February has been a very busy month and we honestly can’t believe how fast it has flown by. Our studies on Africa were reflected through songs, music, tapping beats on African drums, books and pictures. We have had many stories at Circle about life in different parts of Africa, told in the words of children who live there. We learned of families having to walk many miles for water, balancing the full water jugs on their heads, as they make their way back home. Some of the preschool children tried to balance jugs on their heads and walk through the classroom. They all learned quickly that this is not an easy task. We learned that one in every six people on Earth do not have access to clean drinking water, and many of these people live in Africa. The classroom took on an African theme as many African animals materialized on work trays, mystery bags and sorting activities. Our interactive African small world was a huge hit, with its many animals and natural materials for every child to create their own African savannah. The children are now making an African spin drum as the continent art activity, which came home or will be coming home this week. The pre-K children have been working on their animal booklets which will be sent home soon. These travels across the African continent have introduced us to many animals and some incredible facts. Do you know how to tell the difference between an African elephant and an Asian elephant? An African elephant’s ear is the same shape as the African continent. Fun fact!
This very busy month included Valentine’s Day, which is always such a fun event. Hearts were to be found all over the classroom, in counting activities, practical life and water activities. Sewing, collage, weaving, lacing and cookie decorating were all heart themed. The children decorated bags to hold the many Valentines, cards and small treats they exchanged with friends. The main art project was marble painting for a card. This is a gross motor skill activity that resulted with a painting reminiscent of Jackson Pollock. Each and every art piece was little bit different, but all spectacular. We had a Valentine theme dance party, enjoyed by dancers of all ages. Our Valentine theme playlist included ‘I’m a Believer by the Monkees, ‘Love Shack’ by The B-52s, ‘Crazy Little thing called Love’ by Queen, and ‘Sugar’ by the Archies. Very retro. A local east side Community Centre put a call out for donations of Valentines for seniors, who have been isolated from family and loved ones for a very long time. All of the children (morning and afternoon classes) made Valentines for the seniors. It was explained that they were going someone else’s grandma or grandpa so they will feel our caring. Children always want to take home their art work, but not one child asked to keep the Valentine that they made. We are so impressed. Wow.
Another event in February was the Lunar New Year celebration, the Year of the Ox. This was the final segment of our ‘Celebration of Light’ series. As every year, the children practiced their cutting skills by making a lantern, with advanced cutters trying their scissor skills making their very own lucky red envelopes. All the envelopes were folded and sent home with a chocolate coin inside. The year of the ox was recognised with each child making an ox crown. Plenty of skill building, with cutting, gluing and folding, and still lots of fun.
Beading, ring making, and sewing buttons continue to be favourite small motor skill activities, which also build concentration skills. In the end, a lovely work of art goes home with a very proud student. Yoga has been very popular this month, along with other listen and follow activities. New activities come into play every month, and February’s favourite was orange juice squeezing. Orange juicing was so popular that we went through over 30 pounds of oranges. With all these culinary talents building at preschool, it might be time to put the children to work at home. Whisking, grating, juicing, stirring, blending, peeling, pouring and rolling dough. These children have skills. If you compare in-class photos from just a few months ago, you will see the advancement of work chosen. As skill levels are gained, so does the self-confidence and the willingness to try more complex projects and activities.
We are now into March and well into Science Show and Tell. Science Show and Tell will continue for two weeks until we leave for Spring Break.