Lumbering for Letters!

Our preschool friends in Canandaigua love to be active, so we find creative ways to get them moving.  In the activity, “Lumbering for Letters,” our friends would lumber like a bear to find “food,” which was a letter, to bring back to the cave. During this movement center, the preschool children are practicing skills which include; letter identification, taking turns, maintaining their balance, as well as coordination skills. So many skills can be practiced with one simple activity!


Toddler Food Art!

Art is always a favorite of our toddler friends at the Henrietta Center!  Since we do art every day we like to be creative and keep it interesting.  When our theme was Healthy Food, why not paint with fruit and vegetables instead of brushes?  We used broccoli with green paint, carrots with orange paint, apples with red paint, grapes with purple paint and bananas with yellow paint.  The children were very interested in the different prints the veggies and fruit left on their paper and thought it was really funny that we were using food to paint!  When we were done the children got a chance to taste the foods we painted with (the unused pieces, of course)!  The children loved talking about their pictures hanging on the wall for the rest of the week!


Future Olympians!

The infants at the Canandaigua Center love practicing their balancing skills! They will climb on the mats and stand on different materials to practice balancing. One of the infants’ favorite activities is creating a wide balance beam out of giant wooden blocks. They will step up on the blocks and practice walking across them with the support of a teacher, if needed. By the time they have walked all the way across the blocks, they have a big smile on their face! Doing this activity helps to build the child’s self-esteem, supports hand/eye movements, and gives them the opportunity to practice balance/coordination skills.


Snack Helpers!

Miss Gina, our Kitchen Manager at the Henrietta Center, occasionally chooses a child or two to help pass out the afternoon snack!  The children love helping and get very excited if they are chosen to be the helper!  They even get to wear an apron!

The children learn so much while doing this activity!  Miss Gina discusses what the snack is, what’s it’s made of, and if it is cooked or fresh.  If the snack is a fruit or vegetable, they discuss how it grows.  As they pass out the snack, they practice counting by giving the right amount to each classroom.   One of the best parts of helping is pushing the cart!  Miss Gina gives them directions to familiarize them with the concepts of “right” and “left.”  Delivering the snack throughout the Center enables the children to socialize with the teachers and students in the other classrooms.  It is helpful for children to explore other parts of the Center so when they “move up” to the next classroom they are familiar with the room and the teachers in that room.


Going on a Bear Hunt!

The song “Going on a Bear Hunt” is a hit in one of the toddler rooms in Greece.  After paying attention to what the teacher was doing, the toddlers were quick to catch on in doing the movements and singing the song.  Listening and following directions are acquired skills.  Sing-a-log songs are fun and children love to sing them over and over.  Since children learn through repetitions, sing-a-longs are perfect to master listening skills.  As they learn to follow directions, children move to the music using various muscles.  This is important for their muscle development and large motor coordination.


Playing Uno!

The Greece preschool children enjoy playing Uno with their teacher.  It is during this time that they engage in conversations; they discuss the rules of the game, settle disputes, talk about colors, and focus on counting.  Children are very competitive in the preschool room and like to see their teacher draw two or more cards from the middle stack!  This activity promotes language, math, social skills, and strategic skills.  When children are engaged in conversations, they are socializing and solving problems.  These are life skills that children need to master to be successful.  This is an activity the children look forward to.


Ball Pit Fun!

The Canandaigua infants love playing in the ball pit. They will dive in and have fun. They love to swim and crawl through the balls. They even have fun tossing the balls around. Ball pits provide children with a number of opportunities to foster learning. Playing in a ball pit allows the children to strengthen their muscles. Throwing and rolling the balls supports their fine motor development. Ball pits are also a great activity for sensory play. As the infants move through the balls, it provides them with an experience that feels calming. The ball pit also offers the children with opportunities for social interaction. Ball pit play promotes development and fun learning experiences!


Summer surprise!

Every August Miss Shannon, our Director, plans an end of the summer surprise. This year she rented a bounce house with a slide! The children are amazed when they see the large, colorful bounce house come to life on the playground (they also like watching it deflate)! We’re so happy we have a large grassy area that can accommodate it. Children of all ages, even the older infants (with the help of their teachers) enjoy playing in the bounce house. Climbing and jumping are excellent gross motor activities. The children think it’s so funny to see the teachers jumping along with them. You may even find some of our staff members bouncing on their lunch break – it relieves stress and it’s great exercise!



Infant Painting!

Our infants in the Greece program show how exploring paint can engage their interest and stimulate learning!  Their teachers cut pieces of construction paper and drop dabs of pain on them inside of zip-lock bags.  This provides the babies a safe way to explore and manipulate the paint.

The children squeezed, squished and swished their bags of paint with their fingers as the teachers verbally describe their actions and the effect on the paint!  The crinkly sound of the bag, the slippery feel of the paint in the bag, and the visual experience of watching the paint move provides new hands-on discoveries for young minds!

Blog Post Oct 4 17 Greece_2


Under the Sea!

While learning about what lives under the sea, the Canandaigua preschoolers talked about  fish, whales, starfish, mermaids, and scuba divers. There are a lot of living creatures in the ocean!  On the last day of ocean week, the teachers helped to dress up the children who were interested as mermaids and scuba divers!

The children practiced ‘swimming’ with a ‘fin’ and some even tried walking with it! The scuba divers practiced ‘breathing under water’.  They tried on goggles and used scuba gear to breathe!  Pretend play is great fun and important for children to expand their thinking!

Can Sea 1a    Can Sea 2     Can Sea 3