We welcomed three new RECEs (Registered Early Childhood Educators) to our staff over the summer months. Marie, Jennifer and Wendy are all valuable additions to our Preschool Teaching Team. Together with Chantale and Martha, they are working daily to provide play-based learning opportunities that meet the individual needs and appeal to the interests of all the children in our care.
This summer also saw some much needed upgrades to our backyard. As a result of receiving a Provincial Capital Funding Grant from the City of Ottawa, we were able to have new rubber surfacing installed in our playground and a new wooden fence built. The children enjoyed watching the work in the backyard from our 2nd floor windows, which lead to lots of “building” activities in the program.
Preschool-- 1st Floor Fun
Marie and Chantale prepare daily art and sensory activities to help build on their children’s curiosity and creative development. The children are always very excited to see what they will have to explore in the sensory bin – will it be washing vegetables, or comparing the texture of different materials, or maybe even making playdough! The children are also learning their letters and numbers through various educational games and activities. For example, they are learning what letters make up their name, and each morning they review the calendar during circle time and are encouraged to name the number date of the month, the day of the week, and month of the year.
Preschool – 2nd Floor Fun
Jennifer, Wendy, and Martha have found that many of their 2nd floor friends are great story tellers. To build on this developing literacy skill, our teachers are asking that their children bring in one toy/item from home every Friday for a “Show and Tell” time. Please remember to label your child’s item so that it does not go home with the wrong family.Toys with guns or other toy weapons are not permitted at daycare.
Our toddlers have been busy learning through their natural curiosity and exploration of their environment. Our toddler teachers are busy helping our little ones learn to use their words to express their feelings; role modelling manners [more please, thank you]; and teaching some basic self-help skills such as putting on their hats and shoes for outdoor play. Our children are also learning to express themselves through their art work and really enjoy all of the adult attention and praise they receive for their efforts.
We were pleased to welcome back Diana, our Head Teacher, who returned from her maternity leave near the end of June.
We are happy to have Stacey Lawrence, RECE, join our teaching team in early December. Stacey worked with us briefly over the summer months and is a terrific addition to our teaching team.
We’ve completed a few upgrades to our Infant Program. Recently we had some new windows installed at the front of the building; new carpeting in the front playroom and sleep room; and we are in the process of having the entire program repainted. All of the work is being completed on weekends so that it does not impact our daytime programs.
We’ve been enjoying beautiful fall colours with our infants by bringing in some colourful crunchy leaves for them to play with in our sensory bins. In October, our babies experienced the feel and taste of fresh crushed pumpkin, and for Halloween they sunk their hands into some Halloween goop! Our infants had fun making turkey hand prints for their parents and learning action songs about spiders, falling leaves, and “5 Little Pumpkins”.
The Seasons are Changing
With the colder weather suddenly here, we need to remind parents to dress their child for the weather. We go outside with the children daily unless it is colder than -15C at our Infant & Toddler Centre, and -20C at our Preschool Centre. Your child will need a winter coat, snow pants, winter boots, a hat, scarf/neck warmer, and mittens every day. It is always a good idea to leave an extra set of mittens in your child’s cubby so that he/she has a dry pair for later. We do not allow children to wear mittens on strings at daycare as these are considered a health and safety risk since the string could potentially wrap around the child’s neck.
Please ensure that all of your child’s belongings are labelled with his or her name to help prevent mix ups.
The preschool children are at a point in their development where they need to master a number of self-help skills in order to be prepared for the school system. It is important for them to learn to get dressed on their own for outdoor play. We work with the children daily to teach and encourage them to dress themselves as much as possible, and we hope that you do the same at home in order to reinforce this skill development. Encouraging your preschool-aged child to put on his or her own coat and boots before leaving the house is more time consuming than doing it for him/her, however it will benefit your child greatly.
Tips and Tricks for Developing Winter Dressing Skills
Boots:Look for boots that open down the side. The more they open, the easier it is for a child to put their foot all the way into the boot. Avoid boots with laces that children cannot yet tie.
Hats, Mitts and Scarves:Look for mittens that open down the side with a zip or Velcro since they are easier for children to put on. Avoid gloves because they are too difficult for young children to put each finger into properly. Look for a hat that is loose enough that your child can pull it over their head by themselves. Neck warmers are much easier than scarves for kids to manage on their own.
Coats:We teach our children the “Flip Trick” to putting on their coats. Here is how the flip trick works: Lay the coat on the floor, zipper side up with the zipper open. Have the child stand at the top of the coat. The child needs to bend down and slide his/her arms into the sleeves. Then the child stands up flipping the coat over his/her head and into place. Although this does still take a little bit of practice, it does make putting a coat a little bit easier for our children.
Scholastic Book Clubs
Thank you to everyone who has participated in our Scholastic Book Clubs. From September 2013 to June 2014 your participation in this fundraiser has helped us accumulate over $400 in “Bonus Dollars” which has been used to purchase books and other activities for both our Toddler and Preschool Programs. Below is a list of some of the items we’ve purchased with our Scholastic Book Clubs “Bonus Dollars”:
Preschool: Playmobile Fire Station, Christmas Carol book and CD, Window Markers and Crayons, Counting Bears Set, “I Want to Be…” book set (3 books), “If You Give A Mouse …” book and CD set (6 books) and “The Best Me I Can Be” book set (8 books).
Toddler: Playmobile Fire Station, “Getting Along” book set (4 books), “Manners” book set (4 books), “Learn About Weather” book set (4 books), “Best Me I Can be” book set (8 books) and “Potty Super Hero and Princess” board books (2 books).
Our Scholastic Book Club is a continuous fundraiser therefore we will continue to leave a Scholastic book order brochure in each child’s cubby on a monthly basis. As with all of our fundraisers, participation is completely voluntary. If you have any questions about this fundraiser program, please do not hesitate to contact Nicki at our Preschool Centre at 613-729-1677.
Many of the children came dressed up in the Halloween costumes on Friday, October 31st. Our toddlers had a great party that included carving pumpkins, playing with the goopy pumpkin insides, and face painting. Our preschoolers enjoyed a variety of Halloween games like the “Great Bug Hunt” with flashlights and plastic bugs, and playing with ooey-gooey fake brains made from cooked spaghetti. Some children who didn’t come in wearing a costume had fun making up their own from our daycare costume trunk.
Children’s Christmas Party
Our annual Children’s Christmas Party will be on Friday, December 19th, 2014. We will have a sing-along with Mr. Ed in our Toddler Program and “The Amazing Magic Show” by John Pert at our Preschool Centre. We will also have as our special guest, Santa, who will be making his long trip from the North Pole to visit with our children. A form has been sent out to our parents this past week asking if you will be attending our party so that we can ensure that we have enough space to accommodate everyone comfortably. We look forward to our Christmas-time celebration with all of our families!
28 Oxford Street
5 Pinehurst Avenue
Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM