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 – Learning all about our sense of touch

Dear Moms and Dads,

One is so easily drawn into the wonder of a child’s world where spontaneity is king, where curiosity is given full reign and where the imagination soars joyously and freely. Creativity is born and nurtured in this kind of freedom where children learn to express and cope with their emotions. This is indeed a precious, happy and unpressured time for our little ones to indulge their senses and nurture their souls…..a time for them to express their uniqueness and build self-belief.

As we progressed with our ‘Sense of Touch’ theme, we have seen how different experiences lit a fire of pleasure within our littlies; how their eyes shone with the thrill of discovering a new sensation or awareness. They loved finding one another while blindfolded and enjoyed feeling different textures underfoot. They adored stepping into tubs of squishy paint and walking across paper, but rolling out soft and yielding biscuit dough sent their taste buds into joyous overdrive…. a definite favourite!

Enjoy these gorgeous pics of your children and feel their joy as we did!

Hope your weekend is filled with warm cuddles, smiley faces and warm togetherness!

Take care all,

Kind 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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Our Newsletter – we have big, happy imaginations

Dear Moms and Dads,

We’ve had such a wonderfully active and productive third term. Kerri has interwoven her teaching of shapes into the magic of play with many activities to integrate and consolidate….all of which have been thoroughly enjoyed by our littlies.

The children are playing with far more purpose now, relishing their friends and celebrating the leap of their imaginations which have come to the fore in no uncertain terms. My lavender bush took a thrashing last week when two little boys, armed to the teeth with a saw, a hammer and a broomstick “saw” a snake in it and dealt it many lethal blows! Poor bush survived the onslaught but it’s bedraggled presence reminds us that the imaginings of these little people are indeed very real and at times fearful.

This is the age when ‘monsters’ come out in the wee dark hours to terrify our little ones and cause much nocturnal distress. It is a frightening experience for them and a very real one.

At school, we have seen how they deal with this by playing ‘monster-monster’ where they chase one another around pretending to be monsters. This, however, did not sit well with some littlies, so we had to intervene and explain that monsters didn’t exist in real life, only in dreams and that they, the children, were the boss of their dreams and thoughts and could go to their happy place whenever they were afraid. We spoke about their happy places and closed our eyes to imagine them.

In an effort to minimize their fear, we asked the children if the dream monsters they saw were happy or sad, big or small, or perhaps lost? Could we help them? What if we gave a sad monster a hug to make it feel better? Could we show the lost monsters the way home? Do they have a mommy and daddy who must be missing them? Do they have sisters or brothers? They happily engaged in this conversation and there was much laughter. There is no doubt that this is a difficult question and one needs to be intuitive when dealing with it. You know your child so help him/her in a way that will resonate but always remain light-hearted and positive. In this way, we empower them to conquer their fears.

I think the shape they loved the best was the oval. We made oval dinosaur eggs which they helped to hatch by spraying them with a solution of bicarb and vinegar. They were intrigued and excited to see the baby dinosaurs emerge. We also gave them a hammer to break the eggs open. It was such fun!

Here are some pics of a few fun things they enjoyed….

How they love little spaces and wheelbarrow conversations!

“The decision to have a child is to accept that your heart will forever walk about outside your body.”

Looking forward to Holiday Care from 1 – 5 Oct.  Playmates will reopen on Wednesday 10th October. We wish you a happy holiday!

Warm wishes,

 

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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Our Newsletter – this term we’re learning all about shapes!

Dear Moms and Dads,

I have always loved the sound of little children playing in a playground!  It’s a happy sound, a humming melody of contentment!

The 3rd term has this special quality about it, a feeling that all our littlies are oblivious to all else but the satisfying task of playing. It is an expression of pleasure, where heart and soul dance in sync and everything tastes of sunshine!

This term we’ll be learning about SHAPES. This is a wonderful theme with endless potential, giving our little ones many opportunities to integrate new concepts. We explored SALLY SQUARE this week which was great fun. Ask your munchkins to sing the Sally Square song and sing along!

Each week we’ll be learning a new shape so please follow through at home by pointing out shapes and playing games like ‘I Spy’. And of course, finding a shape in their lunch box is the ultimate discovery, so don’t hold back!

We’ll be messaging you the shape of the week to keep you in the loop. Have fun!

Enjoy the photos….

Beautiful children!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Stay safe and have fun!

Warm regards,

Sheila

 

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

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Our Newsletter – Our Colours Theme

Dear Moms and Dads,

There were so many pretty, precious and delightful moments during our Colours Theme. Smiles danced on excited little faces as each colour was experienced and integrated. There were some wonderfully unexpected surprises too, which astonished and thrilled your munchkins. One of these was the shaving foam experience. They looked quite stunned when we squirted swirls of white foam all over the table around which they were standing. We then dripped a few drops of blue food colouring on top and left them to it! At first, they stared and stared but then, curiosity, as always, got the upper hand and soon little fingers were eagerly exploring. Before long the white snow became blue and their fascination could not be sated. They could happily have played all day!

Below are some photos taken along the way….

Your children are magnificent! All the little pleasures we receive from them inspire us so much and bring endless joy! It has been a wonderful term!

We wish you a happy holiday!

Warmest regards,

Sheila, Kerri, Julia, Ayesha and Yusuf

 

Playmates will be closed for the June/July break from 15th  June  – 18th July. We will close at 12pm tomorrow.

 

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

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Our Newsletter – Autumn Beautiful Autumn

Dear Moms and Dads,

Autumn at Playmates is quite spectacular purely because all the trees in and around our playground are evergreens unwilling to part with their leaves! In order for the children to fully experience the glory of this beautiful season, we, therefore, had to improvise and make our own magic! So Yusuf and I drove down those lovely lanes lined with stately old oak trees where an abundance of leaves lay in huge piles, just waiting for us to bag. We brought back enough to adorn Playmates and it did indeed look splendid!

Autumn had arrived!

The delight on the children’s faces when they saw this miraculous transformation was worth the effort a million times over! How they loved throwing the leaves up and revelling in the feeling of having them cascade down around them. How they relished sweeping them into piles, filling their wheelbarrows and having leaf-throwing contests! It was so easy to lose oneself in the face of such excitement and some moms and dads couldn’t resist the spontaneous urge to release the child within, and play! It was very special to see.

It is sad that in today’s world, hands-on learning is being devalued and minimised by school administrators and the public who push for more and more formal academics at earlier and earlier ages. Those in power care about test results, not the emotional well-being of children.

At Playmates, we believe in active learning through experience. This nurtures understanding and the ability to process concepts at a deeper level. Our little ones discover their world through their sense of wonder and curiosity and it’s a truly magical way to learn.

The colour brown presented many opportunities to have fun. Apart from all the brown leaves underfoot we went on a treasure hunt to find other brown things like twigs, stones, nuts and seeds and we learnt a new song about a grizzly brown bear hibernating in winter. We baked delicious brown crunchies, made autumn trees using handprints and also painted squirrels with fluffy tails. Planting seeds in rich brown soil was a real winner too.

It was all wonderfully tactile and such an inspiration to see their enthusiasm for all these activities!

Becoming more familiar with the colour Orange was also a wonderfully tactile and sensory adventure. They peeled yummy naartjies, a divine fine-motor activity during which they had to concentrate really hard!

They also discovered a pumpkin in the garden and there was great excitement when we cut it up and made pumpkin fritters to die for!

YUM!

The leaves have now been swept up for the compost heap but the playground still hums with fun and laughter and many happy memories!

The colour Blue will be our focus during the coming week. Wily Komodo is becoming very colourful and has successfully laid a new egg every week.

I hope you all enjoy the gorgeous sunny weekend ahead. The rain has been marvellous and I’m told we’ll have plenty more next week.

Stay warm and safe,

Warm regards,

Sheila and all at Playmates

 

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

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

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Our Newsletter – New Beginnings in 2018

Dear Parents,

The first few weeks have been a kaleidoscope of emotions, with every day bringing new challenges, new beginnings and heartrending moments. Tears, laughter and anxiety have filled our days but each day has left us feeling confident that your little ones are up to the challenge. We admire their courage, for they have had to dig deep to find coping strategies to deal with the discomfort of finding themselves in a foreign environment without you, fending for themselves and forging new relationships with teachers and others their own age.

You’ve all been wonderful in the way you have prepared your children for this experience. Your confidence is helping them develop the belief that they’re able to cope with the outer world by forming a meaningful and stronger inner world. They will all soon be self-composed little people, wide-eyed with the wonder of all they’re experiencing and hopefully, all your clouds of anxiety will soon dissolve!

However, I do want you to be mindful of the fact that during this stressful period of adjustment, your children need to relax and play more in order to process their new challenges. Please be aware of not expecting more from them than they are psychologically and emotionally ready for. Their progress and wellbeing at this point will be hampered by inflexible and heavy schedules. They need time to settle and we need to be patient and understanding of their needs.

Our Body Awareness programme is going well!

Here are some photos to show you what your little chicklets have been up to!

“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything, than when we are playing!”

I am so excited to announce that our Facebook page is live and updated! I will be posting regularly to keep you up to date with your children, our playschool, and what little people get up to in general. Please visit our page here to Like and Share those posts that may tickle your fancy. Enjoy!
Playmates Playschool Facebook | Playmates Playschool Website

Have a wonderful weekend!

Warm regards,

Sheila

 

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

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