Spring is here and so are hockey playoffs – It was very cute hearing our preschoolers chant: “Go Jets Go!” Most didn’t know who or what the Jets are but they sure got in the spirit of things. We’ve seen a glimmer of spring weather here and there, more there than here. It sure makes dressing each day a guessing game.
As always, our preschool room has been busy, busy, busy. Danica, Leslie and Jody are constantly entertained and delighted by the way our little people’s minds work. They take an active interest in observing what the children are interested in and using emergent curriculum, create webs that represent these interests. Based on these webs, the staff plans activities, games and crafts to engage the children. Building and housekeeping have been very popular lately; housekeeping has been especially busy with our new remodel! We’ve transformed our housekeeping area to look like a small apartment furnished with natural tones and materials. It’s been a great hit. To further build on the children’s interest in building, new blocks were purchased, all made of different natural materials.
The preschool staff daily employ the Abecedarian Approach, which is language-based learning. The children enjoy their individual reading time they have with staff each day. Learning based games are based individually on each child’s developmental needs.
The preschool children have continued their visits to the Luther Home where they enjoy spending time with “the grandmas and grandpas”. The senior residents look forward each month to seeing their little friends and wish we could come much more often. The children greet the residents excitedly and bring out toys to show off and share. They take books to the grandmas and grandpas to read to them or bring puzzles to them to work on together. Each visit is finished off with a mini concert with the children singing a few songs and ending with juice and a snack. Our last visit for this school year is in June and we hope to continue the program in the fall.
Summer planning is currently in full swing based on the centre’s theme of ‘Heritage’. We have a lot of exciting guests planned and know we’re in for a fun-filled, fast-paced July and August.
The kindergarten children have enjoyed a busy program. Kerry and Jasvir have promoted emergent curriculum by carefully observing the children at play and making note of their interests. Science and Math based themes have been very popular. Ocean life was particularly popular, as were bugs, butterflies, spiders and bees. We also may have some budding doctors on our hands as bones, the heart and x-rays were of great interest to our kinders while they turned the housekeeping area into a doctor’s office. We also have some future architects and engineers as the children spent a great deal of time using tools to build structures, towers, castles and houses. They discussed neighbourhoods and family life and from that, interest segued into taking care of babies. The children continued their interest in science by doing
experiments like making a volcano and studying static electricity with balloons. From the volcano experiment, the children’s interest in natural catastrophes was piqued and they studied volcanic processes and tornados. Science interest easily transitioned to math with the children making 2D and 3D popsicle stick shapes, using rulers to make measurements and playing simple addition games. Literacy was still incorporated daily into play with our ongoing Moe the Mouse and Abecedarian programs. The children enjoy taking turns being the daily Moe the Mouse leader. Rhyming games along with the introduction of syllables all help with reading readiness.
Mother’s Day just passed and the children discussed why we love our moms and loved making handprint cards and gifts. We’re now getting ready for Father’s Day and summer!
The floor is lava! If you’ve spent any time with our school-age program, you’ll have heard that shouted often. Try it at home! If you want to know if your kids are paying attention, randomly shout that out and see how fast they jump up and off the floor. The floor has been lava in the school-age room for months and will continue bubbling until the kids lose interest. We’ve introduced some new gym games that have proven popular like:
The school-age staff is constantly looking for new and exciting ways to engage our older children. They listen and observe for current interests. They have a suggestion box that allows the children to have a say in programming. Children write down their questions and suggestions which staff take into consideration and address.
Slime-making is a perennial favourite as is anything gross, of course. Challenges like fear factor, eat it or wear it and makeover challenges are always popular. Creativity flourishes with art activities like painting on canvas and other objects. Shark Week has been a popular addition with games like shark attack and shark themed crafts and snacks. Speaking of sharks, our new pool table is a big hit with the children as are our new foosball and air hockey tables.
We’re currently hard at work preparing for our fun-filled summer, booking field trips and planning activities so every day will something to look forward to.
On a sad note, Krystle is leaving us for wetter pastures; she is moving to British Columbia to start a new career as a medical laboratory technician. Her sense of humour, fun and ease with the children will be sorely missed by all. Good luck, Krystle, we’ll miss you!!