It’s just your luck…

 St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and the PADDY has started here at the House!

Sorry, no SHAM here, the Irish puns ROCK! Just Dublin the fun this week…

Let’s see what the wee ones got up to!

It was all sensory play in the Toddler district. Both Toddler classrooms worked those fine-motor skills when diving into the sensory bins.

Five Key Benefits of Sensory Play:

  1. Builds nerve connections within the developing brain’s neural pathways, which trigger a child’s inclination for and ability in competing more complex learning tasks.
  2. Supports language development, cognitive growth, motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction.
  3. Aids in developing and enhancing memory functioning.
  4. Is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child
  5. Helps children learn vitally important sensory attributes (hot, cold, sticky, dry, etc.).

The youngest of the House also explored loose parts when collecting different sized lids from recycled items – stack, fill, dump, repeat. A major highlight and excitement for Toddler’s is the process of filling something up, and then dumping that something out. They are not just making a mess, they are learning all about size, volume, incline, force, gravity, and cause and effect. So what may look like “making a mess,” is actually a long term project of figuring out the relationship between a container and the objects that fit inside.

 

They continued to work the fine-motor skills when manipulating the toddler-proof scissors when cutting through the slime, and using a pizza slicer to divide the playdough into pieces. Look at those little hands work!

The hard work continued in the Toddler Two classroom, as they too used proper form when rolling and cutting the playdough.

And focusing hard with their hand-eye coordination when threading green pasta dyed with care by Ms. B.

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They kept those little hands busy while creating some St. Paddy’s Day inspired art.

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The Toddler Two’s added the gold to the pot, but Preschool and Senior Preschool added what they would do with that pot of gold…

The Preschool classroom put their pot of gold together, to welcome a new friend to the classroom! Chartwell Families meet….Timbit. Timbit, Chartwell Families.

Timbit is a Betta fish coming all the way from PetSmart. Our Preschool friends have a big responsibility with Timbit, helping keep his home clean, and his little Betta belly full.

Now back to our regular scheduled programming…

Preschool kept the thread game going when weaving in and out of the holes around the four leaf clover.

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The St. Paddy’s Day creative continues…

So does the sensory play, beneficial for all ages!

Including the Seniors of the House.

And the art…

The Senior classroom worked on their number recognition, fine motor and matching skills all at the same time when using the tongs to carefully place the right amount of jewels on to the clover.

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Together the Seniors made green playdough, helping add the ingredients before adding all things green to the dough!

The teachers added shapes and St. Paddy’s Day inspired drawings and patterns on the light box for the children to follow! What a bright idea!

It wasn’t all green in the classroom, they took a closer look at all colours and explored colouring mixing too.

Speaking of mixing, we mixed a little bit of French into our Friday today, when Ms. S stopped into the Preschool classrooms to teach the children their fruits en Francais. After learning the name of the fruit, they were challenged to find the fruit Madame S would announce…find the…ananas!

La Fin.

We hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

The Chartwell House.

Twelve days till SPRING.

Jokes over Mother Nature. We NEED back outdoors, so if you could warm things up even just a little bit, we would all greatly appreciate it. Sincerely, The Chartwell House. PS. Good job on the sunshine though, we will take that!

We were extra happy to see our extra curricular programs visit the House this week. With more than enough energy stored up, we let it all out while singing with Suzie, rolling, balancing, and stretching with Monkeynastix, kicking, dodging and karate-chopping with Mr. McCoy, movin’ and groovin’ with Ms. J, and lucky for us Ms. Rachelle brought the Irish music that charmed us over during ‘M is for Music.’

Since we have been cooped up indoors, it has been a zoo in here, actually more like a jungle…and especially in the Toddler One classroom.

The Todd’s spiked an interest in all animals, and got creative while learning the names, and sounds of each one!

The animals were even invited for some afternoon…tea? Served by the Todder’s themselves while using their hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. march432

And after all that…tea, the animals seemed to have taken a turn for the worst, but with a little help from their friends, they got by.

Once the animals felt better, the Toddler’s invited their Kinder-buddies from across the parking lot to join them for story time. The Senior Preschool class bundled up for the short journey into the Toddler district, and brought along a few of their favourite stories to read to the youngest of the House.

While these two groups got their reading on, the Senior Toddler classroom went green. Why are their hands always sticky? The answer lies below.

Threading: a great way to encourage and build fine-motor skills. – Check!

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To develop and build those fine-motor skills you must continue to put them to work. And the Senior Toddler’s did just that as they manipulated the pipe-cleaners bending them to make a rainbow! And using the tongs to transfer items to one bowl to the next.

Encouraging gross-motor skills at anytime of the day is a good idea when stuck inside! Jump, jump, jump!

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Let’s jump into what the Preschool class got up to this week…

They worked with paint, exploring and observing what happens when they mix two colours together, and got their Picasso on when putting the paintbrush to paper choosing their colour, and type of brush stroke. They also helped Ms. Marney paint the bulletin board to later hang in the classroom.

Early literacy: is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Early literacy skills are the roots of reading success.

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This continued in the Senior Preschool classroom…tracing their name, recognizing the letter in their name, and forming different words encourages and inspires reading.

Introducing items that are seen at home, can help children develop self-help skills, such as pouring on their own, or using cutlery properly.

Without even knowing it, colour recognition happens through-out the classroom, when building a tower they name the colour of the block, and while they name the colour, they may count how many blocks they stack on top of one another to build a tower, and then along with colour recognition, comes one on one corresponding as they count the blocks they stack. Learning happens constantly….and it’s happening during play!

The Senior’s joined in on the luck, as they were inspired by Ms. Hillis’ pot of gold art piece and attempted to create their very own…

We’ve come to the end of the rainbow….and you know what’s there? The weekend!

We hope you all enjoy it.

The Chartwell House.

Out like a Lion.

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Let’s MARCH right into this week at The House.

Where we had Suzie, the Animals, and Madame S visit.

French Friday with Madame S was all about the good stuff..name that vegetable!

We will follow Madame S into her classroom with the youngest of the House where this week….they shot, and they scored! It was all about winter and sports, and hockey seemed to be a fan favourite…eh?

There was a whole lot of icing happening in the sensory bin!

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The sensory play continued as the toddlers used their little hands to mix, mush, and smear the paint! And staying paint free while doing so….impressive!

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And when Mother Nature gives you 15cm of snow, and sunshine….you play!

The Todd’s weren’t the only ones taking in that fresh air, Preschool soaked up the sunshine too! Hitting the slopes, and then watching as the heat of the sun started to melt the snow, and icicles too.

When back indoors, the Preschoolers took advantage of a package that was delivered and put all that bubble wrap to good use.

Along with popping the bubbles on the wrap, the Preschool class has shown an interest in animals, and their habitats. They worked on their letter recognition, and animal matching skills as they matched the farm animal to the proper photo. The “small world” centre was set up for the  children to explore the different habitats, their own version of Planet Earth and Frozen Planet was brought to the table.

When the temp outside drops way below zero and we are inside there is nothing better than gathering around the tables with your teachers to make playdough!

Actually…there may be something better than making playdough, it’s making…a mess! The Toddler Two’s proved this when they took to their brand new sensory bin and dug their hands in shaving cream, water beads, and then chopped up pool noodles!

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And when their hands were clean, they gave them a break and put their minds to puzzling…

There’s this old saying, where you should work hard and play harder, but the Seniors of the House have decided to just put these two things together. And it seems to be working for them…

These Seniors do work hard though, here they are focused on tracing the letters of their name….look at that concentration!

Not only did they work on their letter recognition while tracing their names, they worked on their number and colour recognition too.

With Suzie Sunshine visiting this week she seemed to have inspired one of our Seniors. Here he is using Suzie’s music cards to play a little hit of his own!

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We will end on that note! As Friday is coming to an end, which means the weekend is just about to begin! Enjoy 🙂

I Cho-Cho-Choose You.

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Here’s a few photos
For all to view!

We will start in Toddler Two…

Whether it be using their fine motor skills to carefully peel the Valentine’s Day stickers to stick them on to the paper, gripping the tongs to maneuver pom-poms back and forth from bowl to bowl, rearranging flowers or grasping the paint brush to make a very special gift, the Senior Toddler’s focused very hard on each task they took on.

The best thing about “loose parts” in the classroom is to watch how the children use their imagination to use the parts in different ways. For example, a pool noodle that was cut into small sponges.

A little bit of tape can go a long way…the teachers added tape to the table to create some major highways for the Todds to ride all night long!

They may be little, but these Toddler’s have some big hearts!

The Preschool class showed some heart too! Painting hearts that would later be added on to the their very own Valentine’s day bag.

When you think of Valentine’s Day, some may think of flowers, the Preschool class definitely did, and worked on rearranging and creating bouquets of their own.

They continued to put their creativity to work during open art, story time, and playing at the Small World table too!

We will go back up the stairs into the Toddler One classroom where they worked together to make sensory bottles.

What’s another way to use a cardboard box? As a graffiti display of course. The Toddler One class used their little pincer grasps to decorate the otherwise boring box, and got their hands messy when putting the paintbrush to paper.

The best part of the week? Getting out in all the snow!

From the main to the coach house, let’s take a look into the Senior Preschool classroom this week…where dinosaurs roamed the earth once again.

Where they practiced their writing, mastered their patterning, and had a discussion on what they love the most.

To add to that list…we also love the extra curricular programs that visit us here at The House. Like, Yoga!, Meditating Munchkins, and M is for Music too!

We can also add LONG WEEKENDS to that list! From our Family to yours, we wish you all a very happy Family Day!

The Chartwell House.

 

Children: 100% washable; towel dry. Let them Play!

“Play is nature’s way of teaching children how to solve their own problems, control their impulses, modulate their emotions, see from other’s perspectives, negotiate differences, and get along with others as equals. There is no substitute for play as a means of learning these skills. – Peter Gray.

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If you were to browse through the classrooms you would notice, and hear children at play. However, if you were to browse through each classroom and observe, and listen to the children at play, you would notice it’s more than just “playing.” A toddler dumping and pouring sand into a container is not just a mess, this toddler is exploring gravity, weight, muscle control, cause and effect, and self-awareness. When a tower of blocks is being built, it’s not just to knock over and make a loud sound, but it’s building fine motor skills, patience, and problem-solving skills. When a preschool child is giving a baby a drink, and feeding their baby, this looks adorable, but they are also gaining self-help skills, and as they tip over the glass to give their baby a drink, they are practicing life-skills too! And when a child offers you a cup of coffee, but it’s just an empty pink plastic tea-cup? It’s your turn to play.

Let’s press play on what happened this week at The House.

We will start in the Senior Preschool classroom where the interest in transportation kept rolling as they took a much closer look at the different types of trains. Go trains!

Look at this concentration below! They have mastered that pincer-grasp. Here the Seniors are tracing the letters of the alphabet, which just so happens to be within a train. Not only are they tracing the letters, but without realizing it they are working on their letter recognition too! Hidden learning is happening! Sneaky teachers.

The train theme kept chugging along as they put sponge to paper to create their own train paintings.

And when life gives you flowers…you do a science experiment.
Add the food colouring to the water in the vase, and then as the flower drinks up the water, the food colouring starts to die the white flowers giving them a boost of colour.

After the Ice Day, our outdoor space turned into an ice rink, and since we had no skates, we gathered around Mr. Singh, one of our student teachers, and together the Senior’s of the House made colourful playdough.

The Senior’s were not the only ones who made playdough, across the way in Preschool, they too gathered together to mix the ingredients to create their own ‘dough.

At the beginning of the week, the Preschool squad attempted the “Avocado Experiment,” where you take the pit of the avocado, stick toothpicks into the pit to be able to submerge the bottom of the pit into water. As the bottom of the pit sits in water, the top of the pit is where the avocado tree will start to grow….or so we hope! As the week went on, the Preschool children have kept their eye on the ‘cado and have even made their own drawings of the experiment too! Stay tuned as we wait to see what happens…

The Preschool children also got their paint on this week, from painting on mirrors to painting on walls…you did not read that wrong, I did say they painted on mirrors and on walls…See below for proof.

The next few photos below may look as though the Preschool children built towers with blocks, however, when asked, they explained that they were building sandcastles on the beach…sounds to me like we are not the only ones wanting that beach vacation!

Speaking of the beach…the small world play in Preschool was set up just so.

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With a few new pieces in the dramatic centre, the children took to setting the table…

And when we were able to play outdoors…both the Senior and Preschool children explored the puddles before they froze over during the Ice Age.

With the ice and cold keeping us indoors the toddlers of the House decided to start a band. They created guitars using recycled Kleenex boxes and elastic bands, drums using recycled formula bins, and shakers using tin bowls.

And they have been jamming out all week…because who wants to work when you can bang on your drums all day!

The music was just fine coming from the Toddler classroom and as you walked over into the Senior Toddler classroom, you know what else was fine? These motor skills. Their little hands thread the pipe-cleaner through the beads, maneuvered the people to line them up in a row, and built a bridge for the people to cross, all moving carefully to complete the task at hand.

The fine motor skills continued as they carefully painted the Popsicle sticks that formed a house shape. They concentrated hard to paint just the sticks…

 The Seniors got all that extra stored up energy out when Monkeynastix paid a visit this week. Ms. Heather put them to work!

Suzie stopped by The House too!

Now sing it with me, THE WEEKEND IS HERE!

Over and out.

The Chartwell House.

January was so yesterday.

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You win Winter.

It’s a car, it’s a plane, it’s a train…it’s the focus this week in the Senior Preschool classroom…it’s transportation! That’s right, it was all things that GO GO GO!

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Make that 8 for Airplane! 

The decision to practice their cutting skills with scissors, or put the paintbrush to paper was up in the air!

With cars being a close second to the Senior’s favourite type of transportation, Ms. Shannon and Ms. Hillis transformed the block area to a busy highway! And they made a substitution on the paintbrushes, and used cars instead…zooming the cars across the paper to create fast art!

Then they slowed things right down as the Senior’s dug, and dozed through the dirt. sandpit

When they weren’t focused on all things transportation, they used their imagination, and markers to create…

Not pictured are the multiple dance parties the Seniors had to get all the cooped up energy out from being stuck inside yet another week because of Antarctic being outside. They danced to a classroom favourite, “Thunder,” by Imagine Dragons, and of course, “Let it Go,” which should be ‘frozen’ by now, but continues to be a favourite as well. They seem to have only a few go-to songs, but they can dance! And dance they did!

Let’s boogie on over to Preschool….where they kept things pretty cool by adding ice to the sensory bin.

The Preschool teacher’s let the children choose their type of paintbrush, which allowed them to see the different lines that were created, and felt the different textures as the brush hit the paper.

When the children sit down for lunch, the teachers tend to listen and sometimes take part in the conversations that happen around the table. Like Ms. Marney, she listened to her table as they were trying to rhyme words together. And for the most part, they were understanding and rhyming words like “cat,” and “hat.” Ms. Marney used this as a learning moment and gave an example of a rhyme, “there was a rat on the mat.” Her group took it in and then repeated it. And then in response to Ms. Marney, although close, was worth the post…”there was rice…on Ms. Marney’s head.”

We will take things upstairs into the Toddler district where the youngest of the group took care of even younger little ones, working on their self-help skills, washing and changing the babies.

And then you can walk over into the Junior Preschool classroom where things started to cool down…it was all things Arctic and this time it was for the older Toddlers.

They also had free range when it came to putting crayons to taped down paper, putting their fine motor and pincer-grasp to work.

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 And before the Ice Age….Dinosaurs?

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Speaking of Dinosaurs, Ms, Rachelle from “M is for Music” kept the dinosaur theme going….

It is Friday, and that means FRENCH! Madame S had the children matching the name to the right house pet!

Where there’s a Friday….there’s a weekend close by!

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Chartwell House.

Anyone else dreaming of a white sand beach?

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Maybe now…

Before the photos come, I will let you get as relaxed as you would on a beach…

……

…..

….

Ready? Let’s begin.

The House was busy this week with Suzie bringing that Sunshine, Monkeynastix helping us cure the winter blues and getting that stored energy out, Ms. J got the toddlers up off their feet during Movin’ & Groovin, Mr. McCoy put the Preschoolers into action during Karate, Ms. S brought French to Friday introducing different pets en Francais, and all things were cool and calm when Ms. Sara introduced snow-ga during her Yoga visit.

The Ice Age continued in the Toddler classroom this week, where they’ve been frozen in time exploring all things Arctic related.

They took the car-wash like paintbrush to paper using white paint, spreading the paint across the black construction paper that later turned into Owls!

I don’t know how they do this without laughing the whole time, but they got their palms painted to create more Arctic animals.

And to stick to the Arctic ways, they painted with ice-cubes! The teachers added food-colouring to water then freezing the cubes to create a new way for the children to feel the ice melting against the paper as they created their masterpieces.

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It may have been too chilly for the Todds to explore the outdoors, but they did learn all about layering…

The older toddler classroom continued with the layers, as they layered one brick on top of the next, taking a risk each time they stacked another one on top. Risky play builds character!

The curiosity of just how tall they can build towers does not stop as you grow older, the Seniors of the House tested the limits too!

Back in the main house and up the stairs, the Senior Toddlers were also busy painting, and working on that letter recognition as they painted over the first letter of their name.

You are never too young to change your first diaper! Here the Senior Toddlers are working on a few self-help skills using the babies in the dramatic centre to do so. Pulling and sticking the taps of the diaper are working out those fine motor skills too!

I wouldn’t think diaper changing would be a fan favourite in the House, but imitation is a great way for children to learn and so as they observe their teachers they take in what they see and go for it themselves. Preschool joined in on the diaper fad too.

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This week in Preschool wasn’t all about the fine motor skills of changing a diaper it was also all about working with loose parts, and the construction it takes to build things and then getting to deconstruct what they built to learn just how things work. Loose parts spike children’s curiosity, imagination, and creativity they allow the child to explore and think independently while carrying, moving, transporting, designing and redesigning over and over again. What may look like a pine tree branch to you, could be a broom, a paint brush, a duster or even a magic wand to a child. The Preschool children let their imaginations run wild this week as the teachers provided different loose parts for them to explore.

What would you make with a cube of clay?

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A giraffe you say…okay, we got this!

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As we leave Preschool and head into Senior Preschool, we discover that when it’s too cold to go outside, you bring the outdoors inside.

The Seniors like the Toddlers, have been exploring the Arctic and taking polls while they’re at it…name your favourite Arctic animal:

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“PB for the win!” – Ms. Shannon

Although the next one didn’t take the cake on the polls, the children did enjoy waddling like penguins across the paper with their bare feet dipped in paint…

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When they weren’t using their feet they were using their hands working at the writing station, and painting.

And because photos say a thousand words, I’m going to let the next few photos do the talking…here’s more of what was happening in the Senior Preschool classroom…magnet play, constructing a home for both the fairy’s and for the arctic animals, working with the scale, what weights more? and working our colour recognition too! Busy busy busy!

With the temperatures keeping us indoors more than we’d like, the Seniors and the Toddlers came up with an idea…a book club. The Seniors of the House each choose a book to share with a toddler, and together they look through the pages. Reading buddies!

And my read right now is….the weekend is here!

Stay warm!

The Chartwell House.