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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sign Language in WM Jr. Toddler class


Welcome to Westmoreland Creative Minds Teacher Amika!
Teacher Amika is our new Jr. Toddlers Teacher! We are very excited to have the wonderful opportunity to have Teacher Amika as part of our staff. Today in Jr. Toddlers we learned some Sign Language, check out how smart we are!


Apple!

T. Amika teaching cracker!

T. Kelsey teacher cracker

Water!

Milk!

Kitty!


Horse!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summertime at CMLC

What a HOT but beautiful sunny summer we are having! It is so wonderful to hear about the trips to the park, zoo, farmers market and the camping trips that our families are taking together!
On a walk with my friends!

 


When school lets out for the summer we are so excited to "Go to the park!" Our mornings are spent sharing with one another during circle time and station time. Then we have art and snack, next it is time to sunscreen up! We get our shoes on and head to the park!


Our Toddlers,Jr. Toddlers and Infants have had the opportunity to get out and run on the playground! They love the sunshine and watching the big kids run around! The infants favorite thing to do is walk and        explore with bark chips!


At QFC, our first walking field trip!!!
Our Westmorland PK/PS has been doing something new and exciting this year! We have been exploring our community by taking walking field trips to local businesses. so far, we have visited QFC,  we have had a field day at the local elementary school followed by a picnic where we were able to bring our own lunch to school! And we are going to visit our local Post Office this week! This has been a great experience we have learned a lot about our local community, different jobs that people do plus we get to get out and explore!




 We have a few more things to do this summer. Penny's Puppets will be at Westmoreland on July14th to perform a puppet show for our Older Infants through PK kiddos on the WIld ,Wild West. We will also be visiting the zoo! This is our BIG field trip and we can't wait

Thank you parents! We appreciate the sunscreen that you put on in the morning before school, the hats and tennis shoes that you bring for the playground and all the volunteering and extra help that you do for your child!
Thank you families!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Eco - System collages at Westmoreland!

On Friday April 25th we held a Show - n - Share that summarized and review our study of the Eco - Systems! We had our parents help our PK/PS kiddos work on a homework assignment! We gave each one of them a week to come up with a collage about one or more eco - system and bring it toschool for show - n - share and talk about it! They all did a great job on their collages and the ocean was the most popular, however we had several wonderful themes! Take a look below!












Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Westmoreland's PK/PS Earth Day Project

We had so much fun on Earth Day! We learned about gardening, recycling, composting, and the water cycle. We would like to thank Ms. Peggy and Portland Nursery for the wonderful donation of indoor and outdoor plants and soil! Our thank you card will be sent to them soon! This will soon become a new class job in Preschool / Pre- K. Check out our pictures from our fun Earth day below!
Thank you card to Portland Nursery from Pre- K / Preschool
Digging in the dirt is so much fun!






Say Gardening!!!!!


Be gentle...


Monday, March 24, 2014

Going Natural At CMLC!

Creative Minds Learning Centers are dedicated to providing the best practices and continuing to cultivate imagination and growth in our kiddos on a daily basis. Using natural playscapes at our schools is just one of the many ways that we are incorporating the latest trending research to help us achieve these goals. 

What is a natural playscape? 
The natural playscape (or natural playground) is defined as a space with as little man made components as possible. Using native plants, rolling hills, lots of trees; playscapes represent a natural place such as a forest. Playscapes are designed with the intent of bringing children and people back to nature.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playscape

Happy Valley's New Natural Playscape


Benefits of using natural playscapes in early childhood environments: 

1.)  Spending Time in Nature (including natural playscapes) supports human health and development:

“Spending time in nature is an important component of human health and development. For many, nature inspires curiosity, creativity and a sense of freedom. And playing in natural landscapes provides opportunities for motor development and sensory experiences not available in the classroom or even on traditional playgrounds.”  Natural playgrounds allow for more creativity than traditional playgrounds, because the children are able to manipulate their environment through the loose materials found in nature.  In one study, children who played on natural playgrounds scored higher on standardized motor skill tests than children who regularly played in traditional playgrounds.  Because nowadays it is more difficult for children to experience nature, a natural playscape is important because it provides “a sensory experience” that can “strongly impact physical and cognitive development.”
http://gardenandplaytucson.wordpress.com/play/importance-of-play-notes/

2.) Children who use natural playscapes tend to be more active and use their imaginations more. 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121011135036.htm


3.) Natural playscapes strongly support gross motor development.

 "A rough and diverse landscape is perfect for improving a child’s motor fitness.  In one study, it was proven that children who played in natural playscapes showed considerable improvements in motor fitness than those who only played in traditional playgrounds.  Not only do natural playscapes improve the health and concentration of children, but the children prefer these playscapes to traditional playground equipment."
http://gardenandplaytucson.wordpress.com/play/importance-of-play-notes/


4.) Natural playscapes connect young children with nature and instil in them a sense of sustainability. 



"Early childhood is a unique and critical time for connecting with nature. Sadly, in today's society children are spending less time outdoors than ever before.  Natural playscapes are a way to reconnect our young children with their natural world. If we provide synthetic outdoor playspaces and place more importance on indoor play, what will children grow up knowing and feeling?  As educators we need to help young children build a relationship with their natural environment so that they are invested in it's future."


http://www.letthechildrenplay.net/2010/01/why-natural-outdoor-playspaces.html




To Learn more about natural playscapes and how to incorporate natural playscapes into your home, visit: http://www.childcareexchange.com/catalog/pdf/natural_playscapes.pdf


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Happens When...


What Happens When is the theme for March!  At Westmoreland we have been busy seeing what happens when....



 We explore what magnets do! 



 Exploring textures and solids with playdough!









 Making frozen fruit with berries, melons and water! Thanks families for the donations!






Mixing colors! Fun with water and food coloring!



This is such a fun theme!  We will be exploding a diet coke, we have 2 egg projects, a gravity project,we will be making veggie soup and we will see what happens wen our volcano explodes!  We look forward to blogging more soon!












Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Valley's New Natural Play Space!


Happy March Creative Minds families! 

The kiddos at Happy Valley have been welcoming in the new month by enjoying the warmer weather, and extra outdoor play time. We recently added a new natural play space to the Happy Valley school. This play space features a wooden play structure and a wood playhouse complete with a garden roof. The kiddos have already had so much fun playing out there and we are all looking forward to making many more great memories here at the Happy Valley School!


Wooden play structure. 

Playhouse complete with garden rooftop.

Playhouse.

Here are some fun pictures of our toddler class enjoying their new space!