Our Newsletter – all about our sense of touch

Dear Moms and Dads

What an adventurous touchy-feely week it’s been! It was so enjoyable bringing the children’s awareness to those things to which they never give a second thought, or take for granted, but the biggest challenge was to describe what their hands and feet were feeling and to label that feeling.

They were encouraged to use descriptive words like ROUGH, SMOOTH, PRICKLY, SOFT, HARD, COLD, WARM and many more.

We examined our feet by feeling them, top and bottom; we tickled them underneath, scratched and rubbed them, squished our toes and then chatted about their importance and how they helped us play and feel. Then we enjoyed a sensory walk, feeling all the different textures and sensations underfoot.

We took a walk around the school, feeling the warm rough bricks, smooth stones, prickly leaves, the coarse, bumpy bark of a tree trunk and the cool, fresh feel of green grass. Of course, Saffy met us along the way and was delighted to be surrounded and petted by this group of enthusiastic little people! Such a pampering she has never had and we all agreed she was very soft and furry. Lucky the tortoise, however, was highly indignant when he received the same treatment, with many little fingers stroking his shell and the top of his head, while his strong little legs flailed beneath him. He was truly incensed by this invasion of his privacy. He is, by nature, a disgruntled fellow, so we will have to watch our toes when next we visit!

Wide Eye, the resident owl, let the children put their hands inside him to feel the things he had on offer. They pulled out fluffy things, hard bumpy things, heavy and light objects, all of which were passed around the group to be gently caressed, bringing them a sense of awareness, of all the many different textures.

In the art room, they compiled a picture of many different textures and for baking, their busy little fingers mixed the ingredients for the crunchy crunchies which were baked and later eaten with relish!

Everything has its wonders in childhood. To watch a child unfold, in the magical mystery of experience, is a beautiful thing!

Enjoy the photos…

Next week, we’ll use our ears to HEAR!

Have a beautiful weekend!

Warm regards,

Sheila

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Our Newsletter – Glorious winter days and Tony Triangle

Dear Parents

These glorious sun-filled days are so liberating at this time of the year and your little ones have used their newly found confidence as a springboard to fully release their surging energy and soar with their boundless imaginations!

They loved learning about Tony Triangle with his different features and once they had befriended him by absorbing his special qualities, they enjoyed making him in different ways, using body parts, blocks, spandex and then taking home a yummy pizza cut into triangles.

Father and Mother Christmas featured too when they emerged at the end of the morning wearing the white triangular-beards they had made in the art room! They looked so precious!
I cannot feature all the beautiful photos here, in the newsletter, so I will send them to you via WhatsApp.

Here are your little troopers!

Next week we’ll have fun with STARS!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Warm regards,

Sheila

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Our Newsletter – meeting Ronnie Rectangle

Dear parents

Talking about the weather has become one of our morning highlights. The kiddies look outside with great excitement and tell me what they see – blue skies, Mr Golden Sun, cheeky clouds, grumpy clouds, rain or wind.

They understand that the grumpy clouds are dark and carry all the rainwater. We’re happy because the rain fills the dams, gives plants water to drink, but best by far, are the wonderful puddles they get to splash in! They LOVE their boots and very proudly show off their special features like Lightning McQueen, Crocodiles or dinosaurs with awesome teeth!

When the rain is pelting down, we sing our ‘rainy-day’ songs with special fervour! We’re learning the days of the week too, which is quite a challenge, but every day before we go home, we whisper the name of the next day into our hands and immediately pocket it for the next day. You’d be surprised how many kiddies remember!

This week, learning about Ronnie Rectangle has been enjoyable for all. We brought out our big blocks and had a great time making rectangles, emphasizing the two long sides and two short sides. We also stretched spandex into rectangular shapes and used the flannel board to differentiate between the square and rectangle. They love it when I act silly and sneak some squares in amongst the rectangles and delight in pointing this out to me!

In the art room, they assembled a rectangular ‘monster’ using a wonderful assortment of colourful scrap. They were gorgeous! Then they had fun showing off their scary monster faces in front of a rectangular mirror.

To round off the week, they took home 3 words to remember – Monday, reflection and seven. Every day we sing songs about the days of the week and count them on the weatherboard, but when I asked them how many days there were in the week, not one child knew the answer!! It struck me again that children sing songs and count by rote without actually integrating what they’re saying. That’s the challenge of teaching!! Breaking new concepts down into understandable segments, and making them come alive, will always help them integrate these concepts more easily.

Welcome back little Fynn! We missed you bunches!

Happy photos to follow…



Warm regards

Sheila

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Our Newsletter – introducing Sally Square and her song

Dear Parents

Another week has slipped by, ending on this glorious Friday, promising a warmer, sunnier weekend ahead.

Watching how our little ones absorb new concepts is both insightful and inspiring. The ‘square’ taught them that shapes have specific properties, such as the number of sides and how the shape looks. This knowledge of shapes gives our children an advantage in many areas of learning.

Like numbers, letters come from the combination of different lines and shapes. So if they are able to distinguish between shapes, they are better equipped to notice the differences in shapes of letters and numbers which will ultimately assist with reading and writing.

We began the week by introducing ‘Sally Square’ and her song. The song was sung with much enthusiasm as ‘Sally’ took on her special characteristics and became their friend. We made her 4 sides with coloured ice-cream sticks which they could interpret as a box or a house with two walls, a roof and a floor.

This week I looted my Tupperware cupboard which yielded many square tubs, including their lids which was miraculous!! I hid different coloured squares inside each one and their challenge was to open their box and reveal what they found inside. This was good for colour reinforcement too.

On another day they were each given a fairly large square scarf. This was a tougher challenge for our littlies because it involved listening to instructions and copying actions. We first spread our scarf flat on the carpet, counted the sides and then the corners. For some, this encounter with their scarf was somewhat daunting, but with a little help, all frustrations were quickly dissolved and the task was done! We then folded our square in half and in half again, to form a smaller square. I watched in awe as some of our little magicians produced the magic without a hitch!

On arriving at school this morning I was eagerly asked if we were going to bake a Sally Square…. to which I replied “Yes!” amid squeals of joy! They also loved making a square Sally in the art room and I must say they did remarkably well, placing all the features, arm and legs, just so, in their own special way!

Enjoy….

Learning is such fun! Next week we’ll discover the OVAL!

Have a great weekend all!

Warm regards,

Sheila

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Our Newsletter – all about Susie Circle

Dear Parents

This week, learning about SUSIE CIRCLE, captured all I love about teaching. Your littlies want to learn; they sit in the ring with expectation and curiosity gleaming in their eyes and all I want to do is take these precious moments and fulfil all their expectations and curiosity by revealing the little things that we adults take for granted! I raided my kitchen and brought out all my saucepans and lids, which I presented to them. We had such fun matching lids to saucepans and discussing the different sizes and weights. Some could see clearly which lid fitted which saucepan but others were not so sure, as small lids clattered into the large pots! We all agreed that the saucepans and lids were round in shape, just like Susie Circle!

On another day we brought the saucepans out again but this time they were each given a teaspoon, told to turn their pot upside down and drum. Ayesha had the huge leather drum and drummed out simple beats for them to copy. This was a challenge, but taking the risk to receive such challenges is an important part of their growth and development and they loved it!

They also had fun rolling the rather heavy, circular balancing board to one another. Another challenge!

In the art room, they stamped circles of paint onto paper and also made a frying pan with 3 eggs frying inside it. They were beautiful and such fun to make!

In the music room, they drove their ‘Beep-beep’ cars using hoops for steering wheels and had the greatest time putting balls into a large circular canvas which they stood around holding while trying to shake the balls into the air. There was much raucous yelling and laughter as the balls flew high or flew off!

We pressed out circles in playdough and also had the greatest time pressing out a circle from a slice of bread and then ever so carefully pouring an egg into the hole. We baked this and they had a scrumptious treat to take home!

Enjoy these photos of the week…




Next week we’ll turn our attention to Sally Square! 

A BIG thanks to my amazing staff for doing such a fabulous job while I was ill.

Have an extra-special weekend, keep warm and safe.

Warm regards

Sheila

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Our Newsletter – looking back on a wonderful year

Dear Moms and Dads,

I have never known a year to go by so quickly! Looking at all the photos taken along the way, I am reminded how far our little ones have come. The playground is buzzing with an energy that speaks of the confidence our munchkins have honed during a year of endless fun, boundless self-discovery and the cultivation of social skills. The older children, who were like little tadpoles when they arrived, have grown enormously in their little Playmates pond and are now, like little frogs, ready for the next leap into the big wide world.

Helping them become aware of their 5 senses has been very gratifying. ‘I hear’ took on a whole new meaning when we challenged them to ‘listen’. Listening skills were sharpened when they had to identify an array of sounds – also loud sounds, soft sounds, sounds close by and sounds coming from afar. This brought them a new awareness and helped expand their vocabulary. We also listened to the sound of popping popcorn and focused on listening carefully to instructions.

The sense of ‘sight’ was equally satisfying and helped them become aware of their world by ‘seeing’ the wonder around them; ‘noticing’ little things; expressing what they saw and becoming aware of how things they saw made them feel. They were also challenged to remember the things they had seen and also to discriminate differences. One morning, a beautiful little leopard toad presented itself for inspection, to the delight of all! How they marvelled at its colourful skin and the way it puffed itself up and leapt around!

Here are some photos of all the fun we had and also some magical artwork…

The smiles at Playmates are the best!! We’ve all caught Kerri’s infectious smile…..warm, beautiful and as wide as a hammock!  But we don’t smile when you’re flexing our muscles like Rhys and Benjy!

Take your smiles with you and have a delicious weekend!

Warm regards,

Sheila

Playmates Playschool
www.playmatesschool.co.za
pmps@playmatesschool.co.za
082 444 0701
021 715 1836
Bergvliet, Cape Town

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Our Newsletter – Keeping our Bodies Strong and Healthy

Dear Parents,

I have loved every minute of the last two weeks! With Kerri’s amazing enthusiasm, she has cajoled our little ones into such a joyous momentum of energy and delight, that the days have flown by in a deliciously happy fervour!

We have focused on how we keep our bodies healthy and clean and believe it or not, there was so much cooperation!! They fed Molly (painted by Madi!) healthy fruit and vegetables and on baking days, made yummy fruit sticks to eat, as well as marshmallow teeth in rounds of red apple! Scrumptious! Those tiny marshmallows were totally irresistible!

They painted pictures of fruit which they popped into a grocery bag to take home as a reminder to eat the good food that keeps them strong and healthy. They brushed their teeth to the toothbrush song and then, to the music of “Scrub your dirty face”, they washed their hands and faces with wet wipes. All accomplished with much gusto! They also practised protecting themselves from sunburn by donning hats and sunglasses and applying sunblock. They took this very seriously which definitely indicates that one day they’ll be responsible adults!!

The fun continued as they tested their skills on the obstacle course which proved an exhilarating challenge for them. They all passed with flying colours…..including our very little ones who found it quite irresistible and were happy to muddle in and do their thing in their own sweet way! And so the fun continued as they turned themselves into pretzels while exploring what they could do with their body parts. Toes to noses…..they tried it all!  Fine motor fun with fingers and sorting games are always on the daily agenda…… and of course, lots and lots of soul-nourishing play!

The term has flown by but it has been an enriching one, with many memorable moments that warm our hearts. First terms are always very challenging, especially for moms who have to contain their anxiety as they leave their precious dumplings with us!  It’s never easy and we understand the heartbreak and the wrench you feel during this difficult time. However, for our littlies, the irresistible urge to play soon takes over and it isn’t long before their happy laughter fills the air and we all feel comforted in the knowledge that they have sourced their inner strength and can move forward feeling empowered. That’s a good feeling for all!

Have a lovely weekend and take care,

Warm regards,

Sheila

 

Playmates Playschool
www.playmatesschool.co.za
pmps@playmatesschool.co.za
082 444 0701
021 715 1836
Bergvliet, Cape Town

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