What a busy week! This is our last week for the term – where has the time gone?
This week we sadly say goodbye to Samaira and her family who are going to India for the remainder of the year – we will miss them. To say goodbye to the Mums, on Tuesday morning Upasana had a special Indian Tea Ceremony with absolutely delicious tea and goodies - the whole Kindergarten smelled absolutely wonderful. On the Friday Samaira wore her special festive costume for us to see. We are exploring other countries at the moment, and this gave us an opportunity to discuss that different countries have different national costumes. Our display of the children’s names in different languages is growing bigger too. We also celebrated Samaira’s Birthday in advance, and said goodbye to her - the children had made her a special card.
On Wednesday we had a visit from the Mobile farm – Farmer Sue brought a selection of farm animals for the children to see, touch and learn about. This is a wonderful hands on experience and encourages the children to be gentle, calm, and caring of the animals. The children fed the animals with grain, and also milk out of a bottle. The animals included a calf, goats, a lamb, a very noisy little piglet, a goose, ducks, hens, guinea pigs , rabbits, pet rats, and even a turtle. Each child was able to feed the animals.
After that Farmer Sue sat with the children and talked about and showed the children different sized eggs, ranging in size from a hen’s egg to a huge Emu’s egg. The children remembered about how chickens hatch out of eggs from our chickens hatching at Kindergarten, and were able to relate that knowledge to what they were talking about.
Farmer Sue then helped the children make butter by putting cream into a Butter Churn, then the children had turns to turn the handle, discovering the cream slowly turned into butter. The next day we used this butter to make Fairy Bread, which we then enjoyed eating. (Discovering where our food actually comes from!!) This farm experience gives us the opportunity to increase the children’s experiences and knowledge, it is also great fun!
What a great week – what will happen next week ?
Group A Educators – Margot, Ann and Lisa.
Our vegetable patch has been thriving with the slightly warmer weather and it became time for us to use some of the vegetables. We decided to cut the broccoli first as it was close to flowering. Some of the children tasted the broccoli straight from the garden and loved the stronger, fresher flavour. Together we decided that we could make muffins and fortunately Jessica already had a recipe. On Thursday we mashed the broccoli, grated the cheese, measured the ingredients and stirred them together to make the batter for broccoli and cheese muffins. When we tasted them fresh from the oven, the children were pleasantly surprised that they liked the taste. If any parent is wanting an easy recipe to get their children to eat broccoli with only a little bit of sugar (which you could probably substitute out for something else), see Jessica.
Both inside and outside, there has been a lot of construction happening. The children have been building towers inside using the blocks. The kinder rule is that it is not taller than their shoulder and this is observed by the children. It is fantastic to hear the stories that the children come up with about their towers and buildings and it is clear that a lot of thought goes into the process. Outside, the children will make cakes and other food in the sandpit. These often end up being high mountains of sand. As the sandpit is a small space and there are a limited amount of tools, the children must negotiate with each other. This is important for learning social skills to cooperate with others. It is great to hear the children using phrases which the educators and their parents have taught them.
Jessica, Karen and Fiona.
This week we cut the broccoli from our vegie patch because it was starting to flower. After some discussion with a few of the children, we decided to make broccoli and cheese muffins. On Tuesday we made the batter together; the children mashed the broccoli, measured out the ingredients and mixed them all together. The same day, Clem and her mother had baked cupcakes for kinder, so we ate those before the end of the session. The cupcakes were strawberry and decorated with delicious pink sugar hearts – these ones were a hit! Unfortunately, our broccoli and cheese muffins were not quite so popular when we ate them on Friday. It was still a lot of fun to cook with vegetables from our kitchen garden.
On Friday we had Heidi’s father stay for fruit duty. This was very special as he came dressed in his work uniform – he is a pilot! Each time a plane flies overhead while we are outside, the children run over to watch it so we knew they would be very interested in what he had to say. Michael had on his wings badge and, of course, brought his pilot hat with him. The children had many questions about where he had flown to and where he sits in the plane. Michael explained to the children about the dials and buttons he uses, along with the steering wheel, to fly the plane. He also read a story about planes to the children. Though it was a slightly longer mat time than usual, the children seemed enthralled! Michael very generously brought in some stickers from work and a pencil for each child. After he spoke, we played inside. The children embraced the flying theme and there were playdough planes created, toy planes flown around the room and even larger planes made out of blocks. The children were very excited to each have a turn wearing Michael’s pilot hat.
This week we have set up a general making table where the children can use scissors and glue to create their own artwork. This is quite popular with most of the children as it is closer to construction. This encourages the children’s creativity and allows them to explore art in a way which is of interest to them. Additionally, we have introduced rollers to the paint easels. Though the easels are a great spot for the children to practise their fine motor skills, they do get to use some larger arm movements with the rollers. As next term progresses, more implements will be provided for the children to experiment with.
Jessica, Karen and Fiona.
We began this week with our Father’s Day afternoon tea. There had been so much preparation for this day – making the invitations, the badge presents, the cards and baking the banana bread – that the children had been anticipating it for a couple of weeks. It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm with which the fathers were greeted by their children. We had special activities to do with the fathers set up around the room to encourage play together and all of the fathers seemed very happy to take part. We had a table in the middle of the room where the children could use green paint to put their handprints on a piece of paper to compare to their fathers. There was also a smoothie bar set up in the room which allowed the children and their fathers to mix banana, berries, milk and yoghurt together to make their own unique smoothie. This station was very popular with both the fathers and the children. Feedback on the banana bread was also very positive and it was eaten very quickly, though we had so much. The session finished with the children sitting with their fathers on the mat and signing some songs we had prepared for the afternoon. It was a wonderful afternoon and we thank all of the fathers who were able to attend!
This week we have had a dinosaur theme in the room. Many of the children show a particular interest in dinosaurs and it is amazing the amount of knowledge they have about dinosaurs. It is quite funny when Jessica reads a dinosaur book for the children, mispronounces a dinosaur species and is corrected by one of the children. To expand on the theme, we have a dinosaur table set up within the room which allows the children to play with some dinosaur figurines. This theme will be continued until the end of the term as the children are enjoying it so much.
Jessica, Karen and Fiona.