Saturday, 30 November 2013

I Wanted to Play.

In the building where I work there is an Infant room, a Toddler room and a room for 3-5 year olds.  One morning I was on the early shift, which is rare these days, as I am currently in a part-time support position, and it starts a little later in the morning.  And which, I might add, I love very, very, very much.  I don't love the smaller paycheck mind you, but you know, "ya have to take the good with the bad," it seems!

Well, as I was setting up the room and working on early shift tasks, I got to see some of the "play invitations" in each of the rooms.

In the Infant room.

The infants are exploring light.  We like to keep the main lights dim, especially first thing in the morning.  It makes the light rope so effective doesn't it?

We have also provided a mirror and some shiny metal "loose parts" for them to use as they wish.

I saw this in the Toddler room.

This inviting felted playscape is set up on an over-turned shelving unit.  It makes a nice platform for the Toddlers to reach all the wild animals.  That's a lynx up on the huge rock.  And there were pine cones.  Natural, organic play ideas.

I saw this in the 3-5 room.

A Rainbow Salt Tray.  I wanted to touch it.

Soap.  For grating and brushing and touching and smelling.

Beautiful.  It called to me.

And this.  Baking soda and vinegar.  It beckoned me.

I wanted to stop and play.

But I had work to do.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Days are Grey.

The temperature dropped rather dramatically around these parts, last week.  I went outside everyday with the daycare littles even so.  Except for two days that were especially cold.  The littles are learning to keep their mittens on and to walk around with bulky snowsuits on.  Most are accepting their new situation quite well.  Others, well, not so much.  That snow is cold!!!! And when they fall over it is just so hard for them to get back up.  It's hard not to laugh.

We don't get much snow here or really cold weather and Mr. Sun will soon come out again.  

In the meanwhile here is some of the beauty around me.

Beauty outside.

And beauty inside.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Making a Dinosaur Home.

My sweet little grand-daughter had a great opportunity this week-end. She and her family, including her special Auntie, went to a garden center near them, that works very hard to promote their center and help folks not only learn about gardening but to also develop a passion for gardening.  

This particular week-end they invited children to come and create a dinosaur home.

For Free!  Is anything in this world free anymore!

They were given clay pots and with a helper, filled them with soil, and moss and succulents and two dinosaurs. And rocks.....I made the mistake of calling them stones, but she corrected me.

When they got home they decided to extend the play and make a larger dinosaur home in their bin.  

Her Mama wisely decided to include her in the setting up process because she has strong and distinct ideas and is a great Player!!

Material and a felted Play Mat is on the bottom.  She wanted the wooden trees and bushes in the water.  They had large stones and small stones.....and lots of beautiful mardi gras necklaces.  They look so colorful don't they?


The baby wants to go for a piggy-back ride.  Of course.  It's what mama's and babies do.


After playing for a while she figures out how dinosaurs walk and imitates that.

I love the imaginative play that includes open-ended toys and loose parts.  

Mama doesn't hold out much hope that the succulents will survive but time will tell.

Monday, 18 November 2013

A Farm Playscape - Part 2

Now that the playscape has been created, it is time to invite some little animals to come and live in the barn and on the farm.  I chose to get the Schleiss animals again, as I love the detail and quality so much.  I also just bought baby animals as they seemed to fit the best.

When I showed my young grand-daughter this farm set, she wanted to know, "Where are the Mommies?"  I had to inform her that they were still at the store.

Of course a farm playscape like this has a lot of versatility and you can use the animals you have handy.

The way I introduced the animals was to sing them in....they each had a song!

For example....

Sweetly sings the donkey at the break of day,
If you do not feed him this is what he says,
Hee Haw, Hee Haw
Hee Haw, Hee Haw,  Hee Haw

Ducks on the Pond by Kathy Reid-Naiman © SOCAN 2008

I love to watch the ducks swimming and playing. Children can pretend to be the 
ducks while we sing this song.
Chorus: Ducks on the pond, ducks on the pond 
Splishing and splashing and swimming all around 
Ducks on the pond, ducks on the pond 
Little brown ducks on the pond.
With their heads in the water and their tails in the air 
Looking for their supper – looking everywhere. Chorus
The mommy duck quacks, the ducklings quack quack. 
Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack. Chorus
The Daddy duck dives, the ducklings dive too 
They all swim around at the bottom of the pool. Chorus


There was a farmer who had a dog,

And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o.

Baa, Baa, White Sheep

Baa Baa White Sheep,
Have you any wool?
No sir, No sir, no needles full.
None to make a jumper.
None to make a frock.

None for the little boy with holes in his socks. 

This song was originally posted at:

The Pigs on the Farm say Oink, Oink, Oink

The Chicks on the Farm say Cheep, Cheep, Cheep
The Horse on the Farm says Neigh, Neigh, Neigh

Check out this great song here.

Old MacDonald had a Farm E-I-E-I-O !

And on that farm he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O
With a Moo, Moo here and a Moo, Moo there
Here a Moo, There a Moo, Everywhere a Moo, Moo

And on that farm he had some kitties, E-I-E-I-O

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A Farm Playscape - Part 1

One day I decided to make a Farm play scape to use in my Group Time for the toddlers.  Instead of wet felting it I went to the Thrift store and bought some dear lady's wool coat.  I took it home, placed it in a mesh bag and washed it in hot water.  And then dried it in the dryer.  What resulted was a felted and shrunken coat!!  Then I proceeded to cut it up in the shape I wanted for the farm.  To embellish it I used my felting needle, some foam and some roving.

I made a little mud puddle for the pigs.

A pile of hay for horse, cow and donkey.

Some grass and flowers.

Some more flowers on another corner.

And a pond.  With a lily pad.  The pond was made from a blue piece of felt I had so I used roving on the edges to join the blue felt to the playscape. 

I like to keep things simple you probably noticed.  It works for me and the toddlers are very accepting.

The finished product. 

I bought the little barn at the thrift store for $2.  

The roof flips up and I can store the animals and the playscape inside.

The toddlers love packing it up and carrying it around!  

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

We went walking and what did we see?

Our daycare is located on a University Campus.  The grounds are kept so well and I notice that students love seeing the children as we walk by.  We try to go out at least once a day and on nice days go out multiple times.

  Someone once said that, "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away."  Well I think the smile from a child is just as good for overall health.

The little fellow on the right waved at everyone we saw.  Many students waved back or smiled or said hello...even in Chinese!

This was the beautiful view if we looked up.

This was the beautiful view if we looked down.

This magpie was squawking and hopping around, so we stopped for a while and watched.  Then it was time to head back to our daycare yard.

The late fall sun was still shining down in the yard just a bit.  Just enough to make everything look beautiful.

We played in the mud kitchen for a bit.

Could be a bowl....or could be a hat!

We walked up the hill.

And carefully navigated our way down again.  I love that our yard has challenging grades for the children to negotiate.  There was some risk involved with coming down the steep part of the bank, but he confidently and carefully makes his way down on his own.

He went up the ramp.

And down again.

She was content to sit on the timber at the bottom.

We played peek-a-boo.  First this way.

And then this way.  I wish you could have heard the laughter.

We made music with a ladle.  Water bottles make a lovely chiming sound.

Making music together.  Oven racks make a gentle sound also.

Then, it was time to go in for a snack.