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

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!