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Zumba!

The cold can’t stop us from moving and grooving!  Care-a-lot invited Cindy, a Zumba instructor, to teach us about and get us moving with Zumba!  We learned that Zumba is a combination of dance and aerobic movements that are done to fast-paced music.  It really got our muscles moving and our heart-rates pumping!

Cindy encouraged all the children, from the toddlers to the school agers, to have fun and feel good about themselves moving to the music, rather than focus on getting the steps down perfectly.  This helped boost the children’s self-confidence and made it a most enjoyable activity!  She tailored each class to the developmental readiness of the different age groups.

At the beginning of each class, Cindy had the children place their hands over their heart and try to feel it beating.  Almost none of the children were able to locate their heart beat before exercising; however, after the Zumba class almost all of them could feel it pumping fast and strong!   One of the pre-preschoolers said, “Ms. Renee, I’m getting hot!”  The children really enjoyed moving to the music and were able to get some good quality exercise in, despite the frigid temperatures outside.

 

zumba13 Can Mar 25          zumba17 Can Mar 25 zumba22 (1) Can Mar 25

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Bubbles and Babies!

Blowing bubbles with babies is not only fun and entertaining for both children and adults, it is a significant learning experience!  It supports infant development through:

  • Visual tracking skills.  Following where the bubbles go, infants practice moving their eyes to track the bubble’s movement.
  • Sensory processing skills.  Bubbles are wet, slimy, and sticky; they feel different.  And involving children in the physical act of blowing can be a very effective sensory-based way to help children calm, and focus their bodies.
  • Social and communication skills.  When excited by bubbles, children can work to communicate wanting more and sharing their joy in the activity with others!
  • Gross motor skills. What an easy way to get children to reach way up high, stand on their toes, squat, jump, and stomp!
  • Following directions.  Give children directions on how to pop the bubbles (clap them, poke them, squeeze them, jump on them, etc.).
  • Speech skills. Early speech sounds using ‘bs’ and ‘ps’ are naturally used during bubble play, such as “bubbles,” “Bye-bye bubbles” and “pop!”
  • Language and cognitive skills.  Describing where the bubbles are and what they’re doing by pointing things out when they happen. “The bubbles are going up (or down)” “They’re going fast (or slow).” “There’s a bubble in front of (or behind) you.” “I see one next to you.” “There’s one above (or below) your head.” “That’s a really big (or little) bubble.”

Enjoy some bubble learning at home too!  You’ll also find great joy in the faces of delight that happen with bubble play!

 

2015-01-27 00.45.26 (1) Hen Mar 18 Bub F                    2015-01-27 00.47.07 Hen mar 18 Bub 2a

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Time to Shine!

Circle time offers a variety of opportunities for children to grow and learn through endless reading, discussion and singing activities.  How to behave appropriately in a group is also a learned skill, which is practiced during circle time.  This prepares young children for more formal education, for other group activities, and for many experiences in adult life.

Everything from social skills to language to empathy can be gained with practice in circle time. For example, when children:

–  are allowed to express feelings and ideas to a group without judgment, they gain confidence.
–  practice taking turns listening and speaking during circle time, they learn valuable skills in positive communication.
–  are introduced to a wide variety of concepts, people, and ideas in circle time, they learn acceptance.

In the Moons preschool classroom, Circle time is a time for each child to SHINE!  And SHINE stands for:

S:   Sitting up straight.

H:  Hands folded.

I:   In your own space.

N:  No noise when others are speaking.

E:  Eyes on speakers.

The children take pride in sharing with each other what the letters stand for and offer gentle reminders if needed.  The positive reinforcement boosts their self-esteem and encourages them to SHINE for each other!

 

 

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Teeth Cleaning!

 

Our Pre-School children enjoyed a visit by a Dental Hygienist to promote Dental Care month in February.  The children learned many things about their teeth, including how many teeth they have now, when they will lose their baby teeth, and how adult teeth will grow in their place.

Using child volunteers to represent teeth, the hygienist demonstrated proper brushing techniques.  She also showed them how to clean in between their teeth using a jump rope to represent floss.  The preschoolers displayed an impressive understanding of which types of foods are healthy and unhealthy for your teeth in an activity at the end of the demonstration.

The children learned a lot about their teeth and were eager to each share their personal tooth-related stories with our visitor!  The Dental Hygenist left each child with a small bag of dental hygiene items for the children to take home with them.  Now they can practice what was learned and work to keep their smiles bright!

 

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