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!!