Thursday, 15 December 2016

DIY Paper Plate Wreaths

It's the most wonderful time of the year and the Munchkins have been in to decorating our classrooms for the holiday season. One group made these paper plate wreaths and inspired other groups to do it as well. It's easy, simple materials, and open ended for the children to create a unique piece that's their own! 

You can use whatever decorations you would like to make your wreath but we made the actual wreath from paper plates we had lying around. From there, paint, glue, scissors, pieces of ever greens and any other decorations are all you need! 

First step we painted the plates and let them dry. Then we cut and glued pieces of evergreen to it. Some children didn't want any so they went straight to decorating! 

Once the children were satisfied with their decorations we set them to dry overnight.

The 4 year old group hung theirs on the tree branch from the cieling to display them and even used the center cut outs to make ornaments for their christmas tree! Not only does this allow children to be creative but they also get to practice using scissors and glue! 

The after school group has been extremely into anything "crafty" so I think we'll try to make some this afternoon! 

- Leslie MacNeil 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Build It Up!

Over the summer months our resident Munchkins have experienced a great deal of new development. We have watched as a new subdivision has emerged; from the clearing of the land, the process of the new  road, and construction of houses going up.

We were also excited to watch the new Munchkins Clubhouse being built, From The Ground Up!

All that observing has inspired our Little Munchkins to build everyday with anything they can get their hands on.

They have learned about construction equipment, tools and even added words like hydraulics and pistons  to their vocabulary! Some of the phrases we have heard recently have been:

"We need a good base."
"I'm gunna need a ladder for this."
"This part is the hydraulics."
"It has pistons."

Part of our job as early childhood educators is understanding the children's interests and to extend their learning through play. We've continued to add different supplies to our block corner and outdoor classroom (such as signs, traffic cones, pipes, etc) to help promote their building. 

We can also set up different invitations amongst our classroom to support their interests. Different size lego at quiet time,  magnetic blocks on the light table and adding sensory materials with building blocks help to keep the fun going. We've also built a giant snowman with the all the snow we got from the past snow storms!  

We're excited to see what else the children will build and we can't help but smile when we see the creations becoming more complex over time. 

What types of materials do you think we should add next?!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Munchkins Halloween


It's no secret that we LOVE Halloween at Little Munchkins! Every year the educators come together to transform our downstairs classroom into a "spooky" Halloween mecca! 
We brought in our pumpkins off the front step and cut them open for some pumpkin guts exploration!

                Only one child out of the group would touch the pumpkin guts with their hands!

The children separated the seeds into a different bowl so we could cook them up for a tasty treat! 

The afterschoolers painted and "pumped up" the pumpkins with gems and jewels to help turn our clubhouse into a haunted house. 

The munchkins arrived in their costumes and so did the educators! Taba Ghost was tearing it up on the dance floor to Monster Mash! 

Wanda put on a science show for the munchkins with her exploding pumpkins! 

The children screamed and laughed when the bubbly concoction came flying out of the jack o' lanterns mouth! The children took turns picking what colors should come out next. 

The art room was transformed into a witch's kitchen where the children could get really messy and make their own potions. With the room only lit with flameless candles and the sound of wolves howling from our nature sounds player the room really let the children's imagination run wild!  

Upstairs in the toddler room, the little ones were getting even messier with colored pasta and jello! 

Before the mess we had the cutest monkey, unicorn, Frankenstein and lobster!

Two of our closets connect to one another which the children didn't know about. We cleaned out the bottom and added spider webs throughout it. This made a creepy tunnel for the kids to crawl through. This was the biggest hit of the party with a line across the room waiting to get in.

I even went through and just made it! (Perfect for children not so much teachers!)

Overall everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We had lots of tricks and even more treats! (that we glady sent home!!) It was a successful party to add to the books; we can't wait for next year!  

- Leslie MacNeil 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Great Gummy Bear Hunt!

A couple weeks ago I noticed a couple children sitting in our art area coloring pictures. I sat down with them and before I could ask a child looked at me and said, "This is water, this is me, this is where treasure is." They asked me to draw a picture with them so I grabbed a purple marker and drew a random bear. Soon an entire story evolved from my bear. "The purple bear steals all the treasure and we have to go find it before he got to it!" The excitement caught the attention of a few more children who quickly asked to join. 

We spent the rest of our morning running around the playground collecting rocks, sticks and toys (aka treasure) and protecting it from the bear. When we came across this sign the child ran her finger across the words and told her friends what it said. "Be quiet bears are here and children have to tip toe." We then continued on by tip toeing through the yard only whispering. 

The next day the children continued to talk about maps and needed to make more. We gathered up some supplies so they could work together and create a big one to show our families. We used different shapes to represent roads,  our sandbox, houses and trees. (The other shapes were for decorations so it would be a beautiful map.)

Earlier this week we took the children out to the woods to help clean it up. We told them if we take care of our woods we would be able to use it more. After working together to clean it up, our woods were ready for something really special; a GREAT GUMMY BEAR HUNT. Wanda filled little baggies with gummy bears and labeled them with each child's name. The children mapped out their route to where the gummy bear treasures would be!

We all headed out into the woods to find our treasure, but we could only grab the bag with our name on it! 

The munchkins were very respectful of each others treasures and even helped some of their friends that couldn't find theirs! 


-Fine motor skills (drawing maps)
- Math skills (shape recognition, counting out their gummy bears)
- Literacy (name recognition)
-Team work & Cooperation (working together to create their class map, helping friends find their treasure)
-Large motor skills (treasure hunt! running through the woods, balance/coordination)
-Imagination/Dramatic Play 

Friday, 10 June 2016

From the Ground Up (Part 3)

The final touches are being made on the clubhouse and there's just a couple more weeks before we're ready to be "moved in"! The last blog post ended with the doors and windows being installed and the dry wall being put up. Fast forward just a little bit and we have floors put down, fresh paint on the walls, lighting fixtures up, and ceilings and toilets in!

New wooden stalls for our bathroom.

With all the construction going on our "Littlest Munchkins" have taken a great interest in tools and construction. We've also spent a lot of time on our patio watching the men work, answering a lot of questions and admiring all the trucks that have been in and out of our driveway. 

We brought in different tools, blocks, and other building materials to help extend their play. 

We noticed after they had observed the cedar siding being put on they would take our flat boards and hammer them to the wall. (It hasn't been the quietest around our room lately!) 

Because the children were hammering everything they could find (tables, walls, chairs, windows) we decided to borrow some of the cedar scraps from the construction site and begin a few nails in the boards. We set the pieces of wood on the table with a few hammers and let the kids go to town. 

They hit the nails for quite some time and actually got the nails all the way in. Some were a little crooked but they seemed to really enjoy it so we decided to try screw drivers the next day! 

The screw drivers were a bit more complicated then the hammers but they took their job at "fixing the chairs" very serious. They were careful, took turns, and were helpful to the other children if they needed help. 

 After they fixed their chair they would sit in it to see if it would pass their inspection. We had a few screws removed during the process so we made sure they were tightened properly before lunch. If someone came in our room they made sure to tell them they fixed all of the chairs.

The clubhouse construction has been such a learning experience for all the children.... literally from the ground up!  

Keep an eye out for our final blog post coming soon with the fully completed clubhouse!