Thursday, March 31, 2011

Busy Days

This week we are back at school after a one week Spring Break.
Usually after any holiday, when school is closed, families are very happy to get out of the house and come to StrongStart.  This week was no exception.
They came and they played.
Here's the room when we opened this morning.
Here it is mid morning.  Our grade 3 buddies also came to play.

Together we did ball-roll painting, super-sized.  Working together was exciting for big and little buddies.  The patience and awareness the older students are learning is heartwarming. 
And medium-sized ball-rolling. Many hands makes it easier.  Learning when and how to raise and lower the box was a learning experience for all.
We shared snack and played in the water table together.
Played and explored.
It was loud, noisy and a bit chaotic but it was so much fun.
What and who will tomorrow bring?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bubble Painting

Lovely bubbles.  
We tried two different ways to make bubble art today. 
The first is shown in the picture above. 
Bubble juice in a cup and with a straw blow and blow and blow.
I posted a warning for the parents to check that their child knows how to blow through the straw because sucking in will not taste good.
Some were cautious at first and would blow a little at a time.

Others stopped to watch how the bubbles flowed over the top.

Bubbles make beautiful sculptures.

And are fun to burst.

Then the way to blow changed.  This little one found a bubble blower from the easel and decided to use it at the table.

Who needs to blow it on paper, the important part is just to blow.

You can blow bubbles too hard and it will splatter on you.

A little paper towel takes care of that stickiness.

The second way we blew bubbles was at the easel.  Bubble blowers were available with cups of coloured bubble juice.
But the bubble juice that I bought wasn't very good so this wasn't a popular method.  That changed when we added paint brushes.

This boy hasn't painted at school before but he stayed at the easel for about 20 minutes covering the paper with his beautiful strokes.

Others added to the painting and watched the juice run down the paper.
A parent brought in some bubble juice that she found a Liquidation World in the pet department.  It was very thick and the bubbles lasted for a long time, even landing on the children.  I'll have to get some of it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What Will They Play With Today?

The week before Spring Break I was feeling a little burned out.  I knew I needed a break to rejuevenate.  So last week for the whole week I tried not to think about work and definitely not go into school.  I avoided planning or updating my blog.  Although I did keep searching the many wonderful blogs out there.

But yesterday morning arrived and I worried about the few new activities that I had put out on the Friday before Spring Break.  Would they be inviting?  Would the children be bored?  I needn't worry for the children were very happy to be back at school regardless of what was out.

Here are a few play areas that developed this morning.

A play invitation with toys off the shelf.

Tea party with a jar full of cookies that have been tucked away for a few months.

A new toy that I found in my crawl space that was my daughter's toy years ago.

The art idea of using oil pastels and baby oil didn't quite interest the children but add paper hole punches and it became a busy area.

The rocking boat is very popular although some little ones are a bit cautious of it at first.

Using the furniture in a new way.  This little boy crawled under the table and pushed out the tub then stood in the hole.  That way he could have everything he wanted all around him.
So what I've learned from today is that old toys can be like new and that I need to relax more and stop thinking that children need new ideas to have fun at play.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Walk through the Park

We went for a walk this morning.  It was somewhat sunny when we started but by the time we walked to the beach the wind had picked up and it was cold.

We braved it for awhile to do some rock turning and playing at the water`s edge.

Then we headed back into the woods but not before stopping to play on the logs.
He was in his rocketship and trying to land but was having trouble with the brakes.  Luckily he was able to use his parachute.

We found...
sticks that looked like a smiling crocodile,

trilliums in bloom,

skunk cabbage,

and lots of trees
to hug or climb,

to balance on,

and to investigate.
It was fun to check out how water moved from one side of the trail to the other side.

Our walking took us, not only on rocky trails and beaches, but across boardwalks, bridges and up stairs.

It was a great first morning back from Spring Break.