Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reflections on a Busy Year

What a difference a year makes! At this time last year, we were taking a deep breath and trying to relax a bit. The previous semester had been rather intense and we had made several changes to our daily schedule and routines as we focused on developing coping skills with some of our more intense personalities. Many of them moved up to the preschool in January and their replacements temperaments were more flexible. The spring had its challenges but by summer, we were able to move past most of those and settled into a calmer routine. Even the introduction of one year olds in the fall and a change of classroom space didn't do much to disturb the harmony we had achieved. Even with all of the challenges, we accomplished a lot last year.  I can't tell you the last time we used time out. Partly because it wasn't needed but also because,even with the challenges we were presented with, we learned that time out really wasn't helping.  Keeping the children engaged goes a lot further in developing social skills, critical thinking, problem solving, language and all those skills and concepts we deem necessary for children to be successful. Here is a look at some of the engaging activities we offered in 2011, most of which have not been featured in my blog to date.

Exploring tubes
Our favorite book My Truck is Stuck
Snow painting
Vehicle painting
Building from plans
Dance class
Tae Kwan Do
Painting our construction site (from a plan)
Visit to the lake
Making chapati
Flower shop
Teddy Bear Picnic with the librarians
Preparing the garden
Planting seeds
Trucks and play dough
Summer picnic
We LOVE balls of all kinds
Assembling our new stroller for the little ones
Making applesauce
Apple prints
Cinnamon painting (from Pinterest)
Balls and tubes
Apple size sorting
Baby bath time
Glue pictures
Sensory steps (from Pinterest)
Straws (from Pinterest)
Ball painting
Homemade stacking rings

Play dough with tools
Musical instruments
Trying to work together to push the wagon
Water play
Doctoring my hurt knee
Raking to stay warm

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