Sunday, June 24, 2018

Welcome Summer!

     We are excited to welcome summer here at SMART START and have already been embracing many of the season's quintessential activities! We hope you enjoy our introduction to summer and seeing what your preschoolers are up to! ☀
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☀ Sprinkler Fun! ☀
     SMART START's group is thrilled to put on their bathing suits and play in the sprinklers!  Their smiles and laughter fill the outdoor classroom as they explore in the sun and cool off in the water.  Our mini sprinkler water park has been a the highlight of water play thus far.  Water play is a perfect summer activity. Benefits include:
  • sensory exposure
  • language development
  • develop motor skills
  • calming and therapeutic
  • stimulate creativity and imagination



😊 Outdoor Play Structure and More! 😊
     The swing set in our backyard offers endless learning developments and is the class favorite!  Friends spend hours playing on it each and every day.  Whether swinging, sliding, gliding, playing in the fort, driving the trucks around, planting the flowers or climbing the rock wall, they are always busy learning through play! 
A milestone and skill to achieve for our preschoolers is pumping on their own while they swing.  With determination and perseverance throughout the summer months we are confident that there will be many independent swingers!  Our outdoor play structure also provides the perfect platform for imaginary play. We often witness many different story lines throughout the day. As educators, this brings us pleasure to listen and watch as the children engage in this form of free play. Here are some more reasons why outdoor play surrounding the play structure is beneficial:
  • gross motor skills
  • social and emotional development
  • builds confidence and self esteem
  • encourages and supports imaginative play





     Let's Go Fly A Kite! ☁
     There is something about kites that simply amazes our preschoolers.  Last Spring, classmates decorated their very own kites using paper, paint and ribbons. All anxiously awaited and were delighted when a warm, windy day filled the air to take out our kites and recycle this sought out activity. Joy is had by all as kites take flight and soar. 



🍉 Watermelon Picnic! 🍉

     SMART START friends gathered on a blanket for a watermelon picnic during snack time. The children absolutely love picnics with their peers!  We await many more this summer!


⚘ Grow What You Eat ⚘ 
      We have a lot happening at our gardening center. Green thumbed girls and boys have been busy - raking the grounds, digging holes, planting seeds, transplanting and watering flower and vegetable plants.  We have officially tasted our first green bean harvest!

 Pupils have worked on garden themed puzzles.  They embrace the challenge puzzles bring and always work well together to complete. 

Gardening is a wonderful hands-on activity that provides many benefits and learn new skills and gather information.  

  • connection with the outdoors and nature
  • moderate exercise
  • teaches children about caring for living things 
  • exercises reasoning, initiation, planning and organization skills
  • builds self confidence
  • encourages healthier eating











☼ Weather ☼
     Our budding meteorologists have been taking a closer look at the large thermometer and adjusting it each day according to the temperature.  They have learned that when the weather is extremely hot it is important to dress appropriately, apply sunscreen throughout the day, cool off and remain hydrated. Students also played a weather matching game that featured a large poster and individual spinners for teaching about the forecast and its many patterns.


     
○ ○ Bubbles ○ 
     Blowing bubbles, popping bubbles, chasing bubbles, dancing in bubbles...anything bubbles, children simply adore them!  Here at SMART START bubbles are often part of our outdoor fun!  We always like to add some learning in while our young learners are busy at play!  Here are some educational  facts about bubbles and your little ones:

  • gross motor movement
  • visual tracking skills
  • oral motor skills
  • hand-eye and foot-eye coordination
  • spacial awareness 
  • body awareness
  • social and communication skills



🏖 Sandbox 🏖
     SMART START construction workers wore their heavy duty aprons and safety goggles for the sand box cooperative project.  We gathered the materials needed being wood, nails, measuring tape and tools to construct the sandbox.  Together with our assistance all worked diligently and patiently. Teamwork was in full swing as buckets were filled with sand and then poured into the sandbox frame. What a sense of accomplishment for our work crew!  The children cannot wait until Glen the Andover Handyman comes to visit and add finishing touches.


     Our SMART START chorus loves to sing! Pride filled pupils practiced memorizing words and getting the tune just right as they learned a song to officially welcome the season of summer!.  We hope they will sing this cute song to you at home.  Here are the lyrics so you can sing-a-long, too!  It is sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques."

Days are longer, sunshine's stronger.
Summer's here!  Summer's here!
Lets jump through the sprinkler,
Lets make lemonade,
Summer's here!  Summer's here!

Summer Fun Collages!




Click below to view our Welcome Summer Videos!









     It has been an eventful start to summer here at SMART START!  We anticipate many sun-filled days with our students and cannot wait to share this journey with you!

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💙 Mary and Francesca 💙

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Happy Father's Day



     Father's Day is a special holiday dedicated to all the wonderful fathers.  Here at SMART START our young learners have been preparing for this occasion and looking forward to spending this day with their fathers and grandfathers.  We hope you enjoy a look at our activities here at school!
 
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     SMART START's budding readers gathered around for group story time both inside and outside, as well as in pairs and independently to learn more about Father's Day. We read about the traditions that take place honoring fathers on this day held on the third Sunday in June.  Below are some benefits for early readers:
  • improves speech and cognitive skills
  • builds motivation, memory and curiosity
  • develops positive association with books
  • enhances concentration, attention span and discipline

     Our pupils stirred up lovely conversation surrounding their dads. Discussions of typical roles played in families and how they love, care for and help support.  The children highlighted their unconditional love for their dads during circle time and expressed the most darling comments and stories with us.  Here are some of the precious words spoken:

  • My Dad is funny
  • My Dad works hard
  • My Dad loves to play with me
  • My Dad gives the best hugs
  • My Dad helps me fix things
  • My Dad teaches me lots of new things
  • My Dad tucks me into bed at night and sings me songs

     Lessons were taught about ways to show and tell these special men that we love and appreciate them on Father's Day and every day.  Here are some favorites:

  • Giving Dad lots of hugs and kisses
  • Playing with Dad
  • Helping Dad with work and his tools
  • Being a good listener for Dad
  • Sing Dad a song
  • Read Dad a book
  • Make a special picture for Dad
  • Cook something yummy for Dad

     Our thoughtful bunch wanted to make something special for their fathers here at school.  A wooden paintbrush was the agreed upon choice.

     SMART START woodworkers gathered around the table to create the gift. They put their safety goggles on as they set to work using the handheld sanding block.  Each had their own palette and painted the wooden paintbrush handle.  Once the paint dried, a modge podge glaze was spread over the paint to preserve and prevent chipping. Our gift givers wrapped the paintbrushes in tissue paper and finished with a ribbon.  All were proud as can be of the final product and eager to present to their fathers for Father's Day!  Projects such as these have many benefits including:

  • eye-hand coordination
  • fine motor skills
  • problem solving
  • Social and Emotional
  • stimulates creativity and imaginative thinking
  • increases independence and self esteem
  • working with different textures
  • respect for tools and materials









     The SMART START chorus learned a special song for Father's Day!  We hope they sing it to you on your day of your celebration  It is sung to the tune of "Happy Birthday."


Happy Father's Day to dad
Happy Father's Day to dad
Happy Father's Day dear, Daddy
Happy Father's Day to dad!

Children proudly say at the end, "I love you, daddy!"
Click below to hear our SMART START singers and a Father's Day Video!

     


                                         


                                         



To all of our amazing SMART START fathers...Happy Father's Day!  We hope your day was filled with love, laughter and joy with your child(ren).  It is truly our pleasure taking part in their education, enrichment and care.


💙 Mary and Francesca 💙

Friday, June 8, 2018

All About Me Featuring Theo

     Theo was our next presenter for "All About Me."  He did an incredible job sharing his poster with our SMART START bunch.  Theo exuded confidence and was all smiles as he filled everyone in on the details of his "All About Me" poster.  It was a special treat to witness Theo's presentation and see his personality shine through.

Here are some fun thing we learned about Theo:

Favorite color - Orange
Favorite animal - Dinosaur 
Favorite food - Waffles
Favorite thing to do - Play with mom, dad and Nora 👪
Favorite place to visit - Library 📚
When I grow up I want to be - Doctor 
If I had one wish I would wish for - A play date with Elsa

     Theo was presented with the "Student of the Month" award for good conduct and he was so excited to receive this honor.  Big smiles as we handed Theo his award!  He was especially delighted to show his younger sister, Nora!  Thank you for sharing your "All About Me" poster with us, Theo!  We loved learning more fun and interesting things about you!



     Happy 4th birthday, Theo!  We had so much fun celebrating your birthday here at school and we hope you did, too!  Thank you so much for bringing in a delicious treat to share with your friends to celebrate your day.  SMART START friends presented Theo with a birthday book and sang "Happy Birthday!"  It has been an absolute pleasure watching Theo grow and make big strides at school.  He is a smart, kind, fun-loving and adventurous young boy!  We look forward to seeing what this year has in store for you, Theo!



💙 Mary and Francesca 💙