Springing Into March!
March arrived in grand style with lovely warm breezes and a promise of spring. We made it outside as much as possible, especially celebrating the opening of the sandbox and mud kitchen.
All the children learned about using the sand respectfully so everyone has a good time, and before long, the children were making cupcakes, pies, soup, and all sorts of other goodies in the kitchen and making mountains, ditches, hills, and roads in the sandbox.
Outdoor time also focused on playing catch either with me or with friends. Playing with friends reinforces taking turns as we learn that "the more, the merrier" when it comes to playing together.
Here comes the ball!
The children developed their gross motor skills while they balanced on a beam. Balancing like this refines the way the brain, muscles, and nerves work together and helps the children learn where their bodies are in space.
Sometimes moving heavy objects is exactly what a child needs to figure out where their body is in space as well. It's part of two-year-old learning to push and pull everything in sight to discover the limitations of the body, and the Blue Sky Daycare kids are no exeption. Heavy rocks? We love to move them!
The children and I paid close attention to the gardens looking for signs of spring. We found some chives coming up, but not much more right now. A week or two of temperatures in the 60's and the garden will burst into life... needless to say we'll be finishing up March and beginning April with lots of planting.
The children celebrated St. Patrick's Day with some beautiful rainbow artwork. They used construction paper and glue sticks with great success as we learned about the colors in a rainbow.
The children loved baking Irish Soda bread from scratch. We named and identified each ingredient, then each child had a chance to add at least one ingredient (sometimes with a little encouragement or help from a friend).
The bread came out great and the children enjoyed eating it at lunchtime. What a great job they did!!!
At one point in the morning, I thought I saw a flash of green whiz by the big door to the back yard. The children and I pulled on our outdoor gear and prepared to look for coins any leprechauns might have dropped. Sure enough, on St. Patrick's Day, the mischievous leprechauns had hidden golden coins all around the yard! The children excitedly searched every hiding place they could think of, and before too long we had a pile of "gold!"
Right before lunch, we gathered to take a group picture to show off all our green!
With St. Patrick's Day over, we turned our attention to the outdoors and visited the park. It was a great time!
Within a few days, it was time to start making preparations for Easter. The children and I enjoyed reading Jan Brett's beautiful book The Easter Egg. We talked about all the different kind of eggs the main character, Hoppi the rabbit saw, and how brave he was for protecting a robin's egg that had fallen from its nest. Just like in the story, we decorated eggs made from a variety of materials, most notably wooden eggs and cookie eggs.
Painting the wooden eggs was great for fine motor skills and much different from painting on paper. The eggs came out great!
The children also used watercolors in primary colors to decorate eggs drawn on paper. The variety of colors produced by mixing was lovely, and the children learned a little about color mixing in the process.
Cookie making time was definitely the high point of our Easter celebration. The children loved helping to measure, pouring, and dumping the ingredients in the bowl and working the mixer with help from me.
With a little help, the children used cookie cutters to turn the dough into the shape of eggs, flowers, butterflies, and rabbits. The cookies cooled as we ate our lunch, and while the children napped, the eldest child and I decorated the cookies with frosting. The cookies turned out beautifully, and everyone got to bring some home to share!
In the week following Easter, the children adored playing "Easter Egg Hunt." The children took turns hiding and looking for Easter eggs around the room. You never knew exactly where you'd find the eggs... sometimes they'd be in the same place several rounds in a row, and other times the eggs would be in unexpected places. The children worked in "teams" with one seeker and one basket holder, and traded roles every round.
March was filled with lots of fun activities, but you know what they say... April showers bring May flowers, and I'm looking forward to watching the children learn and grow even more!