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This is a story about community. This is a story about appreciation. This is our story about Doug.
Once upon a time, our daycare needed some work done- some little jobs and some not so little jobs. We decided to put a message on the Salt Spring Exchange and ask if there was anyone in our community who could help us…. and along came Doug. Once we talked and made sure he was the right guy for the job, Doug began to help look after The Frog. He fixed our banister and raked our leaves, he fixed our toilets and mowed our lawn, he planted grass and fixed our lights…. he did so many jobs we couldn’t even name them all! He became our HERO!
Most of the time Doug comes and works his magic when we aren’t here, so we come back to Tree Frog and find things better than we left them.
One Friday morning he brought a big load of dirt in his truck to put down before he planted new grass. We were very interested in what he was doing so we gathered up shovels and pails and asked if we could help empty it all out- and everyone worked together for a long time (Doug is also very patient) to empty his truck. It was really fun for everyone to be a part of the work to grow our lawn.
When we came back after Father’s Day weekend, we found that the hanging baskets on our porch were filled with beautiful flower that Doug’s daughter planted after he brought her to show her his daycare. Those flowers were so cheerful and made everyone smile when they arrived at Tree Frog in the morning! Even now in October, some of them are still flowering. Through all of the work Doug has done for us, Tree Frog is not only a safer place for us to be, but also a prettier one!
For a long time now, one of the things we like to say is that “Great communities grow great kids!” and Doug has shown us a lot about how to be a really great part of our community. He has shown us how to help out when you can. He has taught us about how much happiness you can share by taking care of others. And he has taught us about how good it feels to do special things to say thank you to the people you appreciate! We love our Doug and are so grateful that he is a part of helping Tree Frog kids learn the value and importance of being part of a community.
Children dive in hands first! Why? Because since birth they have been wired to receive and learn through sensory input; using their senses is familiar to children. It's the most basic way to explore, process and come to understand and integrate new information. This is one vital reason for the use of sensory tables. Check out the pages below to learn more about what a sensory table is and how our favourite littles are currently using rice, leaves and woodland critters to develop neuropathways.
Can you guess what we might be doing? We are creating beautiful rainbow cupcakes. Mixing the colours is a vital part of the process! To get all the colours of the rainbow we had to mix a few together!! We learnt more about what happens when we mix: Red and yellow drops make a brilliant orange. Yellow and blue gave us a mossy green, and blue and red gave us purple, the rainbow's final colour! For more colour work we've been doing lately you could also take a look at the wall inside TreeFrog for our magical hands exhibit.
Enjoy the photos - we had a lot of fun!
Almost every week, we have been doing some baking. Recently we made zucchini bread! Everyone took a turn grating the zucchini, mixing and stirring the ingredients together. After it baked, we got to eat it!
We made two loaves. We ate one and the other was sent to our great volunteer helper, Doug- he takes care of our yard and odd jobs.
When children bake and cook they learn many skills. Here are just a few examples of what your child is learning through these activities: They develop an understanding of basic math and science skills: volume, weight and measurement. They are also enhancing their social skills with taking turns and learning to work together on a group project.
(This post was included in the preschool room journals of all the children who participated.)
At TreeFrog we have a Dramatic Play area located in the loft area on the second floor of the building. We typically switch around the content of the toys up there about once a week. The following are some examples of play centers that you might find up in the loft at any given time: a kitchen and some cooking supplies with food items, a workstation with wrenches, tape measure and hammer, a rocking horse, and a variety dolls. Below is a definition of Dramatic Play and a description of the skills your child is learning and developing as s/he is playing. Enjoy the pictures of Journey and Kai practising their skills as carpenters in two different ways, Hannah taking on the role of a mother preparing a meal, and Nicola enjoying a delicious tomato that she pulled from the oven.
Please click on the picture pages below to read about your favourite TreeFroggers....
This week is going to be a great one at The Frog! Wednesday, February 23/11 is Pink Shirt Day. Pink Shirt Day for Anti- Bullying began in February 2008. As a staff, we have decided this is a great opportunity for us to open up the dialogue with the children at the daycare and spend the week discussing what bullying means, what we can do to stop it & how we can make others feel good through our words and actions.
Although I was vaguely familiar with Pink Shirt Day last February, it wasn’t until a friend sent me the link to the website that I really looked into it more closely. What sent me to the website was her half-joking comment at the end "these boys must have had really good preschool teachers! "
Here’s a bit from the Globe & Mail article about these boys she was referring to (from the Pink Shirt Day website http://www.pinkshirtday.ca/) :
“David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends organized a high-school protest to wear pink in sympathy with a Grade 9 boy who was being bullied…[They] took a stand against bullying when they protested against the harassment of a new Grade 9 student by distributing pink T-shirts to all the boys in their school.
‘I learned that two people can come up with an idea, run with it, and it can do wonders,’ says Mr. Price, 17, who organized the pink protest. ‘Finally, someone stood up for a weaker kid.’
So Mr. Shepherd and some other headed off to a discount store and bought 50 pink tank tops. They sent out message to schoolmates that night, and the next morning they hauled the shirts to school in a plastic bag.
As they stood in the foyer handing out the shirts, the bullied boy walked in. His face spoke volumes. ‘It looked like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders,’ Mr. Price recalled. The bullies were never heard from again.”
As I look around at these amazing children we spend our days with, and listen to them interact with each other, I can see the basis of her comment… This is the time for ideas like Anti-Bullying to take root! These children readily absorb what they are taught and integrate it into their lives. As their parents and their teachers we are collectively sending these messages to the children all the time: be kind, take care of each other, your voice is important, if something is bothering you use your words and tell someone so we can help you… the list goes on. We are all excited to spend the week focussing on the strength of these messages and how, even as young children, they can be empowered to prevent bullying from starting.
If you are interested in more information about Pink Shirt Day, check out their website at: http://www.pinkshirtday.ca/ and, as the website states, “on February 23, 2011 we encourage all of you to wear something pink to symbolize that we as a society will not tolerate bullying anywhere.”