The toddlers start the day by coming in and changing from their outdoor shoes to indoor shoes. This gives them a way to settle in for the morning and also a great chance to practice self-care skills!
Once they have gotten settled, the children are able to work with the different materials on the shelves.
It is amazing how much concentration even our youngest children can display!
These two were having a very in-depth conversation about the painting.
We have several fish in our tank which the children enjoy watching and feeding.
Here D. is working on pouring rice, which helps develop concentration, fine motor skills, and hand strength.
Of course, we have lots of smiles too!
The children prepare a group snack, complete with place settings and napkins! Eating together provides many opportunities to practice manners, which we call 'Grace and Courtesy'. Once they are done eating, the children clean their own place and even wash their plate.
After snack time we have a short group gathering which includes music, movement, French, and story time. On this day we enjoyed listening to music and discovering different ways to create rhythms with the rhythm sticks.
Our morning concludes with some time in our beautiful outdoor environment. Our garden is a certified Schoolyard Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation and the children enjoy spending time in nature and learning about the beautiful world around us!
The Toddler Community is in full swing and we are all so happy to be into the routine of coming to COL! We have been starting our day with our new benches to sit on so we can change our shoes before starting our work for the day. Thank you Mr. Anderson for making these great additions to our room (Miss Julie's Dad). This process has allowed the children to have time in the environment before they are asked to choose work, not to mention a wonderful chance to use their fine motor skills and independence.
The children have been busy returning to their favorite activities plus
exploring the ones they are now able to attempt.
Our Garden time abounds with fruits, vegetables, and fun with our new friends. The tomatoes and watermelons, not to mention the flowers, have been busy while we were away.
The children have taken on the responsibility of setting our table each day as well as cleaning up their dishes and spills. They have even begun to serve each other at snack time and lunch
as well as pouring our water for meals!
The Toddlers are an amazing group and we enjoy our time together learning to eat as a family, play, learn, and continue to care for each other as we all grow. This year has gotten off to an amazing start and we are so very excited about what new surprises the year holds for our community.
We are very proud of our garden at COLM, which acts as an important extension of our classrooms. It is also a certified Schoolyard Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. Each fall we spend a morning working together in the garden and getting it ready for winter. Thanks to the help of our dedicated parent volunteers, we got a lot of work done today!
First up was weeding and cleaning up. We found some stray summer vegetables and A LOT of weeds!
We also pulled out some really long roots. Finally, we were ready to plant. We planted mums, pansies, herbs, cabbage, radish, carrots, and kale. The grownups helped prune and do even more weeding.
It was really amazing how hard the children worked. They loved spending time outside and spent almost the whole morning gardening.
We finished the day with a lovely 'pizza picnic' in the garden. What a blessing it is to be able to share this beautiful space with our children and families! A huge thank you to everyone who donated plants and helped this morning. We couldn't do it without you!
Today we visited South America! After some time to play in the garden, we jumped into Cultural Stories about real people, places, animals and products from South America. We talked about the waddle of penguins on an iceberg at the tip of Argentina, the macaw soaring through the Amazon Rain forest, the gaucho using his lasso, and many more!
This story was a favorite! We shared a real Peruvian Tapestry and also had a lovely story about a Bolivian one (pictured at the right). The children loved making observations about each and identifying characteristics that are similar and different.
For our snack today we made Strawberry Mango smoothies and had some popcorn (corn being a main product of South America). It was delicioso!
Our art project today was to decorate mariposas (butterflies) just like the ones you would see in the Amazon Rain forest.
The Primary aged children also made Chilean rainsticks. They had a parade in the room and enjoyed shaking their rainsticks. After, they heard the story of how real rainsticks are made from dried cactus, the cactus thorns and pebbles. They also heard how the Chilean people use the rainsticks in the desert because they believe it helps to bring the rain when they need it most. We also found Chile on the globe and talked about its shape.
Soon, it was time for water play in the garden!
In addition to the water, shaving cream and a cornstarch + water mixture made for some fun sensory play in the garden.
A 'wonderful' time was had by all! We hope to see you next Wednesday, July 17, as we travel to Africa!
Here at COLCMS we are so fortunate to have a wonderful parent community supporting the work we are doing at school. Last week, six families took the time to come help plant, prune, weed, and refresh our garden. Thank you to everyone who donated time, talent and funds to keep our garden and courtyard looking great!
Below are some pictures from our work day. The children love planting in their garden. What a joy it is to be able to share the beauty of God's creation with children. For more ideas about connecting children with nature, please check out Children and Nature Network and the National Wildlife Federation. Our garden area is certified by the National Wildlife Foundation as a School Yard Habitat.
Two years ago we planted all the plants in the courtyard area. It is amazing how much everything has grown!
"The future will belong to the nature-smart - those individuals, families, businesses and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world, and who balance the virtual with the real" - Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder
For our final Wonderful Wednesday we studied the work of Claude Monet. Monet was a French painter whose work was the starting place for the impressionist movement. Monet felt that nature did not have strong lines and used paint to create beautifully colorful and energetic pieces of work. Monet was especially talented at capturing light and movement in a natural setting. Impressionism was all about preserving a fleeting moment in time.
After looking at some examples of Monet's work, we made a painting in the style of one of his most famous works, 'Bridge Over a Pool of Water Lilies'. The purpose of doing this with children is not to copy the work of another artist, but to become familiar with the style of painting that artist uses. Then the children can apply this style to their own work, giving them a larger repertoire of tools from which to work with.
In addition to art, we also had plenty of outside time and of course, water play!
A great time was had by all this summer. Now we are getting ready for the start of our 18th year at COLCMS. We'll see you in a few weeks!
This Wednesday, we learned about English sculptor, Andy Goldsworthy. Did you know that instead of using a paintbrush and canvas, Goldsworthy uses things from nature and his bare hands to create his art? He makes beautiful site-specific sculptures using rocks, beautiful fall leaves, flowers, twigs and more to build his creations.
Goldsworthy uses elements of repetition and balance to create his sculptures. We decided to start our morning with a nature hike and create our own Goldsworthy-esque sculptures outside.
The children were eager to create their own sculptures on the benches in the outdoor amphitheater.
Here are a few of the final sculptures!
We decided it was time to hike back inside to get ready for snack.
Today we used our blueberries, strawberries, banana slices and pretzels to create more Goldsworthy inspired creations before eating them.
Then we headed outside for some garden time before coming in to do our art project.
For our take home art project, we made our own creations using pasta and beans demonstrating Goldsworthy's elements of resourcefulness, pattern and design.
And then, of course, it was time to head outside once more for water play!
A great time was had by all and we'll see you next Wednesday for our last Wonderful Wednesday of the summer!
This week, we focused on learning about French painter, Henri Matisse. To start our day, we played in the garden. And since we had so much rain last night, water play started early.
After our fun in the garden, we came in to have snack. Today, we had roll-ups with cheese, blueberries and watermelon. The children loved using cookie cutters to make shapes with their cheese and roll-ups!
Once we were done with our snack, we moved on to talking about Matisse. Did you know that he started painting when he was sick one day at home? His mother was trying to keep him busy and it turned into his career! He painted in many different places and enjoyed painting people.
Our first art project was Fauve based. Fauvism was a movement of a group of artists with similar ideas and loved to paint landscapes, in particular, using colors much different from how they really appeared. So, on one side of our paper, we painted a tree as we might see it outside with a brown trunk and green leaves. On the other side of the paper, we painted the same tree with wildly vibrant colors--some chose to make the trunk orange and the leaves purple!
Our second art project is a personal favorite! I love the "Snail" print by Matisse. At first glance, it looks like a lovely collage, but if you look closer there is a little surprise! In the top left corner is a very tiny purple snail! And the print itself has a spiral feel, just like the spiral of a snail shell.
Matisse created "The Snail" as one of his last art prints when he was over 80 years old. He was not feeling well enough to paint, but did feel well enough to cut shapes out of paper and arrange them into new designs. He called it "drawing with scissors" and this is where modern day collage stemmed from.
Then, it was time to go outside for water play! We were very grateful that the sun came out just long enough for us to play.
See you next Wednesday!!
The past two days our camp fun has continued and we have learned all about butterflies and ladybugs. Using different types of noodles, the children studied the life cycle of the butterfly.
Today we made ladybugs and learned that ladybugs can help keep our garden healthy.
On Wednesday we made smoothies since butterflies like to eat sweet things, like nectar. Our smoothies consisted of orange juice, frozen berries, and bananas. Yummy!
Today, L. was super excited about making a 'ladybug' snack with apples, sunbutter and raisins.
While searching for ladybugs, these girls found a small insect on the mud pie mixer.
L. found 4 ripe tomatoes!
After experimenting with color mixing and playing in the water, these children warmed up in the sun.
We played more parachute games and an insect version of Simon Says. In this picture the children are being ants, because ants follow each other.
Our tie-dye shirts turned out beautiful! If you can, wear yours tomorrow for our camp picture. Finally, remember to send in your change for the 100 Wells Challenge. You can watch a 2 minute video about it here.
We made camp shirts using tie dye today. First we made our designs with rubber bands, then soaked the shirts to water so they would absorb the dye better.
The children enjoyed choosing colors and squirting them onto their shirt. We are going to let the dye sit overnight and we can't wait to see our beautiful creations in the morning!
We learned all about ants today, so of course we had to have 'ants on a log' for our snack. Our art project consisted of making an ant with three body parts - head, thorax and abdomen. We also learned that ants are really strong and use their antennae to help them sense where they are going.
Finally, the sun was shining and we got out our pool and splash pad! A great time was had by all and they really enjoyed playing in the water.
Having access to clean water like this is something that is very easy to take for granted. Every day, millions of women and children in developing countries walk several hours to collect water that is safe for their families to drink. Sadly, too often the water that they find is contaminated. Unclean water causes millions of people, especially young children, to contract preventable deadly diseases every year.
COLCMS is joining with COL Sunday School and Youth to help collect change for the 100 Wells Challenge. Just $2500 will build a well that can bring clean water to as many as 500 families at a time. COL has already raised $1200 with the help of Thrivent matching funds - half a well! Please send in your spare change so we can add it to what has already been raised. We'll have a red bucket to collect change. (The above information came from this website where you can read more about the project.)
Sleepy children on the ride home...
We're looking forward to more fun tomorrow!
We are an AMI accredited Montessori school growing daily in spirit & intellect!