THE BABY CARRIAGE 2000

Yesterday had all appearances of being an unremarkable day. It was a rainy and somewhat chilly day, so we opted to spend our morning indoors. Of course, we would rather be playing in the fresh air but we were determined to not let an indoor day dampen our spirits.

As the morning unfolded, the imaginations of our young friends began to engage in dramatic play. They discovered a couple of babies and proceeded to imitate life and the world around them in the shape of family. Almost immediately they began to collaborate by assessing what these babies needs will be. They shared their thoughts and ideas and they strategized what they would need and how they would go about caring for these babies.

Their problem solving paid off and it was decided that a baby carriage would be a good start. So “C” flexed his excellent engineering muscles and set about designing the perfect baby carriage for their new little ones. As everyone made suggestions, “C” incorporated them into the plan and had me label all the ‘important parts’. Let me tell you this carriage has all the bells and whistles. It is a two-seater with lights, a phone charger, and a drink holder. It also has music capabilities with some pre-recorded songs ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and ‘Rock A Bye Baby’. It will even include assembly instructions. After completing the specifications “C” dubbed his creation “The Baby Carriage 2000” and everyone applauded their approval.

“A” found a telephone and called in the order to ‘Amazon’. After the order was placed, she proclaimed “Maybe it will get here today!!” which made us all very excited and happy. My gears were quickly set into motion as I thought of a way to take this idea a bit further. I quickly sent Miss Jasmine downstairs to retrieve our baby carriage. When she arrived at the door with the carriage in hand our girls were so thrilled, they cheered in excitement and “C” stood with his hands on his hips nodding and smiling.

The remains of our day were spent taking turns with the carriage and taking care of our very happy babies.

Miss Stephanie

A Winter Smorgasbord!

Hopefully, the majority of the bugs, viruses, flu, colds, coughs, and all other ailments have passed. Thank you to our parents for keeping your sick children home until they are all better. Thank you for helping us with handwashing, nose-blowing, sneeze & cough catching.

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Pajama Party Day!

Our Winter season birthday party was so cozy. The children piled onto the rug downstairs and watched Daniel Tiger together. We munched on some corn pops while we lounged in our PJs. I don’t know who enjoyed being in PJs more, the staff or the children.

We began counting in Italian when we returned from Christmas break. Some of the numbers were the same or similar to Spanish so the children caught on quickly. We learned to say Good Morning “Buongiorno” and Goodbye “Arrivederci”. We focused on Italian until Valentine’s Day. On Valentine’s Day, we prepared a huge feast featuring Marcy’s delizioso pasta! Thank you again, Marcy! Marcy sent enough for 40 hungry construction workers. She even sent plenty for our vegetarian friends. The children got straight to work making garlic parmesan cheese bread, salad, and home-made salad dressing. For dessert, Miss Amy shared her Valentine’s gift from Mr. Mike & each child enjoyed one chocolate. Mmmmmmm Gooooood!  Thank you, parents, especially Marcy, for bringing items for our Valentine’s Italian Feast!

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Be My Valentine!

Our children thoroughly enjoyed Valentine’s Day! This wasn’t traditional, decorate a bag or an old shoebox and drop-in store-bought Valentines nor exchange of artwork which in my experience, usually results in tears. This was fun, different and a good experience. We measured, smelled ingredients like balsamic vinegar, garlic, & oregano. We mixed and stirred and used new words. Fractions and volume were demonstrated. A cooking lesson exposes children to so many opportunities to learn. I’m only highlighting a few. We like to reflect on past events and the comment that struck me the most was from one of our boys; he proclaimed “It’s not Valentine’s day anymore. I was really happy with that spaghetti”! Our students have evolved so much in the past eight months in every way. It looks streamlined with the new storage system. The riddance of the old carpet and the addition of the light-colored floor makes for a lighter, brighter classroom. The new traffic pattern and layout have created a cohesive floor that allows for more meaningful play.

We have decided on Chinese numbers, hello & goodbye. If you would like to follow along at home; a simple YouTube search will be helpful – that’s how I do it. We do two or three numbers at a time and I spend a whole week on each new addition of the two-three numbers. Currently, we are learning ‘Hello’ and numbers one – three. As of now, I’m not sure which direction our Chinese counting will take us. We will be watching play urges and listening to conversations from the children to see where this might lead us.

 

We remind our parents to label every item that their child brings from home. Even if it’s a one of a kind custom item, it is 100% necessary to write their child’s name on every single article. We go outside every day unless the temperature is below 20 degrees. We go outside even if it is raining. We are so very fortunate to have our porch as a play area. So, children MUST have a coat DAILY. We DO get dirty! They’re clothes, shoes will get soiled if not with dirt, mud, and sand. It will be with paint, markers, glue, flour, or some other amazing concoction.

 

Miss Stephanie, Miss Amy, and I are currently working on individual goals for each child. We will be involving our parents with this. This is something I’ve been working toward since I started in June. While it will be casual and informal, my hope is to make each child’s experience personalized in addition to being able to track progress with data and input from teachers, aides, and parents. It’ a work in progress!

Until next time,

Ms. Micha

Picture This!

Happy Saturday! I just wanted to take a second to let y’all know about the new art themed picture based blog post series I’m about to start up. Each week, I take oodles of pictures of the art that your wonderful children are producing day in and day out and I wanted a way to share this outside of my normal blog posts. So, every few weeks, I’m going to update “Picture This!” with new pictures of our recent art! Don’t worry, still the same blog, just a running series of posts within and I’ll always call it “Picture This!” Excitement! Now, without further ado…

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The kids love this book, so I thought we’d find a way to incorporate it into an art activity!

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In case you’ve never read Sneezy the Snowman, he melts over and over again because he’s too cold and keeps trying to warm himself up by drinking hot chocolate, sitting in a hot tub, and standing by a fire.

Here’s a link to a reading of Sneezy the Snowman on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RiHfYElP-M

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First we painted snowmen and decorated them and then, using straws, we blew our snowmen into oblivion!

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Looks like a melted snowman to me!

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Next, we decided to take normal Play-Doh to the next level and draw on it!

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Each child got their own hunk of white Play-Doh and then took to it with markers.

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And once they’d finished drawing on it, we mixed it up with great success! Beautiful!

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Played with our Play-Doh…

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And even practiced our letters.

Our end result: Play-Doh as unique as each child’s imagination and a great future toy!

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We also tried our hand at replicating snowflakes!

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All we had to do was place tape on watercolor paper in the shape of snowflakes…

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Paint…

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And pull the tape off!

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Not one snowflake like any other!

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With Pajama Day coming up and yet another book we all love, we started making our very own red pajamas from all manner of materials, including tape, noodles, and glitter.

Here’s a link to a reading of Llama Llama Red Pajama on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD1g3P-nKWo

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After we were finished decorating our pajamas, we could move on to the next step of making sure we put heads, hands, and feet on our pajamas.

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Because headless pajama would be scary – Eek!

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Some of us wanted to use yarn for our hair and others just used pencils and crayons.

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But either way, we drew our faces, painted our hands, and stamped our feet and soon had…

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Pajama clad versions of ourselves to take home on Pajama Day!

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We also painted many a picture over the past few weeks, something we quite love to do.

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You just can’t go wrong with paint!

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Our creations included this car, which looks like it came straight out of a children’s book…

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And the Moaning Lisa!

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We circled back around to snowflakes and tried our hand at decorating them too.

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Once more, not a snowflake too similar!

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We had a few sensory tables thrown into the mix as well!

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Here, our biodegradable packing peanuts are dissolving in water…

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Being squished by children…

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and rolling around in a bucket of shredded paper “snow!”

Can you tell yet how desperately we are hoping it will snow very very soon?

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Finally, we built things, drew things, and just played and had fun!

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Wiki Sticks!

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Spaghetti and Meatballs!

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Melty Beads

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Loose Parts

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Look at that structure!

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HAPPINESS!

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It’s only a snapshot – I take at least a hundred pictures a week – but hopefully it brings you into our world of art and exploration. Until next time!

~ Miss Kt, Clubhouse Kids Teacher & Atelierista (Art Teacher)

Drawing Pumpkins

We have a pumpkin patch growing beside of our sandbox and we have been watching it grow during the past few months.

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Then the day finally came that some of the pumpkins could be picked!

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We put them on display for the children to look at, to touch and to carry around.  We placed books out about pumpkins for them to look at and have read to them.

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We placed paper and crayons out so they could draw their own pumpkin as they saw them.  We displayed some of their drawings, but when some of the youngest of the children were ask to draw they drew on some of the pictures being displayed instead of drawing their own.

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Someone actually drew on one of the pumpkins!

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I finally got a couple of the 2 year olds to draw a pumpkin.  Before they began drawing I ask them what shape were the pumpkins and what color the pumpkins were. This was a great opportunity to introduce colors and shapes. I loved their drawings of a pumpkin and how they each have a unique look.

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Drawing has some great benefits,  it helps with the child’s imagination, fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and helps them gain confidence. So get out the paper, crayons, markers, finger paint, water colors and whatever else you can think of to use for drawing! Have fun and enjoy watching a child’s imagination.

Miss Susie

Bones in Black and White

As we approach Halloween, the children are fixated on all things “spooky.” In order to indulge the spirit of Halloween in the art room and bridge it to our prior work on drawing self-portraits and our bodies, we created skeletons. The children used white paint, homemade relief-stamps of skulls, and up-cycled sticker tape on black construction paper to assemble “bones” into a skeleton. We talked about how skeletons are meant to be spooky at Halloween for fun, but really, it is what we all look like underneath our layers of skin and flesh and that that isn’t really scary at all. One child cleverly asked for a marker so he could draw bones inside his skeleton’s bones to show what it had eaten!

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We also continued our exploration of black and white with chalk on slate. The children love the bold contrast as well as drawing then erasing and drawing again. They were able to draw bones, skulls, and even cars then show them to one another, talk about them and then start over very simply. This is very satisfying when our patience or focus is thin on a Monday morning!

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As Halloween draws ever closer, our work with bodies, bones and more will continue….how exciting the ordinary can be this time of year.

–Miss Lori, Atelierista

Busy Bees 

The kids in my class have been desperate to try to make something out of Papier-mâché. It is a long process and can be challenging. We searched for the right project for their skill and interest level and came up with hornets nests. We have had a real one in our classroom for most of the year. The children enjoy examining it and sketching it. 

 
They love  insects so much this time  of a year I knew this would be a perfect project! So far it has been ideal. The “nest” is a simple shape and though this is a long process the children can easily visualize what they are working toward. 

   
 

-Miss Amber 

What is Love – According to a Preschooler?

What do preschoolers love or really like?
Of course they love their Mom and Dad, their families and their friends, but what else do they love or really like?…

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Most preschoolers enjoy a good snack.The children helped to make these tasty banana and strawberry muffins yesterday!

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Preschoolers are very artistic and love to draw,  paint or play with play-doh or clay.

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Using glue for collage making or just to watch the glue pour onto the paper…

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Cutting, learning about your numbers and letters and colors are also something that preschoolers quickly become interested in.

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Helping to put up the day of the week or the day’s date on our calendar is also a special activity for our preschoolers.

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Racing fast cars or getting to the fire with a fire truck or calling the tow truck, are also well loved games.

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Many of our children love to care for our baby dolls and soft animals. Some of our children have their very own soft animal here at Miss Amy’s. Pictured are Bear-Bear and Miss Maria’s raccon slippers.

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Right before lunch, the children’s narrative about what they love or really like quickly changed to food.
“I love gooey bars”! “I like broccoli.”
“I like Cheese Doodles.” “I like the normal macaroni.” “I love carrots, but I am almost allergic to them now…”

We would like to wish you all a very happy Valentine’s day! Lots of love from all the children at Miss Amy’s!

– Miss Maria