Our Cherry Blossom Playground - 4 Hour Class

A few weeks ago, Teacher Patricia suggested we take the children to the hill area across from the far parking lot. I was all in, as the hills were lined with cherry blossom trees in full bloom and below was a sea of pink from the fallen petals. I could feel that an adventure was going to happen with the children. So instead of going to the playground, we headed over in the other direction.

The children were all full of questions, such as where are we going, are we going on the bus, what about the playground, are we going to the field? We told them we are going on an adventure, it was a mystery. You could feel the curiosity building and more questions were asked. We gave them a hint and told them it was a pink place. Oh boy, that got them going… So off we headed down the walkway with no toys, no bubbles and no wagon, just ourselves.

Do you know what happened? We had many adventures, all with our imaginations, our bodies and the cherry blossom trees. The children loved the way the ground looked with hues of pink below them and above them. The wind would gently blow the petals down which the children thought was like snow. Some children chased the petals while others thought of a way to make the trees rain more petals.


 
The children ran up and down and around the hill endlessly. They climbed trees with a little help from the teachers and once sitting up there, they enjoyed the view. We saw squirrels running around and a few insects as well.



We had a parade that the children orchestrated and performed. There was also some super hero role playing and some dinosaurs running around too. The children also picked flowers from the ground and used them as props for their imaginative playing.



The time we spent exploring on the hill was proven to be a success. The children were so engaged in interacting with their peers, moving their bodies, using their imagination and building their growth in so many areas of their development, simply by being present in nature.

Until next time,

Deanna
 
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Lollipop Spa - 4 Hour Class

This year for Mother’s Day, the 4 Hour Class decided to do a Spa Day for their mommies.
The children voted and named the spa, Lollipop Spa. In their spa, they will have hand scrub, tattoos and a café.

Before the spa day…

Things to do:

1. Make the gift (heart-shaped lavender pouches). The children sew their pouches.
 


2. Make a card.
 


3. Make signs for the spa and the different stations
 

 
4. Make the hand scrub. The ingredients used for it were salt, sugar, olive oil and peppermint essential oil.
 
 
 
5. Make the chocolate covered strawberry.


6. Buy the tattoos

 
Spa day…

Things to do:

 
1. Put up the signs.
 


 
2. Bake the scones
 
 
3. Set-up the spa and café
 


 
 
When the Lollipop Spa opened, the mommies and grandmas came in and got pampered by the children. The children gave them hand scrubs and applied tattoos. They were also served the yummy scones and chocolate covered strawberries with some tea.
 
 
We hope the mommies and grandmas had as much fun as the children in preparing for the spa day.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Until next time,
Patricia

 
 

 
 


 

 
 
 

 
 
 
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The Art of Comics - 4 Year Old Class

Our four year old class recently learnt about the Art of Comics during an engaging and informative visit to the Richmond Art Gallery. The Field Trip was led by Melanie, the gallery's School Program Coordinator.

Melanie displayed snapshots of an age appropriate comic strip, and asked the children thought provoking questions... How do you think the character in the comic strip is feeling? How do you know the character is feeling this way?

Armed with a dry erase pen and eraser, the children were shown how easy it was to put emotion into a character by adding a few choice lines and curves around the eyes and mouth. The children were very intrigued by Melanie's interactive presentation.

Melanie also showed the children how to draw a character by using basic shapes. After this lesson, she showed the children a few tricks. If you put a bend in a straight line, suddenly your character has a bent elbow. Add some squiggly lines to a circle... voila, curly hair:


 
Melanie showed the children a drawing of a box, with a character looking fearful as he stood over the box. She then asked the children what they thought was in the box... “a ghost”, “a present”, “a scary present”, “a scary doll I think”, “a cat”, “a dog”, “a train”, “a jack-in-the-box”..... You guessed it Oliver, it was indeed a jack-in-the-box!

After the presentation, each child was given a large piece of white paper, pencil and eraser and asked to draw their own family:















 The children were then given crayons, to add colour to their drawings:







 
Melanie ended the Field Trip, by taking the children into the gallery to show them selected panels from the graphic novel, George Sprott, by Canadian Cartoonist, Seth.

A life-size CKCK television studio has been recreated so that it feels like you are inside the pages of Seth's book:

 
The children had fun looking at the extra large panel from a comic strip. Each were eager to share what they had found in the detailed drawing:

 




Thank you again Melanie, our imaginations were awakened during this Field Trip, and our drawing skills enhanced. All while we had fun!

Barbi
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Visit to the Nature Park with our 3 Year Old Class

We recently visited the Nature Park and the peat bog, a watery land of mosses, heaths, and shrubby trees.

Squirrels and chickadees are at the park all year round, but the Spring brings hummingbirds and warblers.

The weather cooperated for our visit and the children enjoyed “Exploring the Bog in the Spring”.

Keefer was our friendly and enthusiastic guide, and the children were well engaged.

Our first stop was The Hut:

 

Matias and friends enjoyed playing frog hop - tick tack toe:


 
Jayden was the first to touch the garden snake, helping his friends overcome any concerns.

“He feels sticky and I think he feels wet” - Jayden

 


Off we go to explore the bog:

 


The bog is a wetland and the ground is waterlogged.

The children jumped on the spongy ground and watched the branches on the shrubs bounce... as well as their parents!


 
Keefer shows us how much water can absorb into the peat moss.

“Whoa, it's like magic I think.” - Lucas:

 


With a special spy glass, the children were able to experience what the world might look like through the eyes of a bee.

“I have so much feet.” - Dayna:



 


 
I don't think one child passed over the bridge without saying hello to the turtles:

 


The children sat along a very long bench, happily watching the activities of the busy squirrels and the birds flying in and out:



Thank you Keefer for an enjoyable and informative morning!

Until next time!

Barbi
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Bubbles...Bubbles Everywhere (A Science Exploration): FAS M/W/F Class

Sensory play is an important part of a childs development and learning. It provides children with endless opportunities to explore and develop skills. Best of all, the open-ended learning is therapeutic, as it calms and relaxes our minds.

With all this in mind, we created an experience for the children. We added soap to warm water and provided whisks, strainers, and hand mixers. First, the children wanted to scoop the water. Since we intentionally did not provide any cups for pouring, the children put their hands in the water and quickly learned how to scoop the water by putting their two hands together.

Then, the fun began. The children began to explore and experiment with the tools provided. The children with the hand mixers realized that when they turned the egg beaters, bubbles began to appear. The children with the whisks started to whisk the water and more bubbles began to appear. Soon, we had a tub full of bubbles. Strainers were used to scoop up the bubbles.

Children learn through exploration, experimentation and curiousity. By providing a water provocation, the children were able to learn and become interested in the subject. Without thinking, we often want to answer all the childrens’ questions. However, by providing an avenue for them to seek and answer their own curiousities, it stimulates their minds and improves their critical thinking and scientific skills.

Science is an important subject and made more important by enjoying the understanding with lots of fun.

 

 

Until next time,

Karen
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