The Ladybugs love family! Over the past few weeks, we have observed that the Ladybugs
frequently incorporate family and family life into their play. Whether they’re building families
with the animal toys or role playing as a mom, dad or sibling, family seems to be a central
theme in their play.
Last week, we read a story called, “The Family Book” by Todd Parr, to spark a discussion about how families can look very different from one family to the next, and more importantly that it's ok to be different! While we were reading the book, the Ladybugs all came to the conclusion that family is family and it doesn’t matter what a family looks like as long as everyone loves and cares about each other.
After listening to the story, the Ladybugs had the opportunity to create their own real life family
or imaginary family out of popsicle stick puppets! To create their puppets, the ladybugs used
scissors to cut shapes out of construction paper, designed their family’s faces with markers and
googly eyes, and glued a popsicle stick to the back of their creations.
One child made a family of Emojis that represented each family member!
Another child traced her hand and created a butterfly family!
Once the Ladybugs were finished making their puppets, I suggested that they could perform in
a puppet show! The Ladybugs seemed super excited about prospect and the children came up with a plan for what this would look like. One child suggested they make popcorn out of paper and admission tickets for the audience so everyone could be involved!
We prepared for the puppet show by dimming the lights, setting up chairs and covering the
puppet stage with blankets. Then we sat back, relaxed and watched the show!
Who would have thought that all of this creativity stemmed from listening to a book about families!
In the Kinder Cohort, the educators have noticed that the caterpillar group enjoys using ramps with cars. As the educators observed their play, we saw that as they changed the ramp courses each day. It seemed as though they were looking for what would make the cars go faster. We wanted to see how it would change their play if we made some changes to the materials used to create courses and ramps.
I gathered some cardboard to create ramps, and added different materials on them to provide a variety of texture. I added some aluminum foil around one piece, and added some plastic wrap around another. The last addition was white paper rolled up into a tube.
I placed these three ramps on a bucket causing them to sit at an angle, and waited to see what the children would do with them.
As I could see the children starting to examine the new ramps, I asked them what they thought would happen as they used each different ramp.
One child said, "the aluminum foil would be to slow for the cars to go down.”
Another said, "the plastic wrap would be too bumpy with the cardboard.”
For the white paper tube, some thought it would be the best one to use.
As the children started to use the ramps, they realized that some of their ideas and predictions didn’t go as planned and they were surprised. As they explored all of the ramps with the cars, they continued talking about what was happening. They discussed how some cars would fall off of the ramp half way down. For the bumpy looking ramp, the cars would make it through. They also expressed that the white tube paper ramp worked out the best, just like what they predicted.
After experimenting with the ramps, the children would change them, and add types of toy buckets so the cars could go in at the bottom. The children also wanted to change the positions of the buckets to see what would happen. They even wanted to try having the people and animal toys to roll down the ramp to see if there would be a difference in speed compared to the cars and to their surprise, there sure was.
The caterpillars sure had fun with this experiment and they wanted to continue trying to see what other material and objects they could build with the ramps!
On Friday February 27th, I observed two children in the building and construction area during free play. They were busy setting up animals and helping them walk across the 'land' to climb up the tree to find food to eat. From this observation I had a new idea of a game that we could play in the gym on the following Monday!
The new game was a spin off of 'What Time is it Mr. Wolf," and it followed some of the same rules. One child stood on one end of the gym facing the wall with their eyes closed, and that child was also the tagger. The other children were on the line at the opposite end of the gym. The children on the line were to call "HOW MANY STEPS MR. ANIMAL?" and the tagger would call out a number followed by an animal, for example "3 lion steps" or "2 elephant steps" and the children on the line were to act out this animal taking the correct number of steps.
The game continued until the group of children took their animal steps all the way to the tagger. When the tagger called "IT'S TIME FOR LUNCH!" the tagger would run after them as they ran back towards the line. Whoever the tagger caught before reaching the line became the new tagger and the game restarted.
During this game, the children were given the opportunity to develop their cognitive skills and their language skills as they thought about how to act like each animal. They also were developing their social and physical skills when they ran, jumped, hopped, skipped, etc. and they did this together as a group!
I observed that some children didn't know how to imitate these animals so I came up with a plan for next time! As a group we can watch Youtube videos to see how different animals walk and what sounds they make. We will use this tool to learn more about animals while participating in a game full of physical activity!
Every year, the entire month of February was dedicated to READING!
It is called I Love To Read Month!
The kindercare program was challenged to read SEVENTY-FIVE books, and we did it with ease! Reading is easy when you make it fun, right?
We decorated a little square to add to the board every time a kindercare staff read to the children, this did not include when the children read on their own or when we had special guests read to us... and we read 76 books (I'd say we probably even read more but forgot to post some, we read all month!)
We had several special guest read to us which included a Winnipeg Firefighter, an RCMP, a Radio Host and many, many parents!!
We did Cosmic Kids, which is yoga that goes along to a story!
We even created our own stories and presented them in many ways such as books, puppet shows, light shows, etc.
How did you celebrate I Love to Read Month? Do you love reading as much as we do in Kindercare? We can't wait to continue reading and creating more stories to share with each other!!
For a few weeks now the Ladybugs have been exploring with lights and shadows by using both the light table and overhead projector. I decided to set up an activity where the children could explore their current interests while adding new ideas into their play.
I set up the light table which we've been using for some time now, with some transparent loose parts and magnets. This time, to extend their learning I added some mirrors on the wall so that the light could reflect off of them, to see how the children would react. I was also interested in seeing if they would use their own reflection in the mirror as a part of their play!
When the children noticed that I had set up the light table again, they immediately were drawn to the area and showed excitement as they manipulated the materials provided.
The children got creative and used their own imagination to build on their play.
One child made a snowman and pretended the snowman was melting away.
Another child made a rocket ship to fly into space.
A third child made a house for people to live in.
They were using the pieces they were playing with in front of the mirror to see if they can see the reflection of them.
Each time a child added a new piece onto the light table, they looked up at the mirror to see how it was shown from that angle.
After the children were done with the light table some children came over to the mirrors and started acting in front of the mirrors, each time looking up to see what the reflection looked like.
I look forward to seeing what other activities we can introduce with the mirrors in the up coming weeks ahead while still focusing on their interest in light and shadows!
If you've been following along with our recent blogs, you may have noticed that the Ladybugs have been interested in figuring out the process of how things work! For example, recently we explored how different colours are made! Well, last Thursday the Ladybugs were presented with a unique experience (in today's world) about how an overhead projector works! An overhead projector, do you remember using those in school? We don't see them very often anymore which made this experience extra special as many of the children were seeing one for the first time!!
The overhead projector was placed on the table with a bin of loose parts that included both solid colour and transparent loose parts with a whiteboard a couple of feet away. Immediately the children began to add piece by piece on to the projector and each time would look up at the whiteboard to see how it looked.
"Wow, look! When I put it on here you can see it on the board!"
"It's glowing through the rock!"
"Look, I can see the shadow over there!"
.The excitement grew and grew and grew!! Everyone wanted to explore this new idea of light and shadow so a second light table was brought out.
This one was a little different as it only lit up from the bottom, and didn't project but the children were able to use different materials on this light table and get creative with it.
The children talked a lot about what the light looked like as it shined through the loose parts, or how the shadow looked as it displayed on the wall.
They worked together to brainstorm new ideas to test out after lunch, and up first was creating different faces!
Next, other items came into play such as animals and plants! The children placed the animals on the overhead projector and observed as the shadows appeared on the wall. "look! it's like a movie theatre!" one child added!
Through this experience the children were able to expand on the ideas that they already have about lights and shadows while using their imagination to create new ideas and play in a unique way!
We are so excited to expand on this activity and bring lights and shadows to life in the Kinder Room! Stay tuned to hear more!
The ladybugs have been focusing on the 'how to' aspect of their creations. As the educators observe we are seeing the children talk a lot about the process rather than the outcome itself! For example when building a snowman... how to we make the ball? what if the snow isn't sticky? how can we make them all different sizes? These are all questions that are being considered while making a snowman, and once it is complete the mission is over! On to the next creation!!
I wanted to see what would happen if I gave them the 3 primary colours of paint at the art table, would they be able to create their picture with only 3 colours? would they ask for different colours such as green, purple, orange, brown? Or, would they figure out how to construct these colours themselves? What does this look like?
During this experience, I noticed a couple of things... I observed that the children came to the table with an idea of exactly what their picture would look like. Each child had a plan in their head of what colours they would need, and in what order.
Hold your curser over the images below to see what they were saying!
The children took their time while making the colours. We learned that when you add blue and yellow it makes green... but if you add way more blue than yellow, it might just make a lighter blue and won't look green! This activity provided the children with a chance to get creative and really practice their problem solving skills as they worked through making each selected colour!
The pictures turned out beautiful, as if the children had a full pallet of paint. They were all so proud of themselves at the end seeing the finished product knowing that they created many of these colours on their own, and that theirs stood out from the others!
For awhile now, the Caterpillar group has been exploring play through role play! This could mean that they set up the kitchen are to become an ice cream store, maybe a restaurant or sometimes it is a pizza place! This has grown and grown over the last few months and the educators in the room are working on finding new ways to expand on this play every single day.
We decided to set up a soup making activity at one of the tables. The activity involved the book 'Duck Soup,' and various spices, extracts and other scented liquid to mix up and get creative! The children were given mortar and pestles to grind up the spices and a jar to mix the spices with the other liquid.
The children mixed up their soup/potion and talked a lot about how each one smelt, or looked during the process. Everyone agreed that the mix of smells made us hungry and wanting some yummy baked treats!
Up next, we are going to explore these spices in a new way... What do you think we will be able to make with spice paint? Will it be spilt soup? Will it be dough? So many opportunities!
We brought out measuring cups, muffin tins, baking pans and let the children explore the mud puddle! We arrived in the forest the second week of December and a huge mud puddle caught our eye! Where did it come from? Why is there a huge puddle? The children started to explore...
We brought out measuring cups, muffin tins, baking pans and let the children explore the mud puddle!
Right away, the mud puddle turned into the perfect opportunity to bake some yummy baking! The children noticed that the fence beside the puddle had a hole in it and water was pouring out! "Oh look, our sink is on!!"
The ladybug group ended off November taking advantage of the beautiful weather and did some camping in the Forest! This involved gathering sticks to make a fire pit, cooking potatoes (leaves) for supper and even roasting marshmallows!
This went on for WEEKS, every time we would go to the forest the children would gather the materials again and pick up right where they left off. One child explained that when you go into the woods that you need a backpack that has water and snacks in it incase you get stranded! He explained that this is stuff for survival and just in case you're feeling dehydrated. The bags hung from the trees so that they were out of reach from bears! The camping trips were very well planned out, and safety was area of discussion every single time. One day a child even had the group practice what to do if the fire got out of control while camping, by doing a fire drill just like we practice at school and Dawn and Dusk!
The educators got together and thought about what more WE could add to this play, it seemed as though the children had it all figured out... so we decided to see how this would expand inside during free play!
The campsite was set up inside! We had a tent, a fire pit and of course some lovely trees to represent the forest. This didn't seem to be enough, the children needed more!! They started to brainstorm themselves about what else you do when you go camping... so the next step was to set up the area so that they could catch their own food!!
The children made a lake full of fish, rocks, stones and used sticks as fishing rods! They spent the morning fishing, and cooking it for dinner!
Of course with the winter weather, we had to head back outside to see what camping looks like in the winter! We went animal tracking, and we even went ice fishing!!
Stay tuned to see where we go from here.
We plan to dig even deeper into this camping adventure!