Spring is here! The crocuses and daffodils are in bloom, the children are playing outside without their snow pants, and the warmth of the sun is beating down on our bodies.
We have been studying how to take care of our pets and have read many books, played literacy games, sang, danced, and made art projects related to this theme. We will be culminating our theme with “Pet Spirit Days” on Tuesday, April 30th and Thursday May 2nd. On these days your children can bring in a stuffed animal and wear their pajamas, but also make sure they have a change of clothes for outside play. Soon we will have pet fish in the classroom generously given to us by Jacob Cusick and his family. Thank you! If any parent or grandparent would like to come in and share how they take care of their pets, it would be greatly appreciated.
We have also started to explore the sense of touch and taste. The children have been touching and identifying different texture boards, and also learned the ASL words for soft, hard, smooth, and rough. On Thursday we began the sense of taste and we will continue to study the other senses. In May we will be doing a lot of planting as well as hatching baby chicks.
We continue to teach children pre-literacy skills through phonological awareness (breaking down spoken language into smaller parts) such as syllables through clapping, onsets and rhymes, and phonemes. We do a lot of shared reading and teach language development through meaningful vocabulary words and comprehension skills. The children learn how to identify letters, learn how to write letters, and eventually will connect the letter to its sound especially when they are in kindergarten. At home you can have fun with your children to help them develop these skills even more by reading lots of books, pointing out letters on signs, making up silly rhymes and stories together, etc. Keeping it fun and exciting for your children will give them one of the greatest gifts of all, the love of learning.
Following one’s spontaneous flow is the world that children live. Through play children learn how to extend their old ideas and develop new ones while teaching them to think, to socialize, to solve problems, to imagine, and to develop self-esteem.
In Dr. Seuss’ book, The King’s Stilts, the king loves playing on his stilts and divides his time between playing and working (keeping the kingdom safe.) Unfortunately, Lord Drown gets mad at the king’s playing and finds a way to steal his stilts. The king is so sad when he can no longer play that he falls into a deep depression. His despair makes him irresponsible and he is unable to keep his kingdom safe from the Gizzards. Finally his helper, Eric finds the stilts and then returns them to the king, and all is well again in the kingdom!
Whether we are a child or an adult, we always need to have “play” in our lives.
Parent conferences are being held on Wednesday April 24; however, if these times do not fit your needs, we are happy to accommodate your schedules.
Saturday May 4th is our Parent Workday from 8am to noon at Timson Hill Preschool. Marie Rocatti and Jason Seiz will be directing Parent Workday. Thank you!
We still have a few enrollment slots left for 2013-2014. Please send prospective families our way. Thank you!
Teddy Bear Tea at Newbrook Elementary School is on May 14th from 1pm to 3pm and kindergarten registration for Newbrook Elementary School is on June 5th from 1pm to 3pm.
On Saturday May 18th from 10am to 1pm, we are having our annual Timson Hill Spring Festival for families. There will be pony rides, a bounce house, raptors, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, food, and much more. Please start spreading the word.
The Latin Dance Party and Silent Auction is this Saturday, April 27th from 6am to 11pm. Please feel free to bring in any last minute items and also please sell your tickets so that we can have people at the event.
THANK YOU PARENTS AND STAFF FOR HELPING WITH OUR
BIGGEST FUNDRAISER OF THE YEAR!!
AND THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOUR FABULOUS, SUPER DUPER CHILDREN!!
1. Children learn through their play.
Don’t underestimate the value of play. Children learn and develop:
• cognitive skills – like math and problem solving in a pretend grocery store
• physical abilities – like balancing blocks and running on the playground
• new vocabulary – like the words they need to play with toy dinosaurs
• social skills – like playing together in a pretend car wash
• literacy skills – like creating a menu for a pretend restaurant
2. Play is healthy.
Play helps children grow strong and healthy. It also counteracts obesity issues facing many children today.
3. Play reduces stress.
Play helps your children grow emotionally. It is joyful and provides an outlet for anxiety and stress.
4. Play is more than meets the eye.
Play is simple and complex. There are many types of play: symbolic, sociodramatic, functional, and games with rules-–to name just a few. Researchers study play’s many aspects: how children learn through play, how outdoor play impacts children’s health, the effects of screen time on play, to the need for recess in the school day.
5. Make time for play.
As parents, you are the biggest supporters of your children’s learning. You can make sure they have as much time to play as possible during the day to promote cognitive, language, physical, social, and emotional development.
6. Play and learning go hand-in-hand.
They are not separate activities. They are intertwined. Think about them as a science lecture with a lab. Play is the child’s lab.
7. Play outside.
Remember your own outdoor experiences of building forts, playing on the beach, sledding in the winter, or playing with other children in the neighborhood. Make sure your children create outdoor memories too.
8. There’s a lot to learn about play.
There’s a lot written on children and play. Here are some NAEYC articles and books about play. David Elkind’s The Power of Play (Da Capo, 2007 reprint) is also a great resource.
9. Trust your own playful instincts.
Remember as a child how play just came naturally? Give your children time for play and see all that they are capable of when given the opportunity.
10. Play is a child’s context for learning.
Children practice and reinforce their learning in multiple areas during play. It gives them a place and a time for learning that cannot be achieved through completing a worksheet. For example, in playing restaurant, children write and draw menus, set prices, take orders, and make out checks. Play provides rich learning opportunities and leads to children’s success and self-esteem.