Sunday, February 24, 2013

Working, Learning and Having Fun!

Did you know that all the preschool small group classrooms in the Children's Village program have been collaborating this year in an effort to increase fine motor skills?  

When we talk about fine motor skills we really just mean the children are using their fingers and hands to manipulate small objects.  This is so very important as children begin to learn to draw and write! 

All of the following activities help the children develop the fine motor control needed for writing eventually!  (and, of course, the kids just think the activities are great fun :)


The pictures above shows our current sensory table.  We have added cotton balls, smaller pom poms, clothespins, tongs, scoops, buckets and baskets.  When we first began, none of the children were able to successfully squeeze and clip a clothespin to a basket or use the clothespin or tongs to pick up the cotton balls.  Now we have two children who are VERY successful with clothespins!  In fact, that is why I couldn't get a good photo of this little girl clipping the clothespins on the basket...she's too darn quick!

This is one of the children's current favorite fine motor activities:  Putting pipe cleaners into the small holes of a Parmesan cheese container!  Some of us think they look like birthday candles when they are all sticking up and we must sing Happy Birthday!  Some of us insist that none of them can stick up and some of us must fill each and EVERY hole! 


Stringing beads is another EXCELLENT fine motor activity!  Some of us work with larger beads, since we aren't quite ready for the small beads.  But some of us are quite the expert with beads!

 These are two fine motor toys that are favorites.  The top toy works on fine motor control as well as sequencing the weights of the small inserts.  The child removes all the tiny inserts, then judges where each goes by the weight as well as the length of each.  It's quite tricky for us!  The bottom toy is our lock box, which the children love to open and fill with small toys...then lock back up!

Pushing pom poms is another classroom favorite!  We set up the "game" by putting pom poms halfway through the holes in the basket.  The child then needs to push each pom pom with his/her index finger through the hole!  When they are all pushed through, we usually collect all of them and begin again!

We are just beginning to work on weaving.  This is a challenging activity for most of us!  A few children have really enjoyed working on this challenge though!

Miss Pam

(Some of these activities involve small objects which can be choking hazards. We always provide direct supervision when any child is doing a fine motor activity that involves small parts)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Visit From Gracie!

We were so excited yesterday to have a visit from Gracie the comfort dog!  We talked about her visit during calendar time and the children remembered that she would be coming to visit "after lunch and after we read books"! 

We even had some excited "dog?...."dog?" questions throughout the morning in anticipation of her visit. 


Gracie was hugged, petted, talked to, played with, shown a picture of a dog in an attempt to get her to recognize it and even kissed right on the lips!!


Gracie is a wonderful, gentle and beautiful dog who will be visiting our classroom every Wednesday afternoon!  We can't wait to see her again next week!  If you would like to know more about Gracie you can visit her facebook page:!/GracieComfortDog 

Miss Pam

Bye- from Gracie!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fun in the Snow!

We have been lucky enough to enjoy several outdoor adventures in the snow recently!  I don't think the children even noticed the cold snow with all their winter gear on! 

We have been reading the book "Under My Hood I Have a Hat" at group time, and the children have been interested in making 'snow angels' in the snow (just like in the book). 

They've also had lots of fun pretending to be 'stuck' in the snow! We've spent several days getting 'stuck' and calling for a friend to help us up!

Helping a friend get "unstuck"
We've also had lots of practice putting on and removing snow pants, boots, hats, gloves and scarves!  One child has even designated himself the "helper" and helps his friends with some of their outdoor gear!

We also made a "baby snowman" one day!  The children were so excited although it was the tiniest snowman I've ever seen!  They carefully carried it around the playground area for several minutes before it fell apart!

Of course, we've also enjoyed many activities inside the classroom as well!  Here are a few photos of our center time activities!

**While we do have enough extra snow pants and boots for everyone in the classroom to use, we do ask that, if possible, you send snow pants and boots for your child to keep here at school for the winter!  This way, each child has his/her own that fit correctly! 
Miss Pam


Sunday, January 6, 2013


Welcome Back!  We hope everyone had a wonderful winter break! 

Just a quick reminder:  Please send your child to school with a warm winter coat, boots, snow pants, hat, and mittens each and every day!  (If you would like your child's snow pants and boots to stay at school for the winter, please just let me know) 

We do go outside each day that it is 18 degrees and above (with wind chill).  If we are unable to go outside, we make use of the gym for our large motor time.