SHOW AND TELL
Bring a picture of an animal that thrives in the deserts or grasslands; know the name of the animal and what it likes to eat
Learn about these biomes
The value is humility, which means that we don’t boast or brag about ourselves. There is so much in our world to learn that we have to be humble in mind and spirit to lean as much as we can.
For science we’ll learn about different ways plants grow and where water goes when it goes away.
Outside we’ll play follow the leader and how to keep a balloon up.
The songs we’ll be singing are Edleweiss, The Green Grass Grows All Around, On Top of Old Smoky, Home on the Range, and Oh, What a Beautiful Morning.
For creative dramatics we’ll move like a seed grows.
Our art activities are plant people, leaf lotto, playdough cactus, and plant picture book.
For motor development, we’ll work on flexibility with yoga poses. For proprioception we’ll walk on a textured highway, play tug-of-war and leap frog, and do leg pushes.
DON’T WORRY/BE HAPPY
In the 1990’s Martin Seligman wrote a couple of best sellers Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness. He became known as the father of positive psychology, and he quotes mountains of research that substantiates the idea that we are more productive when our self-esteem (happiness) is high. His research shows that pessimists are eight times more likely to suffer depression; they do worse in school, sports, and most jobs; and they have poorer physical health, rockier relationships, and shorter lives. Positive emotion opens us to new ideas and new experiences. In our world of rapidly increasing changes, we need that positive mental attitude to broaden our intellectual, physical, and social resources.
Dr. Seligman has a grant to begin working on a large-scale project with high school students to help them identify their strengths and turn those strengths into positive forces in their lives. This effort builds on his research showing that 10-year-olds who were taught the skills of optimistic thinking and action had less than half the incidences of depression as they went into puberty. He has defined six virtues to achieve based on extensive research in world religions and philosophies. (The virtues are wisdom/knowledge, courage, love/humanity, justice, temperance, and spirituality.) He then talks about crafting your job and your life around these six virtues. When you use your strengths to make your job and your life better, the success you experience will give you ideas about how to go further with the things that give you the most pleasure. His key to recrafting your job and your life is to make it a calling – having a passionate commitment to it – giving you a sense of serving the greater good.
What does this have to do with our preschoolers? Dr. Seligman’s first book discussed learned helplessness. This is what we see beginning at the preschool level. From Dr. Seligman’s research, as well as that of many others, we can anticipate a puberty and a life coming with constant struggle against depression. We can start today teaching our children a can-do attitude; a joy of constant mindfulness, curiosity, and learning; pleasure in loving and being loved; and courage in the face of tough jobs. Jarrod Green, in his book, I’m Ok: Building Resilience through Physical Play says, “If we want children to grow into confident, engaged, fulfilled, happy members of society, they’re going to need the skills to pick themselves up, brush themselves off, and bounce back.” As our children’s role models, we know we have to have these skills and attitudes ourselves. Visit Dr. Seligman’s website at www.authentichappiness.org for more great information and some analysis tools for yourself.
Play Time – We believe that play is a key enabler in raising well-developed children – as important to a child as food, water, sleep and parental love. Between 12 and 24 months your toddler’s cognitive development really starts to blossom; this is when they will start to develop memories, as well as understand symbols, imitate, and play imaginatively. Children crave limits, which help them understand and manage an often confusing world. Show your love by setting boundaries, so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely.
Birthday Celebration – If you would to send a special snack for a birthday celebration you should coordinate your plans with the teacher. We prefer a low sugar snack cupcakes without icing or a muffin works well. We also find that a party favor last longer and brings more appreciation from the children than a snack. When we have a birthday we celebrate the child by having a “birthday circle” in which the child goes around the circle for each year of his life. We stop to talk about special event that happened during each year and perhaps show a picture of the child when he was that old. This information comes from the parent and it can be in the form of a story along with some pictures that will be returned at the end of the day.