Friday, August 7, 2015

Summer Fun!

We have been so busy this summer playing and learning and vacationing, and now we're finally slowing down to a much more normal pace as we get back to "school" and routines, looking forward to fall!  What a nice time to do a recap of our summer fun!  We enjoyed themes such as dinosaurs, Book Week, America, water and beach weeks, exercise, and a How Does It Work? theme that is all about science.

Book Week was a new theme for us this year, and it was a huge success!  We read a lot, did activities that went along with great kid's books like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and had a book giveaway!  Thanks so much to the parents who brought in books their children didn't use anymore which let us have a massive book swap.

Dressing up like book characters was lots of fun!

Every child got to choose four books to take home!

Water Week was awesome too!  We served these really cute banana dolphins jumping out of blueberry water for snack, which the kids loved.  And oh so healthy too! 

Everyone enjoyed a water day, but here's pictures of the one-year-olds splashing around.


The four-year-olds did an experiment seeing which objects would sink and float.  They graphed the results.

Then they tie-dyed t-shirts.  Great job, guys!

A little baking soda and vinegar play is always in order!  Here, the kids enjoyed a fine motor activity, dropping vinegar on baking soda to make little volcanoes!

The three-year-olds made cork boats, then watched them float in bowls.  

 At the end of the week, a beautiful watercolor mural enlivened the brick wall on our playground, courtesy of the kids and teachers!

Only a few weeks of summer remain, but here's a few fun ways to spend quality time with your kids while the weather is still warm...

  • Draw with markers on construction paper, then spray lightly with water to watch the colors fade and bleed, creating a cool watercolor picture.
  • Make a suncatcher by layering tissue paper between two pieces of clear contact paper.  Cut it into a shape and add wiggly eyes (if appropriate).  Hang in the window.
  • Enjoy the pool a little longer by throwing ping pong balls in the shallow end of the pool and let your child float around collecting the "seashells" in a bucket. You could do this in a kid's small plastic or inflatable pool too, a lot like the Pick Up Ducks fair game.
  • Make time to get another visit in to a local park or splash pad.  Have a bathing suit fashion show!
  • Build with sponges!  It's a great sensory activity and takes some practice steadying them.  Play outside and get the sponges wet, then see how well you can build with them!  You can also cut sponges into "Jenga"-type pieces and build a Jenga tower with them.
  • Help younger children separate Rainbow Goldfish into colors, then have a snack!  Color sorting is a great math skill to develop.
  • Fill a container with water and let your child help drop a few drops of food coloring into the water.  Provide spoons, measuring cups, sand toys, sifters, containers...whatever! to encourage measuring, pouring, and PLAY!
Leave a comment and let us know how you're having fun as the summer ends!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy Anniversary to Us! 15 Years!

Sunlight pours through Kool-Aid painted hearts in the Pre-K room!

Valentine's Day is a special day around here...not just because we love showing our Patchers how much we love them, but also because it's the day we opened, 15 years ago!!  We are so excited to celebrate our fifteenth anniversary this year, so be looking for a few treats tomorrow when you pick up your children!  We want to thank our wonderful staff who show up to teach and love our Patchers every day, and, of course, our Patch parents who trust us with their most precious possessions.  We wouldn't be here without you!

Valentine boxes stand ready to be filled with sweet notes in the 3's!

We've had lots of fun this Valentine's week, learning all about hearts, the colors red and pink, and making lots of LOVEly art projects.  See some pictures below!

The Pre-K class had lots of fun with hearts, hearts, and more hearts!  Their projects included honing fine motor skills by cutting out hearts and creating pieces of art with both the positive and negative spaces that were made.  Their decorated bags hang on their bulletin board to collect all their Heart Day goodies!

The four-year-olds created paper plate Valentine holders for their treats.  They made Valentine's slime and enjoyed feeling it and playing with it!  They also created an "Acts of Kindness" board, and anytime one of the children was caught doing something good, they got their names on the board.  So cute!

The three-year-olds have had fun decorating their Christmas tree for all the seasons.  Here, beautiful colored hearts serve as the decorations!

The two-year-olds made special gifts for mom and dad, and also did these pretty tissue paper hearts to decorate their door.

The one-year-olds colored hearts for their Valentine boxes and made Valentine handprints for gifts.

This is the Valentine's sensory boxes that the children got to play in this week.  The older kids had rice in the bottom, but the younger kids had red and pink pompoms in the bottom.  Felt beanbag hearts, foam hearts, Valentine's ribbon and pipe cleaner hearts were in the tub to play with.  Our children love these boxes, and they get a new one each week to go along with our theme.

Our Patchers also love the sand and water tables, which we fill with theme-related items.  Lots of scooping, pouring, measuring, and sorting happen here, which are early math and science skills.  This one, from the Pre-K class was a heart-finding table.  The kids had to scoop around and see how many hearts they could find.