Friday, April 29, 2011
Click here to watch the video. Embedding is disabled with this video which is why I don't have it directly on this page.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
A group of them started playing with the big foam blocks. One boy remembered the bouncing game from a few weeks ago. A couple of the foam blocks are rectangle shaped and those work the best because they can sit on them and there’s enough room to bounce. Anyway, he told me he wanted to bounce so I held his hands. A girl came over and said it was her turn. I asked the boy if he heard his friend say it was her turn. He said it was still his turn so I let him bounce a few more times. Then the girl reminded him that she wanted a turn. He sat on the block for another few minutes while saying, “Mine and my turn.” I wasn’t sure how to let her have a turn without just taking the block away from him. Then I thought of a way they could work together. I suggested that he could hold her hands while she bounced and then when it was his turn, she could hold his hands. He hesitated, but I helped him stand up. She sat on the block and he grabbed her hands and they started laughing when one of them would bounce too hard and fall off. I had to remind them once in a while whose turn it was, but they figured out that its fun when they work together. Then another boy got involved and we had to add more turns, but he moved on to something else pretty quickly. The boy wanted his own block so he tried the squares, but he found that they were too small for bouncing, but we finally found another rectangular block. They enjoyed bouncing next to each other too. They also built a huge tower together and loved when someone else knocked it over. That meant that it was time to rebuild.
When the other toddlers came back from lunch, I saw D again. She was the girl who says, “Got you!” Her newest game is to sort of hide behind a chair. Of course, she can’t really get behind it because it’s an adult sized chair which is partially against the wall. I can still see her, but she says, “I got you” from there. Eventually, she’ll run out and across the room. She’s trying to talk a lot more. I don’t understand most of her words, but she is trying really hard. Most of the time, I know what she’s asking for though. She was asking for milk today which I could understand. She’s learning to use a regular paper cup, but she crumples it and the milk spills, but she’s trying. She’s grown so much since I met her in February.
In the infant room, I spent more time with Baby L and Baby C. We put them in the squishy seats again. They always reach for each other and like to look at each other’s toys. Baby C babbled a lot today and was excited to get in the jumper. There are keys on the jumper that you can press and they make musical notes. She loved hitting them and figuring out that they made different sounds. Baby L also discovered this earlier in the day. I was sitting with him and pressed the keys a few times to let him hear the sounds. He tried imitating me, but his hands aren’t strong enough to press the keys. Finally, he’d press his cheek against them and they’d make the sound. He spent a lot of time doing this. He also liked playing with a rattle that was hanging from the top of the jumper. I’d make it swing from side to side and he’d catch it. When it was just hanging there, he’d shake it and babble about what he was doing. At least that’s what I think he was babbling about. We also played with a ball. I’d give the ball to Baby C because she actually would grab it with both hands and would drop it. Of course, it’d role all over the place. Baby L would only push on it while it was in my hand and it would fall. Then he’d reach his hand out to touch the ball again. He also kept scratching it, but didn’t figure out that he could use both hands to hold it. He also showed interest in a big blue ball that they have for the older infants. The ball is at least twice his size, but he wanted to play with it so I’d gently role it over to him so he could touch it and he’d push it away, but then would try to reach for it again. It would get too far away from him though and he’s not strong enough to crawl after it. I have a feeling he’ll be crawling soon because he’s already showing interest in chasing after objects and will lean towards them while stretching his hands out. For now, we are enjoying the stage that Baby L is at because he loves to be held, but is just as happy to be playing by himself.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you are enjoying the holiday with family or friends. here are my favorites from the week. They are mostly Easter or earth day activities.
Play-dough Planet Earth
A neat creation for earth day.
A mixed Bag
A great idea for sensory play even for kids who don't like messy activities.
Kid Chef Easter Favorites
Creative Easter themed snacks.
Fabric Covered Easter Eggs
A neat idea for all those extra plastic Easter eggs and scraps of fabric.
Tissue Paper Egg Dying
Another way to dye Easter eggs. I had never seen this before.
Recycled Water Bottles (Plastic Bead Mosaic)
A pretty craft using recycled materials.
Baby Treasure Basket 12 Months
Ideas for a treasure basket for babies.
The Preschool Newsletter
Ideas for creating preschool newsletters.
there are many ways to dye Easter eggs. Jen from Paint Cut Paste tried a bunch of them.
Friday, April 22, 2011
The infants are older at this place and most of them are walking. We only had four this morning. The only one who wasn’t walking was another Baby L. I come across a lot of Baby L’s. This one is a girl and she’s very cute. If I spend more time with her, I’ll come up with a better name. She had come in on one of my times in the toddler room so when I came back to the infant room, I didn’t notice her at first. When the other teacher left the room, I looked over and noticed her in the jumper. She started jumping really fast and I told her that she was really good at jumping. One of the boys noticed and he started grabbing her and the toys that were bouncing up and down with her. This made her nervous and she started to fuss. I tried the technique of showing the boy how to be gentle with her like I did with Baby L and Crawling Baby, but it didn’t work because she started to freak out. She stopped after we backed away from her a little bit, but then started to cry louder. I thought it was me that was bothering her at first because I’m new and I had touched her cheek. I’ve noticed that babies always try to touch each other’s faces because that’s what Crawling Baby does and that’s what this little boy did. Anyway, she reached her arms up so I picked her up, but I was worried that the other teacher was going to come back to the room to a screaming baby. I was surprised though when she calmed right down. The other teacher came back and I was glad because I couldn’t hold her and pay close enough attention to the other three walking around the room. So we sat in the rocking chair and another little girl brought over some blocks that the boys had been throwing all morning. I gave them to Girl Baby L to look at and she babbled a little bit as she looked at the different blocks. After a few minutes, we took the babies outside and Baby L sat in a swing which she enjoyed. She started fussing again when we went back inside and then didn’t want to sit in a seat while the older babies ate lunch. I held her for a while and she kept putting her head on my shoulder. I would’ve helped put her to sleep, but I had to go back to the toddlers.
I met some cool kids there too. There was one girl in particular who was really talkative. I’ll call her K. When I first walked in, she was talking about how she was fixing cereal for her baby that was sitting in the highchair. Then another girl came over and she showed me some different juice containers. They were containers with different things in them that were glued shut. Most had water with different food coloring, but others had some substance that was made to look like milk and another one had cheerios in it. I thought it was creative to make these for the kitchen area and the children really enjoyed them. They were different sizes and had different amounts of liquid in them. The girls wanted me to keep pouring them juice, tea, milk etc. Meanwhile, K pretended to feed her baby cereal and juice. I asked her what kind of juice she was drinking and she told me, “Milk juice.” Then she brought over a different bottle and I asked her what kind of juice that was. She told me, “Cereal juice.” Later, she said another bottle had grape juice in it. The girls started trying to dress their babies and wanted me to put diapers on them. K told me I needed to put a diaper on her baby so she wouldn’t pee or poop. She brought over a doctors kit and said she was making everyone feel better. The other girl said her baby wasn’t sick so she didn’t need to go to the doctor.
They asked me my name and I told them it’s Darcey. I asked them what their names were and K kept giving me the other girl’s name instead of her own so I was getting confused about who was who because the other teachers hadn’t told me any of their names. They told me that they were both two-years-old. K said, “I’m a toddler and my sister is a preschooler.” The other girl told me that she was a toddler too which got them into a conversation about how they were all toddlers in the room.
Later during lunch, we had scrambled eggs and toast. They loved the eggs, but K asked, “Where’s the chicken?” I told her that we weren’t having chicken for lunch and that I didn’t know why. She said, “Why aren’t we having chicken?” Then she said that when she was a baby, her mother had chicken, but it was all gone. She also told me, “When I was a baby, I was a boy, but then I turned into a girl.” I asked if she was sure because she looked like a girl to me and that I thought she had always been a girl even when she was a baby. She told me no, that she was a boy as a baby, but not anymore. She was a girl now. When the director came over to check on things, the toddlers at the table told her I was a lot of fun.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Later I fed baby J and had to change his diaper. He’s usually fussy when being changed, but he was really patient with me. The diaper part didn’t take long, but then when I had to put the onesie back on, that took a while. I really hate all those snaps and how you have to line them up. At least he didn’t seem to mind.
Crawling Baby spent some time playing with his favorite phone and dumping out a bucket full of toys. We didn’t walk together today, but he kept walking with a push toy. I showed him and Baby O a book with scratch and sniff garden pictures, but they didn’t understand the whole sniff part. The scratching they understood right away. Baby O was gentle with the book, but Crawling Baby seemed like he wanted to rip it apart so I had to put it away. It was one of my books from a small collection and I didn’t want it ruined. I knew that would happen, but I thought I’d try anyway. They always have books out for them to look at as well. If I had my own classroom, I’d probably make a lot of picture books for them to look at. I know there are some you can buy, but I’ve seen a lot of good ideas for making them plus they can be personalized.
I sat with Crawling Baby during lunch and he’s such a messy eater. He wants to be independent and feed himself. We’ve tried to feed him with a spoon, but he knocks all the food off onto the table and then he’ll pick it up to eat it. After a few spoonfuls, I gave up and started dumping it onto the table. It’s a mess, but it’s great that he wants to feed himself. He loves all kinds of foods too which is good. Most kids I’ve worked with have been picky so this is a change. That was all for today.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Here’s a simple pond sensory tub.
What’s in it?
Stones of different shapes and sizes,
Plastic aquarium plants,
Different sized cups for pouring
And pieces of foil supposed to be Lilly pads.
I tried to make Lilly pads from foil or at least something shaped kind of round or oval, but it wasn’t working. I couldn’t get anything close to a circle, oval and certainly not anything shaped like a Lilly pad. Plus I was rushing to get the tub done and didn’t want to keep messing with foil. I kept the pieces in there anyway because it was something that floats. The kids can pretend they are whatever they want them to be. I like the stones though and the duckies are fun too! If you squeeze the ducks, water comes out of the mouth. I’m sure water would be all over the place when the kids discover that.
For next time, I’d include more plants, more plastic frogs and turtles and maybe I could find some fish that look more like fresh water fish. The plastic fish I have are all sharks, seals etc. I need to take another trip to the dollar store soon. You could also include larger stones or pieces of wood and if you are really adventurous, put a little dirt on the bottom.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I keep seeing different versions of this game around on the blogs so I figured I’d try making one of my own. I started with a dozen plastic eggs and made six matching pairs. I made sure that each pair wasn’t the same color so they had to depend on the sound to match them. I used pennies, round stones, googley eyes, rice, popcorn kernels and pompoms. I started by putting them all in the basket. That way they can use the egg carton to help them keep track of their matches.
Another way to do the activity is if there are enough kids, give each one an egg and see who else has the egg that makes the same sound. That might be a good circle time activity.
Finally, a third way to do this activity is to make a key like I did below. I taped each object to the piece of paper. You can start with the six eggs that correspond to the object. See if the child can match the object with the sound. You can add the other six eggs to make it a little harder or do 12 objects instead of six. You can do any number of eggs you want. I chose twelve because I had an egg carton to put them in.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Here are my favorites for this week. there are a lot of great projects out there for Easter.
Beautiful Marbled Eggs
A messy Easter craft.
Recycled Earth Crayons
Recycled crayons made to look like the earth.
Fabric Collage Easter Baskets
How to make fabric Easter baskets.
Glittery Textured Egg
Another simple Easter craft.
A nice poem about play.
Spring Weather Theme Clouds
A neat project for learning about clouds.
Fun Liquids Experiment
A fun and simple science experiment.
Rubber Ducky Stamping in Preschool
Stamping using rubber ducks. When stamped, they look like Easter eggs.
V for Veterinarian
A Veterinary dramatic play center.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Here are pictures for an Easter memory game. You can cut the pictures out, put them on card stock and laminate them to make them last.
All images found from: Google Images.
For specific image websites, click on the Image Credits page in the sidebar.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Next, I played with Crawling Baby. He walked with me like we did last week, but I wasn’t feeling well myself and didn’t have much energy for that. He played with his telephone. He was holding the phone and babbling. The other teacher joked that he was ordering pizza. In the past week, he’s become a lot more vocal. He used a push toy for a while which he enjoyed. He loves anything that lets him stand up. We played a game today where he’d climb on my lap and then I’d pick him up in the air kind of fast. He had a huge smile on his face and I even got him to laugh a couple of times. When Baby L woke up, he played in the squishy seat for a while. Crawling Baby kept coming over and grabbing his toys. We kept having to move him away so Baby L could play with his toys in peace. The funny thing was when Crawling Baby would take a toy; Baby L would pick up another one. Then Crawling Baby would take the one that Baby L just picked and would drop the other one. Eventually, he stopped giving the other toy back and would keep all the toys for himself even though he had the run of the room. Baby L can’t crawl yet. He’s only six-months-old so he’s mostly stuck sitting somewhere for now. Baby L doesn’t cry or get upset when Crawling Baby takes his toys away, but I’m sure he wonders what is going on. I kept trying to get Crawling Baby back to his favorite corn on the cob or some newer bigger toys that the other teacher brought out just for him. It didn’t work though. He’s so interested in what the other babies are doing.
At lunch time, I fed Crawling Baby. He was the only one there today who is eating solid foods. He had some baked beans, cucumbers and a banana. I’d try to feed him with the spoon, but then he’d just knock everything onto the table. Then he’d eat with his hands which made a big mess, but I think he’d rather feed himself which is why he takes everything off the spoon. He let me give him a couple of bites, but after that everything hit the table first. He kept grabbing the bowl too, but I didn’t want him to dump it so I’d let him have a little at a time. It took me at least ten minutes to clean the mess, but at least he ate all his food and had fun with it. He really needs a bath after lunch time because he’s always a messy eater, but we don’t do that at the center. I did my best to clean him off though. The other funny thing is he constantly babbles between bites.
We played a little more until it was time for his nap. I gave him a bottle which he didn’t drink much of before he started to get sleepy. Then it was Baby L’s turn for his nap. He drank the rest of his bottle from the morning and then needed a diaper change. The other teacher was going to do it, but I had to redeem myself after the last diaper change. So I walked past her to the changing room. She found his diapers and wipes for me and it went pretty well. He didn’t bump his head or almost fall off the table. Half way through the changing, the other teacher left the room so I guess she was okay with it. He was even laughing and having a good time until it came to getting him dressed. It was taking forever because he was wearing one of those onesies. I was trying to button them, but kept lining it up wrong so the buttons were in the wrong places. I’m used to kids with standard clothes not everything in one. Since he started to cry harder, I brought him out to the couch so the other teacher could finish dressing him and I went back to clean the changing table. I saw how she buttoned it up though so I’ll know for next time. There’s always something, but at least it wasn’t a big deal this time.
Eventually, they were all sleeping until Baby J started screaming again. We could not calm him down and then the other two babies woke up. Baby J was handed to me and I could not get him to calm down. I tried the rocking chair, sitting on the couch, walking around, rocking while standing, bouncing, covering him up, and the bottle and finally, I had to put him down. This went on for about an hour. He wouldn’t take his bottle or stop crying. I put him in the swing so he could have some alone time. He cried for about five or ten minutes, but eventually, he quieted down. Maybe it was alone time that he needed after all. At home, he gets held constantly so it’s hard when he’s at the center because there aren’t enough people to pay attention to each baby all of the time. Meanwhile, the other babies were very cranky. Baby L kept crying no matter where we put him and Crawling Baby kept fussing while eating his afternoon snack. He didn’t want to play on the floor. He grabbed the telephone and sat in front of it crying. I felt bad because Baby J woke them all up and they were all so tired. At the same time, Baby C came in and was happy as usual. It must be weird though walking into a room where the rest of them are crying. It didn’t bother her though. She just jumped in the exerciser and babbled quietly to herself.
After a while, things were calm and we decided to put Baby L and Baby C in the squishy seats across from each other with some room in the middle for a few toys. They are the same age and like to sit together. They smile and laugh at each other. They were happy playing with rattles and watching each other. Baby L even tried to get out of the seat, but almost fell on Baby C. He had done that earlier today too and actually rolled around a little bit. I thought he’d get frustrated by this, but he enjoyed rolling around on the floor this time. Crawling Baby was very interested in the babies and their toys so he came over and kept grabbing the toys, trying to grab the babies and even slobbered on Baby C’s head. He’s so interested in them. It’s too bad he’s so much older. It’s only four months, but with babies, that’s a lot of time since they grow so fast. It was a very busy day.
Here's a cute video of a baby laughing while father makes funny sounds.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Here’s a bunny sensory tub I put together a while ago. There are a lot of textures and objects for kids to explore. Most of these objects, you can use to care for a real bunny. They can learn to feed and care for these plush bunnies.
What’s in the tub?
Hand full of hay,
Chewable ice cream cone,
And a paper bag.
Since some children will get a real bunny this Easter, Click here for a rabbit care guide.
Kids Bunny Fun
Monday, April 11, 2011
“To base program practices upon current knowledge and research in the field of early childhood education, child development, and related disciplines, as well as on particular knowledge of each child.”
I feel this is significant because it’s important to base your program on what’s best for the children. You have to use current information regarding best practice and apply that to each child. Anyone who works with children has to make sure that the environment, activities and materials are age appropriate for the children. Things should be individualized enough so that each child can learn at his or her own pace and each child should have the opportunity to explore their interests. I believe this part of the code reminds us to keep our programs child centered and to reflect on how well our programs are serving children and families. I always try to reflect on what I’ve done in the classroom to see how it worked for the children and if not, what can I do to improve it? I also think it’s important to keep learning new information about the field so I can bring that to the classroom.
To create and maintain safe and healthy settings that foster children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development and that respect their dignity and their contributions.
This is significant to me because it’s important to have a safe environment for children that fosters development in all areas. When we are setting up the environment or planning activities, this code reminds us that the whole child needs to grow. You can’t only work on cognitive abilities; children need to learn social skills as well. It also tells us that we need to set up a safe place for children where they will be respected and their contributions will be valued.
I always think of safety when planning activities. I also think about how each activity will build skills in each developmental domain. As for contributions, I remember that a child’s contributions may be small, but they are just the beginning.
“To support the right of each child to play and learn in an inclusive environment that meets the needs of children with and without disabilities”
I feel this is significant because it’s important to have accessible programs for all children regardless of their abilities. It’s also important for children with and without disabilities to have the opportunity to play and learn together. It teaches children about differences and can create attitudes of tolerance and acceptance. Every child has the rite to participate and have access to tools that will make them successful. I do my best to include all children and will adapt the environment or activities when necessary.
The following ideals are from The Code of Ethics of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) August 2009
“We shall use individually appropriate assessment strategies including multiple sources of information such as observations, interviews with significant caregivers, formal and informal assessments to determine children’s learning styles, strengths, and challenges.”
This is significant to me because I believe that when you are assessing a child, you need to use a variety of strategies and not rely on a single test or observation. These days, we as a society are too quick to diagnose or put a label on something. It’s important to step back and use multiple resources before diagnosing or labeling a child. Many people have had difficult lives because of people jumping to conclusions and misdiagnosing them. It’s a serious issue and I think if you can’t find a label, then just try to treat the symptom or behavior. Special needs are real, but we want to make sure that the right needs are being met.
“We shall respect families’ rights to choose or refuse early childhood special education or related services.”
I feel this is significant because families should be allowed to refuse services. They know their children better than anyone else and may not feel certain programs or services are right for their children. If they are refusing because of denial, I think it’s understandable. In that case, families might change their minds when they are ready. I’ve seen parents refuse services and refuse to label their children with certain diagnoses. Although it’s frustrating to some professionals, it’s their rite. I respected these families’ decisions. Not every family is wrong or neglectful when they refuse services. It goes back to looking at things on an individual basis and respecting children and families.
Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment (NAEYC.)
DEC Code of Ethics
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I've been sick this week which is the reason for no updates to the blog. I've been working on a couple of entries, but they'll have to wait until later this week or until I feel better.
Here are this week's favorites.
balloon print very hungry caterpillar
A pretty caterpillar print using balloons enspired from Eric Carle's book.
Mystery Egg Shakers
A fun listening game using eggs and various materials.
Butterfly Sensory Bags for Preschoolers
A fun idea for color mixing and sensory play.
Foam and Felt Collage for Baby Too
A simple collage idea that even babies can do.
Free Spring Crafts E-book
Download this free E-book filled with spring crafts.
Learning Activities with Jelly Beans
A collection of activities using jelly beans.
A neat Easter craft.
Learning about eggs using play-dough.
Homemade Hummingbird Feeder
A simple and inexpensive way to make a bird feeder.