Today we enjoyed the story of The Gingerbread Man. We made Gingerbread Men for our second attempt at using authentic experiences when using dough. Today all of the children joined in the experience. We kneaded, rolled and cut our shapes. Then we got to decorate them by adding eyes, nose and mouth. They smelled and tasted delicious.
It rained early in Autumn this year and all the local farmers are busy planting their crops. This is the best break farmers can remember in over 40 years. There is an optimistic feeling in the community. It rained again for us yesterday. Douglas brought his umbrella and gumboots to Pre School. We got to play in the rain and splash in the puddles. Today we planted our own crops in large pots. We planted field peas and wheat. First we had to sort the seeds because they were mixed up. Then we crushed the lumps in the soil, put finger holes in the dirt and planted the seeds. Now we are waiting for some more rain so they can grow. This is helping the children connect with what is happening in their lives on family farms and appreciate why all the adults are working so hard at the moment!
Douglas got the “Pirate Race Game’ for his birthday. He brought it to share with everyone. The game involves memory skills and also dice, counting and one-to-one matching skills. The children have really enjoyed this game and we have played it every day. Thank you Douglas for leaving the game at Pre School and letting us play it over and over.
Luke loves scissors! This week we have taken our cutting outside. The children have cut grass and leaves. Luke was collecting his cuttings to make a birds nest in the fork of the tree. Lilly said, “The tree needs a haircut!” I talked to Lilly about how we call this ‘pruning’ on a tree. We have also been practicing our ladder climbing and balancing skills while cutting. Luckily, years ago someone had the foresight to plant some beautiful decidious trees suitable for climbing in our outdoor area.
As teachers we all know the value for the children of playing with dough. Research show that using your fingers and hands actually stimulates your brain and increases the number of neural connects it makes. The children engage in increasingly complex sensory-motor skills and movement patterns and learn to use different tools.
The majority of Pre School use Play Dough to achieve these aims. However a Pre School in New Zealand (Lucknow Kindergraten – Havelock – North New Zealand) make this experience ‘authentic’ for the children by using real dough – for a real purpose – every day . I thought that this was a great idea and easy to implement at Manangatang as we have a small group. So now every Wednesday we are going to have a real dough experience – for a real purpose. I have used Pintrest to gather lots of ideas in the holidays.
This week our experience with dough was to make scones.
Keep following to see how we strive to make the ‘dough experience’ come to life each week.
Thank you to my colleague Louise (Ouyen Kinder) for sharing her New Zealand experiences with me. I love new ideas.
This week, being the first week of Term 2, we were lucky enough to welcome 1 new 4 year old child and 3 new three year old children into our program. We also welcome the children’s families to our centre – it’s great to have some new people on board. Douglas was given the job of helping the boys to settle in and Lilly was given the job to help the girls. They did a terrific job and there were no tears – well until it was time to go home!
Our Strawberry Patch just keeps on giving. Not only do we love picking and eating the berries for morning tea – we have been able to start cutting off runners for families. If an families are interested in runners from the next cut, let the teachers know.
Today’s German lesson was a revision for after the holidays. Monika brought in a German Nursery Rhyme Book and we listen to, and copied after her ‘Hoppe Hoppe Reiter’. It is a rhyme about riding a horse and getting tipped off in a bog! We are tuning our ears to rhyming words – even in another language. We listened to the rhyme on YouTube. You can do this at home by going to the link below:
http://www.youtube.com and typing in ‘hoppe, hoppe reiter’
Lilly’s Mum (Shae-Maree) very kindly offered to make us Bunny Puzzles with her new wood cutting machine. She made us one each. Each day this week we have been putting a layer of white paint onto our puzzle with a sponge. Then we carefully sponged pink around the edge of each piece and added a wriggly eye. Now we have a Bunny Puzzle to each to take home for Easter.
This is an amazing machine and we have set Lilly’s Mum the challenge of making us each a name puzzle for next term. Thank you so much Shae-Maree. We really appreciate this.
At the end of each term the local Playgroup come to visit Pre School. We have a shared snack and a play outside. Today we welcomed the parents and children to the Pre School and really enjoyed playing together. This visit is a great Transition experience for the three year olds who will start next term and we get to met the families who will be coming to our centre in the years to come.