Tuesday, December 31, 2013

HomePlay - Winter Placemats

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  As I started the Christmas clean-up, and I saw all those Christmas cards we got this year, I knew we had to make something with them, plus have one last playtime with all the ribbons and bows.  Ta-da!  A HomePlay was born!

Friday, December 20, 2013

It's Christmas! - December 16-20

What an awesome Christmas week we've had at The Pa-Paw Patch!  There's been all kinds of Christmas crafts, storytimes, pretend play, and fun!  Here's some highlights from our week...

The Pa-Paw Patch, preschool Christmas, vale nc childcare, vale nc daycare

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Festival of Trees

The Arts Council of Lincoln County is having their Festival of Trees going on right now in Lincolnton, North Carolina.  You may ask, yes, but why is this appearing on The Pa-Paw Patch's website...well, we're in it!  Ms. Jenna (one of our four-year-old teachers) did a great job coordinating and creating our tree.  She wrapped a wire tomato cage with billows of paper, and each child in our center made a green handprint that was cut out and used to decorate the tree.  The four-/five-year-olds made red and white paper chains which hang down from the top.  The finished tree is beautiful and has gotten lots of compliments from visitors to the Festival of Trees.

The Pa-Paw Patch, preschool christmas tree, Festival of Trees, Arts Council of Lincoln County

Now, we're extending the invitation to you!  The last weekend for the Festival of Trees is THIS weekend, December 20th, 21st, and 22nd.  The Festival runs from 5:00 to 9:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday.  It's in the former Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln building at 200 Gamble Drive, Lincolnton.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Around the World - December 9-13

Last week, we kicked off our Christmas themes with Christmas Around the World.  We learned about how people in other countries celebrate Christmas, as well as how to say "Merry Christmas" in other languages!  We also started our Christmas crafts and activities so we'd have plenty of time to enjoy them!

We love the four-/five-year-olds Christmas Around the World bulletin board!  Around the tree, they've written ways to say "Santa Claus" and "Merry Christmas" in other languages.  The children honed their fine-motor skills by cutting circles out for ornaments, which are hanging on the tree.

The Pa-Paw Patch, christmas around the world preschool theme, vale nc daycare, vale nc childcare, christmas bulletin board, christmas around the world bulletin board

Monday, December 16, 2013

Santa's Workshop Now Open!

The Pa-Paw Patch, Santa's Workshop, vale nc daycare, vale nc childcare

We're doing a fun activity here at The Pa-Paw Patch for our Patchers, their families, and our community this year -- a Santa's Workshop!  Our Patchers have created crafts, ornaments, and cards that are for sale, and our teachers have made crafts as well.  We've ended up with a really neat assortment of items in our Workshop!  Parents can buy their child's creations and can also send money with their children so that they can buy a gift for their parents.  Our sale will go through Friday, December 20th, and all money raised will go towards our playground updates!  Here's a sampling of what's in stock!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Let's Party! Birthdays & Celebrations Week - December 2-6

Last week was so fun, we're just now getting our post up from the week!  Our theme was "Let's Party!: Birthdays and Celebrations" and boy, was it a party around The Pa-Paw Patch!  We made a "Party in a Box" for each class (see our HomePlay page for how to make one!) and it was a big hit!

birthday theme, preschool birthday theme, the pa-paw patch, vale nc childcare, vale nc daycare

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Our First Kindermusik Lesson!

We've had happy little sounds of children singing, playing instruments, and squealing as they danced both yesterday and today as we started our Kindermusik lessons!  The three-year-olds and four/five-year-olds had their lesson on Wednesday, and the ones and twos had their lesson on Thursday.  The kids had so much fun and are already asking when the next lesson is!  Here's what we did...

Our theme for the month is Out and About.  We talked about bicycles and pretended to ride bikes.

The Pa-Paw Patch, kindermusik, vale nc daycare, vale nc childcare

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

HomePlay Idea - Party in a Box!

This week at The Pa-Paw Patch, we're talking all about birthdays, parties, and celebrations!  To have fun at home, we've created a "Party in a Box" you can keep at home for all those times when a stuffed animal's birthday comes around, to celebrate your child's half-birthday, or whenever your child feels the need to throw a party!  It's a great way to encourage imaginative play, and so easy to create with stuff around the house!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankgiving Week - Part 2 - November 25-27

Even though it was a short week at The Pa-Paw Patch, the kids still had lots of fun gearing up for Thanksgiving!  Here's a little treat for the eyes...

The one-year-olds made turkey hats and looked precious wearing them!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We Now Offer Kindermusik!

Here's a little pre-Christmas treat for for our Patchers and their families...we will start offering Kindermusik's ABC Music & Me classes every week at The Pa-Paw Patch beginning in the month of December!  These classes will be FREE for all two-, three-, and four-year-olds in December and January.  After that, you can sign your child up to continue having a weekly ABC Music & Me class for just $5 per month!

Kindermusik is a well-known name in music education, and they have built the ABC Music & Me curriculum specifically designed for preschoolers to encourage language and literacy.  Research has proven that children who took part in the ABC Music & Me program for 30 minutes per week had 32% more literacy gain.

Each class is 30 minutes and is held once a week.  Every class includes songs, poems, a story, rhythm activities and a chance to play musical instruments.  Children will learn phonemic awareness, early reading skills, and skills in following directions from focused listening with music.  The best part is, you will also get login information so you can access that at-home website, which has lots of games, activities, and downloadable songs that your children learned in their weekly lesson.  It's really cool!  You can visit Kindermusik's website for more information about the program here.

We're excited to get started, and our first lesson will be Wednesday, December 4th!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Week Part 1 - November 18-22

We've just finished up our first week of Thanksgiving and we're looking forward to continuing our Thanksgiving activities next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday!  (Remember, we're closed Thursday and Friday.)

Here's a few things we've done this week!

The one-year-olds colored pilgrims.  And did a great job!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

HomePlay Idea - Tree of Thanks

Make this cute reminder of what you and your children are thankful for with this Tree of Thanks.  Use it as a decoration or centerpiece at your Thanksgiving table!

The Pa-Paw Patch, thanksgiving tree, preschool Thanksgiving theme, vale nc daycare, vale nc childcare, kids thanksgiving crafts

Monday, November 18, 2013

Food Play!

It's Thanksgiving Week here at The Pa-Paw Patch, so we tried to think of a fun sensory activity to send to the classrooms as a special treat.  What did we come up with?  Homemade play food!  Yes, of course there's lots of play food in the refrigerators and shelves of every class's housekeeping center, but we thought some special play food might just hit the spot for Thanksgiving play!  We've had lots of fun crafting our food, with a little help from several websites and inspiration from Melissa and Doug's felt food kits.  Here's what we're eating for Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Family Week - November 11-15

Here at The Pa-Paw Patch, we've had a fun week learning all about our families!  We've talked about who makes up our families, what members of our families do, household chores, and family trees.  We brought pictures of our families to share with our classes and had a family-themed music time with Ms. Pam.  Even the infants got to have family-themed board books read to them as part of their daily story time!  See below for all the fun stuff that went on this week in pictures!

A family tree was sent home with each of the one-year-olds as a family project.  Parents helped their child color their tree and glue pictures of their family to it.  They turned out well!  They also drew pictures of their family.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

HomePlay Idea - Family Theme

As promised (but a day late!), here's another HomePlay idea for you to do with the little ones at home this week, right in time for Thanksgiving.  Make an easy "My Family" book with pictures of all the people in your family.  Write their relationship to the child and their name below the picture.  This is especially wonderful for families that are spread out, so that the little ones can know far-away loved ones a little better.

picture of finished My Family Book

Monday, November 11, 2013

HomePlay Idea - Animal Family Theme

This week, as a treat, we're going to have TWO HomePlay ideas!  Exciting, right?

Our theme for this week is Families.  We're talking about our families and animal families, so this first HomePlay is an activity board that we actually made for every class.  You can make one for home too!  Change the pictures out for different seasons or themes to keep it fresh at home.  For toddlers, make the easy matching board, where the ribbon with the baby animal on it is attached to the mommy animal pocket.  The harder matching game, for Pre-Ks, has the ribbons with the baby animal pictures at the bottom for them to match to the mommy pockets.  Matching is an important pre-math skill that little ones have fun practicing!

The Easy Matching Board
animal family matching board finished
Easy Matching Board, all matched up

Friday, November 8, 2013

Travel and Transportation Week - November 4-8

There's been plenty of honks and beeps around Vale, North Carolina this week as our Patchers have learned all about traveling and transportation.  We've talked about what kinds of transportation go on land, sea and in the air, and have observed all the types of vehicles we've seen going down the road while we played on the playground.  Stoplights, stop signs, construction vehicles, we've covered it!  See what fun we've had!

Our one-year-olds enjoyed blobbing paint on a big sheet of paper and driving their cars through it, making tracks all over it.  What fun!

car painting, transportation preschool theme

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

HomePlay Idea - Travel and Transportation Theme

This week, we're talking all about traveling and transportation.  This is such a fun theme for kids!  Keep the theme going at home and as you drive around this week by giving your little ones our transportation bingo card!  We've created this colorful card that your children can look at in the car, and older children can see if they can spot the objects as they ride around town.

Pa-Paw Patch, transportation, transportation preschool theme
Transportation Bingo Card --Download and print it here!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Halloween Week - October 28-31

Halloween week was definitely a "treat" here at the Patch!  We ended our week with a classroom trick-or treat where the children went room to room and got candy.  Every class had a Halloween party for snack time on Thursday as well.  Through the week, fun Halloween activities were happening in our classrooms.

Our one-year-olds did spooky dances with new wrist ribbons!

wrist ribbons at The Pa-Paw Patch

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Our Fall Festival is Here!

It's a beautiful day here in Vale, North Carolina at The Pa-Paw Patch!  We started it off by making all the children smile when we served homemade cinnamon rolls and ghost bananas.  We love to start the days off happy!

ghost banana, cinnamon roll, The Pa-Paw Patch breakfast

We're excited about Halloween tomorrow when we'll have a Trick or Treat to all the classrooms.  The children will go room to room collecting treats in their costumes!  Halloween parties will be at 2:00 pm in every room for snack time.

Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday to see us at the Woodmill Winery Family SpookTacular Trunk or Treat.  We won 1st place Best Trunk!  Ms. Jenna and Ms. Kelly did an awesome job decorating their trunk with a Wizard of Oz theme, complete with an "Alphabet Road" (instead of the yellow brick road), tissue paper poppy flowers, a lollipop guild, and the Emerald City in the background.  Thank you to Ms. Brandy and Ms. Holli for helping at our trunk, as well as to all of our teachers and Patchers who created the props!  It was a great time!

Don't forget about our Fall Festival and Open House this Saturday, November 2nd!  Bring all your friends and family.  There will be something for all ages!  We'll have carnival games, lots of prizes, door prizes, inflatable bouncy houses, a silent auction (with GREAT baskets to auction off!  Everything from local restaurants to Dollywood tickets!), bake sale, and food for sale. 

Be sure to come on in and check out our childcare center, see our classrooms, and meet the staff!  See for yourself why we're the best childcare center in Catawba or Lincoln County!

Monday, October 28, 2013

HomePlay Idea - Halloween Week

It's a spooooky week, and we have a treat for you!  A really cute witch hat to decorate your Halloween table!  A centerpiece made by your little ones will be so cute on the table, and make them proud that they could help in the decorations!

witch hat centerpiece

Halloween Witch Hat Centerpiece

  • 9-inch sturdy paper plate
  • party hat
  • black paint
  • hot glue
  • hat decorations, like glitter, ribbon, sequins, tiny plastic frogs or spider rings, etc.

Using the black paint, let your child paint the plate and party hat.  Once dry, have an adult hot glue the party hat to the plate.  Let the child decorate their hat with sequins, ribbons, glitter or whatever they want!  You may have to hot glue some items in place if they want their ribbons, jewels, etc. to wind up the hat, or they can just decorate the brim.  Spider rings or small plastic frogs are also cute set into the brim.  What a spooky centerpiece!

kid's witch hat centerpiece

Or your child may decide to pretend to wear the hat!  That's okay too.

Have a Happy Halloween! 

And if you're looking for more craft ideas find them here: HomePlay from The Pa-Paw Patch

Friday, October 25, 2013

Monster Week - October 21-25

Our little monsters have been up to all sorts of fun things this week!  Take a peek of what's been happening during Monster Week at The Pa-Paw Patch!

We started the week off with a fun gymnastics time with Ms. Karen!

gymnastics at the Pa-Paw Patch

On Wednesday, we enjoyed a monster music time with Ms. Pam.

monster music time at the Pa-Paw Patch

Our one-year-olds blew through a straw onto paint blobs to create these monsters.

The two-year-olds made monster masks and gooey monster eye sensory bags.  Spooky!

gooey monster sensory bags for preschoolers

 The three-year-olds made monsters by squishing paint blobs, and with their hand and footprints.

 Hand and Footprint Monsters by the Pa-Paw Patch 

Our four-year-olds carved a pumpkin and made monster faces.

carving a jack-o-lantern at the Pa-Paw Patch

Jack-o-Lantern Carved by Pa-Paw Patch Preschoolers

Preschool Monster Artwork

We're looking forward to a fun week next week when we talk about Halloween!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall Festival Coming Up!

Our 1st Annual Fall Festival and Open House will be on Saturday, November 2nd from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.  We'll have food, bouncy houses, carnival games, prizes, a craft for the kids, bake sale, cake walks, Bingo, and a silent auction on AWESOME gift baskets!  Please come out and support us, take a tour around the center, and have a lot of fun!  All of the proceeds go to sprucing up our playgrounds with some really neat new stuff.

Each of our classes have created a gift basket to auction off in our silent auction, and they are incredible!  Be sure to come bid on some.  We also have lots of goodies for the silent auction from businesses in our community, such as Norman's Cafe, Cooksville Grill, Willis Furniture, Tupperware, Mary Kay, and Avon, just to name a few.  Our baskets are on display at the center until the Fall Festival.  See below for teaser pictures of some of the baskets we'll be auctioning off.

A Mani/Pedi Basket in a Thirty-One Bag and a Mary Kay Basket

The 3-year-old's Christmas Basket

Our Think Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Basket

Bring the whole family out for a day of fun on November 2nd and be sure to tell your friends too!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

HomePlay Idea - Creepy Crawly Sensory Tub

It's pretty hard to find sensory tubs that babies and toddlers can play with, so we created this tub especially for them!  Older children would like it too.  We used many textures for our "worms" to stimulate little fingers.  Make one at home and see how your children decide to play!

creepy crawly sensory tub
Creepy Crawly Worm Sensory Tub

As many different textured items you can find that can be braided

*We used yarn, an old sock cut into three pieces, crepe paper, ribbon, and twisted ribbon used for decorating wrapped gifts.

sensory tub

1.) Braid the materials in different lengths to create all kinds of worms.  Just knot at the ends.

2.) Use a few inches of yarn and knot it in the middle to create a spider (use about 6 strands of yarn - I know your spider will not have the correct number of legs but we have to make them big enough for little ones to play with).

3.) Let the play began!  Little ones should have a great time exploring this worm tub!

Monday, October 21, 2013

HomePlay Idea - Monster Theme

Each week, we'll post an activity you can do at home that goes along with the week's theme.  This week, our theme is Mister Monster.  Make this sensory tub at home to help your little monster with pre-math and fine motor skills!

monster theme sensory tub

Mister Monster Sensory Tub

pompoms in a color to look like dog food or kibble
measuring cups and spoons
cut out pictures of monsters, or monster stuffed animals

Put this all in a tub and let your child feed the monsters.  Place the monsters outside of the tub with a bowl in front of each and encourage your child to use a measuring cup to pour food in the monster's bowl.  Show them how 1 cup of "food" in a bowl looks the same as two 1/2 cups of food in another bowl.  Let them mix and pour and play with the tub as they like.

Have fun!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Creepy Crawly Week - October 14-18

This week, we're talking all about Creepy Crawly Insects and Spiders!

The four-year-olds threw wadded up balls of paper at their tape "spiderweb" as a gross-motor activity.

The three-year-olds built a spiderweb in the corner of their room and put their handprint spiders into the web.  What a creepy crawly corner!

  The two-year-olds were busy painting rainbows to decorate our Trunk-or Treat booth for the Woodmill Winery Family Spook-Tacular!  All the classes are creating things to help decorate our trunk.  We must give credit to our great two's teachers, Mr. Alex, Ms. Tara, and Ms. Lindsey for gettting all 16 two-year-olds to do an art project together!  Most say, "Impossible!"  We say, "AWESOME!"

Our one-year-olds created an awesome Halloween bulletin board.  They spent all morning being little spiders, crawling over a balance beam and through tunnels, and turning flips on a tumbling mat.  It's too bad it was a rainy morning and they couldn't go outside, but inside gross-motor play is just as fun!

We're having a fun day growing at the Patch, and hope your day is just as great!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall is Here -- And We've Got Lots to Keep You Busy!

We have lots going on here at the Patch this fall and wanted our community to be aware!  On October 26th, we have two really great opportunities for our parents and our community.  Four of our teachers will represent The Pa-Paw Patch at the Woodmill Winery Family Spook-Tacular, a giant Trunk-or-Treat event.  We'll have a trunk (with an awesome theme!) and be giving away candy and doing a craft with the kids.  This is a huge event with free hotdogs, bouncy houses, games, and lots of trunks to trick-or-treat!  This event runs from noon to 4 pm.  More information can be found at www.woodmillwinery.com.

On the same day, we're also doing a photo shoot fundraiser by C & C Photography.  This is a really cool fundraiser!  You sign up for a professional 15 minute photo session ($30) and get a free CD of all the photos taken.  You can then get whatever pictures you want printed from the CD, either at Walgreens, Walmart, etc. or online.  Pictures will be taken outside with three backgrounds to choose from: a fall scene, a Christmas scene complete with a red sleigh, or a natural pond scene.  This opportunity is open to anyone, so please tell friends and family!  Call us at 704-462-2435 to make your appointment.  This is a great time to have Christmas card pictures made!

Please tell all your friends and family about these events.  All of our fundraising efforts are going to revamp our playground with new equipment, outdoor learning centers, and an outdoor circle time area.  Thank you so much for supporting learning and play for our children at The Pa-Paw Patch!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Childhood is Such a Gift!

It was at a recent high school football game that a realization about childhood struck me.  As the packed stadium roared, booed, and went wild over a close rival game, I caught sight of all the kids playing in the grass next to the bleachers.  They were so happy, laughing with each other, playing games of their own, and just being free.  As I made my way toward the concession stand, a ball rolled across my path, bumping into a man standing next to the fence, watching the game.  A breathless boy of about eight ran after the ball.  He picked it up where it had bounced off the man's leg, looked the man in the eye, and said "Sorry, sir" before heading back to his friends.  I was amazed, but so, so happy!  How long has it been since you have heard a child say something so respectful and appropriate to an adult?  The man was very gracious about it all too.  I think he was surprised as well.

This got me thinking, considering I work with children and have two of my own.  What a HUGE gift childhood is, and it is so important to be sure that childhood is happy!  Bringing our children up to be respectful and well-mannered is not an easy task, especially in this day and age.  But what a relief, what happiness fills our soul, when we see the little ones that we've worked with use nice manners, share toys, and be nice to adults.  But we need to always remember how precious children are.  Childhood is so short.  We want the best for our children, and it's easy to get them too involved.  This isn't a bad thing in itself, but we need to remember that kids are just kids, and they're only kids once.  They need to run, be free, PLAY!!  At The Pa-Paw Patch, we know that children learn through play, and we encourage kids to be kids.  We hope, as well, that we can give all of our Patchers a happy childhood and happy memories of their play days here at the Patch.  We hope and pray that ALL children know love and kindness through their childhoods.  I can't speak for the quality of the childhood of the little boy at the ballgame, but he knew his manners, and was running free!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Welcome to The Patch!

Welcome to the new website of The Pa-Paw Patch!  We're an early childhood learning center located in the rolling hills of Vale, North Carolina.  We hope to use this website as a way to keep our parents informed and also to promote our center to our community as the best childcare center in Lincoln and Catawba County!  We truly believe we are the best, because we care for our children like they're our own and hold our teachers and staff to the highest standards when it comes to teaching children.  Our "Patchers" go on to "Big School" being well-prepared and socialized, and we've even heard from area schools that they are impressed with how prepared our students are.  Our Early Learning Program is for children ages 6 weeks to 2 years and continues with our Preschool Program for 3- and 4-year-olds.  Please call us at 704-462-2435 to schedule a visit or if you have any questions.  Check back often for updates to our page.  As always, it's a great day at The Pa-Paw Patch!