Entries in Preschool in Bristol NH (12)


Notes from the Naturalist: Week 31 Nature Preschool at HCMA

Mud, mud, mud, glorious mud! We found it, rolled in it, kicked it around and just could not walk away from it! Let me be very clear: we are never disappointed by what we find up here on Little Round Top. The mud today brought a chorus of singing from happy children. Some rowed their boats while sitting in the mud, some kicked it around and others just stomped in it. And you all know what we did today by the bags of dirty clothing that came home. We wouldn’t change that play for a minute. Yes, its work, its dirty but it fulfills each child in a different way that other play cannot replace.

“Scientists have now confirmed something that children have always instinctively known; playing in mud is a joyful experience. Recent research has shown that dirt contains microscopic bacteria called Mycobacterium Vaccae which stimulates the immune system and increases the levels of serotonin in our brains, an endorphin that soothes, calms, and helps us to relax. Scientists say regular exposure to the bacteria may help reduce a child’s vulnerability to depression. In short, playing in mud makes you happier!”

“Mud play is inclusive of all children. It allows children to play at their own developmental level. Mud is an open ended material that meets the diverse needs and interests of different children. Younger or less skilled children might focus on the sensory experience whereas older children may have more specific goals in mind for their mud play. Some children may thoroughly enjoy the sensation of mud between their toes while others are only comfortable poking a finger into the mud. Allow children to explore the mud at their own comfort level. With mud, there is something for everyone and there are no wrong answers.” -http://www.communityplaythings.com

We also did a little “collecting” today. I will refrain from the details (Mother’s Day is coming….)! Watching each child take to the task at hand was very interesting. Some children raced through the activity to move on to play while others were completely absorbed in the activity. One child spent over thirty minutes inspecting and gathering. This child was full on in concentration mode and would not be budged to play. Can you imagine the level of engagement this child felt?

After our collecting we took a walk down to the gathering area. All around us we could see Canada May Flower (Maianthemum canadense). It is close to blooming and will soon have several white flowers branching off from its stock. One of the first spring flowers we will see but soon many more will be popping up. We also noticed Starry False Solomon’s Seal (Smilacina stellate) just starting to come up. The wildflower search in New England can be so much fun! But if you really want to know where to find a certain species in our area, get your hands on a copy of the NH Soil Survey for Grafton County. Once you know the soil type, you can then start your search for that hard to find flower – like Dutchman’s Breeches! For more information on New Hampshire Wildflowers check out this link: http://www.newhampshirewildflowers.com/index.php


Nature Preschool Benefits Young Minds:

Did you get to read Thomas Caldwell's article about our amazing Nature Preschool?  Here is the link!  Enjoy! 


Teacher Netta's Notes

Welcome back, HCMA families! I hope you all had a wonderful week while on break last week! 

I can't believe we are already in May with about 28 days left of school! Since the beginning of the year, I have been implementing a "letter of the week" type of curriculum. We've been working every two weeks on two new letters with activities that practice letter recognition, letter writing/tracing, letter sounds, etc. One of my favorite parts of this curriculum is our ABC art books! Every letter has their own page with a task corresponding to the appointed letter. We are finally on our last few letters of our curriculum! We completed letter Q the other day with a page that requested Q-tip painting. The kids have enjoyed this part of our letter of the week curriculum and I love how it allows the kids to be creative and use different tools and materials to create art!

Once we have finished our Letter of the week curriculum, which will be in about two weeks, I will compile all of their ABC art book pages into a little book for them to take home! Even if your child was absent and missed a certain page, I will include a clean page so they can complete it at home if they wish!

Have a great end of the week, everyone! I hope you're all enjoying the beautiful weather. I know I am!


This Moment in Time

A Friday ritual that captures one moment from our week.  No words or thoughts.  Just a picture.  Happy weekend to all!


Teacher Netta's Notes - Eggs

Hello HCMA families! Thank goodness we have been seeing more spring-like weather this week so far! I'm crossing my fingers the warmer weather will stay!

In the classroom our spring theme is still being implemented. A new work that I taught the kids recently was a new Easter egg matching work! 

As can be seen in the pictures, this work requires the child to follow the pictured "directions" to make an egg that matched what was depicted. This work is trickier than it seems since the kids have to first make sense of which kind of piece of egg they need in the certain color---the top piece or the bottom piece.   I showed the kids how the top pieces are a little more pointy and longer and the bottom pieces have a different looking groove on it where the top piece fits when pushed together. It has been interesting to see how the kids solve this puzzle of which kind of pieces they need!

This work also requires fine motor skills. As an adult, I forget how easy it is for us to "click" Easter eggs together. As a young child however, fitting these two pieces together correctly and using enough finger strength to make them connect fully, is more of a challenge. As a result, this work provides practice for fine motor skills as well as color recognition and comparison skills.

So far this work has become a new favorite! Working with Easter eggs has proved to be a fun task for the kids! 

I hope everyone has a great rest of their week!