Posts found under: blog Archives - Carealot

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




Water Play!

Young children find great pleasure in water play on warm days! At the Henrietta center, the teachers plan it for them at least once a week in the summer months! To encourage creative play, a variety of toys and materials are put into the water, including plastic animals, feathers, pouring/squirting toys, boats and sometimes pretend food!

Pouring the water back and forth in containers, watching it spill over the edge of the water table, making waves, and splashing the water around are all very fun and exciting activities!  Playing with water is also a perfect opportunity to experiment with the scientific properties of sinking and floating.

The children also enjoy washing their toys (especially the pretend food and dishes) in the water! This hardly seems like work when you can be wet!  The best benefit of outside water play is that the children stay cool in the warm summer sun!

Hen water 3      Hen Water 2      Hen Water


Carnival Fun!

The Greece toddlers enjoyed a week themed ‘Carnival Week’ over the summer!  A variety of new and different activities were offered.  These included taking funny pictures at the photo booth, playing games of toss the ball, and making homemade lemonade snow cones!  Great fun and many laughs were enjoyed by all!


Carnival Gr 2      Carnival Gr      Carnival Gr 3



Marble Painting!

In the toddler room at the Canandaigua center, marble painting is a favorite art experience!  Marbles and paint are put into a low plastic pan with a piece of paper on the bottom.  The children then practice their shaking as they all say “shake, shake, shake” together!  When the shaking is done, a unique design is left on the paper by their movements!

Marble painting requires the children to use their fine motor skills and demonstrates how they can use their creativity!  It is also great fun for the children to share their creations with each other!

Can Marble PT 4           Can marble Pt 2      Can Marble Pt



Outdoor Play!

All children thoroughly enjoy and benefit from outside play!  The Henrietta toddlers are no exception as outside play is one of their favorite activities! While outside, the toddlers are not only having fun, but working on their gross motor skills.  They are running, jumping, climbing, playing with balls, “mowing the lawn”, and pushing big trucks around.  Little legs and arms are in just about constant motion while they are outside!

The children enjoy challenging others to a race or to being ‘caught’! They also use many muscles on the climbers and see if they can touch the sky.  They may climb into a toy car and pretend to get some ice cream at the store for one of their teachers!  There are so many opportunities to use their imaginations in the great outdoors!

Digging, scooping, and pouring in the sandbox is another fun activity that engages hand-eye coordination and muscle control.  The sandbox is also a perfect place for children to practice sharing.  Shovels, pails and other sand implements are often passed back and forth.  Some children find the texture of sand to be very calming, so it can be a nice break of quiet play from running around!

Outdoor play at Care-a-lot is a wonderful place for toddlers to work on their motor skills, use their imaginations, enjoy the fresh air, and have fun!


2017-06-28 023 Hen BP      2017-06-28 001 Hen BP      2017-06-28 013 Hen BP



Summer Reading!

Reading is important any time of the year, but especially during summer when school is out of session for the older children!  After a busy morning of active games, cooking projects, outdoor challenges, water play, competitions and art projects, there is a time for the school-agers to engage in quiet activities, like reading, in the afternoon.

Sometimes the school-agers have an opportunity to read to the younger children.  This provides important role modeling and skill building for both ages!  It also promotes helping skills and builds center friendships between classrooms!

DSC01776 Read Gr SA      DSC01779 Summer Read Gr









Making Music!

Infants love music and making noise! At the Canandaigua center, our infants have lots of fun making their own music with a variety of materials. The babies play music on pots and pans with wooden spoons and also use shakers for some added rhythm.

As the music is playing, teachers talk about what is being heard, whether it is loud or soft, high or low in sound.  Conversation also includes where the sound is being heard…through our ears; and where our ears are located on our heads.

Trying out different rhythms and beats, the babies also enjoy dancing to their music! Music offers many benefits to young children; it supports developing creativity, memory, mathematics, language, emotional intelligence and much more!

BP Music Can 3      Can BP Music 2Can BP Music 4      Can BP Music