Every term we invite the Playgroup children and Parents for a play at Pre School. It is an important part of our transition program and it allows teachers to get to know the families before they enter the service. But most importantly, they children have many opportunities to come to Pre School and become familiar before they turn three or four.
Today we had our playgroup session. It was beautiful weather and the children enjoyed some inside and outside time.
Painting was a favourite activity.
One of the advantages of having a small group and living in a rural community is that we have lots of opportunities to get out and about. This week we have been talking about Road Safety. We have been learning to recognise signs and have used our toy signs in our play indoors with trains and outdoors with our bikes. The children already knew STOP and GO.
We brought our bikes and helmets to Pre School and then we went for a ride around town. First we went to the hospital. We said a quick hello to the residents and sang them a song. Then we went around past the police station and on to the town hall. We ended up at the main street. We visited the Post Office and got two Pre School parcels. Then we went to the shop and we bought our own lunch. We sat on the chairs outside to eat it. Finally we ended up at the park and we had fun on the skateboard ramps with our bikes.
We saw some signs and symbols along the way. Everyone will sleep well tonight after all that exercise!
Many of our children live on farms and don’t have any sealed areas to ride their bikes – so organising a day like today is a lot of fun for them. The opportunity to visit local services and shops helps us to connect with our community and lets our community learn about us.
Darcy inspired us to make pom poms at Pre School over the last two weeks. We have been using cardboard circles and threading the wool through a hole in the centre. This method is time consuming and some of us didn’t have the patience to finish one. Then we saw that you could make a tiny pom pom quickly using a fork. After some trial and error with getting the centre tied tightly enough – we had some success.
The week we have had fun with Jack and the Beanstalk. Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes never lose their popularity with children. These stories for children were originally told verbally, then they were put into print and published, then coloured pictures were added and now these traditional tales are on YouTube! We have read the story, acted it out and watched the story on YouTube this week. Some found the Giant a little bit scary.
As a group we made a beanstalk with all the green things we could find – we used paper, pipecleaners, cellophane, crepe paper, fabric, felt and wool. Some children also made their own Beanstalk collages – they used crayon, real gum leaves and plastic bits for magic beans. The older children had a go at retelling the story for a teacher – using pictures as prompts. Next week we will make a Giant and a Jack to finish the picture.
As we are a small Pre School we really try to encourage everyone to play with everyone most of the time – but there is always something magical about seeing children make a special friend. Having a special friend is a different kind of relationship where things are shared. A special friend understands you in a way that no other person does and accepts you for who you are – on the good days and bad. Today Bella and Cobi ‘officially’ became special friends. And what was lovely to see, was when the other girls wanted to join the game they were welcomed. Everyone note that I am using the word ‘special’ rather than ‘best’ to describe this friendship – and I find this makes all the difference.
It is lovely when you see children spontaneously reach for a book. Today brock went inside and got himself a book (It was one of our new German ones!) It wasn’t lnog before other children started to copy him. They all piled in the blue disk and enjoyed some quiet time together.
Apart from sharing our love of books with the children we also play games that help the children develop Pre Reading Skills.
This week we have done some sorting and matching with plastic animals. This helps us to develop visual discrimination skills. The children were also developing their language skills asking “Can you see a green sheep?’ etc And learning to copy a pattern.
We have also been working on sequencing two and three cards. Then the children are encouraged to tel me a story about the cards.
This was our last week of Pop-up Play at the Recreation Reserve for 2015. Sea Lake Pre school children came to visit us this week. Sometimes when we get together with other groups the children don’t mix – but today they did. I had given the Manangatang children a bit of puppet role play before we went – but we could see the children mingling and it was great. I really think the style of play had a lot to do with it.
The children from Sea Lake sent us some great reflections about their day with us. They called us the ‘green people’ because we had the green vests on!
This week the school had a follow up Pop-up Play session for their activities afternoon, and one of our families is enjoying lots of box play at their house. The message is spreading.
Thank you to the Manangatang families and community for supporting this initiative. We have noticed particular development in some children occuring at a rapid rate during this program (see your individual learning stories) which is very exciting for the teachers.
Thanks to everyone who dropped off ‘Junk”. The community response was amazing.