Snail’s Pace Race on the Patio

This past month our friends played a life-size version of the children’s board game, Snail’s Pace Race on the Patio with Ms. Kristen.

Why are “games” and “play” such a vital part of early childhood education? Nothing answers that question better than seeing the range of skills being developed in such fun and practical ways as this.

While we play we are developing social emotional skills–engaging in cooperative play, delegating roles, taking turns, regulating our own emotions, developing self-confidence and laying the groundwork for character development and sportsmanship. This fun and engaging game also increases our attention span as we pay attention to each role of the color cube. One-to-one correspondence is one of the most challenging early math foundations and this is a way to reinforce the concept visually and pragmatically.

Trader Joe’s on the Patio

Older Pod has been enjoying a Trader Joe’s dramatic play area on The Patio with Ms. Kristen!

As we play, we learn to share space, take turns with materials, delegate roles, and collaborate with our peers. Dramatic play is vital in the development of creativity through the use of imagination. Most evidently, this particular dramatic play is helping us develop communication skills and teamwork. We are also gaining knowledge of the world around us— learning fruits and vegetables, increasing phonological awareness through print, practicing exchanging money for goods, assigning numerical values to things, and counting.

Check out our friends hard at work!

THANK YOU to the many families who contributed recycled goods and THANK YOU to our favorite local grocery store—Trader Joe’s!

The Curiosity Approach: Valentine’s Week on the Patio

The curiosity approach is an early childhood teaching method that aims to ignite a child’s natural curiosity and imagination. As adults and teachers we sometimes are too quick to model how we want materials used, find ourselves leading play by making suggestions and guiding children through activities we have prepared for them. It is important to take a step back and remember just how capable children are to think for themselves, make their own choices and direct their own learning. We want to equip children with the confidence to make good choices and explore the world around them in safe and enriching ways.

Room 1 was the first to arrive at this Valentine inspired activity. With interests peaked, our older 4 year olds began picking up the materials at this table. They were wide-eyed and curiously asked, “What do we do here?” and “What do we do with this?” With no adult direction, they started picking apart the flower petals, cutting the stems–dissecting the flowers! What better way to learn the parts of a flower than to be given the freedom to do what every child instinctually wants to do–take it apart to explore it! Of course with an activity like this comes the discussion of caring for nature so things can continue to grow. But in this moment and with these roses that have already been plucked from the ground, we are the ones growing–growing in our knowledge of the world around us, growing in life science, and growing in personal discovery.

Check out the way our little ones used the petals to color the water, make observations with magnifying glasses, and discuss their step-by-step process with friends.

A very special THANK YOU to David’s mommy for donating these roses to The Patio for us to explore all week long! We LOVED them!

A Beary Lovely Tea Party

Our friends have been enjoying a Beary Lovely Tea Party on the older pod patio. We are getting the most out of our playtime by using our imagination, practicing important social-emotional skills and developing language.

How unbearably sweet to see our friends care for their teddy bears in such loving ways.

“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14

Thank You

We did it! Thank you to our FIFTEEN generous donors we were able to raise $1,275 to purchase a beautiful, long-lasting, outdoor sensory table from Community Playthings. Our older pod friends are currently enjoying their new table along with some festive-fall pumpkin exploration.

A very special THANK YOU to—

The Archer Family

The Boyce Family

The Clark Family

The Ebrahimi Family

The Ferrera Family

The Hernandez Family

The Sugranes Family

The Kiprotcih Family

The Lee Family

The MacLeod Family

The Ortiz Family

The Poehler Family

The Stryker Family

The Yuen Family

The Yun Family

Collaborative Collages on the Patio

Collaborative work is so important for healthy development. When we collaborate we— practice being flexible, learn to share space and materials, reduce environmental waste and build community with our peers! On the patio, we worked together to create some fall nature collages. Stop by the patio to check out our beautiful collaborative creations!

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body…” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13