Stone Soup!

The Canandaigua / Farmington center preschoolers did a week long series of lessons related to the story Stone Soup.  This is an old folktale that has been retold many times.  The version we read was written by Jon Muth.  With the weather changes (brrrr!!!), what better book to read than one about soup!    

Inline image 1

 If you are not familiar with this story, it is about much more than just making soup, including caring, sharing and being friends  with one another in order to make things much better (and tastier!) The climax of  the week-long Stone Soup study was a  cooking project in which the preschoolers all added a little bit of  this and a little bit of that.  Everyone contributed a few  vegetables from home and together they created a delicious soup.  

 Many of the children who are ordinarily reluctant to try vegetables ate multiple servings of the soup!  The  teacher, Ms. Erica,  had placed three well washed stones in the pot but took care to keep them from ending up in anyone’s bowl.  Some of the  children wondered why there were not more stones in the bottom of their bowls!


050 (2) Can Soup Feb       064       040



Ball Play!

Balls are ideal objects to encourage children to use their large muscles and enhance their physical skills!  Our toddlers enjoy kicking, pushing, and throwing balls back and forth in the large motor room.  Others just have fun running around while holding a ball.  This activity is also accompanied by plenty of delightful squeals and laughter!

At this age, ball play helps children develop a variety of skills:  grasping, eye-hand coordination, finger muscles and the ability to move objects from one place to another.  Toddlers also begin to learn social skills by practicing to take turns with their classmates.

Ball play is a wonderful way for children to enjoy fun and have a beneficial learning experience!

DSC01888 Gr Jan 13 balls      DSC01889 Gr Balls jan 13       DSC01894 Gr Balls


Natural Learning!

Outside exploration and experiences are a daily adventure, unless considerable temperatures or precipitation prevail.  There are so many educational opportunities to take advantage of by engaging the children with nature! As the picture shows, toddlers learning is enhanced through exploring things in their environment. Our teachers encourage them to investigate and explore the natural objects they find while playing on the playground.

Exploring the natural world allows great opportunities in language and literacy development. By providing real objects for the children to manipulate, we help associate words with the concrete objects they represent. This is the best way to introduce new words to children and for new words to be incorporated into their vocabulary.

Of course, outdoor play and nature exploration also introduces children to the foundations of biology. Our teachers take advantage of these opportunities and describe the features of the earth in which the children show interested. They also allow the children to bring things (like the leaves pictured) into the classroom for further study and exploration.

Through activities such as these, we endeavor to create a path for lifelong learning. Learning through nature can provide children with hands-on experiences, which leads to greater understanding and opportunities for growth!

033 (2) BP Can Tod     008 (2) Can Feat


Celebrated Learning!

Celebrating holidays at Care-a-lot is another theme for learning!   We feel it’s important to discuss the various holiday traditions practiced by our children and by different cultures.  We invite family members to come in and share their family traditions.  The teachers plan various art projects and activities that cover different cultures and decorate their classrooms and bulletin boards with the many holiday projects created by the children.

The Kindergartners made potato latkes for a special treat and made red, black and green mkekas place mats that are used during the Kwanzaa celebration.  This activity also provided the Kinders with a lesson in weaving.

Our toddlers played with dreidels and glued 9 candles on a menorah as a counting lesson.  They enjoyed the story of “The Night Before Christmas” and learned the different names for Santa Claus that are used throughout the world.

Our UPK class made menorahs with their handprints and decorated their bulletin board with a beautiful Christmas tree!  Santa visited Care-a-lot and gave each child a new book to enjoy!  Happy New Year from the families and staff at Care-a-lot!


2015-12-10 05.59.48 (1) Hen tree      2015-12-10 06.05.08 Hen Hanuk      2015-12-16 02.21.13 Hen Feat