Snowman Creations!

The Henrietta toddlers used their large muscles and team building while playing in the snow!  Together, they built a snowman and practiced their gross motor skills.  Starting with a small snowball, they rolled and pushed to gather more snow and grow the size of the ball.  There were many little hands needed to push the ball as it grew big and heavy!

Once the larger base, medium size middle snow ball, and smaller head were placed on the snowman, the children could see and experience the size difference of the snowman’s body parts. The children then enjoyed decorating the snowman with a piece of melon for the nose, olives for the buttons, and sticks for the arms!  There was great pride and joy at their creation!  The toddlers are also hoping that the snow will keep falling so that some snow friends can be made for the snowman!

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Practicing Safety!

Having great fun in the process, our Greece toddlers learned important information and skills to use for fire safety.  They listened to fire fighter stories, played with toy fire trucks, and practiced some fire safety tips.

Learning to crawl down low to avoid smoke if they saw or smelled a fire, the teacher had the children practice by crawling under a table.  This activity was most popular as the children lined up over and over again to stay low and crawl under the table!  Fun and hands-on learning is best to support children’s recall and engage their brains.  Even better when it is a whole body experience!



Toddler Dining!

The Farmington / Canandaigua toddlers have especially enjoyed pretend play!  Their teachers have offered some assistance in setting up the dramatic play area, but the children take over for their daily dinner parties!  This type of play, where the children pretend to be someone else and dramatize situations, is an integral part of developmental learning.  Among other benefits, it promotes social, cognitive, and linguistic skills.

Dramatic play promotes the development of social skills through interaction with others.  This group of toddlers has been consistently hosting their dinner parties; they like to assume the same role, as if practicing the skills needed for that particular role.  This builds a comfort level of skill before negotiating new roles.  Cooperative play helps children learn to control their impulses, develop empathy, and decreases aggression.

Dramatic play also promotes cognitive skill development.  In order to pretend play, children have to recreate past experiences in their mind, which is a form of abstract thinking.  They also have to problem-solve how to express their ideas and find ways to communicate them to their playmates.

Communication ties right in with language development, which is enhanced through dramatic play.  In order for everyone to play cooperatively in dramatic roles, the toddlers have to engage their speaking and listening skills.  They practice using words they hear their teachers and parents use around the table and listen to each other in order to be able to respond “in character!”

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Dress-Up Skills!

Preschoolers love dramatic play!  The Henrietta 3 year olds find dress-up to be one of their favorite activities!  By putting on different clothing, costumes and accessories, the children use not only their fine motor skills to button, zip and dress themselves, they also use their imaginations to try-on a variety of roles and characters every day.

Besides being fun, pretending and dress-up play develops skills that can be used throughout children’s lives. If being in a restaurant is the imagined setting, there is talk about ordering food and drink, preparing food, and caring for customers.  Plenty of language is experimented with and used in new and varied imaginary settings!

And children learn from each other as new words and ideas are shared.  Taking turns, using cooperation, and practicing socialization are all skills used when interacting with peers in dramatic play.  Creative thinking grows with use and leads to more imaginative problem-solving over time.  So, Care-a-lot keeps the costumes, props and dress-up items available at all times!


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