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 – 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 – 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 – Hello and Welcome to the 3rd Term everyone!

Dear Parents

Welcome to the 3rd Term and a whole lot of fun!

Your children are super eager and excited about our new theme, SHAPES. Today we introduced SUSIE CIRCLE and her song which we will be singing all week. We also sorted circles from a heap of assorted shapes and most managed very well.

At home, I would like you to bring their awareness to all circles in the home and garden and if you could include a circle-shaped food in their lunch – cucumber, orange, round crackers etc, that would be great. They love showing off their lunch box circles!

Children learn best when they are active participants in a learning experience. They need to experience things in a concrete way, meaning they can see, feel, manipulate, touch and taste things. This helps build incredibly important foundational skills for learning and for life.

Please remember to bring a box of tissues for the term. Also please keep your child at home if you notice any flu symptoms.

I’ve noticed that many children take off their shoes and run around in their socks, which become wet, so please pack an extra pair of socks! This is something new and we spend a good part of the day putting shoes back on and tying shoelaces which they insist on untying!

We wish you a happy and healthy 3rd Term.

Warm regards

Sheila

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

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