Saturday, April 16, 2011

Just a chatty little Update

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!


Stacey said...

You have been busy too. I love the yarn scraps in a basket. I have never heard of this, but now I want to try it too. Hope your new little guy is able to join in soon. I'm sure you'll hardly remember how you got along without him soon.

MullenAvenueWorkshop said...

Stacey, thanks for dropping by!
You might want to read more at Child in Harmony. She has such wonderful ideas!

Geraldine said...

I think those robins are harbingers of good things to come, including spring! Wow, the last big snowfall in Sask. (or maybe not last!!!) I remember it well. Having birthdays in April, it's always a toss-up what the weather will be, isn't it? Speaking of April birthdays, I just finished reading Susan Boyle's bio yesterday and her's is April 1st. It's an interesting read btw, sorry off topic...

I hope you have a great week Brenda and BFN, G

MullenAvenueWorkshop said...

Thanks for dropping in Ger!
I know quite a few people with birthdays on April 1st, including my sweet neice Elisabeth, and a co-worker who interestingly to me, was born the same day, year, and in the same hospital as me. So we were apparently in the nursery together, and surprisingly we are quite alike.

I'm not sure if I know who Susan Boyle is.

Yep, I hope spring is just around the corner! :)

rachelle @ tinkerlab said...

Beautiful post, Brenda. You've given me so much to think about! I have planting on my mind (it's quite a bit warmer here in California!) and your marigold plants are just the thing for us to plant. We'll enjoy seeing something sprout up fairly quickly. And while I'm a firm believer in child-driven play, i also see the value in circle time and song-singing. My daughter likes reading the humpty dumpty poem, and she'll love your teeter-totter back-flipping version. BTW, my family is originally from Regina! How about that!

MullenAvenueWorkshop said...

Thanks for dropping in Rachelle, and for your comments!
How interesting that we have Regina in commom!!
Have fun back flipping!! :)

Geraldine said...

If you go over to YouTube, Susan Boyle has one of the most viewed videos ever, her audition on Britain's Got Talent. She is actually very famous, an amazing story!

Anonymous said...

Love the idea of putting nesting materials out for the birds. We haven't done that one yet. Would be so neat for Sam and Avery to observe a bird taking a piece of yarn out of the basket!
Thanks for the idea.

MullenAvenueWorkshop said...

Thanks Ger, I'll have to look it up!

Thanks for the comment Abbie, Hope you enjoy this!