Dear Extended Care Families,
The children came back from holiday break relaxed, calm and happy to see one another. The afternoon life rhythm here at Spring Garden has become such a strong part of the children’s daily life that with only a few gentle reminders we were able to get back into the swing of things. It was like we had never been away from one another.
As a mother and teacher I always like to stress the importance of a daily life rhythm. Having a consistent routine (rhythm) is also a preventative to illness, builds an inner knowing of time, makes transitions easier, eliminates discipline problems, builds trust in children’s surrounding environment and overall decreases stress in children because they always knows what is going to happen next. Wow, all these benefits when we simply provide a rhythmical daily.
There have been a few questions/requests from parents regarding lunch meal requirements. The following table provides the elements of a recommended healthy lunch and some ideas for meals.
Bread/Bread alternative (1 serving)
Grains –oats, barley, millet, couscous
Fruit & Veggies (2 servings)
All types of fruits and Veggies.
Recommended amount( ½ cup of each)
1) 2 servings of veggies
2) 2 servings of fruit
3) 1 serving of each
(fruit cereal bars, fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, juices etc… do not count as one serving of fruit)
Protein (1 serving)
Milk (1 cup)
Meat/Meat alternative (2 oz)
Yogurt (¾ cup)
Cheese (1 ½ oz)
Peanut butter/or other nut or seed butter (3 TBS)
Peanuts/soy nuts/tree nuts/seeds (3/4 oz)
Cooked or dry beans or peas (1/2 cup)
Hot Lunch. If you decide you want a hot lunch for your child please remember to sign up before hot lunch day. Ms. Olga and Ms. Julie place hot lunch order forms in your mailbox. Complete the form and return to the ‘Hot Lunch’ folder which is in the file box to the left of the family mailboxes. If your child is mistakenly not signed up for a hot lunch they will receive one, however, it does hold up the lunch time process. Please remember to sign up because it eliminates the entire group having to wait for the one or two children who did not sign up for hot lunch, Thank-you.
I have recently introduced the Old Mother West Wind Series for the nap time story. The chapter book tells about the adventures of animals that live in the “Green Forest”. Throughout this series the children have been introduced to many different animal characters such as; Bobby Raccoon, Johnny Chuck, Jimmy Skunk, Jerry Muskrat, Grandfather Frog and Danny Meadow Mouse just to name a few. I read one to two chapters every day. Many children have captured these characters into their hearts as I’ve heard children question, to each other, whether the animals live in our woods next door.
Before winter break I mentioned that we were going down to the woods to play in the afternoon. I strive to go there every afternoon. However, it does depend how sleepy our children are and how the nature of the afternoon is unfolding that will predict whether we get there or not. With this being said, dismissal area has become different on a daily basis. If we are not in the meadow playing, it means we have made it to the woods and therefore dismissal will be in the hallway at 3:20 pm. If we are in the woods and you need to pick up earlier then 3:20 pm, please see Hazel at the front desk and she will verbally guide you down to where we play. You could also check the extended care room. Your child may still be in the room with Ms. Lori as she is helping the last group of children get ready to go outdoors.
The play area in the woods is quite, still and very magical this time of year. Together many of the kindergartners have created a home out of large sticks (tee pee like). I’ve observed children sweeping the ground with large sticks preparing the home. Some children have gone fishing (large wet soggy leaves have become large tasty fish) for dinner in the large puddle of standing water not too far from where the home was built. Sometimes the roof of the home falls in and the children call the ‘roofers’ to come and fix it. It really is magical to see all the children working together. The preschoolers continue to explore the open area. They are busier with moving their bodies. They climb and swing from fallen logs and branches. Some love to dig in the large dirt mounds. Some love running up and down the hill that guides them to the play area. The paths in our play space have slowly come to life again with work from teachers and children. These paths provide a large running area for all the children.
With a very chilly week a head of us, please remember to dress your child in layers. To dress in layers please consider the following; three layers on top for example: t-shirt, long-sleeve cotton shirt or sweater and two layers on the bottom for example: cotton PJ or long underwear & Pants. Going outside in cold weather provides opportunity for physical movement and sensory experiences. When the children dress for the outdoors we guide them in the following way; snow pants, boots, jacket, hat, scarf, and mittens/gloves. All children are encouraged to dress themselves. It is important to provide children with outdoor gear (including boots) to be successful in dressing themselves. This is the time of year we begin to get older kindergartners prepared for 1st grade, which includes dressing self.
Based upon the different areas I have touched on in this newsletter, there are follow up articles located in the Early Childhood Hallway, (by Extended Care Classroom on round table by double doors). Feel free to take and read.
As always if there are any questions or concerns do not hesitate to email or call me.
Stay warm on this chilly day!
Mitten Strings for God; Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry by: Katrina Kenison (Rhythm)
Illness By: Gudrun Davy (Trust, Blessing of a fever, Illnesses of Civilization)
More Nutrition Ideas By: Susan R. Johnson, MD. (Guidelines about the foods we eat & health)
Do Kids Catch Cold Outside? By: Robert Needleman, M.D & Gloria Needleman