Sharing the story of Jesus' birth at our preschool is one of the most wonderful blessings we enjoy. Here are some of the experiences we have had this month as we have learned about the most important birthday of all!
Families and friends gathered on a Saturday morning to decorate gingerbread houses and people...
Learning About Advent...
When we visited Chapel, Pastor Melanie shared with us how special the weeks are leading up to Christmas. This "time of waiting" is important as we look forward to celebrating the birth of our savior.
Looking At The Nativity...
During our Gathering Times, we talked about the Nativity. We compared several different ones and discussed the important people and animals which are often seen in nativity scenes.
We learned that the donkey was a very special and important animal in Bible times because one carried Mary to Bethlehem. We talked about how many donkeys have symbols on their backs which look like crosses. Whenever we see this symbol on a donkey, we can remember that it was a very important animal to Jesus. We even had a miniature donkey (Oliver) visit school and spend the day in our front garden.
We all fell in love with him!
Presents For Jesus...
Each child in the preschool makes a gift at home for Baby Jesus. On the day before Christmas Break we gather in the Sanctuary where each child has a chance to show his/her gift to the class and then place it in the manger for the Baby. This year some of the gifts included homemade ornaments, drawings of the nativity/manger scene, a blanket (to keep Jesus warm), a paper airplane, a blessings box, wooden crosses, a corn husk angel, a rocket house built from wood, and much more! One child also included a beaded necklace as a gift for Mary. This is such a precious thing; it just makes your heart melt to hear these children share their love-filled gifts!
"Happy Birthday, Jesus!"
Sweet messages (dictated by the children) are tied to balloons; then we gather to pray and then let them go. The children are delighted to watch those messages drift up and out of sight. Messages of love and adoration to our King!
After a long, hot summer our new school year is in full swing! We are having a great time learning and playing together. Here are a few of the interesting things we have done in the past three weeks.
We have been thinking about colors...
Working with letters...
Enjoying Outdoor Adventure Time...
Listening to Stories...
Playing Counting Games...
And So Much More...
This is how it starts...
As each child walks in the door I say "Good Morning!" and hand them a roll of toilet paper. Most of them look at me like I am nuts. Some of them ask what it is for and I say something like, "It's for you to do something with.".
Then, as the morning unfolds and the paper unrolls...
"I'm unrolling my toilet paper all around the room."
"Man this is fun!"
"I made Ms. Renee into a chrysalis."
"I am making a toilet paper trail."
They have to wrap the teachers...
"Ms. Kristen doesn't have legs anymore.
She has toilet paper legs."
"I'm going to miss you."
"Are you warm in there?"
"This is the toilet paper prize from a carnival game."
"Ms. Kristen is going to be a mummy soon."
"You can be a mummy someday."
"Wrap Mu-Mu-Mummy up! (chanting)"
"What are they doing to you?"
"Ms. Kristen is Evan's Mommy Mummy!"
"How are you going to get out of your chrysalis?"
And the art teacher, Ms. Renee, must have twirled for 40 minutes while the children wrapped her in layer after layer of toilet paper...
( I love how far away that sweet child is who is feeding the paper to wrap Ms. Renee. He moved so carefully and concentrated so hard as he worked!)
Then, inspired by this friend who watercolored a piece of his roll of paper,
they painted her with watercolors!...
(You have to notice the WHOLE roll of t.p. - on the left hip - that was wrapped up inside of the layers as they all wrapped and wrapped her!)
These girls had a "toilet paper painting party"...
And, while we couldn't plan any of these other wonderful ideas which can only come from the brilliant minds of children, we knew it would eventually lead to this...
Mix equal parts of glue and liquid starch
and you get...
It's stretchy and slippery and sticky and cold.
You can shape it and cut it and decorate it.
You can even swing it like a cowboy...
Here is what the children were saying about their Gak experiences today:
* I'm making slime!
* Look! Oh, wow! That's cool!
* Look!, I am making it into a jump rope.
* It's sticky.
* I need more!
* Look! I made a snake.
* I'm making a tortilla. I'm going to look for some rocks to put around it.
* It's so gooey but I still like it.
* This stuff is like cheese.
Make some at home.
It's loads of fun!!
And it's easy to clean up.
Even if you get it in your hair...
I was uploading photos from the past two weeks at MMP and wanted to give you all a peek into what the children have been doing here at preschool.
Making tape creations for journals...
Counting Fish at the Math Table
Nailing wooden shapes to create designs in cork...
Working with color at the light table...
Experiences with watercolor, pipettes and paper towels in the studio...
Cooking and cleaning in the home center...
Making chutes, tunnels and ball mazes in the construction room...
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(we have a feeling this will be going on for quite a while in the construction room!)
Practicing numeral writing on calendars...
Our Gardening Mom (Ms. Debby) cleared the garden to prepare it for spring planting in a few weeks. LOOK at some of the things we grew! The children loved grinding herbs, tasting carrots and examining their harvest under magnifiers. Ask them about the radish that was taller than they are!
Counting beads and making number sticks...
I could go on and on (and on), but I do hope that you have enjoyed seeing some of the wonderful things your children have been doing lately. I am amazed by how many rich, fun, interesting learning experiences our teachers provide here at Marvelously Made - where children learn through play...every day!
At MMP we are always looking for ways to encourage the children to use scissors. The past few days the children have been using scissors to clip coupons. What a BIG hit this has been! We wanted to share with you some of their comments and some photos from the coupon clipping table...
"I'm gonna give this one to my mom!"
"I got these two coupons for my mom."
"Coffee for Mom!!"
"My dad likes Starbucks! Where did the Starbucks one go?"
"My mom need make-up!"
"Mom can use these, but only if they are the right brand."
"Look at this...Christmas Chips. I'm gonna cut them out."
"Look at this! Yummy, Yummy!"
"It's a coupon EXPLOSION!!"
"Look - I made Coupon Man!"
"Whoa! My mom might want this!"
"Look, a toothbrush for mom; she wanted a new toothbrush."
"I have Cars 2 already but I can cut this out for a friend."
"But you still have to use money with this stuff."
"Does anyone know where my other one is?"
"Look how much I have!"
"Can I take them home in an envelope for my mommy?"
Who knew clipping coupons would be such
great way to learn and grow?
The children have not gotten tired of clipping yet
so if you have some coupons at home we
could sure use them here at school!
Our annual Art Show was this past Friday night
and it was, as one parent said,
Our children and teachers spent about seven weeks learning about a variety of artists (Nevelson, Van Gogh, Matisse, Kandinsky, Chihuly, and many others) and practiced some wonderful art techniques (collage, sculpture, painting, pouring, and action to name a few).
Here is a little peek into the show...
Families entered the show by walking through a hallway
lined with paintings the children created when studying sunflowers and Van Gogh's work. Like one child said as
she pointed out her work to her parents,
"And these are Vincent's Sunflowers".
Then the main gallery-
While participating in a study of color the children created these color wheels...
Macchia - like Dale Chihuly ...
Painting with Scissors - like Henri Matisse...
Concentric Circles - like Wassily Kandinsky...
Assemblages - like Louise Nevelson...
Tall Paintings - like Howlton Rower...
Lines and Squares - like Piet Mondrian...
Homage to the Square - like Josef Albers...
With titles like "Chicken Nugget", "Dot, Dot, Sun", "Flower", "Hot Dog", and "Masterpiece"; the children's Original Works
were my FAVORITE!!...
As you traveled down the hallway into the preschool, you enjoyed work in the likeness of Jackson Pollock
and the children's air-dried sculptures...
Just before exiting the show, families visited the art studio where their Family Art Projects were on display...
So, there you have it! A peek into our show (and it was really only a peek, there was much more to see - like pour paintings, tube sculptures, circle prints, and box paintings).
A BIG "Thank You" to our dedicated and passionate staff, and to our wonderful parent volunteers,
who helped to make the Art Show happen!!
It was a marvelous evening!
The past few weeks our focus was all about Jesus' Birthday.
On Thursday and Friday we celebrated the birth of Christ
with Birthday Parties to honor Him.
At home each of the children created or selected personal,
special gifts for Jesus.
There were reindeer made from handprints,
toys that would make Jesus happy,
ornaments with sweet messages,
a candle created with modeling clay,
ornaments decorated by loving hands,
notes and cards and drawings,
even songs recorded and played for the Lord.
All of these gifts, gently placed in the manger for Jesus...
After presenting the birthday gifts we all gathered outside
to send off balloons with personal notes to Jesus
Here are the messages the children
sent to Jesus for his Birthday:
I wish you can have a fun birthday, and Jesus, I need you
to help me when I say prayers and you always hear it.
I love you, Jesus! I love you very much. Amen.
Jesus, I can’t wait to see you!
Happy Birthday, Jesus! I love you, Jesus.
Thank you for keeping us safe, happy and healthy! Please lead us in the right direction and help us make the right decisions always!
Happy Birthday, Jesus! I’m so happy you watch over me, I hope you like my sparkles, I made them for you. Do you like my picture?
Hi, Jesus! Thank you for Christmas! Happy Birthday to you! Goodnight and Merry Christmas!
Happy Birthday, Jesus! I hope you have a wonderful time. Thank you for the blessings of Jesus.
I like you little baby Jesus! You are a sweet little baby! I got you a present for your birthday. I hope you like it.
Happy Birthday, Jesus! Thank you for the sun!
I wish that baby Jesus gets lots of presents and stamps.
I wish you lots of love and happiness!
Dear Jesus, I like this day you came to save us.
Happiness and joy are all you bring us.
Please protect my family and this world baby Jesus.
God, we thank you for the food and our drinks and motorcycles. I like having a brother and a sister. Happy Birthday to you! I like when you let us do stuff that we like.
I love you, Jesus! Thank you for coming to earth. Thank you for loving me, too. You are the best one ever and you are special and you are kind. I really think you are the one I love the most! And you are very nice. Have fun at your party!
Thank you for always watching over me and keeping me safe and happy. I hope you have a wonderful birthday!
Have fun with the balloons!
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
I love you so much I want to kiss you!
I love God and I love kitties.
I love Jesus. Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Baby Jesus, I hope you have a great birthday and I hope your cake is very sweet and yummy. I love you baby Jesus!
I know just what to say…Jesus, I love you. I believe that you’re God’s son and I believe that you died on the cross. I care about you.
I love you, Jesus!
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
You can cut the cake and eat it with your friends, the disciples.
Thank you for protecting me at night and for my baby brother.
I wish you a Happy Birthday!
I hope you get my special balloon and it doesn’t pop!
I love you, baby Jesus! I hope you have a wonderful birthday.
He’s very good at Christmas and you’re gong to be excited
when you see me giving you a present. I hope you have a good Christmas and I love you baby Jesus!
Once gifts were presented, and balloons
were sent up to Heaven, we sang "Happy Birithday"
to Jesus and shared cupcakes together.
All of us at Marvelously Made Preschool hope that your hearts are filled with a childlike joy this season and that you celebrate Jesus' Birthday in a special way this Christmas!
"For unto YOU is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord! "
When we added Snap Blocks to the contruction room the children had a wonderful time working with them.
Here is a sampling of their thoughts and creations...
“I made a giraffe.”
“I making a robot with one eye and one leg.”
“I want one of those circle pieces.”
“This is my flower.”
“Guys, are you making one that goes round and round?"
“I am a Laser Robot!”
“It’s a tower.”
“Mine is a big one.”
“I’m making a hitting thing robot.”
“I’m making a turn signal.”
“My turn signal broke and I had to fix it.”
“Look what we built!
We can take a picture so the next day we can do it again.”
But What Are They LEARNING???
We know that children learn best through play and here are some of the things children learn and skills they develop while building with materials like Snap Blocks:
* concepts of shapes, size, length, & location
* to exercise imagination
* to cooperate with others
* eye-hand coordination
* problem solving
* hand strengthening
* pride in accomplishment
* to notice details (likenesses and differences) in objects
And that's how we do things at Marvelously Made Preschool
Learning through Play...
Here at the Preschool we do a million things to build literacy skills with the children. We understand that the most important thing we can do for young children to build literacy is to READ to them everyday. We read during Gathering Time, and we sprinkle books throughout the classroom for the children to read themselves, and we read to them during Outdoor Adventure time, and we read to them the stories they have told us, and we read to them at Chapel Time and we read and read and read!
Nurturing young children to become "readers" is really not about the names of letters and the sounds they make; it is about learning language. It is about playing with words and sounds. It is about hearing stories and finger plays and poems and songs. It's about recalling what you have read and predicting what will happen next. Young children become readers when they are read to. And young children learn to love the power and importance of the written word when their own words, stories, and writings are valued.
Because we believe in the value of the child's work, we wanted them to have a special place where they could write and draw. A place that is all their own. A place that is important and attractive. So this week we presented each of the children with their own journal.
As the children entered the classroom for work time, they found a box on the journaling table. A gift for them, with a note that read, "Do Not Open!". Throughout the hour of work time the children wondered about the beautiful
package on the table.
Here are some of their ideas about this special box:
- "I think it is cupcakes."
- "Who is that for? What is it?"
- "I think it is a rocking horse."
- "It says, "Do Not Open"; not yet."
- "Maybe it's a mommy!"
- "I think it is a unicorn pillow."
- "Maybe it is a butterfly."
- "What's that present for?"
- "How do we open it?"
At Gathering Time, Ms. Kristen talked to the children about the box and explained that inside there was a very special gift for each of them. Then she and the children unwrapped the box to discover the journals inside.
Ms. Kristen explained that a journal is a special place to write stories, record your ideas and thoughts, draw pictures and keep things that are important to us. She showed the children that they each had their very own journal in the box and that they will stay at school for them to add to anytime they wish.
The children were so excited!
They love their journals and were thrilled to begin
writing in the the very same day...