Kid's Corner with Sarah: Winter Break Edition

Hey Sr OSC families,

Now that is officially December, the holiday season is approaching us quickly and school will be out for winter break soon! Since the first term of school is wrapping up, I thought it would be cool to interview some kids and ask them what they are looking forward to the most during winter break. In addition, I always wanted to ask the kids a more reflective question, which was, what is one thing you can do to give back to others who are less fortunate than us? Some kids chose to conceal their names and give an alternative name! Here are some of their responses…

Angel: 
I am looking forward to going to 6 Pack Indoor Beach and sleeping in. One thing that I can do to give back to those who are less fortunate is collect items such as blankets, scarves, and a thick coat as everyone should receive a gift during this time of year! 

“Vanessa”: 
I am excited to decorate my Christmas tree, spend time with my family, go to 6 Pack Indoor Beach, and Science World. I can donate toys that I don’t play with as much and also clothes! 

“Vicky”: 
I can’t wait to go to Science World, the pool, and decorate my Christmas tree. I can donate canned goods to a food bank!

Gabriella:
I am looking forward to singing in my Christmas choir. I can help out seniors! 

Elisa:
I can’t wait to have hot chocolate and watch shows all day! One thing that I can do to give back to others is make blankets and donate them! 

Science World and 6 Pack Indoor Beach were a popular response amongst the kids and I am excited that the kids are looking forward to going to these places. The holiday season is often referred to the season of giving back and it brought a smile to my face knowing that they all came up with amazing responses to help others! 

Until next time,


Sarah A 

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Slimetastic Day

November 27 was a Slimetastic Day!

My name is Jordan, I have been working at OSC for my fifth consecutive week.  I run the art programs on Mondays and this was the most fun and exciting session yet!  Before it even started I had kids waiting to sign up for art. This was my first go at a hands on art.  While I was excited I was actually feeling a little overwhelmed in the beginning because I wasn't sure if everything would come together.  However, this art exceeded all my expectations and I left feeling overjoyed. 

Growing up as a child I was always a big fan of slime, what child is not? However there is play dough, silly putty and other weird textures in our program, so how much more fun could slime be?

I think I forgot that creating your own "slime" or creating anything is more satisfying and makes the experience that much better. The fact that everyone has a unique style, through the different colours, sizes, viscosity and texture, has made our slime creations all the more special.  

The ingredients used were:
1. ~1 cup of Elmers Glue
2. ~1 cup of water
3. Food colouring
4. Liquid starch

The Recommended Ratio: 1-1-1

The recommended ratio was the most fun part about this day, as it distinguished the children's style in how they created their slime.  This made everyone want to experiment with the ingredients. At the end of the day and the kids were experts at this creation and were able to know exactly what ingredient was needed to be added, how much of it and how it would help. With kids experimenting more, of course a mess was inevitable. Fortunately I was reminded to put down a table cloth or I would have been scrubbing the tables until night.  

Overall, I believe the slime creations went really well. The kids were playing with the slime the whole day until pick up time. They were blowing bubbles with the slime, kneading it, covering cups, making ice cream, the list goes on and on. Hopefully no messes were made outside of OSC time!

It was definitely a successful day and kids enjoyed the art with the simplicity of slime!

Until next time, 

Jordan

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RAIN or shine @ Garden City Park

Hello everyone,





As some of you may already know, at Sr. OSC we try and provide one optional afternoon out-trip a month to a local playground or facility in Richmond. This month we were joined by the Jr. OSC program and together we visited Garden City Park.










Posted on our sign-up forms we try and make it clear  that these out-trips are 'rain or shine', and we definitely mean RAIN or shine. 











So we bundled ourselves up, grabbed our buckets & shovels and away we went! We even fashioned some handy dandy ponchos out of garbage bags.











These out-trips are certainly a blast for the kids, but even our leaders enjoy getting out there and playing!


If you're wondering how you can make sure your child makes it out with us on the next afternoon out-trip, look for the sign-up sheets that get posted beside our sign-in binder one week before the trip!

That's all for now!

Regards,

Matt (the bat)












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Exploring Our Environment

In the educational world, there is a model of learning based around three educators: parents, teachers and the environment.  This Fall, before the rain truly hits, we've been trying to take advantage of that third educator, the environment, as much as possible.  This has revolved around a couple activities that have occupied and captivated the imaginations of the kids at OSC.  
At Gilmore there is a large hill with a long metal slide that shoots down it's side.  Much to our curious delight, our attention has been captured by a family of young rabbits that have made their home safely under the slide.  When the kids first found out about the rabbits there was a lot of excitement and eagerness to get close to them.  As we've watched them grow over the weeks, we've also had a chance to learn more about them and how we interact with nature.  One of the lessons that the kids have taken to heart is that although we may have good intentions, having the rabbits get use to humans may actually put them in danger.  It's been really cool to watch the kids take this lesson and to hear them live it and repeat it to their peers. We are still captivated by the rabbits, but now we know to give them some distance, for our safety and their own.
Early in the school year, I got to prepare an activity that brought nature up close to our students.  Collecting pond water from Terra Nova Park, our students were able to explore the tiny creature that inhabit our waterways, all from the dry safety of our space.  We found that the water was full of tadpoles, tiny snails and clams, and aquatic insects that would dart around with great speed.  It was a lot of fun watching the kids get close and exploring these creatures that would otherwise remain hidden in plain sight.
While the water bugs were great, sometimes it doesn't take a lot of planning to engage our kids with their surroundings.  Sometimes all it takes is a rope and a tree, perfect for climbing.  This fall, the kids have also had a great time exploring their school grounds from different vantages, challenging themselves to climb higher and to problem solve where the next handhold will be. 
While the days are getting shorter, and the weather may be turning a little wetter, we are still happy to explore our surroundings, and to appreciate the third teacher we have around us.
-Keefer

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Smash Day!

Have you ever wondered what smashing a watermelon in slow motion would look like? What about a Kinder Surprise Egg? What about milk, lego, or even a real egg? This list grew longer and longer as Emma, Nathan and other children started brainstorming these hypothetical questions.  I love sitting and chatting with the children about crazy and wonderful ideas, however, this time we were so inspired we vowed to make it happen.  It was here, at a typical OSC table, that we created the idea of Smash Day.

In order for Smash Day to work we first needed a list of items.  Even though we had some initial ideas we wanted to talk more about why we were picking each items and what were the pros and cons of the items we wanted.  Our main goal was to find a balance between science, fun and minimal waste.  We quickly revived our list to include the following:
  • Watermelon (mini)
  • Kinder egg
  • Egg (expired) 
  • Water balloon
  • Lego
  • Pie (crust + whipped cream)
  • Apple
  • Milk (small container) 
  • Mentose and coke (mini can)
  • Cup of coffee ( Carolyn's) 

Our next step was to organize a safe, easy way to clean up our proposed mess.  Luckily, we had an old tarp on the way out that would take care of the mess for us.  Soon we were hyping up Smash Day to everyone, from kids to leaders.  Wednesday couldn't get here soon enough.

On Wednesday afternoon everyone jumped into action and helped set up the final phase of our project.  Sarah organized the items into a smashtastic order.  Brianna set up the ladder and found us an optimal smashing space.  Kevin set up the tri pod and slow mo camera and I set up our observation board.  I checked in with our planning crew and we agreed we wanted 3 questions answered.

  1. How high did it bounce?
  2. What did the item look like after it was smashed? Was it close to the original shape or not?
  3. How close did it land on the target?
As everything was being organized we split everyone into groups and handed out observation sheets.  Before anything was smashed we all took a moment to predict the outcomes.  I noticed that the phrase "a thousand pieces" was used quite a lot for question 2. 

Soon the excitement bubbled over as I announced it was time to drop the first item, a banana.  The silence after the banana landed was strange.  There was a sudden feel of disappointment.  The banana drop was a flop.  However, soon water balloons, mini pies and even my cup of coffee were splashing onto the tarp (and Kevin, Sorry!)  which filled the group with excitement once again. 

For me the highlight of our experiment was the mini watermelon.  The slow motion video was by far my favorite, and unfortunately the last because my phone ran out of storage. 

After the last bit of chocolate milk was cleaned, the observations recorded, and the videos compiled and am left feeling very satisfied.  I look forward to the next time we take a wonderful, creative, and crazy idea and smash it, figuratively and maybe literally.  Tune in to find out!

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