Here in Saskatchewan our weather has been fluctuating between spring and winter conditions.
We've played outside every day, and the children were so surprised on Monday to find that most of the puddles had disappeared in the play yard.Yesterday evening and through the night we received a great dumping of wet, fluffy snow.
We've been thinking about birds, and one day spent about an hour just snipping yarn into about 2 inch lengths, which we'll hang from a tree in a basket to provide some extra nesting materials for the birds.I've done this many times over the years, but usually we spread the yarn snips on the ground. Marcia at Child in Harmony suggests placing the yarn in a basket, so we'll do this, as it will be a better way to observe any activity, I think.(I believe this may be a Ukrainian custom - it was passed on to me by a daycare grandmother, of Ukrainian heritage.)
I like to have my children give their mother's a small plant for Mother's Day, so that means planting a few weeks ahead. So this week in preparation, each child painted a clay plant pot, and next week we'll plant a marigold seed. I like these as they usually come up quick, and grow into quite sturdy little plants by Mother's Day. One year, one mother set hers in their green house and it grew into a gorgeous, large plant just loaded with blossoms.I buy inexpensive red clay pots, with saucers, and we use acrylic paint, and they always turn out beautifully.
We enjoyed paint blot painting as well this week - and thought they looked like butterflies
I have a new little boy in my group, and he is a toddler aged child.His mom has been able to spend mornings with him, taking him home after lunch. This is such a nice way for him to get oriented to being at daycare.The
last two days of the week she left him with us, to give him the experience of being away from Mom for just a short time, and it was hard for him - he cried, but learned that daycare is okay, and Mom does come back. An added challenge for him is that he has no English, his family speak another language at home, but smiles, hugs, and friendship are part of a universal language!
Really I think his entering our group has helped the children grow in understanding, and empathy, and has been very positive. So now I have an age range from 2 years to 3 - which I think will possibly result in a gentler ambiance to our group.
I've immediately started to get back to basics - we will have small circles, and sing the old favourites of "Where is Thumbkin"; "Tommy Thumb"; "Twinkle, Twinkle"; "Old MacDonald"; "The Wheels on the Bus"...and I went to the library, and borrowed a stack of easy board books. There is a lovely series with nursery rhymes - "I'm a Little Teapot", "Humpty Dumpty"; "Wee Willie Winkie"; "Row Row your Boat", etc. and these are always well loved by children of all ages.With my new little guy simple and fun may help with his English language learning.
Getting back to basics has just been a whole lot of fun for me, I think I was getting away from some of the fun with some of the new ideas we in our province are incorporating, with "free, child directed" play, and not as much structure. This is valuable, and important, to be sure to provide large periods of child directed play, but the children also love singing the old songs, so I plan to unapologetically do a structured music circle every day - especially for my new child's benefit.I can't wait to get singing and playing circle games again like "Rig Jig Jig"; "We're going to Kentucky", "I'm Being eaten by a Boa Constrictor"; "What can you do Punchinello"; and "One Little Elephant Balancing", to name a few of my favourites.
This week I taught my group a silly way to do Humpty Dumpty which they loved, we sat with our knees akimbo holding onto our feet and rocked ourselves sideways for "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall", and then fell backwards (making sure each child would have a safe landing spot) :), and kicked our feet in the air for "Humpty Dumpty had a great FALL ..." Lots of fun! (The kids always seem amazed that I do this.)
This week we also had our first outing in months, (as the weather has been very uncooperative this winter), so we just walked to an enclosed green space nearby, and played chasing bubbles, and as well running with streamers. Simple but oh so much fun! The temperature was still pretty cold -2 degrees, and we wore our snowsuits, and mitts, and everyone ended up with rosy cheeks, and happy smiles.It's just so great to have a change of scene if only just a short distance away.We are lucky to be a cooperative daycare, and so parents commit to helping 2 hours per month, and I had two parent helpers with me, which is always nice!
As I look out my window the snow is falling steadily down, and three large robins appear to be gathering materials for nest building. This is just so Saskatchewan!
Happy Spring everyone!