Monday, July 31, 2017

Farm Field Trip at SMART START

     We have been learning about all things farm during the month of July here at SMART START. As an extended unit of study, a traveling petting farm came to school for an on-site field trip. This was the perfect field trip to experience animals first hand and learn a bit more from the experts!  The children prepared for the animals arrival by putting on their SMART START field trip t-shirts and singing a SMART START favorite, "Old MacDonald Had A Farm."


     SMART START friends behaved wonderfully and were eager to interact with the animals and learn more about them.  The animal caretakers loved the enthusiasm from our young learners and spent time educating them about farming, farm animals, and the care involved. The children listened intently, asked questions and even provided commentary based upon what we have been learning during our focus on the farm for our July curriculum.  It is refreshing to see them make connections. What bright students we have here at SMART START!


     While the children loved learning about the farm, their favorite part was getting the opportunity to meet and spend quality time with the animals. SMART START friends pet, held and fed the bunnies, chicks and chickens, ducklings and ducks, a calf, and a goat. They also had the opportunity to ride a pony!


     Our little farmers enjoyed this experience and it was a pleasure to witness. Once again we thank you for continuing to support our Field Trip Program here at SMART START.  It allows us to provide your children with an extended learning experience on a intimate level in which they are learning and growing from these enrichment opportunities.

                                                   
      💙 Mary and Francesca 💙

Friday, July 28, 2017

Ingaldsby Farm Field Trip

     SMART START friends were excited to attend an off site field trip at Ingaldsby Farm in West Boxford. Before departing for our adventure, we put on our field trip shirts and discussed expected behavior and safety rules.
     The highlight of our trip to Ingaldsby Farm was blueberry picking. It is blueberry picking season here in Massachusetts and the blueberries were plentiful and delicious. The children had so much fun picking and eating blueberries while filling their bags to bring back to school for afternoon snack and some to bring home. We hope you enjoyed your freshly picked blueberries with your little ones.  
     
     Ingaldsby Farm is home to many farm animals. The children enjoyed feeding the animals fresh vegetables from the farm and petting them. They did well taking turns and were very gentle with the animals. Our young learners toured the farm singing the classic "Old MacDonald Had A Farm" and making animal sounds. During music time at school we have been practicing "Old MacDonald" so it was sweet to hear them singing happily and feeling proud. It was a pleasure watching our students experience the farm animals and we hope they share their farm animal stories with you. Be sure to ask them questions about what animals they saw, the sounds they made, and what food they fed the animals.  
     
     Another staple at Ingaldsby Farm as well as other North Shore farms are the apple cider donuts. Our SMART START farmers loved having a picnic on the grounds eating donuts. A special morning snack for the day! 

     A trip with preschoolers would not be complete without some fun on the playground! Ingaldsby Farm has a unique playground for children and our SMART START group was eager to play. They loved the wooden train and took turns pretending to be the train conductor. The children were greatly entertained in the sandbox area- always a fun sensory activity! Imaginations were very busy while our young learners played as the best of friends.  It is so rewarding to see the friendships they are developing here at SMART START as it is an integral part of their social and emotional development during their preschool years.


     Our Ingaldsby Farm Field Trip was a success and fun was had by all! During the week our little chefs put on their hats and aprons as they prepared to make breakfast- blueberry pancakes! They worked together measuring, mixing and cooking in our SMART START kitchen and were quite proud of themselves! The blueberry pancakes were delicious and the children enjoyed eating them!


                                              
     We thank you for continuing to support our program here at SMART START and allowing us to provide the best care and educational experiences for your children.
  
                                               
 
💙 Mary and Francesca 💙

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Farm Fun at SMART START

     SMART START friends have been enjoying our farm based curriculum during the month of July. Summer is the perfect time to be teaching our young learners about the farm and farm animals. We are so fortunate to live in an area surrounded by a wide variety of farms that are family friendly and make for an ideal outing. Whether it be petting the animals or picking fresh fruit and vegetables, a trip to the farm is a memorable experience for all!

     We have been busy filling our summer days here with all things farm!  The children have been learning and practicing some childhood classics such as, "Old MacDonald Had A Farm" and "Five Little Ducks". It is a pleasure to hear them sing and dance! Our students always look forward to story time at school and enjoyed all the stories revolving around the farm this past month. Farm puzzles and a new board game were introduced to work on problem solving. "Count Your Chickens" is a group cooperation game which teaches counting and important social development skills as they work together to help the Mother Hen collect her chicks and bring them back to the coop.


     SMART START artists were engaged in dramatic play by wearing farm animal masks and putting on puppet shows.  The children had such fun acting out the different animals and the sounds they make. They also each made a farm animal hand puppet using different colored paper bags, foam animal parts, glue and markers and crayons. The puppets came out adorable and we hope your child has fun using them at home.
     
      Click below to see SMART START friends enjoying Farm Fun!


💙 Mary and Francesca 💙

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

SMART START'S New Play Structure

     SMART START has a new play structure that we are excited to tell you about! It is beautiful and highly equipped with a two story play house, twisty slide, glider, two toddler swings, two preschool swings, digging area with wood mulch, flower pots and rock climbing wall. We called in the best handy man in Andover to assemble our new addition to ensure that it was completely safe for our SMART START friends to play on and enjoy. The children had fun working together to complete the job and add on the finishing touches! They were eager to put on their yellow hard hats and use a variety of tools to get our play structure in tip top shape. SMART START construction workers hammered, screwed, drilled and planted beautiful flowers. Our young learners were so excited to be a part of the assembly process and were quite proud of themselves upon completion.  We love watching them work together as a team and problem solve as they move from one project to the next.




     SMART START engineers couldn't wait to play on the play structure after the assembly process was complete.  The smiles were infectious and the laughter filled the air as the children played together in the play house, soared high on the swings, partnered up on the glider, zoomed the trucks around, scooped with the shovels, and twisted down the slide.  They played well together and had a lot of fun! All their hard work and patience paid off and we were thrilled to see our newest addition come to life.  


     Not only are the children reaping benefits of physically challenging themselves on the equipment and perfecting their gross motor skills, they are engaging in imaginary play and working on their social and emotional skills as well. They are learning to take turns, include friends in play, use their manners and communication skills, problem solve, etc.  While our students think they are simply having fun and just playing, learning is always at the forefront!  Our new play structure is guaranteed to bring endless hours of fun to our young learners for many years to come! 

 



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💙 Mary and Francesca 💙

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sharing Snack

     Snack time is a favorite for the children here at SMART START. What makes snack time extra special is "sharing snack"! Every week parents and children pack a snack to put in their child's backpack for the "sharing snack drawer" at school. Some of the children even go grocery shopping with their families and pick the snack out themselves! Our students look forward to picking their snack out from the "sharing snack drawer" and passing it out to all of their friends. The interactions during snack time between SMART START friends is adorable! It is a pleasure to hear the children using nice manners, saying "please", "thank you" and "you're welcome" as SMART START enforces appropriate social behavior.

Take a look at Kaylee, Nora and Theo getting their snack to share!

    Whether it be graham crackers, strawberries or cheerios, we thank all of you for contributing to "sharing snack" here at SMART START. You help support our nutritious offerings and bring smiles and conversations for our young learners.



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💙 Mary and Francesca 💙

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy 4th of July

     Happy 4th of July to our SMART START children and families.  We hope you enjoy the holiday with family and friends and remember to take some time to focus on the significance of our nation's holiday.  Here at SMART START the children have been learning about America's birthday and special traditions people partake in on the 4th of July.
     
    
 SMART START friends created their own fireworks during art.  Full of spirit, the children wore their patriotic hats and aprons while listening to American classics, "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Yankee Doodle."  The firework craft entailed drizzling red, white, and blue glue, sprinkling lots of glitter, and decorating with stickers. The children enjoyed  this fun and messy hands on art project and were excited to bring it home.


     The children always look forward to their music time here at SMART START.  To honor America and celebrate our country, the children learned some lyrics and sang proudly "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Yankee Doodle." SMART START friends participated in our very own 4th of July parade. They sang songs, wore patriotic hats, and waved the American flag as they marched around with big smiles on their faces.
Click below to see 4th of July fun at SMART START!


💙 Mary and Francesca 💙