Summer Recap: Summer has come and gone and it has been so much fun! We were so busy learning all the different themes and activities we had. We sang/learned so many different songs and enjoyed all the sensory activities we had (water play, bubbles and different types of toys). The exploration of bubbles and water play is great addition in developing small motor skills and hand eye coordination. Learning and practicing these skills will improve baby’s hand-eye coordination and teach them cause and effect. In the first year, baby will also improve their manual dexterity as they gain more control and strength in her tiny fingers. These new skills are sure to make playtime even more fun! Now they will be able to manipulate toys by lifting, tossing and dropping. With their newly developed abilities, baby will learn how to feed themselves and even hold onto an object. Watch how they grow more independent and increasingly confident as they master their small motor skills. Enrichment for the month was based on sensory play. We enjoyed water play and popping bubbles! Water play was great to explore the splash pads outside to cool us down from this summer heat. Some of our friends loved running through it as some liked to look from afar. There were so many different things to do with water play! We also explored sugar free whip cream and got to touch and smooch them between our hands; some were even brave enough to taste it. This summer we learned different sea/ocean animals that lives in the ocean. We also enjoyed playing with the different soft animal (octopus, sea horse, fish, etc.). We sang “Slippery Fish” and “Baby Shark” as my teachers made the hand movements that went along with them. It was fun and silly at the same time. It was also so much fun to dance and move to the music. We sang “Old MacDonald” and “1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Ducklings” to learn about different animal’s sounds. We clapped our hands while my teacher was singing to us and danced around during circle time. The children really enjoyed the music and learned how to shake the musical instruments to the music. This is great motor skills development and learning how to manipulate and use their hands. We also enjoyed making different art using different things and made pigs and sheep. These were great activities to learn how to use the paint brushes and gluing items to a paper plate. We made little chicks using our hand and ducklings using our feet. We also really enjoyed learning about the different planets and enjoyed making our planets and aliens that may live in outer space. We talked about our planet Earth and what are on this planet and explored the other planets that are near and far. The children enjoyed being outside in the morning and exploring the grass and the wind blowing around them. They grabbed their feet, balls, plastic dices and toy cars as they explore all the different things outside. The children really loved being on the push car and balancing themselves as they are pushed around outside. Our Montessori lesson for the summer was playing with the classic Skwish toy. We used our motor skills to clutch the toy and manipulate them around. The children loved to try to smoosh it and watch it go up and down. They also enjoyed moving the beads from side to side and making it rattle. We had fun sitting during circle time with Ms. Lan. We read books and sang songs about who is here today. We learned how to clap our hands to make sounds and “talked” (babbled) along with our teachers and songs. It’s wonderful to see them engaged and sitting for a few minutes (short attention span) looking and pointing at the various of pictures in the book. Research dictates that we should let the child lead and encourage play with toys that they had the most interest in to lead the most focus. So pay attention to your child and learn about their interest! They hear and watch what you are saying and doing and they are much aware of their surroundings. What a great time to learn and grow with your child!
September Recap: This month we learned how to count our 10 fingers. We explored our body parts and attempted to point to each part of them. Learning body parts is a part of everyday life with babies and they are fascinated with who they are and the bodies they have. Creating an awareness of their bodies is also an important part of development. It is important to have them start and gain interest at an early age and practice with you at home. We also learned how to use our fine motor skills to turn pages in our books as we look through them. We are practicing our pincer grasp [using the thumb and index finger to hold small objects], to turn the pages as our fine motor skills are still developing. Encourage a love of books by letting your baby explore board books, and don’t be surprised if they want to chew on the corners. Our Montessori lessons entailed practical life. We have been having so much fun with the snack host (thank you for participating) and learning how to serve our friends. It has been fun cutting, scooping and passing out snacks to our friends. Our special project we did this month was measuring ourselves. We get to see how tall each and every one of us are and saw who was the tallest. It was also fun to see how we got to be measured from head to toe. Check the poster on the wall to see how we all measure up! Enrichment for this month was based on learning about ourselves. We enjoyed learning different songs about our body parts and did the movements (or tried to) with my teachers. We sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands” and “Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes.” These were great as we pointed to each the body parts we have. Many of the children know the different parts of their bodies so make sure to ask them!
October Recap: In October, we learned how to feed ourselves using spoons and forks! Finger-feeding is a great learning opportunity to learn and practice hand-eye coordination with very small objects. Learning to scoop cereal with a spoon, poke a green bean with a fork, and steer a loaded utensil to the mouth; are all great ways for your baby to practice perfecting their hand-eye coordination skills. Babies learn that feeling sticky, slimy, cold, and/or warm on their hands and face is okay. Self-feeding also helps babies develop the kinesthetic or proprioceptive sense. This is the sense that tells you where your body parts are in relation to each other and to the world around you. As they say, “Practice makes perfect” so it may take time and a mess but encouraging your child to feed themselves is developmentally age appropriate. We explored different types of gourds and different sized pumpkins! It was fun rolling and climbing onto the giant pumpkin that was in our classroom! Our teachers cut the pumpkin open and allowed the children to explore the insides of a pumpkin, while feeling all the ooey-gooey seeds and sliminess of a pumpkin! We tried eating it and enjoyed sharing it with our friends too! The children enjoyed using their large and fine motor skills exploring everything related to their five senses related to a pumpkin. Our Montessori lessons entailed opening and closing doors. We used our Montessori box to push the door back and forth. This is a great way for them to learn hand and arm strength as well as develop concentration skills. This work continues to be a popular toy among our classroom as they love to hear the door go back and forth. They are so proud of themselves knowing they can achieve the sound of opening and closing things. Our special project was painting our very own mini pumpkin! Our classroom had a chance to get messy while moving paint with their hands. Our classes art project was a great success! It allowed for the children to feel the sliminess of the paint and really squishing the paint into their hands and fingers. The enrichments were learning about our five senses! We got to smell flowers, taste different fruits and vegetables, explore our outdoor playground to hear birds and look for airplanes.
November Recap: Thank you for all the parents who signed up for parent/teacher conferences. It was great to touch base with everyone regarding what are the next milestones we are trying to reach but also see all the milestones we have already reached and mastered. In November, our curriculum involved learning about The Harvest and Healthy Bodies. We enjoyed singing different songs about our body parts (“Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It”). The children really enjoyed learning and pointing to their body parts (head, hands, nose, hair, etc.). Most of them have it mastered. For Art, we explored sand art with the letter’s “C” and “D.” We shuffled the sand back and forth and touched the sand with our hands. We tasted different fruits and vegetables and learned about the different colors they come in. We made apple prints using red and green paint and stamping them onto the paper. We talked about how thankful we are having our families. We made Turkey art for Thanksgiving and really enjoyed the Thanksgiving feast we had as a classroom.
December Recap: In December, we learned so much. December was all about seasons and the holidays. We learned about the different seasons (fall, winter, spring, and summer) and focused on the winter. We enjoyed playing with fake snow and learning about the color white. We discussed how cold winter can get throughout the United States and what everyone wears when it is cold outside. We had the children touch ice to get the feeling of snow and how cold it can be. We also did ice painting with the color white and made snowflakes to decorate our classroom. We created a winter wonderland. For our sign language curriculum, we learned the word for cold. We practice the sign for “cold” by forming both hands into the letter “s.” Hold both hands in front of you and shake them as if shivering from the cold. We tried doing this and pretended we were cold. We also talked about when it gets cold, we wear our jackets and use blankets to keep our bodies warm. We also enjoyed doing art. The children created snowmen, Christmas trees, and holiday décor. The children also explored ice during ice-painting artwork. We enjoyed using different types of art mediums from paint brushes, ice cubes, pails and our hands and feet to make ‘small’ works of art. By using these different mediums, the children have opportunities to explore all their senses and practice their fine motor skills.
January Recap: January we learned about snow and ice. We got to touch the ice and felt how cold it was. Playing with ice is a great tactile experience for them. Our classroom was able to feel the ice in their hands as the ice slipped away right before their eyes. Each child was fascinated and looked up in awe. But also, playing with ice gives them a chance to exercise those hand eye coordination and fine motors skills as they try and handle the ice. We also learned how to wash our hands using the classroom sink. This is a great time to introduce hand washing before and after lunches, snacks and diaper changes. It will get them use to everyday routines and creating a self-awareness for personal hygiene. Also, it will help the spread of germs around the classroom as well as the home. We learned a new song, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Turn Around” and tried doing the movement along the song. Some of us can turn around with help and others thought it was super silly. We also got a chance to play with the stacking rings and take them in and out of the stands. We saw the different colors they had and tried to repeat the words as we stacked them together. For art this month, we made animals that reside in the cold weather. We made penguins and polar bears using our hands and footprints. We did smash painting and made a narwhal who lives in the cold ocean.
February Recap: February was all about Cultural Awareness and Friendship. We started the month learning our friend’s names and pointing to them as we say their names. We did many projects that were related to friendships and the different cultures we have. We made heart prints using our feet and painted our own hearts using paint brushes. We talked about the Asian cultures and how they celebrated the Lunar New Year and all the different things they do during this festive time. We also learned how the color red during Lunar New Year means ‘good luck’ and ‘wealth’ in their Asian cultures.
February enrichments were filled with art and using crayons to ‘draw’ their very own pictures. We have been practicing using our pincher grips and changing the crayons between our hands. We used the stamp pads to make hearts prints and used the different colors we had. We learned about the color, purple, pink, red and white. We sang “Happy and You Know It,” “It’s A Small World,” “Bingo,” and “The Whole World.” We used our hands and body to move the bodies to the music.
March News: March is all about Rainforest and South Africa. We will be learning about the different animals that live in the rainforest and the continent of South Africa. We will be doing artwork and making animals prints and pictures. We are looking forward to the changing season and warmer weather as we head into Spring!