Wednesday, 30 November 2011

KIDSPACE sponsor child

Instead of buying individual Christmas presents for KIDSPACE children, we have decided to sponsor a child through World Vision for $45 a month.

Our child is Abdul Aziz Gondi, a two year old boy from Yehi village in Mali, West Africa.

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world (ranked 173 out of 177) with 65% of it's land area classified as desert or semi-desert. More than 70% of the population survive on less than NZ$2 a day. Accessing safe drinking water is difficult and time consuming.

Mali's infant mortality rates are among the highest in the world. Chronic malnutrition causes developmental problems in more than a third of children under 5 years. KIDSPACE children will be able to write to Abdoul and learn about his way of life.

I traveled in Mali in 1978. Somewhere at home I've got slides of children, camel trains, sand storms, and even a kindergarten in Timbuktu, so I will hunt these out and bring them in and show the children.

Interest in literacy

Jack was very interested in writing numbers last week, his aim was to write from number one right through to one hundred. On this day Jack (ONLY?), had enough time to write to sixty nine, I thought this was very impressive. Rochelle and I worked closely along side him at different times throughout the day, when he asked for help. Jack has recognition of numbers and what they represent when spoken allowed. When I would say the next number is, let's say 27, he was able to listen to the number I said then write it down on his paper. This happened right through to double digits. Ka pai to mahi Jack!!! You are amazing, your love for learning and extending yourself really shows through. You showed such persistence to reach your goal. The very next day I observed you again writing your numbers, getting closer and closer to the big one hundred.

While Jack was working at the puzzle table, Lexi had sat down and chosen to work on the alphabet puzzle. Lexi asked if I could help her write her name with the pieces. I suggested she have a go first, then if she needed my help, I was right there. I watched as Lexi looked for the different letters of her name. She got a little stuck on finding the x so I showed her where it was, then Lexi found the i and successfully finished spelling her name. This puzzle has both lower and uppercase letters so I was able to talk about this with her in relevence with her name. Discussing with her that the first letter of her name L starts with a captial and the rest of her name is in lower case, then I talked about her last name having a captial letter also.

Jack and Lexi are showing familiarity with print and its uses through exploring and using literacy in meaningful and purposeful ways to them.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Lots of interest in baking

There has been a lot of interest in baking lately, children have been involved in imaginative baking play in the sandpit and with the playdough. We had Salina from E.I.T and she noticed this interest and planned various experiences for the children which happened throughout her four week practicum. On this occassion I organised to make muffins and Salina helped, Jaz, Josh, Emily, Noah, Charlie, Hannah Paige, Cian and Lexi (she left the table just before I took photos) rallied around the table eager to help. We made raisin and cinnmon muffins and replaced the ingrediants with dairy free, so Mollie could also eat them for morning tea the next day. The children often ask what the white powder is, "It's egg replacement", I tell them. All of these children were very good at turn taking, often they ask, "I want a turn, is it my turn"?. I let the children know they would all get a turn at measuring an ingredient and having a turn at folding the mixture. The concept of folding the mixture provided a bit of learning for some of the children, Charlie, Noah and Jaz were very eager to mix the mixture round and around, but Salina and I talked about the process of folding the mixture, very carefully and modelled how this was done (not to over stir the mixture). This was a great opportunity to extend on childrens interest and giving them an opportunity to be involved in real baking, which we like to do at KIDSPACE as often as we can. Children are able to engage in and learn about early maths concepts through the use of measuring cups and talking about different quantities. This was a social time where children shared when they helped with baking at home and what they made, making links with their centre life and what they do at home. A fun time was had by all.


Straight after the Kapa Haka

Not long after we arrived back from seeing the Kapa Haka concert at Onekawa School.
Emily, Isabella, Jack and Zoe found the poi's and started spinning them around like they had seen being done at the school. All the girls said, "You go like this, this is where the poi goes, hahaha", (as they placed the poi's in the front parts of their t-shirts and dresses). From this I could see that the children had been really interested and taken back by the Kapa Haka as they reinacted what they had seen. Through these experiences children are able to link experiences from outside the centre and bring these experiences back into the centre and act these out in their play. These children were able to learn about the New Zealand Maaori culture, some have been exposed to Kapa Haka groups before and others hadn't. Zoe shared that her sister's in the Kapa Haka, she said to me, "that's not my sisters Kapa Haka, my sisters has a different one". I enjoyed seeing you children show confidence and act these dances out.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Scarlett's dance

Last Monday afternoon I put some te reo Maori music on for the children to dance to. Scarlett wandered down to the art room after her sleep to see what all the noise was. She stood and watched as the older children danced. Once the older children had left she started to dance. She had some very graceful moves mixed with a few break dancing moves too. She danced like this for a good five minutes.
Scarlett, it was a pleasure to watch you dance. You showed great persistence and had an array of dance moves which you were not afraid to show off.


Teddy bears picnic

Click to enlarge


Visting Onekawa school kapa haka performance

On Friday, we took all of the children down to Onekawa school, to watch their Kapa Haka group perform. And what a performance it was.! The children sat nice and quiet on the mats and 'grandstand' as the kapa haka group filed into the hall. The girls all had matching red dresses on, and the boys had red skirts. All of the children had painted moko on their faces, and the girls had poi tucked into their dress.

All of songs were sung in te reo; loud and confident with great pronouncation. After a couple of songs, the girls stepped aside, allowing a gap for the boys to walk forward to the front and perfrom the haka. They sung 'ka mate, ka mate', with big powerful voices. Our children watched with such concentration! It was a great experience for our children. Not only to visit Onekawa school, but to see a bi-cultural experience, and there's nothing like a local kapa haka group singing waiata, using poi and doing the haka!


'EB' the bunny

Over the last few weeks, Lepa has been bringing her bunny 'EB', into KIDSPACE. The children have had so much fun with EB so far. They look forward to Lepa bringing it in on Thursday's. EB is very friendly and loves the children. He enjoys running through the grass and bushes, and hiding under Squeezy's hutch. Cleo and Mana were captured in a photo, spending some time with EB on the hill. He stayed still as they gently patted his back and touched his soft fur.

The children like to find grass, carrots and apples to feed EB, and watch as he runs around. It is great to see the children taking care of his wellbeing, just like they do with Squeezy.


Friday, 18 November 2011

EIT presentation

Congratulations to Tamara and Rochelle who did a brillant job presenting to the year one EIT Bachelor of Teaching students this morning. Tamara put in a huge amount of work preparing for this session on assessment and documentation of children's learning. The feedback from the students attending the session was very positive.

At KIDSPACE we see this as effective professional learning for our teachers as well as an opportunity to promote good practice with future teachers.

Jack's creative artwork

One morning last week, Jack took a real interest in the painting that I set up in the art room. He liked the look of the bright primary colours and began on his painting straight away. Jack used red, green and orange. Once he had finished, I could tell straight away what he had painted, and began asking him about it. "It's traffic lights!" he told me. I asked him where he had seen them, and he told me that he sees them on the roads all the time.

I asked Jack if he knew what the colours represented. "Red is stop", he said. "And green is...?", I said. "Go!", he replied. He was a little unsure with what orange was, and I told him that it meant to slow down and try and stop safely.

Jack then began telling me that ambulance and police can go straight through any of the lights because they are always in a hurry and it is an emergency.

Jack then moved on to painting a rainbow. carefully choosing the colours he wanted, and taking extra care in painting it in an arch shape.

I enjoyed having these conversations with Jack, and loved that he was able to share his knowledge from the wider community, with me, and express it through his art work. Fantastic work Jack!


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Health and well-being for Squeezy

Squeezy is still a very much loved member of KIDSPACE whaanau. Here you can see the children giving Squeezy a medical exam. Blood presure - Check, Heart Beat - Check, still beating. To finish this off, Squeezy is given a warm bubble bath, and is squeaky clean and is awarded with a juicy carrot. Children are provided with learning the care and responsibilty for Squeezy's health and well-being. Ann

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

October 2011 Newsletter

Sorry, we missed posting the newsletter on the blog at the end of October (you will have already had a black and white paper copy of this newsletter in your notice pocket)
Click on newsletter to enlarge

A new look for Nathan?

When Paige and her dad, Nathan, arrived at KIDSPACE, Paige made her way straight to the dress ups and put on a long black wig. After her dad had admired her new look, I suggested that he might like to try the wig on as well. Paige thought that this was a great idea and Nathan being such a good sport played along with it. Together they posed for these photos:


Celebrating children and supporting parents

Are you planning to do something special with your children this Sunday?
Universal Children’s Day was established by the United Nations in 1954. For over 55 years, governments have celebrated Universal Children’s Day on the 20th of November to promote the well-being of children. This date also marks the day on which the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1959) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

This is an interesting website to check out:
There is information on topics ranging from a week by week pregnancy guide, coping with crying and colic, how to choose child care, support for new mums, and the 7 signs of a bad doctor.

Another useful site is a NZ site that is currently running a campaign about Extra-Ordinary dads to celebrate fathers and the important role that they have in their child's life.

Stress Prevention

With Christmas fast approaching, here are 6 stress prevention tips from Early Childhood Exchange:

Six Stress Prevention Tips

Exchange Everyday, November, 2011

Scientific American Mind (September 2011) offered "six strategies for fighting stress before it starts".

1. Seek and kill. Take a few minutes every day to identify stressors in your life and find ways to reduce or eliminate them.

2. Commit to the positive. Don't rely on self-destructive ways of coping with stress — drinking, drugs, overeating.

3. Be your own personal secretary. People who keep lists of things to do really do more things.

4. Immunize yourself. Through exercise, thought management, and the daily practice of relaxation techniques, you will be in a better position to face stressors.

5. Make a little plan. Spend a few minutes every morning planning your day. You will waste less time, get more done, and feel less stressed.

6. And make a big plan. Planning your future is a great way of exercising more control over your life.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Dressing up

The family play area and the dress ups is a curriculum area that is still of big interest among the children, and Jay is no exception. He can often be seen trying on the different outfits available to him, as can be seen in these photos.
Jay is developing a feeling of belonging, and having a right to belong, in the early childhood setting, and an ability to take on different roles in different contexts. Monica

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Jaz the Pirate

Jaz is a big lover of dressing up, so it came as no surprise when I spied her trying on different outfits in the family corner. After a while she decided on wearing high heels, a lei, and a pair of sunglasses with only one lens, making her look like a tourist holidaying on a resort.
Well that was my perception of how she looked, until she informed me she was a pirate.
Dressing up is still a huge interest amongst many of the children, and it is wonderful to observe the wonderful dramatic play that occurs as a result of this.
Dramatic play provides wonderful learning opportunities for children, and encourages language,social and emotional development.
The KIDSPACE children are developing increasing confidence and a repertoire for symbolic, pretend, and dramatic play. Monica.

Happy Birthday Noah

Yesterday we celebrated Noah's 4th Birthday at KIDSPACE. Gemma, Noah's mum, bought in a tasty Banana cake which was shared by all.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Marley's swat painting

I set up fly swat painting in the art room one morning last week. When Marley arrived he came down to say hello, and noticed Cian doing a painting. 'I do a painting too', Marley said to me, hoping on a seat in front of a piece of paper. Marley dipped the swatter in the yellow paint and slapped it on the paper. He paused and looked at the pattern it made, and then continued slapping down the swatter, over and over. Marley looked over at Cian and that was also what he was doing with his picture. I think Marley also liked the noise it made as it hit the table. It made little splatter effects on his paper as well. Marley then moved on to choosing another colour.

Children develop different ways to be creative and expressive, including a range of different mediums. In this instance, Marley was exploring colours, patterns, textures and cause and effect.


Lexi's rock painting

Lexi took an interest in rock painting one day last week. The idea came from Zoe, as she brought in a big rock from home that she had been painting over the weekend.

This sparked an interest with Lexi and Emily. Lexi said to me 'Ainslee, I want to paint a rock!'. I suggested that she look for one down at the rock path. A few moments later, she came back looking chuffed that she had found a rock. Emily was a few steps behind her, also holding a rock. As this interest grew, I added more newspaper to the table and got a wider range of paint and brushes. The rock painted lasted til morning tea time, and then after.

Lexi decided to paint her rock green. She then noticed that she needed to paint the other side, but she couldn't turn it over as it was wet. So we came to the conclusion that she could wait for it to dry and then come back later to paint the other side. Lexi was happy to return to her painting later on that day.

Children's spontaneous play and ideas are recognised as valuable learning (Te Whariki).


Socialising in the sandpit


Exploring the water and sand


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Blind awareness

Last week I talked to the children about why we were having the bake sale. I talked about how guide dogs help blind people get around without them being able to see. We then talked about traffic lights. When a blind person needs to know whether to cross the road safely, underneath the button that we press is a button that pops out and this is how a blind person knows it is safe to cross. I suggested the children might like to feel this the next time they are waiting at the traffic lights with family (but still check that the little green person appears to show that it is safe), I did say it might give them a little fright. I then asked the children what senses blind people would need to use, the children weren't quite sure. I said, "Their listening and sense of touch". I said that when your blind you need to listen very carefully. To illustrate what it might be like for blind people, we listened to Willbee the bumble and closed our eyes instead of looking at the book. The children quite enjoyed that, it gave them a bit of an insight. It's such a great experience for children to learn about different people other than ourselves and know that everyone is diverse. The children enjoyed baking and learnt about doing things for others.


Baking Muffins

There has been lots of interest with baking in the sandpit and the play-dough area.
Yesterday I prepared the tray so the children that wanted to could bake some apple and cinnamon muffins. Ruby yelled out to me from the clay table, "I'll come and help soon to, I'm just going to finish playing at the clay table", I replied, "okay". Our student teacher Salina helped with baking also and said she had noticed the interest in baking in the sandpit. Zoe, Emily and Isabella washed their hands and got a chair each and Ruby joined us a little while later. Maia then came along to watch and touch everything she quite liked the apple skin, "apple" she said. Zoe took charge of the bowl first filling it up with one cup of flour then proceeded to mix it around. Each child got to have a turn at folding the mixture which I showed them how to do, I talked about how muffins don't turn out very well if they are over mixed (having said that everyone wanted to have a turn so they did get a little over mixed, but that's all part of the fun it and the process) a little while down the track Jack, Noah and Thadeus wanted to join in, so they all got a stir and Noah added the cinnamon in for us. Baking is a great way to introduce children to early mathematics where they gain opportunities to measure different ingredients. The girls were all very eager to have a turn so we talked about how everyone would get a turn at something. So they had to learn the art of patience which isn't always an easy concept to learn.

The children enjoyed their muffins for morning tea this morning
How many of your children like to bake at home?

I know Noah does, he shared that with me yesterday and said his favourite thing to bake is a chocolate cake, I said my favourite was making a carrot cake.


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Donnagh

Great success

Thank you to everyone that contributed baking, or made a donation or purchase at our cake stall last Thursday. We raised $126.50, for the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind.