Our Newsletter – the end of the year is fast approaching now!

Dear Moms and Dads

What a week! Our playmates are not holding back in any way or form and seem to have absorbed the thrills and expectations of the approaching holiday season to embellish their play with a fervour seldom seen other than this time of year! WOW! They have us on our toes performing great feats of tenacity and perseverance…like never before!!

But despite the high velocity we still managed to achieve some receptivity while exploring the uses of the tongue. They had such fun discovering what they could do with it! Every morning we performed tongue exercises – up and down, from side to side, in and out, curling up and under and rolling.

It was fun bringing their awareness to how busy that little tongue was and how it was responsible for enabling us to talk, taste and clean our teeth. I did not tell them that in some Asian countries it was customary to stick your tongue out at others as a sign of greeting and respect!! I decided this fact might cost me my job!

They were introduced to the largest tongue, that belonging to the Blue Whale, and the longest tongue belonging to the chameleon. Madi tried desperately to shoot her tongue out like the chameleon while others tried to touch their noses in the way dogs do. They were simply too short. They could, however, lick their lips all around, which gave them a sense of achievement!

We then spent some hilarious time tasting different foods and identifying what was sweet, sour, salty, spicy or bitter. Their lunch boxes took on new meaning when opened to reveal an assortment of different tastes. All yummy! Lastly, we made a delish pasta salad to take home.

Enjoy these fun pics… courtesy of Ayesha who captured just the right moment!

Next week we’ll whiff, sniff and smell everything in sight…

Have a great weekend!

Warm regards

Sheila

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Our Newsletter – Go the Bokke! And, learning about our sense of Hearing

Dear Moms and Dads

We’ve had a double win this weekend with the arrival of Kim and Myron’s sweet baby Luke, brother to our little Logan….. plus the Bok’s magnificent World Cup victory! Celebrations all round and many tears of joy!

We congratulate the happy parents and wish them sweet, cuddly moments, precious memories and all the happiness their hearts can hold!

We’ve had a really great week with our ‘Hearing’ theme, discovering many interesting facts about ears in general and comparing our ears to the elephant’s huge ears. They were enchanted with the fact that most animals are able to move their ears forward and backwards to hear sounds, whereas we could not move our ears…..only by turning our heads! Nor could we flap our ears like the elephant! Your little ones tried to get their ears to cooperate but to no avail! They would not move, they would not flap!

We also learned the importance of having ears and how LISTENING protects us! Listening to mom and dad, friends and teachers…. and to recognise those sounds that put us in danger, like a growling dog. We had wonderful conversations about all this and they enthusiastically offered their thoughts and stories, some of which, in this highly imaginative age, were quite extraordinary!!

We also played a game by sitting in a ring around a blindfolded child who had to listen carefully while someone in the ring said ‘hello’. The kiddie had to point in the direction of the sound. They loved this and all insisted on having a turn. Such fun!

They also had to make sounds from memory in response to my questions, ’What sound would you hear if someone had a cold? Sausages frying in a pan? A police car driving by? If someone told a funny story? Etc

There was a lot of vocab-building with words such as ‘heavy/light’, loud/soft, tin, plastic, wooden, glass, crumpling, tearing, shaking and cutting.

During snack time, we sat quietly and listened, to one kiddie at a time, bite into a cracker or crisp or an apple or carrot. We also covered our ears with our hands while we chewed or spoke and they were fascinated at how the sounds were amplified! Then lastly, to round off our week of listening, we made popcorn, the best treat ever!

Next week we’ll explore the sense of Taste!

Have a happy weekend!

Warm regards

Sheila

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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 – Happy Birthday to sparkly Dolly Diamond!

Dear Parents

We’ve had a really awesome week under magnificent blue skies, each day enveloping us in the golden warmth that heralds the coming of spring, where jerseys are thrown off and shoes discarded in an urgency to feel the freedom of playing barefoot! However, the nippy mornings tell us that winter is not done with us yet and she might still unleash some storms and icy winds to keep us indoors cuddling under duvets in front of glowing fires.

We put STARS on the back-burner for now so that we could focus on a more complex shape, the DIAMOND. Being a more challenging shape, we’ll take a little longer learning about it, so we’ll extend it into next week as well.

We sang Dolly Dimond’s song and made her shape with our bodies, sticks and blocks and also drew her shape on a mirror tray covered with cornflour! They really enjoyed this activity and loved the magic their fingers created! They also discovered other shapes in a container of salt. That was fun!

To emphasize the fact that diamonds sparkle, we celebrated Dolly’s birthday by lighting a sparkler and singing to her! We did many other activities to consolidate our colours and shapes, enjoying the fact that two triangles formed a diamond!

They made a diamond collage in the art room and on Friday we baked diamond biscuits with sprinkles on top. Too yummy for words!

Your little ones are such a pleasure to teach! Enjoy the pics…

Fynn arrived in his Fire Rescue outfit just in case we lit another sparkler… Madi counted her doll’s toes… and the sweetest little friendships are beginning to blossom!

So sweet! Have a happy 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 – The oval and the egg

Dear Parents

‘Unpredictable’ is a good label for the week just gone by. Like the weather, the kiddie’s moods changed from being quietly subdued ‘calm before the storm’ little people, to restless, energetic little hurricanes who could not sit still for a moment!

However, this did not stop us from completing the week’s agenda – even if we felt like salmon swimming upstream in a storm! The secret is to remain calm at all costs, sublimely flexible at all costs… and to go with the flow!

The Oval presented us with a wonderful opportunity to explore the egg, its contents, and how it arrived on the breakfast table. Their affair with the egg began when I showed them a picture of a mother hen sitting on her eggs to keep them warm and how, after a period of time, the little hatchlings pecked their way out and went ‘Cheep’ ‘Cheep’. I passed a real egg around so they could feel it’s an oval shape. They were as gentle as lambs as they passed it around the ring, feeling it’s weight and shape before giving it back to me. I asked them if they knew what would come out of the egg if I were to crack it open. Some immediately shouted, ‘A chicken’, while others remained dubious and undecided.

Seeing the contents of the egg presented the perfect opening to explain about the farmer, who collected the eggs from the hens before they could hatch, and how he took them to the market or delivered them to Pick ‘n Pay, where their mums bought them. And somewhere along the way, we also chatted about Humpty Dumpty and his dreadful fall from the wall!!

So it was a fun and informative week and they also learned their new song ‘Ollie Oval’. They had a lot of practice separating ovals from circles and we counted all the ovals, then all the circles and then all of them together!

In the art room, they produced a cracked egg with a yellow chick inside…. and for baking, they made a straw nest using pasta and topped it with a hard-boiled egg!

I wanted them to make some scrambled eggs at school but then I thought how much they’d enjoy making it at home with mum instead!!

Enjoy the pics…

Next week: the Rectangle!

Riley, our little superhero, we can’t wait to have you back with us next week. We missed you so much while you were in hospital!

Have an extra-cuddly weekend,

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 – We love all the beautiful colours!

Dear Moms and Dads,

We’re on track with our Colours Theme and Wily Komodo is slowly but surely learning his colours. He is extremely happy about this and has managed to lay a yellow, red and green egg so far, which the children have noted with much delight! They become very indignant, though, when the naughty goblin who lives in the Faraway Tree, hides the eggs which they have to find and put back into his cave. They take this responsibility very seriously!

Kerri has also taken her colours very seriously and has been bouncing around disguised as a tomato, apple and a strawberry and has intrigued the children with an assortment of colourful activities which have kept them enthralled!

Our little chefs have loved all the colourful baking – yellow Jelly, bananas and custard, strawberries with red jelly and finally today, they made a green salad and then wolfed down some yummy, wobbly green jelly! They had fun too learning about robots and songs about robot colours. Here are some activities that have kept them busy…

In the coming weeks, we’ll be celebrating Autumn with its glorious array of colours, orange and brown in particular.

We’ll learn about trees and why they lose their leaves and also peep into the world of forest creatures like squirrels who forage for nuts.

We’ll also explore the world of hibernating animals.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the rain. Moms, Happy Mother’s Day!  We hope you feel very loved and simply perfect on your very special day!

Warmest 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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Our Newsletter – Body Awareness Theme

Dear Moms and Dads

It has been a great, yet quiet week with a handful of our little owls being absent. Emotionally, our little ones are beginning to settle down and their positive energies are an uplifting asset to our daily routine. They are eager to experience new things and have been involving themselves in our activities when they feel ready and comfortable to do so.

We have continued with our body awareness programme this week, allowing our little ones to explore different aspects of themselves and their bodies in relation to other people and objects around them. They have had such fun becoming familiar with the different aspects of special awareness, hand-eye coordination, proprioceptive input and fun gross-motor movement.

From a game of pairing up to identify each other’s body parts,  crawling through tunnels, jumping and singing to fun music, to baking their feet shapes, they’re having good plain fun investigating their surroundings. In our outdoor area, as always, the mud kitchen and water areas are total hot spots and the places to be. Who could ever say no to a cup of tea and a sand brownie? To end off the week, our Friday orchestra and obstacle courses are an absolute hit!

The children are having a really great time developing, not only their body awareness, but also the self-reflection this awareness brings about.

I recently found a quote online which really resonated with me and shows the importance of play, both intellectually and socially. “Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. It is a necessity.”

Have a great week all.

Warm regards,

Sheila and Kerri

 

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

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