Bird Feeding!

Making bird feeders doesn’t only meet the needs of birds!  This type of hands-on, environmental, fine motor, and social project meets many of the needs of developing children!

After talking about birds and what they like to eat, the Henrietta preschoolers each created their own feeder to support the birds they see outside their classroom windows.  The teachers poked holes in the top of a paper cup and tied a piece of string to it.  The children then spread soynut butter all over the outside of the cup. And then came the best part… rolling the soynut-covered cup in bird seed.  The children were excited to see how the seed stuck to the cup!

Proud of their successful creations, the preschoolers took their feeders outside to hang. They now enjoy watching the birds eat the special treat they created!  While children are young, we have a perfect opportunity to instill a lifelong interest in nature with them.  They will be responsible for protecting our natural world in the years to come!

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Pumpkin Painting!

The Greece toddlers were each given a small pumpkin to observe, hold, and experience.  The class talked about the shape, color, and feel of the pumpkins. The teacher then talked about how pumpkins can be decorated and used as pieces of art.

Paints were opened on the table and made available for the toddlers to create their own artwork on the pumpkins.  Experimenting with color mixing was popular! The children used their imaginations to express themselves and make their own unique and colorful creations.

Promoting children’s creativity requires that no defined expectations be shared in terms of what the art and final product should look like.  Creative play is about the process of creating!  And besides a sensory, creativity, and art experience, this opportunity also provided the use of practicing fine muscles in moving and holding the pumpkin and the paint brush.

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Seeds of Learning!

The toddlers in Farmington had great fun exploring pumpkins this fall!  They particularly enjoyed investigating the insides of the pumpkins.  The teachers helped them scoop all the seeds and other innards out of the pumpkins and into the sensory bin so that they were better able to see and feel the contents.  Not only did they engage their senses of sight and touch, but also smell as the freshly cut pumpkin let off a sweet, vegetal odor that many of the children noticed.

This activity provided a multitude of learning opportunities for the children!  As they examined the pumpkins and the contents of the sensory bin, the teachers strengthened the toddlers’ increasing vocabularies with words such as bumpy, smooth, stingy, smelly, slimy, slippery, etc. In addition, they worked on social skills as they cooperated and shared in this group activity.

Of course they also experienced many opportunities to learn and explore through multi-sensory play, which has many cognitive benefits and allows them to better make observations and learn through their senses in the future.  The teachers also briefly introduced the pumpkin life cycle to the children as they got first-hand experience with seeds.  Just the beginning of sowing many seeds of learning during their early years!

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25 Year Anniversary!

The Henrietta center celebrated Care-a-lot’s 25th Anniversary in a sea of blue shirts.  The children were so excited to be wearing the same shirt as their friends….and their teachers! Thanks to all the many families who have shared their children with us during the past quarter century! We look forward to offering our quality care in the community for at least another 25 years!

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Clifford’s Visit!

During the Greece center Open House, Clifford the Big Red Dog made a special visit and spent time with some of his fans!  The book fair was most popular and sales were swift as families sought gifts for the upcoming holiday season.  Parents also had an opportunity to review classroom curriculum with parents and discuss the classroom program.  An ice-cream social then topped off the fun and informative evening at Care-a-lot!

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Apple Volcanoes!

During their apple-themed week, the Henrietta preschoolers created apple volcanoes!  Each child was given a job to involve them in the science experiment.

First, the children were given an apple to observe and talk about.  Parts of the apple were identified and discussed together.  Then the teachers cut a hole in each of the apples so the children could see the flesh and the core.  After the hole was created, the children themselves added baking soda and white vinegar.  When the vinegar was added, the “lava” started to foam out of the apple!

The children were so amazed at the reaction, as you can see from their faces!  In early childhood it is important that science activities be hands-on and active. Developmentally, young children learn and understand best from what they can see, touch, feel, and manipulate.  By engaging their interest and excitement, we hope to promote a life-long interest in learning!

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3-D Creations!

Art has numerous benefits and attributes for children to explore! Art activities provide children with an opportunity to create individually, learn material properties, and unleash their inner imagination and expression!  In the Greece school-age classroom, many different sizes of paper strips, glue, scissors, and construction paper were made available for the children to use.  The objective was to create their own 3D sculptures using the materials provided.

With no other instruction given, the children bounced ideas off each other and began experimenting with different paper folds, twists, and moves. Their imaginations were engaged and they got to work!

An activity like this also promotes language and communication skills as shared conversations address ways the paper could be shaped, held and moved.  The effort also provided opportunities for compromising skills and patience when materials needed to be shared.  Great works of art were the result!

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