Click here for Christmas gift ideas that encourage child-directed play!

5 Tips for Drop off & Pick up
Drop off:
1. Walk with your child to their hook to hang up their items.
2. As you have time, let your child take off their shoes, offering help if it’s needed.
3. Say goodbye to your child, and then walk them to the door.
4. If your child balks at going in the classroom door, offer empathy. 

For example, “I see you are sad that I am leaving. I look forward to more time together when I pick you up (or see you at home). Let’s hug/kiss again and then you’ll walk into the classroom.”
5. If your child still doesn’t want to go into the classroom, wait 7 seconds and then act: You can say, “You can walk to the door with me or by yourself.”
Wait another 7 seconds. If they don’t move, you can say, “It looks like you aren’t ready to move your body, so I will move it for you.”
With no words, calmly pick your child up and place them in the room or in our arms.

If they are having trouble leaving the playground, you can acknowledge they don’t want to leave, follow the steps above, picking them up to walk outside the fence if they aren’t able to walk with you at that time.

If you need help, just let me know, I’ll be happy to give you words to say in the moment.

The sights, smells and colors of fall have been filling up our classroom this month. This month we have had fall themed loose parts in our sensory bin. There are felt sunflowers, wooden apples, mini tree cookies (sliced from tree branches), fall-colored felt balls and tiny pinecones. Children have transferred these fall items into large containers and now they are sorting them into small red bowls. We plan on adding more open-ended loose parts as the children get used to using them. In the book, Loose Parts 2: Inspiring Play with Infants and Toddlers, authors Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky define loose parts as “alluring beautiful found objects and materials that children can move, manipulate, control and change while they play.” Adding loose parts to the classroom helps develop children’s critical thinking. These loose parts are varied so that the pieces can be used to further children’s storytelling, and the story can be changed with each child.

We have more pouring and tonging work on the shelves this month. Grasping and pouring with the different pitchers and grasping little items with tongs takes concentration and strengthens the hands of children. This strengthening will help with their ability to grasp a pencil when writing later on. We also offer pouring work at the snack table. Teachers fill two small pitchers and put them in the center of the table, and children are able to fill their cups with water as often as they wish, while they eat their snack.

We have several works on our practical life shelf dedicated to sorting. Children have sorted fall-colored pom poms and mini koosh balls, using little tongs to pluck them from the basket and then put them into a container. We have colored stones that can be sorted, along with buttons and acrylic pumpkins. Some children sort the items by color, some by shape and some simply find contentment just transferring items from one container to another.

Our block and kitchen have been enhanced with the introduction of more loose parts that are used to add to the imaginative stories we hear the children designing on their own. In our block area, we have wooden people figures, translucent colored blocks, wooden trees and cars. In our kitchen area, we have wooden fruit and veggies that we will alternate with wooden pizza slices and various toppings.

The colder weather brings us inside more, and this means more chances to pick up colds and viruses. We are working to help children learn to cough in their elbow and wipe their noses, and we are taking extra cleaning measures in the classroom. Please keep children at home when they don’t feel well.

We hope that you had a good Thanksgiving, Erica and I extend our gratitude to you and your families for sharing your children with us. It has been a joy to watch them grow and mature. We look forward to December being a Christmas-filled time in the classroom!