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I would like to extend a big thank you to all of our amazing children, parents, families, educators, and the local community for your strong support during these unprecedented times. I understand you are all undergoing different challenges and change due to the COVID-19 crisis, but the love and support you have shown our Piptree community especially in the last couple of months has been so heartwarming to see. From simple appreciation messages to sweet little thank you gifts, to dry item donations and assistance in obtaining such items at the shops.
A special thank you to Kelly, one of our wonderful mums and a manager at Woolworths, who has been nothing short of amazing. Kelly has been a huge help in assisting the centre with the newly introduced struggles of 'restrictive buying', and is purely the reason we have been able to get things like pasta, rice etc needed for our daily menu. Kelly, a whole centre community is so thankful to have you on our team. Thank you!
I am sure you are all aware of the newly implemented policies and procedures we have put in place to ensure that all children, parents, and educators at our centre are in a safe, hygienic and clean environment. Thank you for staying on top of sanitising your hands before you go outside, and once leaving. Thank you also for keeping drop offs and pick ups short, but most importantly THANK YOU for being so understanding with all the changes. I appreciate your understanding for the times it has taken me longer than normal to get back to you, and the times I was not able to accommodate your requests. Your cooperation is so important, and I am so glad to be a part of this reciprocal community.
For all our families who are continuing to stay home, please keep your spirits up and enjoy the chance to stay home and bond with your families. For those unable to, we thank you for trusting us during these times as we continue to provide our highest quality of care for your children, engaging in play and learning experiences each and every day.
May we all continue to stay safe, ensuring that we are washing our hands regularly and staying strong and positive during this time..
We continue to take advice on COVID-19 from Queensland Health and the Queensland Department of Education (the Early Childhood Regulatory Authority)., and are continuing on with the following measures -
- Handwashing education has become a focus during the daily group time routine. Children are encouraged to sing a song for at least 20 seconds while washing hands while being actively supervised by educators to ensure effective handwashing practices are taking place.
- Increasing the number of hand sanitiser stations throughout the centre.
- Enhanced arrangements for workplace hygiene and cleaning protocols.
- Increased frequency of cleaning touchpoints throughout the centre eg. tables, kiosks, door handles, taps etc.
- Additional health & hygiene training for educators.
- suspension of external extracurricular activities, students/visitors and excursions until further notice.
- Postponing/cancelling upcoming events such as photo day etc.
- any child, parent/guardian or educator with flu-like symptoms will not be allowed back into the centre until their GP or QLD health has given the clearance.
Please understand we are doing the best we can to keep things as normal as possible within the centre, and we require your help. If your child will be away for the day or will coming in later than 10am please let us know. This can be done by calling the centre, or emailing me. Doing so assists us with meal preparations, staffing allocations, and ensuring we stay within our required child-staff ratios.
As the months progressed from the beginning of the year, we welcomed new friends to our family, celebrated first birthdays, and have been further developing the relationships between the children and educators.
We have loved creating new memories and making connections, as we feel like family.
These last couple of months we have been focusing on the children's fine and gross motor skills, as they are an essential aspect of their learning and development journey.
To extend on these important skills, the children have been encouraged to participate in activities such as discovery play which includes frozen shaving foam with hidden items, construction play which includes stacking towers as a group and we have been exploring different textures such as jelly, coloured ice cubes and different sized pastas.
To monitor the outcomes of these activities, we have been observing their reactions.
The children have been showcasing their levels of enjoyment by sharing smiles and laughs with each other and by being affectionate to the educators with cuddles and air kisses.
We will be continuing to further develop these relationships as the months progress as well as continuing with the progression of their motor skills.
In the Sprouts room 15 months to 2.5 years, we have been focusing on colours and shapes, the children know most of the colours already as we have been practising a lot, using arts and crafts, songs, stories, and using our environment to strengthen our colour recognition.
We have learnt so much from the past few months. We have been doing lots of gross motor and fine motor activities extended by the children's interests, and it has been wonderful to see all the big changes in these development areas.
We have become more aware of hygiene, as we wash our hands all day, after toileting/nappy changes, after eat and before. After messy play and outside play. We have also learnt about dental hygiene, We have done some cleaning of the teeth, using our foam tooth and some tooth brushes, the children showed lots of interest in these fun activities.
The children have become closer as a family! When they first transitioned into the toddler room, they were engaging with certain peers but now they have been engaging with everyone, as they become more aware of the things they have in common. They all love to do similar things.
As the months fly by, we have celebrated 2nd birthdays and we have also welcomed new friends to our family. We have gotten to know all your children as they have become more trusting with us as their new educators. They are growing so fast, their little minds are also changing. We have and we will continue to work with the children's interests to help them learn through play.
Hope you are all doing well and keeping safe!
Here in the Buds room we have been business as usual, the children are enjoying their environment and are settled and happy throughout the day. We have focused on a few topics over the last few months and continue to focus on them each week. One of our main focus points has been 'self helps skills,' each day the children continue to build on these skills by packing away activities that they no longer are interested in, putting away their plates and drink bottles after meal times, making their beds, toilet training and also proper hand washing. The children have all become so confident and independent! We are so proud of all the children and how quickly they have picked up on these skills.
To help the children with learning how to wash their hands correctly and effectively we sing about it, each morning during group time we sing a song about each step of the hand washing process (washing the inside/outside of our hands and in between our fingers) - our singing continues as the children wash their hands, the ABC song helps to make sure that they are washing for long enough. Its great to hear them singing while in the bathroom.
We are also learning about shapes. We learn two shapes a week by using flash cards, sensory activities and art activities to help enhance the children's shape recognition skills. Sensory activities have been very popular with the children, we use different materials to engage the children's fine motor and brain development skills.
Just a few reminders for the room: please bring any wet/soiled clothes back as soon as you can and also if you could bring a labelled bag for your child's sheets. This helps to keep the children's belongings all together. We would also love to have a family photo so we can add it to our family tree, you can also email it to the office and we can print it from here.
If you have any topics that you would like us to explore or even if you have some photos of activities that you are doing at home, we would love to extend on them in the room.
We'd love to stay in touch with you if you're still at home, keep sending us photos of what you all get up to while away.
Until next time,
Miss Elena and Miss Emma
This Month we have been learning about the alphabet with the blossoms children.
We were learning how to write the letters and the words that related with that letter.
Each day in the morning we practice the steps of how to write the letters. children also focus on finding words that start with that particular letter to extend the learning.
With everything going on with COVID-19, we have also focused on perfecting the way we wash our hands to prevent the spread of germs every day after messy play or before eating time.
The educators encouraged all the children singing our special washing hands song to make sure that they washing hands over 20 seconds. This has become embedded in the children's daily routine and are now able to hand wash without prompt or assistance.
All our blossoms children have done a wonderful job this month.
Poppies May News Blitz
It is hard to believe that May and autumn are here already. We are loving this season more than ever! Ask your child about our garden we are growing seeds or beans in science. The kids have really enjoyed watching them grow!The past months we were learning about sustainability through nature, bugs, how things grow, and colours of autumn. We also did a lot of fun Easter & Earth week activities, like colouring eggs and hiding them, making bunny ears & Easter baskets, planting succulent plants in our room & growing our own beans.We will continue to focus on learning on how to care for our planet Earth.
Easter was a super eggciting time for our little ones! Between Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs, there was plenty to love. Rather than just admiring the glitzy foil wrapper on chocolate eggs, we also got them involved in decorating their own Easter Bunny Ears, Easter baskets and Easter eggs before we did our Easter egg hunting. Here, the children had a ball looking for their own Easter eggs. At group times, we spoke about what Easter is all about. Oliver & Patrick went, "We should be kind to share some of our Easter eggs to those who only have 1." And of course, they shared as they had heaps too. Thanks boys! XOX
Celebrating Earth Day was the perfect time to introduce the concepts of gardening and planting, the process of photosynthesis and how to care for our plants in & out our room. This way, the children were also beginning to practice reducing, reusing, and recycling responsibilities in the Poppies' room. Our planting activity proved that even our shenanigans are these little, they are continuously helping our planet. Our planting activities were therapeutic! It offered wonderful and amazing opportunities for our little hooligans to play, learn and grow!
As the Poppies planted and did the process of planting, they were engaging all their senses, touched and felt the dirt, see the vibrant colours and varied sizes of the succulent plants, beans, and seeds. Allowing all the senses to be involved helped the Poppies understand and grasp the concept of gardening along with all the math and scientific concepts that go along with it. Scooping up the dirt, placing the cuttings in the pots and pouring the water all take fine motor control and strength. It was a wonderful experience into the world of science among our Poppies especially botany, biology, and chemistry. When they planted their choice of succulent plant, they became curious about what will happen next. They made their own hypothesis and said to monitor the progress each day. Without even realising it, they are learning the basic steps of the scientific process. As they get older, they are learning about the impact of sunlight and water on the growth of a plant. They are learning which plants need more sunlight, which need less water and how long they take to grow. Another milestone our little shenanigans demonstrated was their mindfulness. They spoke about cute bugs that they will see when the plants grow and remembered the bug show lady when she mentioned that these bugs play a natural role in our plant world. We examined the different leaf shapes and discussed possibilities that are endless. Not only will these practices help the Poppies develop an appreciation for the living world, but it is also providing great learning opportunities and promote discussion and curiosity.
Taking care of our garden has been a great way to develop our sense of responsibility. We are also becoming aware that failure to take care of our garden means that the plants die. And we do not want that so we will roster who waters them each week and make sure everybody gets to have a turn.
We have been doing a lot of indoor growing recently and this is an easy, visual way to teach the Poppies about root systems. So, to integrate our science program to our nature program, we decided to do growing beans in cotton balls. Everyone was excited to watch how FAST the plants grow!
"Wash your hands!" It is a well-worn phrase that we find ourselves saying at least a dozen times a day and one that we hear repeated by each other at least a few times more. Whether the children is exiting the bathroom, has come in from playing from outside, about to sit down for a meal, or any circumstance where they might not be totally clean, washing hands is something that should become second nature. With concerns about the new Coronavirus dominating conversations and headlines (not to mention the seasonal flu), it's comforting to know that here in Piptree, we are making the children so aware of the need to stop the spread of germs and increase personal hygiene. In the Poppies room, we are now aware that by doing a 20 seconds song like ABC, Happy Birthday, 5 Cheeky Monkeys, etc while they wash their hands is a good way to help them measure if they have been scrubbing long enough. This way, they are gaining awareness that this is so, to prevent the spread of germs around, and help the world prevent the spread of COVID19. We are super proud of the Poppies Team!!!
The kids are doing so good with the letters of each week for Jolly Phonics! It's so fun to see what everyone has come up with for each week's letter especially when we did show and tell about the first letters of their names. We have seen some creative stuff!! We are really working on recognition of letters and numbers. In the upcoming months, we will continue learning about what it means to be thankful, and kind. We are doing a cornucopia of kindness bulletin board to extend our superhero day, and the Poppies will be able to earn fruit and vegetables to put in our class cornucopia!
As always if you have any questions please feel free to ask!