Summer Camp 2014

We know it’s different in the summer.  It is time for vacation.  Visits to the lake house, the beach . . . home-improvement projects.  That’s why we offer our special summer programs for our students.   Activity themes that change weekly allow you to come and go as you please over the summer months.  Sign-up […]

Ice Painting!

This week the Toddlers are learning about the letter “I” during group time. To further the lesson, the boys and girls painted with colored ice cubes! It was a fun and messy new way to paint!

We’re on Facebook!

By popular request, we have finally found ourselves joining the online social community.  A number of you have been asking about this for quite sometime.  We will update with blog highlights, events and current school activities.  Simply use the link below and join us! Creative Tots Preschool

Creative Tots Art Show 2013

This Friday, 5:30 – 7:00pm Creative Tots Art Show 2013 The time has come.  The kids have had a phenomenal time this year learning about the artists and their works.  It is amazing how much a child can absorb when immersed in the life of an artist relative to their time in history, painting techniques […]

Today's Quote:

The way we talk to our children, becomes their inner voice.

Peggy OMara

Recent Articles:

Listening and Following Directions Tips and Tricks

by Ms. Manda

Directional-Sign

I recently read a GREAT article on Social and Emotional Skills for Preschoolers and found some wonderful information I wanted to share with you.  After talking with MANY preschool parents, listening and following directions is the one of the most talked about social skill we as parents and teachers are working on with our preschoolers.  Many of you have asked how you can help your child at home so this is very useful information to put into practice ASAP!

When we are looking at a child’s ability to listen and follow directions we are really looking at two separate issues.  The first being, developing the ability to take in auditory information, process it, and do something with it.  There are lots of fun ways to work on these skills, but ultimately each child’s developmental readiness is going to guide the process. The second issue is in regards to cooperation and compliance. This, of course, is a whole different ball game. Your little one may be processing the directions you gave them just fine, but not choosing to act on them. I’m going to give you some strategies to (hopefully) increase cooperation as well!

Fun Ways to Practice Listening Skills

  • Start with something simple: Talk with your child a lot. Have conversations. Interview each other. Tell jokes. Talk, talk, talk.
  • Read and read and then read some more. Audio books are fun, too.
  • Sing, too! Nursery rhymes, fingerplays, made-up songs, Elvis, opera…. it’s all good!
  • Play Simon Says (or Mommy/Daddy Says!)
  • Play I Spy or other guessing games in which you and your child take turns giving each other clues.
  • When you are reading or telling a familiar story to your child, make a mistake, such as, “When Goldilocks arrived at The Three Frogs’ house, she went inside without knocking.” See if your child catches your mistake! (Don’t be surprised if they want you to do this all the time — mine do!)
  • Go on a Listening Walk (and read the book, too!)

Giving Good Directions That Your Child Can Follow

  • Get down on your child’s level – eye contact is good, and it is also less intimidating to your child.
  • Make sure you have your child’s full attention before giving directions. Be straight-forward: “I am going to tell you what to do now. Ready?”
  • Keep your directions short and simple – preschoolers are not known for their extensive attention spans.
  • Use visual cues if you can — point the direction you want him to go; touch her feet if you want her to get shoes on.
  • Ask your child to repeat back the directions. My four-year-old always liked to count on his fingers while he would retell what he needed to do. Whatever works!
  • Be predictable. If you always tell your child to first clear his plate, then wash his hands, he will have a better chance of remembering what to do.
  • Have appropriate expectations. Don’t give your child a three-step direction if you know she is not capable of remembering three steps. Break it down step-by-step until she is ready.
  • When possible, give choices instead of commands. “It’s time to clean-up. Would you like to start in your bedroom or the living room?”
  • Save the lengthy reasoning and lectures, such as “You need to clean up your toys because they are all over the floor and someone is going to step on them and get hurt or break your toy.” Too many words = confused preschooler. Again, short and simple is the way to go.
  • Acknowledge good direction-following! A high-five, pat on the back, or thumbs up can be just what a busy preschooler needs to keep working on this skill.

Making Directions Fun

  • Scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, etc. with verbal clues.
  • Draw simple pictures for everyday routines, such as getting ready in the morning. Have your child point to each picture and tell you the “story” of this routine.
  • Have fun with silly, unexpected directions: “Go to the kitchen and quack like a duck!”
  • Let your child have a turn being the direction-giver and you be the follower. Model good behavior!
  • When you cook together, talk about the steps. “First, we pour in the flour. Then, we add the sugar. Now, we mix it all together.” Use those sequencing words (first, next, then) so your child becomes familiar with them.

I’m impressed every day at how much all of you are so invested in your child’s well being and individual success.  You are wonderful parents and I am honored that you have chosen our teaching family to be a part of your child’s early education.

Creativity Begins Here

November 22, 2014 Preschool No Comments
by Ms. Manda

After all of our hard work preparing for our Thanksgiving Feast we decided it was time for a dose of artistic creativity to wrap up the week!  We explored  a variety of abstract paintings, learned what the word abstract means and tried our hand creating our own.  We have a classroom full of budding artists!

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Preschool Feast Day is Here!

November 20, 2014 K Prep No Comments
by Ms. Manda

What’s better than sitting down and enjoying the fruits of your labor with good friends?  We had such a wonderful time today enjoying each other’s company as we finally got to eat the foods we had been working so hard to prepare.  The children enjoyed their homemade applesauce, homemade bread with their own handmade butter, fresh green beans, corn, mashed potatoes and turkey.  We ate our entire fresh fruit turkey we worked so hard to make…and of course our mini pumpkin pies.

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Preschoolers Preparing for their Thanksgiving Feast

November 20, 2014 Preschool No Comments
by Ms. Manda

What fun we had this week preparing for our Thanksgiving Feast!  We watched in amazement as our cream turned to butter by our own hands.  Then we took turns mixing the ingredients for homemade bread, kneading the dough, watching it rise and baking it up to golden perfection.  Our classroom smelled like fresh baked bread, it was hard not to gobble it up right when it came out of the oven!  We also had a great time preparing the green beans by washing, snapping off the ends and breaking them into two.  I think the kids could have done that all day.  But, for the most important part of our Thanksgiving meal…the pumpkin pie.  We each made our own mini pie to enjoy on Feast Day.  We were delighted to see all of the children working together towards the common goal of creating a feast they could all enjoy.

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Journal Writing in K Prep

November 18, 2014 K Prep No Comments
by Ms. Manda

The K Prep students did the first entry in their journals today about what we were thankful for, after reading Bear Says Thanks.  We saw a lot of family faces in those entries!

Journal writing is one of the foundation blocks of our language arts philosophy. Each week, the children have a set time to write in their journals. The journal serves as a valuable learning tool. The children are beginning to get their ideas on paper and learn first hand the power of words. Research shows that journaling is one of the most effective ways to teach and learn phonics.

Children at the beginning stages often use “scribble writing” or random letters to represent words. As they progress, they will begin to use the letters that represent the sounds in the words that they are attempting to write (“btrfli” for butterfly). We make good use of the children’s growing phonics by helping them listen carefully to the words they wish to use. Our ultimate goal is for each child to learn to communicate on paper whether it is through words or illustrations.

Children draw pictures as the main part of their communication at these early stages. Drawing helps them find the words they might want to use in their writing.  We saw a lot of words in these first entries….very impressive! IMG_3794

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Learning About Cows and What We Can Make With Their Milk

November 17, 2014 Preschool Prep No Comments
by Ms. Sarah

This past week we talked about cows and how they make milk for us to drink and use to make other foods.

Ms. Susan planned a special small group where the children got to help make whipped cream and butter.

We had to shake, shake, SHAKE the containers of cream to turn it into butter:
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Then the children got to help make whipped cream!

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In another small group, we practice “milking a cow” by squeezing the water out of a glove and into a pail.

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We had a very special snack: Our very own homemade butter on bagels and our whipped cream on crackers!

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Smart Board!

November 16, 2014 Toddlers No Comments
by Ms. Diana

Since it was so cold last week, we had a great opportunity to go into the preschool room and use the smart board! The boys and girls had so much fun doing music and movement in the “big kid room”. All the children did a great job listening and following directions! We can’t wait to use the smart board again!

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Science Day: White-Tailed Deer

November 14, 2014 Preschool No Comments
by Ms. Sarah

We learned about the white-tailed deer in Preschool!

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We talked about fawns and how they are camouflaged with their white spots.

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The children learned that the deer flip up their tails to show the white underside, which alerts the other deer of danger.

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Deer have very special eyes. They can focus on what is in front of them and what is in the distance. I had the children look at their hand and notice that their hand is clear, but the rest of the room behind them is blurry because their eyes were focused on their hand. I explained how deer have this special vision to keep them safe while they are eating.

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During small groups, we colored a picture of a fawn and made our very own deer hoof prints!

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Down on the Farm

November 11, 2014 Toddlers No Comments
by Ms. Diana

This month in the Toddler room we are all about the Farm! The children have had so much fun dressing up like cowboys, playing in the farmers market and feeding the farm animals in the sensory tub. More farm activities to come!

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