Tuesday, 1 December 2015

To Trap or Not to Trap...

         A group of the children took some sticks and made a simple trap. "Look Leslie we made a trap and we're going to catch something." I smiled and suggested they find some type of food to put underneath it to lure them in.

         The next day the food was gone, but the trap was empty. The children were a little frustrated they got "skunked."

This is how it all began...... 
          The group of children decided they needed to make a bigger and better trap, and told me "they didn't need any help because this was a job for the boys."
They began to dig a hole under the tree house. They worked on the hole for about two days to get it nice and deep so the animal couldn't escape.  

The next step was to add walls for a foundation.
Last but not least they needed branches to act as camouflage.  
The group of boys were quite proud of their trap and were very confident their design would be successful, there was just one problem; the girls.
When the girls found out what the boys were trying to do they got quite upset.
There were words. There was screaming. There were a little bit of tears. All I said to them was the boys had every right to build their trap.
The next day one of the girls brought in a bag of carrots for the bunnies. The boys said, "perfect you can give us some and we can put them in our trap!" (We all knew that wasn't about to happen)
Instead of arguing with the boys the girls brought in carrots and decided to build their "Bunny Shelter". The carrots in their shelter would deter the bunnies away from the boys trap, and into the house. (smart!)
The girls worked together and built quite the shelter for the bunnies. When we went inside for snack the boys were trying to trade and negotiate to get some carrots.
The girls were on to them so they had no luck. The next day there were a lot of carrots in everybody's lunch boxes. When we all went outside there was a bunny in between the house and the trap. Of course the kids were so excited they bolted towards it and it ran off into our woods. At that moment everyone was so excited to actually see a bunny that they didn't even care about trapping it. We talked about how bunnies scare very easily and agreed we wouldn't try to chase them, rather, welcome them to our yard.
When we went inside I had an invitation set up for the children.
They all picked numbers and were put into a random group. They had to discuss amongst their group if they wanted to build a house or a trap. It was nice to see a healthy debate on what they should build. We ended up having some houses and some traps....

-Leslie Dionne

Monday, 9 November 2015

Art Journals

The afterschoolers were obsessed with the smelly markers I brought in for them. Every day they would run off the bus and ask "Can we draw with the smelly markers?!" Forget hello, forget snack, forget waiting for the other buses.

Day after day they would create amazing drawings and usually their pictures would get ripped, left behind, or thrown away. This is when I decided we needed our very own art journals.

I went to the dollar store and got every child their own note pad filled with blank paper. The next day we covered the top with blank paper and I let the kids personalize their cover however they wanted.  

Once they made their journals we were ready to bring out our inner artists! I decided Wednesday would be our journal day because it's always a half day. I also decided to do "themes" for each week. Now I know most people hear "themes" and think we're being too structured, however, this provides opportunity to learn about different types of art and use different materials. It's always very open and the children like to share at the end what they created. 

We cut out pictures from magazines and let it inspire one of our pictures. They could use however many pictures they wanted. 

The great thing about our journals is we are able to take them outside. We all went to the woods one day, found our own spot, and began to draw. 

The children were able to find things from nature to add to their pictures and be inspired from their natural surroundings. 

Overall the art journals have been such a fun process for everyone. Everyone always participates because they want to, not because they have to. They come off the bus Wednesday wondering what this weeks theme will be or what type of materials we will be using. I tried not to share too much as once they are full the children will be taking them home. I will continue brainstorming different ideas to keep the journals fun and interesting. 

Feel free to leave a comment with some of your ideas! 

                                                                          - Leslie Dionne 

Friday, 30 October 2015

Halloween Happenings 2015

Naturally everyone around Little Munchkins has been in the Halloween spirit! We always like to make the most of the spooky season; check out what we've been up to.... 

The possibilities are endless with pumpkins and we made sure to try it all. Digging our hands inside to collect all the goo was not for everyone, but most enjoyed the delicious baked pumpkin seeds we made!  

We cleared out part of our toddler/2 room and filled it with spider webs. The toddler/2 group has been ALL ABOUT spiders lately. When they walked into the room they could climb under, over, and through the cobwebs! Although there was some frustration with getting tangled up in the webs as soon as they were set free they wanted to go right back in! 

The after school group helped decorate our woods for the haunted candy hunt. They think the little ones might be too scared of their decorating job so they'll get all the candy.... 

Have you ever wondered what a Witch's kitchen would look like? Well today's your lucky day because we just so happen to have one here at Little Munchkins.

The Munchkins were waiting at the door for the Witch to let them in.. When the door opened our art room was transformed with lights, music, and tons of stuff to get their hands (and feet!) on! 

Enter if you dare!! Our woods were decorated and had candy hiding all around. The after schoolers helped earlier in the week, but we had to throw in a few extra surprises for them! 

Our day was jam packed with fun, excitement, tricks, and treats! We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!  

                                                                 - Leslie Dionne