Posts found under: blog Archives - Carealot

Making Music!

Infants love music and making noise! At the Canandaigua center, our infants have lots of fun making their own music with a variety of materials. The babies play music on pots and pans with wooden spoons and also use shakers for some added rhythm.

As the music is playing, teachers talk about what is being heard, whether it is loud or soft, high or low in sound.  Conversation also includes where the sound is being heard…through our ears; and where our ears are located on our heads.

Trying out different rhythms and beats, the babies also enjoy dancing to their music! Music offers many benefits to young children; it supports developing creativity, memory, mathematics, language, emotional intelligence and much more!

BP Music Can 3      Can BP Music 2Can BP Music 4      Can BP Music



Celebrating milestones is one of the many fun things we do at Care-a-lot! Many children join Care-a-lot when they are only infants and it’s our great pleasure and privilege to watch them learn and grow through the years. One of the biggest milestones that we celebrate with families is graduation day! At the end of each school year, the Pre-K, UPK and Kindergarten classrooms plan a graduation ceremony to celebrate all of the hard work and growth that has occurred during the school year.

The graduation ceremonies are short in length and very child friendly. The children sing songs, share their favorite moments from the school year, and then cross over a tiny bridge after they receive their certificate.  Families are invited to share treats in the classroom and snap pictures of the “graduates” with their teachers and friends. It’s always such a joy to see families beam with pride as they watch their child “graduate” to the next level!
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Paw Print Painting!

In learning about animals and the tracks that they make, the Greece preschoolers worked on creating their own paw prints!  With construction paper and a plate of tempera colors, the children explored making animal prints with paint!

This activity offers many experiential benefits!  Children can practice creating patterns with the tracts, exploring paw print shapes, and replicating on paper a visual form that they see.  Part of the lesson also included learning to recognize the animal tracks and matching them to the animal.

In addition to the animal tracks, this activity also provided an opportunity to explore paint as a medium.  Paint consistency affected their prints and the pressure they applied to the paper affected whether their prints were more defined or faint.  Multiple hands-on learning experiences were a part of the fun!

DSC01087 (1) Gr Paw Paint      DSC01099 (1) Gr Paw Paint


Cloud Dough!

Cloud dough is one of the Farmington / Canandaigua toddler’s favorite activities and it has many benefits! Also known as moon dough or moon sand, Cloud dough is a silky and mold-able substance that provides perfect sensory, science, and fine motor experiences for young children!

The dough is so soft and smooth to touch, the children simply enjoy running their hands through the bin, squeezing and shaping the dough, and watching it crumble when it is released back into the bin.  This also offers an activity to release emotions and focus energy on manipulating the dough.

Cloud dough can also be stirred, mixed, scooped, poured and molded, which offers good practice for fine motor skills.  Cups, spoons, bowls and other containers used with the dough help to strengthen the fine muscles in children’s hands and arms.  It also supports learning to fill, dump, and pour, as well as experiencing full and empty.

As toddlers thoroughly enjoy any activity that provides a hands-on and messy experience, cloud dough well meets their developmental needs!


DSCN0860 Cloud Dough Can      DSCN0863 Cloud Dough Can      DSCN0860 Cloud Dough Can 2


Butterfly Magic!

What a fun and exciting way to learn about nature by watching with our own eyes how caterpillars grow every day and change into butterflies!

The first change that the Henrietta toddlers noticed was that they grew quickly! (They must have been eating healthy food).  Then the children discovered that the caterpillars hung from the lid of the jar in a J shape. (They must have been very tired; shh don’t be too loud).

Then the caterpillars wrapped themselves in a blanket called a chrysalis. (Maybe they were cold?)  After a few days, the caterpillars, that the children thought were full, tired, and cold, changed into butterflies!

Each child then had an opportunity to squirt some sugar water on a cotton ball to feed them.  At the end of our project the class took the new butterflies outside and watched them fly away to find a new home!

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Playground Play!

Getting outside for physical exercise and play is a daily activity at Care-a-lot!  The school-age children in Greece look forward to outside time as much as possible during the summer! Children enjoy climbing, swinging, sliding, and playing basketball and soccer.

Outside play not only offers natural experiences for children, but opportunities to expend energy and to use their large motor skills.  It is essential for children to use their many growing muscles to enhance skills and practice movements.

As children play, they also talk to each other and strategize.  This provides important opportunities to practice communication skills and use their imagination to create play situations and games. Outside play is fun and essential for developing fundamental skills and meeting developmental milestones!

DSC01028 Gr Playgrd      DSC01031 Gr Playgrd


Pizza Making!

Check out our young chefs at Care-a-lot Farmington / Canandaigua!  The school age children tried their hands at pizza making! The children did it all, except for the actual oven baking that was supervised by their teachers..  The children had a blast and were exposed to many important learning opportunities through this cooking lesson.


They used their math and science skills as they measured out ingredients and discussed the scientific processes that took place in the oven.  They also discussed the various ingredients and the associated nutritional benefits of these and other foods.  Part of the discussion was which foods you can eat anytime and which ones are “sometimes foods.”


Cooking provides an excellent opportunity to involve children in tasting and eating foods that they may otherwise not.  Children are much more likely to try things that they had a hand in making themselves.  It boosts their self-esteem to learn such practical skills, and what could be more rewarding than pizza after all their efforts?!  


Cooking is a life skill.  As children grow toward adulthood, the job of feeding themselves becomes their own.  By starting to cook early, it not only boosts their self esteem, but also makes the transition to adulthood more comfortable.

DSCN0535 Pizza Can      DSCN0527 Pizza Can      DSCN0524 Pizza Can


Kitchen Play!

The Henrietta toddlers have a special fondness for working in the dramatic play area with kitchen toys and pretend food every day!  Kitchen play supports children in many developmental areas, including fine motor, socialization, and imagination skills.  Working with various utensils promotes fine motor skills, eye / hand coordination, and the identification of kitchen tools.

Kitchen play also helps children to socialize and to use their imaginations.  Interacting with each other, the toddlers create a variety of settings that require them to practice relationships and social situations. They learn how to work with each other and practice sharing during their many “meals.”

Observing the children pretending to cook with the oven is such fun as they imitate what they have seen adults do in the kitchen.  Kitchen play offers a host of learning opportunities for young children!

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Finger Paint Fun!

Research has shown that art activities offered to young children are important for brain development!  One of these is sensory play, such as finger painting, where children learn through their senses.  The Greece toddlers enjoy great fun and numerous learning opportunities with this activity!

Messy play like finger painting is important to every child’s development. It helps the body and brain integrate information, such as that needed for later spatial concepts, math and language.  Finger painting is also a most relaxing and creative way to express feelings.

Here are some of the benefits of finger painting play:

  •    Learning how colors work, especially mixing primary colors
  •    Supporting sensory integration
  •    Improving fine motor development by strengthening finger and hand muscles
  •    Learning about color, shape and spatial relationships
  •    Using hearing, touching, and smelling senses
  •    Focusing on process not finished product
  •    Expressing feelings without words
  •    Promoting social skills: sharing paint pots, taking turns, working together
  •    Stimulating creativity and imagination
  •    Developing communication and language skills


Finger painting is an exploratory activity that has many physical, creative and social benefits for children!

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