This year our playschool went to 3 different classes (3 day am, 3 day pm and 2 day am) and 2 different programs, including a Christian program and a Health & Wellness program.
It has been a blessing, and I couldn't be happier working with the program so much more this year than I had the chance to last year. I look forward to the remainder of the year.
We started our staggered entry days by prepping our Helping Hands (the green hand prints), and our place mats. I write the children's names on the hands and laminate them. Then I put them on our classroom tree and rotate them when a child's parent is our parent helper. Our Helping Hand leads circle, the clean up song, and has show and share! The boys and girls love show and share.
Kissing Hand, and made our own kissing hand (the blue). If you've never read The Kissing Hand - I highly recommend you invest and read it again to them for Kindergarten. We read it every year, and do a hand print craft. At the end of class before the kids see their parents again, I share a heart sticker for the children to put into the middle.
In the first week our theme was "getting to know me". I was so excited to meet the new children and learn about them. To get to know the children better, I offer the parents a question sheet, asking about siblings, family traditions, fears, favorites, and more.
We sat down together during craft to draw a self portrait. I placed some mirrors including a small and full length mirror around the art table. If the children didn't know what to draw, I invited them to go look in the mirror for ideas. It really worked, and lead the children into examining their body parts, such as how many fingers they had.
Many children would carry their pictures to the long mirror after, and compare their creations to their images.
I was excited to make the Sand center a little more natural this year. I still would like to add some exciting thematic props, but our staple will be petrified wood, rocks, and sea shells.
It was a major hit with our playschool friends from the get go! I also offered a magnified glass, wooden bowls and wooden spoons to explore and experience the options in the sand table.
Our playschool is lucky to be in a very diverse K-9 elementary. A big part of the school that I value is that the school is 1/2 a non denominational Christian program, and 1/2 non Christian community program. Our playschool is ran the same way. 2/3 of our program is nondenominational Christian (5 day mornings) and 1/3 is a regular playschool program.
Here I will share some special notes!
I had a lot of fun in our first week talking about God. We spent time talking about "The Beginning."
I found a wonderful template for a play experience here.
I made our circles bigger, using a plate as a template. I also adapted some of the characters and changed some colours of the materials I used. I added an Eve to my Adam, and some "zzz.." while God rested.
To introduce the celebration center, I told the story with the children during devotion. Since then I have left the materials out for the children to enjoy. They have shown a lot of commitment and enjoyment so far.