valancystirling: (Default)
From here:

Our literacy-rich, play-based early childhood program provides children the opportunity to play and work and explore their world in an unhurried environment. The main emphasis is placed on developing imagination and creative thinking skills, rather than early exposure to academic content.

Daily circle time includes movement, poetry and singing.
Teachers tell nature stories and folk and fairy tales from around the world.
Children experience artistic activities such as watercolor painting, drawing, beeswax modeling, music and movement.
Other activities may include gardening, woodworking, food preparation and sewing.
Through the example of the teacher, the students develop social skills and reverence for the world around them.

Well, yeah, that's essentially what I aim for at home. I'm not sure the kids will learn any USEFUL social skills from me, but whatever.

I should really be more structured with certain activities, though. We kind of live by whims around here--Topie will have the urge to paint, so I set up paints, etc. I'm the same with my own whims.

I do worry that the kids are so limited in exposure to other human beings, kids and adults. I'm certainly not the ideal person, and I really, really do not want my kids or anyone creating their standards based on me. I'm going to look into low-key weekly activities for her. It is difficult because of Philip, though. Possibilities are ballet/dance classes, gymnastics/tumbling, music of some kind. I would love to be able to learn things with her, as in art classes where we could both benefit. Or music lessons together when she's older, or language lessons. Martial arts!

Also, starting to think about Easter crafts. Our nature table fizzled out in the past couple of months, with all the craziness of packing/decluttering. I feel like it's time to rebuild. I have a little snowdrop felting kit I could work on, and maybe we'll make some paper flowers soon. And knitted eggs!

Neat idea here:

An easy project with little ones is creating caterpillars with a pipe cleaner and wool.

I like to use green pipe cleaners – bend them in half and turn the sharp ends under. Curl the ends to make antennae, and to hold the wool on! Wrap small tufts of colored wool snugly around the length of the pipecleaner. Good wool will stay put when wrapped snugly. Keep the tufts tiny, or you will have big globs of wool trying to be wrapped around and it will not stay on. I just set out small wisps of colors for the children to choose from…they can put many layers on, but small ones. That is it! Easy and lovely.

Butterflies are equally simple. Cut a pipe cleaner in half – I also use a green pipe cleaner for this – fold it in half again and as before, bend in the sharp ends, and curl them a bit for antennae. Have fluffs of colored wool out around 4” long or so. Let the children gather some wisps of colors, insert them in between the folded pipe cleaner and wrap the pipe cleaner around the wool…ending up with the antennae ends at the top, and the colorful wooly wings spread open wide. Some children like to use the same colors for their caterpillar and butterfly…

Now use these caterpillar and butterfly puppets with the children to tell a spring story poem.

A Caterpillar crawled to the top of a tree.
‘I think I’ll take a nap’, said he.
So under a leaf he began to creep
To spin his cocoon and he fell asleep.

All winter long he slept in his bed,
Til spring came along one day and said,
‘Wake up, wake up little sleepyhead,
Wake up, it’s time to get out of bed’.

So he opened his eyes that sunshiny day.
Oh! He was a butterfly and flew away!

Dyeing Easter eggs with tissue paper

Spring Movement Verses:


Drip, Drop, Drip, Drop,
The rain falls on my head. (place hands on head)

Drip, Drop, Drip, Drop,
The rain falls on my knees. (place hands on knees)
Drip, Drop, Drip, Drop,
The rain falls on my toes. (touch toes)

Fall, fall, fall,
Fall all day. (fall down like drops)
The puddles are calling me (pretend to put boots on)
And I can't wait to play!! ("jump" into a puddle!)


The First Tulip
Open dear flower
Please, open.

I will sit and watch and wait (sit on floor with head in hands, looking at floor)

Will you open, dear tulip?
Please, open. (Begin to stand as if unfolding)

I see a bud!
I see a leaf!
I see a bloom (reach your hands to the sky in a V)!

Thank you, dear flower.
Thank you.

Great ideas for creating nice play spaces:

I feel like I have a lot to learn, and I find it exciting to be able to learn along with my kids.


valancystirling: (Default)

December 2010

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