Kitchen Play!

The Henrietta toddlers have a special fondness for working in the dramatic play area with kitchen toys and pretend food every day!  Kitchen play supports children in many developmental areas, including fine motor, socialization, and imagination skills.  Working with various utensils promotes fine motor skills, eye / hand coordination, and the identification of kitchen tools.

Kitchen play also helps children to socialize and to use their imaginations.  Interacting with each other, the toddlers create a variety of settings that require them to practice relationships and social situations. They learn how to work with each other and practice sharing during their many “meals.”

Observing the children pretending to cook with the oven is such fun as they imitate what they have seen adults do in the kitchen.  Kitchen play offers a host of learning opportunities for young children!

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Finger Paint Fun!

Research has shown that art activities offered to young children are important for brain development!  One of these is sensory play, such as finger painting, where children learn through their senses.  The Greece toddlers enjoy great fun and numerous learning opportunities with this activity!

Messy play like finger painting is important to every child’s development. It helps the body and brain integrate information, such as that needed for later spatial concepts, math and language.  Finger painting is also a most relaxing and creative way to express feelings.

Here are some of the benefits of finger painting play:

  •    Learning how colors work, especially mixing primary colors
  •    Supporting sensory integration
  •    Improving fine motor development by strengthening finger and hand muscles
  •    Learning about color, shape and spatial relationships
  •    Using hearing, touching, and smelling senses
  •    Focusing on process not finished product
  •    Expressing feelings without words
  •    Promoting social skills: sharing paint pots, taking turns, working together
  •    Stimulating creativity and imagination
  •    Developing communication and language skills


Finger painting is an exploratory activity that has many physical, creative and social benefits for children!

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Pond Creations!

The 3 year olds in the Grasshopper classroom at the Farmington / Canandaigua center spent time learning about ponds and all that exists within and around them!  Together, the class talked about what makes up a pond and created a list of all the plants and animals that they could think of that live on or in a pond.

After preparing the list, each child had an opportunity to build their own pond! Using a sorting tray, the children gathered and separated the elements of the pond that had been listed. Included in the sorting tray were sand, toy ducks and fish, assorted colored frogs and insects, rocks, grass, blue playdoh, and playdoh trays. The children then had fun using their imagination to create a pond with the items they chose.  Each time a new material was added, the ponds were transformed!

All of the ponds were different and unique to each child.  Hands-on and child-choice creations assist young children in learning engagement and information retention for future use!

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Eating a Whole Plant!

Spring brought endless possibilities for engaging units in our Henrietta Kindergarten classroom!  Frog and butterfly life cycles, as well as plants and flowers, were an absolute must!  New life observed in the springtime offers much to exerpience and investigate!

During our plant unit, we discussed the various foods that come from plants.  Students were quick and eager to list a variety of fruits and vegetables; however the class took it a step further.  After questioning the class about where such things as potatoes, carrots and broccoli come from and getting the blanket “plants” response, the teacher proposed a challenge:  Let’s see if we can eat an entire plant!  The students were excited and up for the challenge!

We spent time separating our first list into several different lists, identifying each plant as a possible plant part to our wholly edible plant!  It quickly became evident that the challenge was indeed achievable; however, who wants to talk about food without actually eating it?  Our “I Can Eat a Whole Plant” activity was very much student-driven in the sense that they played around with the various foods and found that each was in fact a part of a plant.  Making these connections from what we learn in school to what to what we eat on our plates brought this unit full-circle and full of life!

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