Sending letters to other people is a powerful way to connect emotionally and socially - and a great literacy opportunity. The role play of stamping and mailing is fun too!
We will be sending letters to our grandparents soon so we brought out the stamps and envelopes and the post office box, and the children needed no invitation at all….
It’s essentially a social activity, to write a letter to someone -
- and special to give and receive something!
We received some butterfly pupae in the mail recently.
We wondered if they would come out – we watched them a lot. And they did!
After one day inside we let them go in the garden. We watched them visit some flowers then fly away.
One stayed in its chrysalis and very obligingly waited until the mums’ night to come out – so the mums could see what we were so excited about!
This was the perfect time to look at symmetry and do some blob and fold painting….
We are a lot more knowledgeable now about butterflies!
It’s autumn in the Mallee and that means cropping and gardening after the heat of summer. We have reintroduced worms to the worm farm and studied and drawn them, moved like them, read about them, finger painted them, and now are feeding and looking after them.
We planted some bulbs last week – and yesterday Hamish brought some seeds in that Maddie had germinated – which set us thinking that we could do that too. (Such a great gift, to have a strong interest in something emerge within the group, so the children can do the program planning for us… )
The farming children said they could bring some seeds of wheat or other plants in – and Sandy brought 5 different sorts!Wheat, barley, lupins, chick peas and canola. So we did an experiment – planting them into cotton wool so that we will be able to observe their growth and change.
We did some for the group and then each child chose what seeds they wanted to plant – canola was popular – it’s so tiny and looks different to all the others. Hard to believe that we can get oil for cooking and margarine from those tiny dots of seeds.
Now we will look after them and watch them grow.
We are watering our bulbs outside but not too much – last year’s group has taught us not to over-water (the bulbs will rot!)
We are also learning a song (to the tune of I’m a little teapot):
Children crouch down while they sing this until the end….
I’m a little seed buried in the ground
Waiting for the sun all warm and round.
A little drop of rain gives me water to drink
And up I sprout – quick as a wink! (clap 3 times on Quick as a wink).
Playdough is a bit tired at present – limited by the very features that make it so accessible – being easy to manipulate makes it soft and saggy, colors don’t stay separate, tiny pieces don’t keep their shape. So it was time to bring out something different – plasticene is more challenging, you have to work it for the pieces to really stay joined up, but the colors and the strength are appealing. There’s a reason to make those fingers work hard at pinching and moulding.
To start with some of the children were intrigued by mixing the colors, but Milly got stuck into creating her nests, eggs and the mumma bird guarding the babies against the magpies that prey on baby birds.
Birds are always a popular topic and so are snails….
The best thing might be that the children get to keep their creations - they don’t crumble with age as playdough does.
On Monday, Boden’s Grandma, Mrs Hastings, came to tell us about Anzac Day.
She showed us where Vietnam is on the map of the world and she brought Boden’s Poppa’s uniform and medals and some photos of Vietnam. Afterwards, everyone who wanted to was able to try on the uniform.
On Tuesday we made anzac biscuits because they are the special biscuits that the people at home made and sent over to the soldiers for a treat. We all helped to make them.
They were a hit!
We know some of the children will be going to Anzac Day ceremonies – maybe they will be able to tell us what happens on Anzac Day?
On our walk to the Mobile Library next week, we will go to the Vietnam Memorial to see Boden’s Poppa’s name, and to remember all the people who left Ouyen to go to the war.
At the end of last term, there was the beginning of some interest in doing shows on the stage so we added some dressups and brought the instruments and chairs up.
There was a lot of planning but it was hard to work out a show.
Then Alissa took charge and improvised a story that melded 2 favourites – Little Red Riding Hood and the 3 Little Pigs. It was Little Red, Little Blue and Little Purple Riding Hoods and how they were picking flowers -red ones, blue ones and purple ones when the wolf came along.
So they needed a wolf – and Ollie said he would do it. We asked him to give us a taste of his roar – and it was amazing – we nearly fell over – it was so loud! (and funny!)
There were tickets sold – so we needed to know the time and how much it would cost – there were musicians to help play for it, there was a great storytelling activity with children taking the parts and acting it out – and lots of social involvement. A very successful show – and the tickets were free!
This year, Easter falls right at the start of our holidays so the children are a bit more aware of it this year than they have been some years. And our interest in chicks and eggs and nests and feathers is quite strong still, so the traditional symbols of eggs at least seem a bit more relevant this year. We set up an Easter play space – the fur fabric we used as the base was a sensory magnet for many children.
And we had the usual Easter egg hunt outside…. but Easter egg hunts are not usual for a group of four year olds!
A focus on collecting and then sharing meant that there were no worries about how many eggs each child had found. Inside we counted them out into groups of 12 (how many children we had at kinder that day) and there were exactly 4 groups – the children very easily worked out that that meant they would each get 4 eggs! (don’t you love division with food – such a great learning opportunity).
Outside, Eli started a game where he made an egg, clipped it to a peg, and then threw it to see how far it would go. He soon had some other children creating their own egg missiles…
Drawing, coloring in and cutting, pegging, throwing and chasing…comparing distances – so much learning in an activity that one child thought of for themselves….
And this is only a snippet of what happened on our last day of term!
Happy Easter and have a good break everyone!
It all started with a few of the children pretending to be fire fighters one day..and the next…and the next… and after lots of play and learning about fire safety at kinder, we have had our long awaited trip to the Fire Station.
We thought of some questions to ask – but that’s hard when we don’t know what we don’t know!
We couldn’t imagine what it would be like to stand up on the truck …
or to try on the gear…..
or to squirt the big hose…
and now we do.
The Fire Brigade captain,Trevor, took time off his job to help us, showing us around and telling us all about it. We’ve written him a letter to say thankyou. We learnt a lot!
Boden’s mum brought his chickens back to kinder today for a progress report.
We noticed many differences between how they were 2 weeks ago and now – bigger! less fluffy – new feathers – new colors – much scratchier feet – louder cheeps. They’re starting to look much more like chooks.
Megan told us that they are starting to eat cracked wheat, not just the chicken crumbs they have been eating which is a bit like baby food for chickens.
Bailey looked underneath to see if they were a girl or a boy – but it’s not so easy with chickens!
Thanks for bringing them in again, Megan – this second visit has given us an insight into how chickens gradually change into chooks (hens for people who may not have heard of a chook).