Sunday, September 24, 2017

Summer Fun

     Summer is one of our favorites seasons to embrace here at SMART START! The children absolutely love playing outside in our outdoor classroom! Our young learners love to play on the play structure, cool off in the sprinkler, kick and throw balls, play hide and seek, pop bubbles, dig in the sandbox, go on nature hunts, tend to the garden and chickens and engage in endless pretend play! Summer is full of sunshine and smiles here at SMART START and we absolutely love it! 
    
Here are some highlights from our Summer Fun program here at SMART START!
      #1 - LEMONADE! Our SMART START friends put on their chef hats and aprons and were busy in the kitchen.  The children worked in pairs to use our handheld juicers to produce freshly squeezed lemonade for their outdoor picnic lunch!  


     #2 - PLAY STRUCTURE! When it is time to go outside here at SMART START, the first thing the children do is run to our new play structure. Whether they are swinging on the swings, gliding on the glider, sliding down the slide, playing in the house, or zooming the trucks around, fun is being had by all!  The smiles and laughter are endless and we love watching our young learners truly enjoy the new play structure.


     #3 - GARDENING! It is a favorite activity here at SMART START.  The children love tending to the plants, especially the bean plants.  When it's their turn to fill up the watering can and water the plants, instant excitement sets in!  They have helped grow and collect many beans that we use as snacks for both the children and our classroom pets.  


# 4 - CLASSROOM PETS!  We are fortunate here at SMART START to have two different classroom pets.  Pilot, our bunny, has been with us for a long time and the children always look forward to spending quality time with him.  They absolutely love holding Pilot and feeding him freshly grown beans from our garden!  More recently we welcomed two chickens, Charlotte and Caroline. Our pet caretakers enjoy playing with and visiting the chickens in their coop. Pilot, Charlotte and Caroline have truly enhanced the children's daily hands on learning experiences. We are firm believers that classroom pets make a difference in the lives of children!



#5 - FUN WITH FRIENDS!  One of the major advantages of sending your child to SMART START is that they will socialize and make friends!  The children spend countless hours together and learn so much from each other during structured time and free play.  We facilitate a great deal of their interactions through our curriculum and hands on learning experiences, but we also are able to witness friendships blossom on their own as they engage in conversation and play.  SMART START friends have thoroughly enjoyed a fun filled summer here together!  We are so lucky to have such a lovely group of students here at SMART START.


   
  We hope your summer has been filled with endless fun! Our summer program here at SMART START was wonderful. We thank you parents for allowing your children to be a part of it. They make every day here at SMART START special!

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💙 Mary and Francesca 💙

Thursday, September 21, 2017

SMART START Chicks and Chickens

      We welcomed some new additions to our growing SMART START family this summer!  SMART START would like to introduce Chick and Chicky, our baby chicks.  Chick and Chicky visited us here at school and remained with us through the end of August.  They then moved on to the chicken farm.  The children absolutely loved Chick and Chicky and acted as wonderful care givers. They enjoyed holding, playing, feeding and simply observing them.  Chick and Chicky brought lots of smiles, conversations and giggles to our students and we are so happy to have provided them with this hands on learning experience right in the comfort of our own space.


     SMART START has also welcomed two friendly chickens, Charlotte and Caroline.  Charlotte and Caroline live here at school in a chicken coop.  The chickens are acclimating well to their new environment and thoroughly enjoy running free in our spacious backyard/outdoor classroom. Charlotte and Caroline are well behaved and allow the children to pet, feed, hold them and collect their eggs each day. We have been teaching SMART START friends about caring for the chicks and chickens and how they play a vital role in their care. We have taught our students about the egg laying process through stories and pictures and how to properly remove the eggs. This job is highly sought after! Our SMART START chefs have enjoyed making scrambled eggs, pancakes and more with our fresh eggs. Thank you Charlotte and Caroline, for providing us with  healthy snacks and meals.

    
     Our young learners partake in fulfilling their responsibilities to care for Chick, Chicky, Charlotte and Caroline on a daily basis and look forward to receiving their job assignments. Whether it be feeding, providing fresh water, cleaning the chicken coop, or collecting eggs SMART START friends feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing that they are helping.  Caring for an animal is so much more than we think! It teaches young children many helpful and important tools that translate into different life situations. Here at SMART START we are constantly striving to provide your children with an all-inclusive curriculum and hope that you can see the benefits.
   

 Here are some things children learn while having fun caring for animals:
  • Responsibility
  • Trust
  • Compassion
  • Respect
  • Self-esteem
  • Loyalty
  • Physical activity
  • Patience
  • Social skills

   



     SMART START friends have been learning about the life cycle of a chicken through hands on fun with the chicks and chickens as well as books, music, puzzles and games.  Having the chicks and chickens on site has truly enhanced our farm curriculum. As always, the children are eager to learn new things, listen intently and ask important questions.  Their curious minds love being stimulated and we absolutely love witnessing their joy of learning!  It is such a privilege to teach young learners who are so impressionable and enthusiastic about all we do here at SMART START.

💙 Mary and Francesca 💙

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Show and Tell

     We love Show and Tell here at SMART START! The children get very excited for this activity at school. Not only are the children who are sharing look forward to their turn, the rest of the students enjoy listening to, asking questions and seeing what their friend(s) have to say and show them. Show and Tell is so much more than a child presenting a favorite toy from home. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Builds self esteem
  • Language usage
  • Questions and answers
  • Communication
  • Social skills
  • Public speaking
  • Listening skills.
     Although our young presenters find Show and Tell to be just another fun activity, as always we are incorporating learning and development into all that we do at here SMART START.
     Benny was thrilled to bring in one of his favorite car toys from home for Show and Tell to share with his SMART START friends. Benny proudly set up the track while his peers patiently waited for him to set the car on the track. The children watched the car zoom around the track again and again. They each took turns and asked questions. Benny did a great job sharing and answering questions. Thanks for sharing, Benny!


Benny and his friends cheering on his car! Zoom, Zoom!


     Kaylee was very happy to show her SMART START friends one of her special toys from home!She brought in her Minnie Mouse remote control car for Show and Tell. The children gathered in a circle and watched wide-eyed as Kaylee drove Minnie around SMART START Lane! Forwards, backwards, and around and around! Friends enjoyed watching the show and asking Kaylee questions about her Minnie Mouse car. Kaylee did a nice job answering questions and letting friends have a turn driving Minnie around in her car. Thank you for sharing, Kaylee!




Kaylee driving her Minnie car around for all her friends to see! Vroom, Vroom!

     Cody blew his friends away with his leaf blower for Show and Tell. SMART START friends were quite impressed with Cody's leaf blower. Cody showed his friends how it worked and told them how he likes to use it at home and help clean up the leaf mess!  What a good little helper you are, Cody!  He did a spectacular job sharing his leaf blower with his friends and answering questions.  Thanks for sharing, Cody!



Cody demonstrating how to use the leaf blower!  Whoosh, Whoosh!

     Avery was very proud to present to all her friends at SMART START her doctor kit! The children enjoyed listening to and watching Avery demonstrate her "doctor" skills.  Doctor Avery did a fantastic job sharing with all her friends and answering questions they asked.  Thank you for sharing, Avery!


Avery showing her friends the stethoscope..."bum bum, bum bum!" 

          Emma and Isla were both delighted to share their special items with their SMART START friends!  They brought in a music player with microphone and enjoyed showing their peers how it worked and even sang a little song for everyone. The sisters also brought a souvenir book from their family vacation. Emma was a very kind big sister and helped Isla with her show and tell when needed. The girls also brought in a vacation itinerary from their family vacation to Vermont. They were thrilled to share stories. It was clear that they had an eventful and memorable trip!  Our young audience had fun playing with the music player and loved hearing all about Emma and Isla's family vacation and asked some great questions. What a fun thing to share for show and tell! Thank you for sharing, Emma and Isla!





 Emma and Isla proudly sharing their picture and telling friends about their vacation to VT!

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💙 Mary and Francesca 💙

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Homemade Ice Cream


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     When we have hot summer days here at SMART START, we cool off by having some of our homemade vanilla ice cream! 
SMART START chefs love to cook and made enough ice cream to last all summer. During our ice cream unit, the children learned about the ice cream making process through books, puzzles, toys and making soft serve vanilla ice cream! They put on their aprons and chef hats and were ready to use SMART START's soft serve ice cream maker. The children worked well together adding milk, cream and sugar to the machine. They absolutely loved watching the ice cream machine mix all of the ingredients together. Being part of the process is such a thrilling experience for our young learners and we are so grateful to be able to provide your children with these hands on learning experiences and yummy homemade treats!


     Once the ice cream was done, SMART START friends received their own bowl of vanilla ice cream and they each made an ice cream sundae. The children added yummy toppings to their ice cream: M & M's, rainbow sprinkles and cookie crumbles that they helped break into little pieces. They topped off their creations with chocolate sauce and whipped cream to make the perfect ice cream sundae!  

      

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💙 Mary and Francesca 💙