Baby Time 12.15.14

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Hello,

Like the children who come to my programs, I am always experimenting. I have been observing that I get a mixed age group of children at Baby Time, and they all love music and movement. With that in mind, instead of doing rhymes with the shakers, last week we danced with the shakers to “The Freeze” by Greg and Steve. The children and parents shook the shakers to the music’s beat, and then when the music stopped, we all stopped shaking our shakers until the music started again. The children had fun dancing to this. I observed Alice, who is less than a year old,  moving her arms and upper body to dance when we listened to different songs.

Because I have a mixed age group of children, I am also doing less bouncing and tickler rhymes at the beginning of Baby Time. I want to allow as much time as possible for play. I observed the children really benefit from the mixed age group. We recently acquired a new, small light table that can be put on the floor for young babies. Charlie and Alice were able to play with this light table better than they would be able to interact with the large one that stands off the ground. Gemma played at the new light table with the two young children, and they benefited from her guidance as she set out new items of interest on the table and arranged them.

Gemma also played with Ellen at the projector, another popular tool used to experiment with light. Miss JoAnna’s programming gave me the idea to put dry-erase markers and an eraser at the projector. Ellen and Gemma made marks and were fascinated with how they could draw something and then make it disappear with the eraser.

I get so many wonderful ideas from Miss JoAnna, other children’s librarians, parents, and educators. Last week Corrine’s mom told me about mixing baking soda with conditioner to make snow. I still have to experiment with that. I am currently reading the book Designs for Living and Learning and find it a wealth of inspiration for me as an educator and a parent. It is filled with colorful pictures of children at work playing in the coolest learning spaces. I highly recommend it.

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As always, I want to thank the families that joined me earlier this week at the library, and I look forward to seeing everyone again at next Monday’s  Baby Time.

- Miss KT, Early Childhood Librarian

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Investigations: An Open Play Time 12/18/2014

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Hi everyone!

What a great ending to this month’s Investigations! I am so impressed at the thoughtfulness and growth of these little minds!

Building on the preference for dumping materials and transferring materials between containers, we focused a lot of attention today on fine motor skills. Kayleigh, Nora, Noah, and Wyatt practiced using the tongs today, while Brady, Chase, and Nora explored eye droppers with watercolors. Wyatt, Liam, Sawyer, and Hannah all focused on pouring, scouping, and transferring between tables at the rice funnel station. At one point, Tatum brought some small pom poms to the rice pouring activity and created some interesting texture differences!

We used the overhead projector again today with dry-erase markers. Hannah almost absentmindly drew on the screen while watching other kids while Alanna demonstrated incredible focus on her scribbles. This is a great activity that we will continue using to practice early writing, focus our attention on light and shadow, and expand on the idea of projecting.

The musical insturments and toy cupboard were also big hits today. Eli really enjoyed sharing the magnets on the door with Bull and Liam. Tatum further explored the idea of electronic musical toys with a band set I brought from home. Every time she pushed a button a new rhythm would play, and she danced!

Toting things around and grasping new objects was a new interest that Sasha, Bull, and many of the younger kids demonstrated. In January, I will include more opportunities for sensory exploration and grasping.

Thank you all again for sharing your children with me and celebrating their growth and inquiry! I look forward to seeing everyone back in January for story time!

Please enjoy this week’s slideshow video!

 

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Until Next Time,

Miss JoAnna

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Investigations: An Open Play Time 12/11/2014

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Hi everyone!

This week at Explorations, the kids began to showcase specific interest in a variety of future study topics.

Chase and Brady began showing a distinctive interest in transferring materials from one container to the floor, Zoe expressed an interest in moving materials from one container to another, and many of the other children investigated moving materials used in one activity to another activity. This upcoming week, I will offer more ways to investigate material transfer using different textures, weights, and containers.

Many of the children were extremely captivated by the overhead projector. The most interesting, and revealing, interaction occurred between Wyatt, Noah, and Tatum. Wyatt approached the overhead by himself, picked up a marker, and began coloring on the screen. After a minute of coloring, he realized from previous experiences with the overhead projector that something was projected on the wall. He investigated that by drawing a mark, looking up at the wall, and then looking back at the screen. He did this over and over again until he looked confident that he understood the cause and effect of drawing on the overhead. After a bit, Tatum and Noah joined Wyatt at the overhead. At first, the two younger children just watched Wyatt marking on the overhead and looking back at the wall. Tatum then walked in front of the projector and began examining the light and lens. Noah picked up a marker and began drawing like Wyatt. After a minute or so, the interaction changed:

Noah: Why no work?

Wyatt (looking at Noah): The cap is on. Let me take it off.

Wyatt took off the cap and handed it back to Noah.

Wyatt: Now draw.

At this point, Tatum had picked up a drum stick and began to move it on the screen. Wyatt took the drum stick from his sister, colored on the end of it, and told her to color now. Wyatt then began coloring on the eraser and any other materials nearby and testing to see if they would transfer ink from the object to the projector screen. The children continued to investigate the relationship between what they were doing and the projection on the wall and how different materials transferred ink. Along with MJ’s interest in color mixing the color blocks on the light table, we will further explore these topics next week using different art mediums and color mixing.

Imaginative Play was also a major facet of play time this week. Chase and Brady pretended the soft materials were fireworks when they threw them up in the air, Noah pretended to feed the alligator magnets, and Tatum, Noah, Tess, Chase, and Zoe all pretended to be or take care of the safari and farm animals. Zoe spent over half an hour pretending to be a cow or chicken at one of the play houses.

Zoe:

Cow Fell Down.

Cow Go Inside.

Cow Trying to Eat.

Juice. Juice.

Next week we will continue using the animals and other toys for imaginative play and exploration. Please enjoy this week’s slideshow. I was truly amazed at how inquisitive, smart, and inventive the kids in play time were this week! I love spending my Thursday mornings with such a great group of kids (and grownups). :-)

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Until next week,

Miss JoAnna

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Baby Time 12.8.14

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Hello,

During this week’s story time we read the book Ella Sarah Gets Dressed. I selected this title because with the change in seasons the children are wearing different and likely more clothes to keep warm. Last week Harper even mentioned to me that I was wearing a sweater just like her and her mom. During play time, I put out a tub of clothes/costumes near a mirror, and while setting up other play stations, I did get a glimpse of children putting on costumes in front of the mirror.

I observed last week that some of the children continued to pretend that plastic people were taking a bath in the tub of soapy water. Coupling that with the fact that I know a child during story time will soon be a big sister, I brought out this week an infant tub with soapy water, a baby doll, wash rag, and towel. As soon as that station was set up, children moved to it and began playing. They did not stay there long enough for me to get pictures. I realize now where I went wrong. The previous weeks the children were less interested in the dramatic play of pretending to bathe the people, and more interested in filling up water into a container and emptying the container. Zeke mimicked this interest when he filled up the bucket with the soft items from the sensory table. Margaret and Harper pretended liquid was in their stacking cups. Corrine and Ella liked filling the puzzle gaps with the appropriate pieces. The children were interested in empty space and then filling that empty space and then making it empty again.

I chase after these interests weekly. Sometimes I catch them and find the perfect learning activity that the children are engaged in and excited about and it excites me. Sometimes I don’t. Working with children is the best job because they are always willing to let me try again.

- Miss KT, Early Childhood Librarian

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Baby Time 12/1/14

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Hello,

I am happy to post last Monday’s Baby Time slideshow. While reviewing my notes and the images, I made a couple discoveries.

First, I love the images with Harper’s mother Heather working together with Corrine and Ella to tape the paper to the floor. They illustrate the community that develops when children and caregivers meet regularly in playful learning environments. A friend once told me that more positive  relationships children can build with adults the better it is for them. I note this as Heather and the other children’s parents take on maternal and paternal roles with all the children in Baby Time. It is beautiful to witness.

Second: Beads. I continue to observe the children playing with beads. What I have noticed is how one object can mean something different to each child. Harper took the beads and wrapped them around her neck to wear as jewelry. Major arranged the beads on the projector and watched their image and shape appear on the ceiling. Alice sat for at least 15 consecutive minutes feeling the dangling beads in her hands. This reinforces the educator tip I learned that states it is better to let a child decide how he or she wants to play with an object. The child can come up with more ways to explore an object than the adult handing over the object ever could imagine. Let them make it their own.

-Miss KT, Early Childhood Librarian

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Baby Time 11.24.14

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Greetings!

Before the start of my Thanksgiving break, I wanted to make sure to post the slideshow from last Monday’s Baby Time. I am so thankful to the families that join me Monday mornings. I understand the effort it can sometimes take to get a young child out of the house and the disruption that this can sometimes cause to feeding or nap-time schedules. I am thankful that the families value what we do during Baby Time, and they are willing to weekly put forth the effort to attend.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and I look forward to meeting again next Monday morning.

- Miss KT, Early Childhood Librarian

 

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Baby Time 11.10.14

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Hello,

Last Monday families joined us again at the library for Baby Time. One of the toys during play time was actually an art piece made by the preschoolers during last month’s story time. Miss JoAnna encouraged the children to select and tie pieces of torn fabric to a soccer net. The creation is beautiful, and the fabric moves when a fan is blowing behind it. The art piece has been on display at the library. The preschoolers and Miss JoAnna were kind to share their work with the babies. (I thought it would make a great interaction piece for the babies because of their previous interest in fabric  and wind.) Charlie especially loved it! He was on the ground and the art piece surrounded him. He started on his back and then rolled over to his belly. Charlie’s hands enthusiastically played with the different fabric pieces. William, Leah, Miranda, Wyatt, and the other preschool children who created the art piece were so generous to share it with the babies. Miss JoAnna told me that they were very excited to know that others were going to enjoy their work.

The older children at Baby Time were impacted differently than Charlie by the art piece. They wanted to add to it. Ella and Corrine picked up pieces of fabric from the sensory table and brought them over to Corrine’s mom and asked her to tie them on the net. They were inspired, too, and also wanted to make it their own.

- Miss KT, Early Childhood Librarian

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Baby Time 10.27.14

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Hi,
I have been thinking and thinking about what to do for the next collaborative art piece at Baby Time. I know they love to create. I see a slideshow in my head: Ella making thick chalked lines on black paper; Ellen exploring and manipulating clay the entire play time; Harper’s face and belly pressed against the paper as she writes; young Gemma not wanting to put away the crayons; Tatum crawling through paint; Wyatt making brush strokes; young Ella writing in my notebook; glued feathers; splattered dauber ink, painted clothes, shoes, and hands. The children continue to want to create. After last Monday’s Baby Time, I think I know the next project.
It will be sticky.
Margaret saw me taping large paper on the floor and wanted the tape. I gave her a piece and her fingers played with it. Big sister Gemma took a close look at the sticky contact paper on the mat. Little brother William tasted it.
It will play with light.
The light table is always in use. Zeke’s mom told me it is his favorite place to play. Micheal and Corrine have spent energy pushing on and off the button to watch the light on the projector shine and go away.
It will play with wind.
The children love it each week when I blow the bubbles. Mia used her breath to try and make a bubble, and with her mom’s help, she was successful. Alice and others were entranced by the pinwheels. Aided by my breath or their hands, the pinwheel spun and with dedication they watched it move. Feathers magically flew off the projector and children gathered around to watch the show.

I don’t want to say yet what it is because its direction may gradually change each week as the children work on it, just as the children change each week I see them. I’ve enjoyed meeting with the families the past eight Mondays. I was talking with Alice’s caregiver after Baby Time, and we both were remarking how each week we see the same faces and get to watch the children as they grow. I look forward to many more Mondays together. Next week will be our first break in the Baby Time streak. Our library is a voting site, and the meeting room will be used that day to prepare for the election. I look forward to seeing everyone the following week. It is going to be great!

-Miss KT, Early Childhood Librarian

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Preschool Story Time 10/23/2014

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What a fun day we had in preschool story time!

Today, we learned about Henri Matise from The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan, laughed at Big Anthony in Strega Nona Takes a Vacation by Tomie dePaola, and especially enjoyed acting out Five Minutes Peace by Jill Murphy.

The highlight of our day, however, was experimenting with bubble wrap painting! We painted on the bubble wrap, taped bubble wrap to sound blocks to create stamps, and best of all, taped bubble wrap to our bare feet and painted with bubble feet!

Next week, we’ll be creating a three-dimension piece inspired by the painting Starry Night! You don’t want to miss it!

Enjoy this week’s smilebox creation!

 

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See you soon!

Miss JoAnna

 

Reminders:

Next week is our last story time of the year! We are off in November and having playtime on Thursday mornings in December. Look for our flyers coming soon!

Our art show is the first full week of November! Make sure to come by to see your art!

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Baby Time 10.20.14

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Greetings!

The book we read together during Baby Time was  Baby at the Farm. I chose this text because it is a touch and feel book. The pages have added material and texture for the young child to experience while you read him/her the story. Inviting your child to have different sensory experiences is great for brain stimulation. The children last week were putting their faces on the sensory mats, so I wanted to build on that interest.

The movement song we did together was the Itsy Bitsy Spider. This song continues to be a favorite. I can be in front of an active group of young children who are all doing their own exciting thing, and then once I start singing this song, all eyes are on me and many little hands are making spiders crawling up an imaginary water spout. The magic has nothing to do with my singing.  I believe this song and accompanying movements are just comfortingly familiar.

The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain

and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

I am happy to share with you the important work I documented the children doing during Baby Time. I have taken notice of their interest in light and wind. In the slideshow you will see them engaged in blowing feathers, spinning pinwheels, moving sand on light tables, and projected light on walls. To continue to build on this interest, next week the children will start to work on creating a new collaborative art piece. The end result of this piece will play with light and wind.

-Miss KT, Early Childhood Librarian

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