On Monday, October 4th we ventured out to Assiniboine Park for the day.
We spent some time in the Nature Playground first, exploring the park and running off some steam after a long ride on the school bus.
After some play and some lunch, we headed off to explore the Duck Pond. Well, Goose and Duck pond.
From the pond, we headed to the gardens. Before we began our walk, the Educators handed the children a few cameras and encouraged them to take photos of anything they thought was interesting or beautiful.
The following pictures were taken by the kids. Notice the angles, colors, and reflections - this is what the world looks like through your childs eyes!
Welcome to the first official Kindercare blog of the 2021-2022 school year!
Our Ladybugs are very keen on velocity. It started with bottle flipping, and experimenting with water levels in the bottles to figure out the best amount of water needed for the perfect landing, and where the best spot to practice a flip was. The table, the floor, and into buckets.
When they began to create a points system we decided to label some paper cups with 1, 2, and 3 points, and we tracked the points on an abacus. The kids used our water bottle caddy to arrange the point cups, and the challenges began!
This game was an exercise in focus, fair play, hand-eye coordination, and of course math!
Meanwhile, the Caterpillars are taking things in a more artistic direction with a strong interest in painting and mixing. Mixing up forest berries in pails, mixing up paint colors, mixing up the colorful blocks to create new shades - its all about creating something new!
All this mixing answered the "what if" questions - What if we put water and leaves in our berries? What if we mix purple paint with red paint? What if we get paint on our smocks?
Our favorite way to answer all the what if's is, "Let's find out!" Because discovery is what our first year in Kinders is all about!
The Ladybugs are always so curious about animals. Last Friday, I asked the Ladybugs if they knew which animals lay eggs and which animals don’t lay eggs. A child exclaimed, “BIRDS LAY EGGS!”. but when I asked them if spiders lay eggs they were unsure. To further explore this topic, we had a discussion about six different animal groups and focused on if those animals lay eggs or do not lay eggs. This is what we discovered:
Most mammals (humans, dogs, whales) do not lay eggs
Most reptiles (turtles, snakes, crocodiles) do lay eggs
Most amphibians (frogs, salamanders, toads) do lay eggs
Most fish (salmon, seahorses, tuna) do lay eggs
Most arthropods (insects, spiders, crabs) do lay eggs
All birds (eagles, ostriches, penguins) do lay eggs
After our discussion, I informed the Ladybugs that we were going to be making animal eggs out of cornstarch, baking soda and water! Each child chose an animal toy that they would be hiding inside their egg. Three children chose sea turtles (reptiles), two children chose dinosaurs (reptiles), one child chose a spider (arthropod), and one child chose an ostrich (bird). The Ladybugs combined each ingredient in a bowl and mixed them together with a stick. I also gave them an option to add green or yellow food colouring to their eggs.
One child said, "Mine is too watery!", so they added more cornstarch to their bowl.
Another child said, "Mine is stuck to the bottom! I need more water!".
A third child said, "This looks like slime!".
A fourth child said, "Mine looks like rotten eggs!"
Once the Ladybugs were satisfied with their mixture, they placed their animal toy in the muffin mold and poured, scooped and pressed their mixture into it. When all of their eggs were pressed into the muffin mold, I explained that they needed to rest in the freezer for a couple days before we could “hatch” them.
On Tuesday, we retrieved the eggs from the freezer and went outside for the hatching event. I brought out cups, sticks, water and vinegar for the children to experiment with different hatching techniques. All of the children asked for a cup to hatch their eggs.
One child said, "I want water and vinegar in my cup!".
Another child said, "I want just water in my cup."
A third child asked, "Can I add mud to my cup?"
When the vinegar and the egg started fizzing, a fourth child exclaimed, "LOOK AT THIS!"
Once all of the children hatched their eggs, some decided to play with the toy animals in the forest, while others decided to make magic mud potions in their cups. This experience gave the children the freedom to experiment and explore a variety of sensory elements!
The caterpillar group has been playing with a lot of animals lately. During their play, I've observed the children making their own homes, making their own zoos, and saving the animals from danger!
I thought I would come up with an activity where the children could save the animals in a different way. I got an empty box and taped string from side to side inside the box. I put all different types of animals in the box, then have the children use any kind of materials they wanted, even their hands to save the animals. I also added music that was the sound of animals so it can be realistic.
When the caterpillar group were ready to try this activity, these are the observations that were made
After the children tried those ways, they wanted to make their own animal rescue by changing the strings around in the box and change the animals from what I had previously put in the box to sea creatures such as sharks and octopuses'.
It was amazing to see how creative the children can be using their own imaginations when it comes to saving animals!
Last week, the Caterpillars experimented with splat art!
We’ve noticed that the Caterpillars love to paint, especially on large pieces of paper, so we decided to offer them a painting experience where they could experiment with height and practice their artistic and mathematical skills.
We pushed the tables aside and rolled out a large piece of paper on the floor. Then, each child chose two sponges that they wanted to use for this experience and then sat back down in their seat. One at a time, I called up each child to take their first turn.
They dipped their sponges in paint and then carefully climbed onto the chair. Next, I brought out the meter stick and held it next to the child who was standing on the chair. I asked the children if that child was taller or shorter than a meter stick. The children all yelled, “taller!” and I announced that the sponge was going to be dropped from a height a little taller than a meter. When the child was ready, we all counted down from three. 3… 2… 1… SPLAT! The child would let go of the sponge, letting it fall on the paper and then retrieve the sponge to uncover the splat that it formed.
After each child had a turn, I gave the Caterpillars some free time to make any types of splats that they wanted, but I did ask them to keep two questions in mind:
What does the splat look like when you drop it from the chair?
What does the splat look like when you drop it from the ground?
I offered a ruler and a measuring tape to the children who were interested in measuring how long their splat was. Three children continued to take turns standing dropping their sponges from the chair, while the other three decided to finger paint instead.
Throughout this experience, the children practiced taking turns, sharing the space and created some colourful splats! It was definitely worth the messy clean up!
The Ladybug group has been interested in making music and sounds with a lot of materials around the room, and even outside. I thought it would be a neat idea to have a music jar science experiment with them.
I put out some jars on the table, along with a jug full of water so the children could decide how much water to put in each. Some children wanted the jars full, others wanted half, or a quarter, etc. Each jar had a different amount of water inside.
To make this a little more exciting, I asked the children if they would like to fill the jars with food coloring and they were thrilled with that idea. I brought out the colours red and blue to add to the water. One child wanted the color purple, so I asked them to think about what colours they could mix together to make purple, and the child answered with a smile "blue and red!". When I put the colors together to make the color purple, they saw the colors changes and were very amazed.
I gave the children some loose parts such as paintbrushes, plastic spoons and popsicle sticks to bang on the jars to be drumsticks.
As the children started to bang their loose parts on the jars, they seemed very surprised with the sound that it made. They used all the different loose parts and changed the positioning of the jars around since they were big and small, to see what unique sounds that they could make. The children used the caps to cover the jars with to see if there were any different sounds, but they were more interested with the sound when they covered the jars.
One child would try out the jars and started to hum with the sound of the jars and was making their own band.
The Ladybug group had fun with this experiment and they truly love music and sounds! I want to see what other music and sounds they will discover.
As the lunch shift was coming to an end, and I was getting ready to head home one of the Kinders stopped me to tell me that they noticed my leg was broken so I couldn't leave until he checked it out. He brought over some paper and started treating me by wrapping the paper around my leg and saying that he was doing my surgery.
While he was playing, another child joined him and said my arm is broken too and she rushed over and began covering my arm with a piece of paper. Watching them both, a third child said that he is making a bandage for the wound. They talked to each other and made blood out of red paper to paste on my thigh and then immediately placed the bandage that he made over the blood. One child thought that I needed an ice pack as well so she started folding papers and taped them together and gave it to me saying that it will give me relief. At the same time, another child was making list of his patients that needs to be treated. I told the children that I needed to go home to my Mom, but the doctors had something else in mind for me, "hey you need to stay here some days for recovery" one child added. After 'a few days past', the doctors said that I am better now and ready to go back home.
The children worked together to create bandages, blood, and ice. Through play, the children are learning to work as a team
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!