Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Harakeke weaving

While I was outside with the children one morning, Paige was standing near the garden and pointed to the flax bush and asked what it was. I said to Paige that it is a harakeke plant, and it is using for weaving in the Maaori culture. To use an example, I went inside and showed her the weaved harakeke kete. We went back outside to look at the harakeke and I suggested that we cut some off and do some weaving. I explained the tikanga around harakeke and during that time Isabella came over and showed and interest as well. I said that normally we should say a karakia before cutting the harakeke but I didn't know of any, so I told the girls that I would find one for next time. I found this one:

Hutia te rito o te harakeke, Kei whea te kōmako e kō?
Kī mai ki ahau; He aha te mea nui o te Ao? Māku e kī atu, he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata

If the heart of harakeke was removed, where will the bellbird sing? If I was asked, what was the most important thing in the world; I would be compelled to reply, It is people, it is people, it is people!

The other tikanga is cutting it down towards the roots and returning any left over harakeke back to the harakeke plant and Papatuanuku (Earth Mother).

After we cut some harakeke we explored what we could do with it. I showed the girls how to weave a flower (something I learnt through my teacher studies). Paige and Isabella were interested in the process of making one, which includes threading it under over under. This involves concentration, and practice. Paige enjoyed handling the harakeke and practicing moving the strips under over under. Isabella was watching me make mine before she started on hers. Although this is a hard thing to achieve first off, the great thing was that the girls took an interest and learnt some new things about harakeke.


Happy 4th Birthday Zoe


Monday, 30 May 2011

Stop, Drop, and Cover Your Mop.

Today, we had an earthquake drill as part of our regular health and safety practice.
When this is done, a teacher calls out earthquake, stop, drop and cover your mop and the children know that they need to stop what they are doing, drop to the ground , and cover their heads.
Most of the children did this immediately they heard the call, however some still needed reminding.

It would be great if you could talk with your child about what we do in an earthquake too, so as to reinforce this with them, and maybe even have a practice at home.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Re-visiting the paints

The other day I took some photos of Jak playing with the paint pottles on the concrete. This reminded me of the learning story I wrote about Jak's interest in paints, at the beginning of April. After the paints were set up outside, Jak enjoyed choosing a pottle and a brush, and transporting it away from the table. He does this everytime I see him participating in 'painting'. Another thing I documented Jak doing, was eating it!! He had it smeared all over his face... but this time he put his hands in it first, before going in to eat it.

I love watching Jak play, because it shows me the importance of engaging young children in a range of experiences, from an early age. He is curious, inquisitive and confident, and loves exploring, and this is evident in both this photo story and the learning story I wrote in April.


More 'hut' play

Some of the KIDSPACE girls including Zoe, Emily, Paige, Isabella and Ataahua, really enjoy playing in huts, and using blankets and pillows etc, in their play. Over two days during this week, we made a hut with blankets outside. The children collected pegs for me to peg the blankets to the side of the fence and create a roof for it. As soon as it was made, Zoe and Isabella went to find blankets, pillows and the dolls matress' for the hut. When Isabella got back, she said she was making a bed for Paige, as Paige was going to be their baby. The girls had a really fun filled morning playing in the hut, reading stories, role-playing and inviting other children in. This play continued after lunch, when the girls initiated going outside to play in their 'house'.

"Children experience an envrionment where their play is valued as meaningful learning and the importance of spontaneous play is recognised" - Children take responsibility for their own learning' (Exploration - Te Whariki).


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Paige Writes

Paige has a very strong interest in writing and has done so for some time now. Every day at KIDSPACE , she can be seen at some stage, pen in hand, practicing forming symbols that represent letters.

Recently I noticed her at the literacy table, very focused on what she was doing, and it was clearly obvious that she was attempting to put her thoughts down on paper. She would gaze off into the distance momentarily, before proceeding to write, telling a story as she did so. Later on in the day, I observed her doing the same in the playdough area writing a shopping list. I knew it was a shopping list, as I could hear her naming the items as she wrote.

Paige is developing an understanding that symbols can be "read" by others and that thoughts, experiences, and ideas can be represented through words, pictures, print, numbers, sounds, shapes, models, and photographs. She is also developing a familiarity with print and its uses, by exploring and observing the use of print in activities that have meaning and purpose for children. Monica.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Watching our very own Pohutakawa tree being planted

Today at 9am Irene, Rui, Tamara, Rachel and the children headed off for a walk to the Onekawa Park. As we are celebrating ten years of KIDSPACE this year, one of Irene's initiatives was to purchase a tree for the park because we often take the children there. The children love to walk, run, play sports. They also love to explore nature, collecting acorns and looking for birds nests while they are at the park.

When we arrived at the park, the Onekawa Kindergarten children and teachers were all having a look at what was going on. One of the council workers was busy patting the soil around the tree as they had almost finished planting it. It seems that there was some confusion, with the council workers thinking that the tree had been donated by the kindergarten.

We had a group photo by our new Pohutukawa tree. We can now go to the park and see our special tree and watch as it grows bigger. When Irene asked what coloured flowers the tree has, Emily was very quick to say, "red". Jaz and Paige had a feel of the leaves. Once this special wee moment was finished, we walked over to the other part of the park and enjoyed our packed morning tea. Later, the children went for runs, fossicking for acrons and matching them to acorn 'hats'. We also sung Ringa Ringa Rosie several times.

The children who took part in this special bit of KIDSPACE history were Paige, Noah, Jaz, Ahlyna, Thadeus, Anika, Joshua, Jak, Emily, Libby, Aimee, Isabella, Lexi, Zoe, Ruby H and Taneesha

Friday, 20 May 2011

Ruby W W's 4th Birthday

Happy birthday to Ruby who turned 4 on the 15th May. We acknowledged this today and celebrated with a play dough cake.

"Hari huritau ki a koe
Hari huritau ki a koe
Hari huritau ki a Ruby
Hari huritau ki a koe"

Tree Planting at Onekawa Park

As part of our 10th anniversary celebrations, we donated a Pohutukawa tree to the Napier City Council for Onekawa Park. The weather is now right for tree planting so the council will be planting our tree on Monday 23rd May at 9am. We will be taking the children over to the park to watch the planting. Families are welcome to join us.

Construction time

Recently KIDSPACE purchased some interlocking building blocks. The children have eagerly been waiting to build with the blocks but these had to be oiled first and storage arranged. Finally, today is the day. "Yay" Donnagh said when he arrived and found this out. Donnagh, Rionagh, Taneesha and Cian promptly set about creating with the blocks. As other children arrived at the centre they became interested and were quick to join in. What a team effort. It was great to observe the children working together and using social skills such as turn-taking, sharing and co-operation. The children are also exploring maths concepts such as big, small, tall, wide, long and counting as well as developing cognitive skills such as problem-solving.
Tino pai to mahi tamariki ma!!
written by Rie

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

New binoculars and magnifying bug catcher

Thank you to Mohanan who gave KIDSPACE a very cool present! These were to say thank you for all the help and support the teachers have given him, and for the children making him feel welcome. The children sat on a blanket down the back and waited excitedly to see what the new toys were. The first one was a pair of binoculars. The children were very interested in trying them out and looking at what they could see through them. The other gift was a magnifying bug catcher! These are both great new things to add to our growing science resources. Thanks Mohanan.


Trip to Bardowie and ANIMALZ

As part of continuing our relationship with Bardowie Retirement home, Ainslee, Debbie and Meghan (Year 2 Student), visited with a group of children last week. We took a basket full of yummy cakes to share for morning tea, as well as our singing voices. They always love to hear the children sing songs. They even request certain ones! Some of the older girls had also made 3 collages of the ‘Royal Wedding’, and shared them around the room, and talked about that they had made.

After our visit to Bardowie, we continued on our walk to ANIMALZ, to visit the animals and buy some straw for our guinea pig. We saw a blue budgie like the new one we have, as well as the big bearded dragon lizard. While we were there, we saw a shaggy dog getting a hair cut, which was a bit funny!

Children develop an awareness of the connections between the early childhood centre and the wider community. They develop confidence in going on outings and enjoying different experiences away from the centre (Te Whariki).


Welcome to KIDSPACE Anika

Anika had a brilliant first day at KIDSPACE, yesterday. After mum left, she helped the teachers to set up outside, and began exploring the new environment. Anika had lots of fun on the climbing boxes, planks and jumping mat. She was even keen to walk along the narrow plank, but motioned that she wanted me to hold her hand to guide her. Anika had her lunch with Tamara and the little children as she said she was hungry and wanted her lunch box. Anika was helpful later in the afternoon by helping to clear away the messy play on the perspex table. She enjoyed putting her hands in it just as much I think!

We look forward to getting to know Anika and her family more over the next few months :)


Happy 5th Birthday and Graduation Lyrique


Monday, 16 May 2011

Congratulations Meghan

Meghan is in her second year of the Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) at EIT and is on teaching practice at KIDSPACE for five weeks. Today she had her tutor visit and passed with flying colours!!

Fun in the hut

Paige, Luke and Mana had so much fun outside last Wednesday. I could tell by all the laughing and noises coming from under a blanket... a blanket that was spread across numerous things to create a hut! I peeked inside and spotted Paige.. then Luke popped out from behind her... and then Mana wriggled out from behind Luke.

They thought it was so funny to hide away from everyone, where it was a little bit darker. They didn't have too many things in there, but enough to keep them happy; a ball and truck and of course each others company.

It's nice to see children laugh and joke around in a 'non-sense' way. Their spontanous play is valued and recognised within the centre.


Major New Resources

Joey and the new aviary: We have a new budgie, Joey, who is shortly to be joined by another young budgie - thanks to Ruby's mum, Nita. Joey gave us a big fright on Friday. He is so little that he managed to squeeze out through the bars of the old cockatiel cage. Fortunately Rie was able to catch him, so on the weekend Irene and James bought a new mobile aviary (you'd be amazed at what can fit in Irene's Honda Jaz!).

Storage Box seat: We needed somewhere to store our new Timberloc construction set and on the deck was the obvious place. However, we didn't want to lose the seat on the deck so James agreed to make a locker seat. After several weekends of beavering away in the shed, we now have an amazing piece of furniture, complete with 'hobbit hole' in the end for children to access the construction set when the lid is locked.

Timberloc Construction Set: Several of our children are passionate about building so we have purchased this wooden construction set. Aimee (Workforce student) and our newest KIDSPACE kid, Anika, are busy oiling the wood before the children can play with it. Each piece slots together to make child sized constructions. Watch this space for more news on what the children do with it once all of it has been oiled.

Exploring Messy Play.

Last week I introduced Poesy to fingerpaint.
She initially approached this experience with caution, uncertain as to what the mass of pink goop was, but after a little encouragement and scaffolding she took to it like a duck to water.
Well she was a joy to watch, taking handfuls of the paint and squeezing it through her little fingers. She then experimented slapping her hand down on it appearing intrigued with the fact that by doing this she could make it splatter. She then had a little taste, but by her facials, I don't think it met the flavour test.
Through this experience Poesy is developing the concept of cause and effect, texture and taste, fine and gross motor development and hand eye coordination. Monica

Songs of the Sea

Last Thursday, Monica and Ann took Donnagh, Cian, Noah, Tarquin, Ataahua, Libby, Ruby, Zoe, Emily,and Isabella to a Capital E production at the Municipal Theatre. We also were lucky to have the help of Isabella and Emily's mum Zilda. We caught the public bus into town, and after sharing morning tea, entered the Theatre to watch the Songs of the Sea stage performance.
All the children enjoyed this outing and I think in particular, the bus ride.
Upon waiting for the bus ride home, the children also met a policeman on duty, who kindly agreed to have his photo taken with us.
All in all, an enjoyable morning out.
Through this experience, the children are developing an expectation that music, art, drama, and dance can amuse, delight, comfort, illuminate, inform, and excite, as well as an awareness of connections between events and experiences within and beyond the early childhood education setting. Monica

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Being with Squeezy

Charlotte pointed over to the guinea pig hutch from the deck. I asked, "Do you want to go over and have a look?" she replied, "yes". We went and had a look at Squeezy. Charlotte suggested that she have a hold, so I went and got a towel off the line. We made our way over to the new chair on the deck and Charlotte had a cuddle with Squeezy. She patted him gently noting how soft he was. Jak then came along and took an interest in Squeezy, patting his soft fur and ears. After this, Charlotte decided to move away and Jak got a little closer. He continously patted Squeezy's fur and at one point pushed down on Squeezy a few times so I reminded him to be gentle which he was. I could see that Jak and Charlotte enjoyed this little quiet time observing and cuddling Squeezy.

It's great for children to experience looking after pets, it provides them with an experience to show empathy and care for animals.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Paige's puku

One morning Paige was looking through her profile book. She enjoys looking back on her photos and what she was doing, particulary her baby photos. Paige came across a photo where her puku (tummy) was showing. It was a story about Paige putting sand on her puku. Paige laughed and thought it was a funny photo.

Paige knew exactly what the story was about just by looking at the photos. She lifted up her top and started to show her puku. She was rubbing it and laughing and thought it was soo funny.

"My puku doesn't have sand anymore aye Ainslee?'. 'No your tummy looks very clean', I replied.

Paige is continually developing awareness of her body parts and is confident in expressing herself about it. Paige also enjoys re-visiting her learning, via her profile book. This provides Paige with a sense of belonging and self-worth.


Baby Anaura

Acacia and her whaanau welcomed baby Anaura to their whaanau on Good Friday. Both mum and baby are doing well. They visited us at KIDSPACE yesterday and we were delighted to met little Anaura. Acacia was so proud to show off her little sister.


Newsletter April 2011