Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Oscar stacks the blocks

Oscar was near the basket of little wooden blocks and I was sitting next to him.  He noticed I was making a tower with the blocks.  Oscar pulled out one cube at a time, and started stacking them up like I was.  He stacked them three and four blocks high and then he would knock them over. Each time when Oscar finished making a tower he put both hands on his hips, and he twisted his body from side to side. He had a grin from ear to ear while looking at me, as if to say, "Look what I have done Tamara."  You could see that he was very impressed with what he had achieved. I responded by saying, "Yay, you did it Oscar.  You are very pleased aren't you?", and I clapped. Oscar continued to make towers and knock them over.  As he got further along with his stacking he was able to make towers five and six blocks high. Ka pai to mahi Oscar, well done. In this experience Oscar was able to use the blocks which were familiar to him to, try new things, and explore the possibilities.

Oscar is developing the skills to choose and experiment with materials, to play around with ideas, and to explore actively with all his sense.

A week later Oscar was sitting quietly by himself.  He had found the basket of blocks. As I observed Oscar I noticed he was selecting the blocks and making a tower, revisiting his learning from the previous week.



Just to let you know Monica's last day has changed.  It is now this Friday, not next Tuesday.  The farewell afternoon tea for Monica will now be this Friday 25 May, 3pm.

This is also Becky's last day.  Becky will be returning to her own centre after having been on practicum for five weeks at KIDSPACE.  We really appreciate the time Becky has spent with us and wish her well in her teaching career.

We are looking forward to having Debbie back at KIDSPACE next Tuesday after completing her practicum placement in Hastings.

Charlie's Jet Interest

At the beginning of my five week practicum working at KIDSPACE, I noticed that Charlie had an interest  in jets.  Over time Charlie has developed this interest in a number of ways.  Together we have searched the internet finding pictures of different jets.  Charlie chose a picture that he liked and decided to use it as the model for his jet construction as well as a painting.  Charlie has shown persistence working on his jet day by day.  He has many elaborate ideas about how his jet should be and demonstrated skills such as using scissors, tape and painting.  Charlie has expanded his interest through paper jet making. Which has given him the opportunity to explore with flights and gravity, flying them outside on a windy day.  "My erryplane just crashed into that bush!" He said laughing, as he ran around flying his jet.   

Currently, Charlie is working on a book about his developing interest in jets.  He has chosen pictures and spent time typing and choosing what he wants to say in the book.  By doing this Charlie is learning about literacy.  This process also gives Charlie the opportunity to revisit his experiences as well as self-reflect, to think about what he has learnt and how he has felt through out the process.


Monday, 21 May 2012

Visit to Park Island

Today Rie, Tamara, Dan (Rionagh's Dad) and Becky (teaching practicum student) took a small group of children to Park Island.  We went to watch the Black Sticks women's hockey team at practice. The team demonstrated their skills as they went through their drills. Wow, they can hit that ball accurately and hard, then stop it.  The girls were so friendly and chatty to the children (and Dan). Afterwards we had a photo taken with some of the girls.


Georgia turns three

Nau mai ki Georgia hou me nga Whaanau

We welcome Georgia and her whaanau to KIDSPACE.
Georgia started at KIDSPACE last Thursday and has settled in really well. She is enjoying exploring her new setting and trying out the different experiences on offer. We have noticed that Georgia especially enjoys music and climbing just like Mum said. Georgia is very social and is making lots of new friends.
We look forward to getting to know you and your whaanau Georgia and being involved in your learning journey at KIDSPACE.


Friday, 18 May 2012

I had the pleasure of listening to a song sung by Lexi, which she had learnt from her sisters school assembly.  It is a Bruno Mars song.  
I think that Lexi did such a great job.  I was amazed by all the words she had learnt off by heart as well as the tune.  
Lexi was very eager to sing me the song as well as Monica.  When I asked Lexi if she would like me to record her singing her song she was very excited about it.  
Lexi, it is amazing to see you come out of you shell more and more.  Your confidence has grown so much.  It was a pleasure to listen and watch you sing.

Thursday, 17 May 2012


There has been an ongoing interest in Squeezy lately. In particular, the little children - Oscar, Posey and Milan. When I picked Squeezy up in a towel, he was a little bit overwhelmed so I held on to him to begin with, while the children crowded around. Jaz had dashed off to get leaves from the garden. Oscar was standing directly in front of him, yet he seemed to want to get closer and closer. He kept reaching over to pat his head, and I showed him how to gently pat behind his ears and down his back. Oscar squeled with excitement each time he touched Squeezy or if Squeezy sniffed towards him.

Poesy has also been showing an interest lately. Before we picked him up in the towel, we went on a 'Squeezy Hunt'. We held hands walking up the hill and around the playground, looking through the trees and bushes. We were calling out 'Squeesy, SQUEESY!'  Poesy is learning to say "Squeezy" and it's coming across clearer and clearer the more she says it. 

The children really enjoy having a little pet animal to look after at KIDSPACE. Squeezy doesn't mind being held, and especially likes being hand fed by the children. 


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Staff Update

I am currently conducting a review of our present staffing and looking at different options for replacing Monica.  If you would like to share your thoughts with me about staffing (or anything else about KIDSPACE), I would be very willing to listen.  I can be contacted in person, by phone or email at any time of the day or evening. Alternatively, the contact details for our two parent reps are on the noticeboard above the sign in sheet. Also, our missing suggestion box has been replaced and is now attached to the end of the parent library shelf.

Recently, we have been very pleased to welcome back two well-loved teachers.  Jude is now doing some regular hours each week plus some day-to-day relieving.  Lepa is filling in for student teachers while they are on their practicum placements in other centres.  We also welcome Melody, a primary trained relieving teacher.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Happy graduation and school days Ruby

Ruby's kite

Last week I observed Ruby as I thought she was practising her writing. No, I was mistaken. Ruby was designing and decorating a kite. When she finished the kite she asked if I could go outside with her so that she could fly it.
These are Ruby's words about her kite;
"I made a kite and then I went outside to fly it and then I puffed".
"I tried to get it up in the air again but I had to wait for a more gust of wind".


Friday, 11 May 2012

Welcome to our new friend Lucian

We welcome Lucian to KIDSPACE.  Lucian is Lukah's younger brother, (Lukah has been with us since February).
Lucian, we are very excited to have you with us.  We know that you are going to be looked after extra well by your sister (and teachers).
We have already noticed your interest in everything, especially messy play such as gloop, paint and slime.  You have been eager to give things a go, try new things and interact with both the older and younger children.

On your first day you were happy to go off on your own and explore.  Your sister Lukah made sure to check on you throughout the day.  Here is a picture of the two of you playing together on the blocks.

Exploring with the paints.

Investigating the messy play (slime).  

A big warm welcome to Olivia and her Whaanau

We welcome Olivia and her whaanau to KIDSPACE.
Olivia has had her first week with us and has fitted in really well.
As we were told, Olivia has a great interest in dinosaurs, which we have noticed as well.  On Olivia's first day she was very keen to join in with the other children while painting different outside areas with a paintbrush, bucket and water.  We have also noticed Olivia enjoying the sandpit and music and she has been making new friends in all of these areas.
We look forward to getting to know you and your family more and more during your time with us at KIDSPACE.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Big box painting

I bought a big box into KIDSPACE earlier in the week for the children to paint and construct whatever they wish. Paige helped me get it out of my car, before setting it up with paint pots. Straight away, a group of children were keen on doing some painting. I ensured there were enough paint pots and brushes for everyone. Cian, Ruby, Taneesha, Paige, Aimee, Marley were involved to begin with, all choosing an area on the box to paint, and maneuvering around each other with care. Oscar crawled over half way through and grabbed a paint brush ready to join in as well.

This was a lovely experience to observe, as the children took such an invested interest, as well as being creative in their own way. The children worked well along side each other, initiating conversation and further developing social skills.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Our new digger (thanks to the Gallaghers :)

Thanks to the Gallaghers for donating this awesome digger to KIDSPACE. The children have loved having two diggers and using this one with the new handles. I captured some photos of Ruby, Ankia and Marley having a go on the digger, and Seth and Brayden playing in the sandpit and waiting for a turn :)

Ongoing interest in dinosaurs

Brayden still has a real interest in dinosaurs. He came up to me one morning asking if I could read him the dinoaurs book. He looked through it and talked about the different dinosaurs we could see. To extend on these, we found the dinosaurs and set them up on the table outside. Brayden was excited straight away and wanted to jump them around and imitate how he sees dinosaurs act. Before long, Seth and Joshua came over, also showing an interest. The 3 boys began moving the dinosaurs along the table, interacting with each other, and making noises for each one. We looked at the book and tried to match the dinosaur to the picture in the book, but they all looked so different.

Since this experience, I have bought 5 new dinosaurs to add to our collection, to ensure there is enough for everyone to play with, as this is an ongoing interest. 


Welcome to KIDSPACE Sherriah

Welcome to KIDSPACE Sherriah.
Sherriah has been spending time getting to know the teachers, other children and the new play environment.  Sherriah has enjoyed engaging in art and craft activites including painting outside on the easel and drawing inside. 

We look forward to getting to know Sherriah and her whanau more, over the next few weeks.


Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Ainslee and Tamara have trialled the Educa system and we have decided to proceed with it.  Over the next week we will be sending you an email inviting you to be part of this system.  This is an optional extra and we will continue to print out learning stories for the children's blue learning journals.  For the time being we will continue with the blog but will assess it in a few months when the Educa system is fully functioning.  You are welcome to check out the Educa website www.educa.co.nz 

Educa is a web-based portfolio system specifically designed for
New Zealand Early Childhood Educational Centres

It significantly improves communication with parents and whanau.
The idea behind Educa is to provide a secure and interactive environment where teachers and parents/whanau can share learning stories, photos and videos and collaborate on children's learning. It helps to increase parents’ feedback, enabling teachers to better engage with parents’ needs, plus it’s cost effective and extremely easy to use.