjoyed the swimming pools and splashing everyone around them, especially the staff! We loved being outside playing with bubbles, chalk, summer toys, the water table and squirt bottles, relaxing under the tent, and playing with nature.

Since our theme this summer was Multiculturalism, many performers who are involved in Folkarama came out to the centre and performed for our staff and students. We also had our Multicultural potluck lunch with yummy food. Thank you to all the parents who brought something in to share. Everyone quite enjoyed themselves by participating in all these different events. But, we can’t forget some of our favourites- Ryan Price the magician, Funky Ducks, Star Dome and the best day EVER- Carnival Day with the bouncer and cotton candy!!!

Now that school has started and we have settled down for a bit, regular routines and schedules have been established 🙂  The Abecedarian Approach to Learning is still under way. We are currently learning letters, numbers, how to print our first and last names, learning our home addresses, and phone numbers.

Fall Art can be seen throughout the room as we have been talking about Thanksgiving and showing Appreciation. It was so cute to see all the turkeys and fall pictures that the children have made.

Matching games, puzzles, and playdough, especially pretending to bake with the playdough, have been activities that all the children love doing each and every day. Moe the Mouse and his friends are back! The children have been learning about some new animals and the sounds they make and have been taking turns to be the teacher during this learning time. They have quite the imagination!!

In the upcoming weeks, we will be talking about Halloween and making Halloween Art. The children are also excited to be having a Halloween Dance Party. More details to follow.

Winter activities and Christmas Activities will be in full effect.The children can’t wait for it to snow!

Summer 2017 Preschool Blog

Summer 2017 came and went in a blink of an eye, didn’t it? We had such a busy summer that before we knew it, the leaves were turning colour and the geese had returned.

We like to take advantage of the nice weather where we can and so in the summer, we spend the majority of the day outside. Every morning, the gazebo was set up so the children could lie on mats in the shade and read and relax or play with Lego. Toys and activities like the water and sand table were put outside so play could be conducted in the fresh air.

For the first five weeks of the summer, Inkster Community Child Care ran our own multicultural festival. Partnering with Folklorama, we had seven different music or dance groups come to the centre to perform ranging from a First Nations hoop dancer to a Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra musician who played the Chinese flute. Most of the performances were interactive, giving the children hands-on experiences. The children learned some jigging steps from the Spence Tradition; they got a chance to play a steel pan with the Winnipeg Steel Orchestra; they learned how to make an eagle with hoops from Shanley Spence; the children enjoyed pounding on Japanese taiko drums with Phoebe Man; they learned some dance moves from the India School of Dance, Music and Theatre and; Xiao-Nan Wang gave the children a chance to play the Chinese flute. The performers were kind enough to take many questions from the children when they were done with most of the interest centred on costumes.

Of course, you can’t have a multicultural festival without food and we did our best to find recipes simple and appealing enough for our little chefs to participate in and want to sample when done. We made bannock dogs, nigiri sushi, poutine, Jamaican banana fritters, nachos, apple pie, hot dogs and fruit punch. Our preschool children are quite adventurous as most of them ate everything we made!

Our preschool group also had some other visitors this summer like Mad Science that taught us about electricity and conductivity; Ryan Price who entertained the children with a hilarious magic show; Stardome, a portable planetarium that brought the constellations to life; the Fun-Key Ducks who played and sang their silly songs that prompted much laughter and dancing; and Cathy Spack who conducted yoga sessions with our group every day for the last week of our summer program. The children also thoroughly enjoyed our carnival day complete with games, cotton candy and a bouncy castle!

In between performances, our days were filled with arts and crafts, games, lots of outdoor play and gym time. Our children also enjoyed daily swimming time. Well, when we say ‘swimming’, for the most part we mean ‘stepping in and out of the pool’ time. We had a few brave regulars who got in the water at the start and had to be coaxed out of the pool at the end. Many of our children were just happy to put on their bathing suits and run around in the sun.

Inkster Community Child Care staff does their utmost to plan and implement a varied program geared toward each program’s ages, interests and developmental levels. Our preschool children are high-energy and active so our program had to be non-stop to keep them happy and occupied. Summer 2017 was a great success, packed full of fun and silliness with learning slipped in alongside. Thank you to everyone who made our summer break so wonderful!

Now that school has started back for the older kids, we are back to our daily routines in the preschool room. Lately, our children are crazy for dancing! Staff puts on a selection of the kids’ favourite songs (like Gummi Bear and who would’ve guessed, ‘September’ by Earth, Wind & Fire!) and play stops immediately and the children rush to the housekeeping area and break in to dance. It’s hilarious watching the different dance styles on display. We’re also working in earnest in the Abecedarian Approach to learning with each staff member concentrating on the Approach with their own small assigned groups. Daily reading times are enjoyed by the children and this interest in books can be carried out at home with use of our Lending Library! The centre has a selection of books available for families to borrow. Most of these books are duplicates of ones the staff read at the centre so you may borrow your child’s favourite to read at home.

To meet the high energy of our little people, we are sure to go outside twice daily while the weather holds. We also do a lot of songs and movement games and activities inside the centre to burn off some of that energy.

Last Spring, the preschool program began monthly visits to the Luther Home to visit the seniors who are residents. The program was a great success and the Luther Home asked us to come back. We started our visits in September and the children look forward to visiting with the “grandmas and grandpas” where they delight the seniors with their play and songs. Many of our children are not shy at all and walk up to one of the seniors with a puzzle and plop it down on the seat of their walker as an invitation to join in. Of course, the seniors happily oblige! Our monthly visits will continue until the end of the school year.

With Halloween approaching, talk of costumes and trick or treating is non-stop. The preschool staff do daily art projects and Halloween related games that the children enjoy. More Halloween fun to come!

Christmas is just around the corner but so far is eclipsed by the excitement of Halloween. Once it is over and the snow comes, Christmas mania is sure to explode! The staff have a lot of exciting Christmas plans in the works – more to come!

School Age Room

The school-age group had a full calendar of fun throughout the summer with many exciting trips, interesting guests and wonderful food experiences. As with the preschool and kindergarten programs, the school-age program enjoyed our Folklorama festival. The first six weeks of the summer were devoted to North American, Caribbean, First Nations, Asian, European and Inkster Community Child Care cultures. The school-age group attended most of the performances put on by the Folklorama acts and were eager to ask many questions regarding the performers’ costumes and experiences. The school-age kids also prepared many different multicultural dishes and were just as adventurous as the younger children. They prepared and ate roti, poutine, Italian cookies and many different dishes brought in by our families at our Multicultural Buffet. We have many budding chefs on our hands!

To kick off the summer, we went to Kildonan Park for camping day where every minute was crammed with outdoor activities like: baseball, bannock making, hot dog lunch and a photo scavenger hunt (which included water fights as we passed each water fountain). We also had a fantastic time with Games 2 U where the children had a blast playing Laser Tag, realxing in the foam pit, and rolling around in the Zorb and Hamster Balls. The kids got a chance to show off their moves during our Hip Hop Workshop.

During Caribbean Week, we made carnival masks and learned Caribbean dance to put on display during our Caribana-inspired parade. We also had a raucous dance party outside with soca music.

The following week was dedicated to the study of First Nations cultures with an Aboriginal Art Workshop and a performance by a hoop dancer. That Friday, the children attended the Fringe Festival where everyone got to dance onstage to the Dirty Catfish Brass Band! We saw a couple of magicians and fire jugglers and the kids got to have their faces painted.

At the end of July during Asia Week, we visited Bisita, which is a Filipino restaurant. We enjoyed lumpia, spaghetti and ube ice cream. We ate well that week as we also had a multicultural buffet (thanks to all the families who brought in dishes!) and a sweet Indian confection called barfi.

To kick off August and Europe Week, we had a performance by the McConnell School of Irish Dance. We went for an outing to the Assiniboine Park Zoo where the polar bear exhibit was a big hit!

To close out our multicultural festival, we celebrated the culture of Inkster Community Child Care with an Electronics Day, a carnival and Eat It or Wear It Challenge. Fit Kids/Healthy Kids came out to the centre and set up an obstacle course, balance boards, tug o’ war and other fitness activities that were enjoyed by all. We went on a field trip to Kid City where along with lots of crawling and climbing, the foosball and air hockey tables proved very popular.

Sumo wrestling was another big hit (pun intended) – the kids waited to square off against each other in the inflatable sumo suits and had a blast bouncing into each other. We cooled off on hot days with several ice cream and Slurpee walks. During our various walks around the neighbourhood, our kids had a great time being a part of “Winnipeg Rocks” where they would search for decorated rocks planted by other participants and record their findings on the Facebook page. We also decorated and hid our own rocks for others to find (although most of the rocks hidden around the school were found by our younger kids to their great delight).

We finished up our summer of fun with a final field trip that was Linda’s surprise: the children didn’t know that they were going to Tinkertown where they had an awesome day.

Summer 2017 was a great success with each day full of exciting and interesting activities.

We’re looking forward to an equally fun and busy Fall 2017. Our kids are really in to Lego at the moment and many activities have been planned to seize upon this interest. We recently had building competitions where participants had to build the strongest bridges. Nicole tested each bridge out by standing on them and we were all impressed with the creativity and engineering shown by the children. We also had a boat building competition where participants not only had to make their vessels able to float but hold the most amount of marbles before sinking. The children have shown an avid interest in all these competitions and it is great to see what these young minds create!

As usual, gym activities are a big hit. The school-age team puts in a lot of effort finding new and exciting games for the children that promote exercise, teamwork, agility and coordination (but the kids just think they’re fun).

Lately, we’ve had a daily “Where’s Waldo?” scavenger hunt: the staff hides a Waldo paper cut-out around the room and the children love searching for him. So far, we’ve had a few repeat winners that are forcing the staff to find more and more difficult hiding places.

Our Halloween Dance and Party is fast approaching and is sure to be a hit. Any time you get to dress up and dance can only be fun times.

Of course, the biggest event coming up will have to be Christmas. The countdown has already begun with daily reminders of how many shopping days are left. We’ll have a short period of holiday rest after Halloween before we start breaking out the red and green at the centre then we’ll dive into the holiday spirit! We just hope we won’t be celebrating in ten feet of snow at -40 temperatures.