Managing and teaching in a shelter child center

Posts tagged ‘toddlers’

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!


“Cool Panther. Teach PReschool”

The other day I was going to the hospital with a stuffed panther that one of my preschoolers wanted. But I had to run errands first. So me being me, I was rolling around San Francisco with a stuffed panther on my lap. I really don’t think it phased people. They are used to seeing me in the area, and I usually have 5 or 6 toddlers with me. One of the places I had to go was the local bank. I had to put the panther on the counter to sign the checks. The teller just smiled. “cool panther. Teach preschool?”

Bonus that she knew it was a black panther. most people call it a cat. But now that i think about it, it must have looked kinda funny. A lady in a wheelchair carrying a panther. =) Oh well.


Picnick days

For the past week we have had wonderfully sunny days. That means we can get our lunches out doors. I think we all like when those days happen.We get out from the Shelter with its barred doors and windows, horrible yucky water and depressing surroundings. Not only does the building get called the warehouse, it has the personality of it. And at lunch, we have to clear up the whole room, set up tables and wait in what probably seems like an endless line to the youngest ones.

But when it’s sunny, everything is different. First we all line up and clip into the “Crocodiles” so w e can walk the two blocks to the plaza. On the way, we discover trees and twigs and sparkles in the cement and some icky stuff too. After that half hour or so, we make it to the plaza.

The plaza is always fun. The kids get to take off their shoes and experience…GRASS! And some of the infants who have never had that experience are really funny to watch. They make the strangest faces. Some of them want nothing to do with  it ever again. Some try to eat it. Some couldn’t care less. Some look at it and experiment and try to experiment with it to see how soft and bouncy it is. Some are not sure. They put a toe on it from my lap, pull it back,put it out again.They  look at me to see my reaction before making up their minds and scooting off. Hysterical.

Lunch gets served in regular lunch bags like every other child would get on a school picnic. Sometimes there are even treats in the lunch bags. Last Friday, they got bagels with real cream cheese or butter. (and one with ketchup because of allergies.) Then playtime begins. The kids get to choose from two playgrounds, ball games, kite flying, running around, or just taking in the “great outdoors.” Some kids sketch or draw or write stories and poetry.

There are always extra fun things to see at the plaza too. Last year there was a sculpture of the six armed woman (who only had 5 arms.) This year their is a large inflated lotus flower. The kids are really intruged by that. They want to know everything about it. Why is it there? Why is it red? what does it do? What is a lotus?

There are other things to watch, too, of course. Dogs, people doing Ti-chi,pigeons.

I love taking our walks. I hope we can continue to do so for a few more weeks before the fog gets us socked in and it gets too windy for the kids who don’t have jackets.

My favorite age group

I have decided that my absolutely favorite age group to work with is the threes. They are just so creative and energetic and curious. You can get involved in long complex conversations about monsters and clouds and snails and trips to Gramma’s house. (usually, all at once) They can get into all kinds of fun mischief if you turn your head for more than a minute. They are Houdini in training, and the biggest potty mouths and tattle tails. But they are so wonderful!

Once a friend asked me “ho can you possibly like working with three year olds? They don’t listen, get into everything and are like herding cats!”

Exactly! that’s exactly why.

Shoes for Detta (nugget’s names changed to protect them)

Yesterday I put out the monthly donations. I always give something to each child That I know they need and might be their size.  I found a really cute pair of t-strap shoes that I thought would be perfect for Detta. (one of my 2’s)

When I put them on her she lit up. She spent the rest of the day staring at her feet and pointing at them. All I can say is its good I didn’t give them to her before nap time,because I don’t think that she would have taken them off.

It turns out that they were her first pair of shoes ever!! She’s only ever had the shelter flip-flops we give everyone when they first arrive. I hadn’t thought of that when I gave them to her. I just thought they were how the Its really amazing how things we don’t consider can make someone else’s day.


Lessons of the day

  1. Miss Turtle’s cell phone doesn’t swim
  2. She will make really strange faces if you take her phone swimming
  3. baby cheetahs purr really loud!!
  4. its a good idea to have a back up cell phone with a plumber on speed dial


%d bloggers like this: