Managing and teaching in a shelter child center

Posts tagged ‘children’

Ice is nice!

Today we did the ice experiment. It was really fun. and some of the conversations were just funny. But then, with three year old children, it always is.

F0r people who have never done the ice project, its really easy and pretty fun as long as you don’t mind freezing dyed water and/or messes. *giggle* Its really only the following:

  • First prepare tables by putting down four towels and placing  trays on each.
  • Put blocks of ice into basins and put a basin on each tray.
  • Put colored water into jars and put eye droppers (pipettes) and jars next to each basin (on the tray).
  • Get a couple of “tunnels” started in the ice blocks, so there will be a place for the colored water to go . (If the children don’t choose to just squirt the water at each other)
  • Add four children, one for each tray  =)

The main goal (since one always has to be stated) is to observe what happens when colored water is added to ice.

Some of the comments were “does it hurt?” “Looks, It lighted up!” And it did look that way. “It looks like that thing at the bottom of the ocean. (coral reef.)

I have to say, “It lighted up!” was my favorite. When the block of Ice was pressed down against the basin, it did look like it was lighting. I had never seen that effect before. Totally cool!

Water makes it better.

Water play is great for my very wild Porcupine class. But we can’t afford the water toys that all the slick magazines advertise. There is no way we could get a fancy draining water table either. But we are the preschool that can, and nothing stops the porcupines! We solved the issue fast.

First, we went to McDonald and asked them for some trays that they were getting rid of. Then we went to the Dollar tree and stocked up on plastic animals, plastic beads, marbles and such.We also bought four large basins, about the size that fits in the sink. Then we went through the collection of old toys, measuring cups of different sizes, water bottles and like objects. The bead necklaces were cut, so they were all different lengths,varying from 3 beads to half of the necklace.  (maybe 15-20 beads).

Then the fun begins. We set up four places at the table, each with a tray, a towel and a basin of warm water with that days items in it. The items can be everything from  a water bottle, a cup, a handful of glass rocks, shells, pony and troll dolls, the beads,sponges and plastic animals. Sometimes we add extra treats to the water. We may add soap, that they won’t notice till it starts bubbling as they play. Or it may have tinting from dye, either blue, purple, of pink. We don’t use yellow, because it triggers one of the kids with autism, and green stains too much.

Snail Tree..

Yesterday when we went for a walk after lunch one of the girls stopped at a tree and started staring at the  trunk. She was looking at something my level, so I checked it out. It was a tiny shining black snail. A “baby shnail”. Other children came over to explore the snail. I looked up and saw that wasn’t the only snail.There were snails of all kinds of sizes, and and colors. Some were hanging upside down in groups, some a lone. But the whole tree was pretty much covered! I wouldn’t have noticed though, if that child hadn’t found the first one.

Its important to pay attention to what children may be looking at. You can see amazing things that you may not even have noticed otherwise. They truly can give you a whole different perspective on the world.

Why do the deer cross the road? A story told by Gramma

 

Why do the deer cross the road?
To get to the water.
Why do the deer cross the road?
To find food.
Why do the deer cross the road?
Because the road is there.
Why is the road there?
So cars can drive on it.
Why do cars drive on the road?
They take people through the hills.
Why don’t people walk through the hills?
They don’t want to bother the deer.
Do the cars bother the deer?
sometimes they do.

 

English: Piebald Deer. Image taken in Hampton ...

English: Piebald Deer. Image taken in Hampton Virginia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 
Why do the deer cross the road?
Because its what deer do.
For how long?
Since the road has been here.
How long has the road been here?
Twenty -three years.
Is that a long time?
It is long if you are the deer.
Ok. can I have dinner now?

 

Grass-An infant’s experience

Okay. Sometimes it really is the simple things that can be the most interesting.sometimes when we go on our picnic days a lot of bigger school kids had the same idea. So I have to keep the infants and younger toddlers on the grass so they won’t get trampled by the older kids. dogs, however, well…. that’s a whole other blog!

Anyway, I’ve written before about the varies ways infants handle their first  (or at least first for a while) grass experiences. Some love it, some hate it, some don’t give it a second thought, and some consider it part of their lunch. But today I’m going to talk about just one child and her grass experience.

Karla(name changed to protect the innocent) has never come out with us before. She is one of the children I worry about. So limp and floppy and unengaged with everything. One of those children that has no light in their eyes at all, and I wonder what horror she might be seeing instead of what is really in front of her. She had to come with usthat day, because the only other care giver she reacts to at all was out sick.

I sat with her flopped in my lap while we watched other kids playing with toys on the blanket we had brought. I saw that she was really watching too. and she was tracking the two other children her age who were rolling balls on the grass. So I got an idea. Maybe she would connect with the grass. I picked a couple of blades and held them for her to look at, explaining grass as best I could. (With infants, you learn to describe all kinds of things you take for granted) I brushed it lightly in her hand,expecting her to scream. She didn’t. She reached for it.

So then I took off her socks and let her brush her feet against it. Not pushing down,or forcing her to stand on it. She put one foot down, pulled it up, looked at me,and did the same thing again. Over and over. If we were having a conversation, it may have been something like this: Karla”I don’t know about this.”

Me”It’s okay. go ahead”

Karla(pulling toes back in)”nope”

Me” go ahead.”

Karla “are you sure about this?”

I think she wanted to make sure that I was there. That I didn’t mind it and that I wasn’t going to let anything happen to her if she changed her mind and wanted off. Eventually she did put both feet down for about three seconds. And she smiled for the first time that I’ve seen in the three months we’ve worked together.

  • Picnick days (littleshelterpreschoolthatcan.wordpress.com)

Would you give your toddler or preschooler water that looked like this?

THe water at my children's center. AFTER being run through a filter three times

Don’t adjust your color settings. this is actually what the water at my center looks like.And that’s AFTER it has been filtered three times. Then we boil it, and filter it two more times before boiling it again and a final filtering.

I seriously wish this was a joke. It’s not. Our water contains copper, lead, and trace amounts of other heavy metal particulates and mineral deposits. That’s a very fancy way of saying our water is basically undrinkable. And yes, licensing saw it.But it was waived, since we only use it for projects,never for meals. It is also taken into account that our building was put up in 1907 and hasn’t been renovated since 1969.

Still I think the kids deserve better than something that looks like a cross between toilet water and a science fair project. How many people take for granted that the water from their tap will be drinkable? shouldn’t my kids get that too. It shouldn’t take two hours to get clean water. And then water that still isn’t drinkable.

 

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