Friday, March 13, 2015

What's New at ICP?

It has been a while since I have posted. That's because I am having some photo challenges, and I have been unable to add photos, maybe the most exciting part of this blog. While I continue to figure this out, I will write a brief note about what is happening at ICP:

REGISTRATION FOR THE 2015-16 SCHOOL YEAR: This is well underway. It is always exciting to see the number of returning families. I always believe this is in the best interest of the child. A second or third (and sometimes even a fourth!) year of preschool in the same place with the same teacher is so reassuring to a young child. They know the teacher. They know the basic structure of the day, the expectations, and they start their second year feeling safe and secure. This allows them to more quickly move to exploring and learning. You can't learn if you don't feel safe, and it can take a while for young children to really relax and feel secure in a new school setting.

FAMILY CONCERT: Next Saturday, March 21, we will hold our family concert featuring the beloved Caspar Babypants! This is always a great event, with a lot of kiddos dancing in the balloon mosh pit. Caspar's music is fun, and it's a great way to start out a spring Saturday!

PENGUIN CLASS: (1-2 year olds) These little people have really grown p a lot since the start of school and are becoming much more adventurous. Painting, gluing, texture table, and lots of outside time are happening in class. By now these little ones know the songs in circle, and it is such a joy to watch them together!

SEA OTTER CLASS: (2-3 year olds) Since we have had such an early spring, this group of busy kiddos have been spending a lot of time outside. There has been a lot of pumping water with the hand pump, and digging and splashing in the pond we create at the bottom of the stream. The mud kitchen has also been popular, and lots of tasty treats have been concocted! And don't forget the construction vehicles in the sand area! One of our favorite things inside is Tummy Time, when we read stories. Laying on our tummies supported by our elbows does a lot for the muscles of our upper back and helps with our brain stem. All of this helps us with self-regulation.

DOLPHIN CLASS: (3-4 year olds) This class has been really enjoying learning about habitats and the four things needed for a good habitat (food, water, shelter, and a place to raise babies). We have cleaned up the winter debris from the path through the wildlife sanctuary. We have made nesting cashes for the spring birds, and we have been on a hunt to find natural nesting materials. We are also learning what kind of habitat plants need to grow.

ORCA CLASS: (4-5 year olds) Children this age are ready to do some real work in school. When this learning emerges from the children's interests, ideas, and wonders about the world, the learning is very exciting and motivating. This class has been interested in performing, even building their own stage out of blocks one day, so we are putting on an Orca Show this afternoon. There have been three teams for the advance work of preparing for the show. The Stage Team designed the lighting (Christmas lights and flashlights), the curtain (black plastic, rope, and binder clips), and the stage backdrops. The Information Team has made invitations, programs, posters, and tickets and seat numbers. The Reception Team has designed the decorations and food for the post show reception, baking and frosting cookies. Each child has chosen what they would like to do in the show, and we have everything from a fiddle player, to ballerinas, piano players, to a snake tamer. The children (and parents) are so excited!

Hopefully I will get the photo glitch figured out so I can post pictures of all of these great things!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ice Day

After experiencing ice outside, we had Ice Day inside the preschool. The children froze different size and colors of ice at home and brought them to school to help build an ice castle.

After adding salt to help hold the ice together, we added colored water using eye droppers. This made for a very interesting science experiment.

So many colors and shapes!

The Orca class also made ice cream in zip bags. We worked with a partner. It takes a lot of vigorous rolling the zip bags to turn the milk into ice cream.

Working with a friend really helps, and so did counting or singing to keep us going. The ice cream was yummy!

The Orcas also wrote who would live in an ice castle, and of course, Elsa figured somewhat prominently in their ideas. So did some other interesting people and creatures. Here a fairy is guarded by a knight.

We also built igloos using "ice cubes." Of course, the kids knew what these really were, and everyone had to try eating at least one. Getting the cubes to stick together so the walls could be built was quite challenging!


This post is being written in the middle of January when we have been having unseasonably warm temperatures. How fortunate we were to explore the concept of winter in December when it was really cold and we even had some snow!

Playing the snowman game.

This teaches number recognition, turn taking, and patience and delayed gratification when you roll a number you already have.

One cold, wintery morning we looked at how we get dressed for the weather. Lots of hoods.

Lots of mittens and gloves.

Even more boots.

Let's go explore! Here we are checking out the Wildlife Sanctuary.

Look! Someone built a snowman!

More boots.

The bird baths were frozen solid... poor birds.

Look at all of the shapes of ice we found in the mud kitchen!

Ugh! This ice in the wagon is hard to break into pieces.

Let's play the idea of snow inside where it's much warmer.

Lots of cute little play doh snowmen.

Here is a snow park in the texture table. It takes teamwork to get the snow slide to work.

Eskimos and their dogs zip down the slide while the polar animals cheer! Hooray for winter!

Grandparent's Day

ICP is all about family: children, parents, siblings, grandparents and other extended family members, pets... Inviting our grandparents to school is one of the highlights of our year.

Sometimes grandparents cannot come, and so we get to bring some other special person to school with us.

It is delightful to watch the children's faces light up when these special people play with them at school.

The children are so proud to show what they can do.

The grandparents are often pretty amazed at the different kinds of things their grandchild is doing at preschool, and they seem to love the opportunity to try as well.
We bake cookies to share, and then we frost them and eat them during snack.

Grandparents often play differently than parents, and this adds another layer of learning about people to the child's experiences.

Daddies are always welcome, and guaranteed silliness and fun happens when they are there.

This grandma speaks very little English. It was wonderful watching how her grand-daughter took care of her, making sure she was comfortable and knew what we were doing.

Getting in and out of the little chairs can be challenging for grandparents, but how great that they try!

This grandpa discovered an old childhood book. What a great way to touch someone.

The children love the opportunity to watch these grown ups work and play right alongside them. When was the last time this grandpa painted at an easel?

And, of course, we break bread together. It is so important for children to know that they belong to something much bigger than them, and bringing grandparents to preschool is a rich and wonderful experience for all of us.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Imaginative Play

Children's imaginations are rich and wonderful, and open, imaginative play gives them opportunities to play out their ideas, concerns, desires, and wonders. This castle, along with fairies, knights, dragons, jewels, shells, and more, has been a favorite at school.

Here the castle is covered with snow,

and a trail of rocks leads away from it. Just to take a minute or two and listen to how the children negotiate who will play with which character, where they will be in the castle, and deciding how to manage the powerful play themes, tells a lot about how the children are developing and growing.

Outside time

There is always something fun to do during Outside Time. This little girls is planting some flowers in the window box on the beach house.

It took some cooperation from the children to get this job done. Look how they figured out how to pull a little slide up to the outside of the window.

Learning about babies

The Dolphin class had a special visitor one day while we were learning about babies. It was one friend's baby brother.

We got to look at his cute little body, and how he moves, and how he looks the same as the big kids, as well as different.

Look! He sucks on his toes!

We painted with baby bottles, which was fun,

and we cared for the baby dolls. These babies were very dirty and needed a good bath.

Let's get you all dry! Taking care of babies is fun, and a lot of hard work.