Submitted by Johanna Porter, Lead Toddler Directress
These summer months have a pace of their own. The heat, the sound of the many cicada on the playground, the breeze. In a way, the experience is simply exotic. I’d like to draw a comparison to being on the Mediterranean, and going at an easy-going rhythm.
After the great big rains the retention pond filled with water. Huge toads croaked for days… Then soon the pond was filled with tadpoles. We loved watching them from our little blue step by the fence. The passion flower vine competes with the honeysuckle vine on the fence, and together they provide our toddlers with a bounty of beautiful flowers to pick. Like scientists, toddlers learn a lot by taking things apart, and even though much of their learning is still very unconscious, it lays a foundation for later learning by offering a framework of experiences for reference. The tasting garden has been doing its best to keep going, but it seems that we can keep counting on an abundance of mint, rosemary, oregano, and all of June we had green beans to pick and taste. Stevia is hanging in there, chives have transplanted well, dill is now flowering, and…let’s see how the basil will do…. The toddlers are always game to help water the plants.
In June we had the Ocean Theme.
We had ocean and fish puzzles, ocean and fish books, fish/ocean art. The children love the language materials, to explore names of animals, match sort and grade anything from crabs, shells, mammals and fish. On the back deck the children scooped fish out of water and painted with whale and sailboat stamps. We sang Baby Beluga in the Deep Blue Sea, Ocean Babies, and Over in the Ocean, a counting book. Many of the books rhymed and by the end of June, many of the children would call out the last word of (now) familiar rhymes. The Ocean theme carried us through mid-July, and last week we started switching out materials to a new theme: Wild Animals
We have many to match and sort: small representations of vinyl, wood, and plastic with magnets. At group time we thump our chest like a gorilla and we swing our arms like a monkey, we bend our necks like a giraffe, we kiss (smooch the air) like a hippopotamus and we roar like a lion. Look out for wild animal art in the coming weeks!
You may not realize that we have yoga cards on the shelf, and a renewed interest. So if your children sit very quiet on their knees at home with their palms together, they may be imitating “candle”. The cards on the shelf are butterfly, frog, squirrel, waterfall… Ask your children to show you some yoga!
In closing, I want to say that it’s a real pleasure to be with your children during these easy-going summer days!