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In December, we collect toys and clothes for the kids at the Easter Seals House for Children and Families so our first art project of the month was to decorate our donations box. Lots of kids and lots of paint made it really stand out.
We did a lot of baking this month, and celebrated the season by making cards, singing songs, and of course, decorating! Our tree in the front room got a full dose of finery. It was technically our second Christmas, but the first to share with all our friends and families. Thank you so much for joining us for the adventure and for making our year the most exciting and wonderful as we could have asked. We love you all!
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This month, we want to answer the age-old question: How much do children love transportation? Trains and cars, and motorcycles, of course, buses, planes… We know from Ocean Month that boats are incredibly popular. Trucks and bikes, and the star of our show – helicopters!
To get ready for the new theme, we needed a clean canvas. You’re going to love what we did, but before we get to that, a fond farewell to some of our old friends.
The Orcas joined us for Ocean Month, when they swam alongside our trusty boat, and Jenny painted the Giraffe back before our window displays had anything to do with anything. He was just cool. Good work, guys.
Transportation Month started off with a flurry of activity. The kids spent the first week painting egg cartons for our awesome transportation display, and Tal and Lawrence spent their November holiday remembering what it was like to spend the weekend waiting for paint to dry. We’re thrilled with the final products though.
And that’s just the start of the month. Check this page at the end of the month to see what else we get up to. 🙂
It’s All About Fall
October is quintessentially autumn. The leaves changing, and falling, the harvest foods, the cooler weather, and of course, Halloween! With so much to cover, we were busy all month long.
Regardless of where their actual food comes from, the kids have a big interest in farms and farming, animals and food. This month we got a new farm toy and played all month long at being farmers, riding tractors, and of course, eating! Another area we spent a lot of time this month was on the question of what happens when leaves, and plants die or rot at this time of year. Our little compost has never had so much attention (probably for the best), or so many little hands wanting to “feed the worms,” and stir the decomposing matter.
The trees went through their full spectrum this month, and seeing all those colourful little leaves falling down gave us the idea of making up a new version of London Bridge is falling down. And fall down we did! We also collected leaves and made miniature versions of autumn trees.
And Halloween… what can we say? It was adorable, but parents get more of a kick out of it than some of the kids. For them, it was business as usual, playing music, making puzzels, and wearing goggles. In costume. Happy Halloween!
September is Ocean Month at Buddings!
We’ve known how interested kids are in the ocean for a while, so we decided to devote the whole month of September to this topic, and we’re going to explore as many aspects of water, sea creatures, geography and human activities on the ocean as we can. To get things started, the kids needed something to anchor their interests.
First they decorated boats to display on the mirror, so we would be properly inspired all month, and then it came time to really bring it to life. With a little reorganization, the front room was transformed into an ocean, and the stage became a boat. The kids made a list of everything they would need, from a sail and mast, to oars and a motor (they’re painting the motor in the picture above), a steering wheel, and even a life boat and ring, in case anyone fell overboard. In a frenzy of creativity, they started making the props and before the day was out, our front room became the perfect place for our ocean explorations.
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Many buddies love to eat eggs, hide magnet balls they pretend are eggs and jump at the chance to crack an egg during our many cooking activities. This eggshell art activity is easy to do and sure to bring out the inner artist. Remember to wash the shell and allow to air dry before painting. Use a liquid tempra paint for brown shells (water colours were less vibrant). Once the paint is dry ask the children to crush the shells to make smaller peices (the kids LOVE this part!) Eggshells are fun to paint, a very delicate skill, and crushing them is very satisfying! Offer them glitter, shells and glue and set them free! The children are delighted to experiment with glue any chance they get! They especially love paper plates or choosing their favorite colour of construction paper. Beautiful art kids!
With the hot weather nourishing us, it was only right to make some homeade lemonade! The children were excited about the idea to create this concoction, especially since sugar was involved. Little did they know that the juicer we were about to use was WAY more impressive than the sugar! The recipe was easy, 5 lemons, water, and sugar to sweeten to desired sweetness. I was amazed by how much they enjoyed the tart sour taste of lemons! The children counted the lemons whole and then in halves, and enjoyed taking turns working the juicer, under strict guidance of course! The buzzing of the juicer created a heightened enjoyment as they squealed in delight and jumped up and down! The children began smiling and even hugging one another! What a fun activity! Thank you Buddies for the wonderful lemonade! And thank you Buddings for such a well equipped, amazing kitchen to entertain cooking activites!
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Mount Buddings and the Pinecone People!
The children are busy creating pinecone people, it was only right to also create a beautiful place for them to reside.The paper tree forest shades and looks over their land complete with an extinct volcano (when situated here),and a series of dormant volcanoes! The children use these to learn about volcanic eruption! Glueing has also been an intrest so we created rafts for the pine cone people (an enviornmentally sound pinecone people mover). The river runs from the Buddings Aquarium, with a mix of inhabitants, to treasure stone ridge. Sorry folks, there are no over nights, yet can be viewed during Buddings business hours!
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Mount Buddings is the biggest Volcano we could make, the coffee clay dough took about 2 weeks to completely dry so that we could enjoy the first eruption! The children first drew pictures of the volcano, a still life art process. Then the eruption! We used a funnel to put baking soda into the conduit pipe, then in a watering can some vinegar, water, dish liquid and red colouring. The baking soda and vinegar create carbon dioxide ( just like a real volcano releases). Another fun fact is: the molten rock inside the volcano is called magma, then lava once it oozes down the outside of the volcano! The children were very inspired and delighted with the science experience, and two children took it to an artistic level by painting volcanoes!
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The snack for the day was pizza, and Lawrence was really excited to make it with the kids. We love having the step at the counter for them to be involved.
Making the dough, and waiting for it rise was an exercise in patience, but soon enough, it was time to pick the toppings, and Lawrence had lots of little helpers! With all the veggies prepped, the girls didn’t focus so much on what went on the pie, but rather what colour everything was. Red and yellow peppers, yellow pineapple, green peppers, and red tomatos made for a very colourful pizza! And of course, the best part was eating it. 😉
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Unsurprisingly, I suppose, after the introduction of the new fish last month, the children have been really interested in fish and aquariums. As she does, Jenny decided to make the most of the opportunity and planned a whole week of activities around the popular theme. We made paper plate aquariums, decorated fish, and even turned the big mirror into an ocean for everyone to swim.
The mirror stayed painted for the rest of the month, and we couldn’t have been more happy with the outcome. It helped to maintain the children’s interest and allowed us to keep building on the ocean life theme, one that we all think is really important.
New Fish Tank
Fin the Siamese Fighting Fish has been with us since the summer, when on a research trip to Aquariums West to price out a tank, we fell in love with his bright blue fins. He and his neighbour, a piece of bamboo, have been living in various vases over the months, and after Christmas, they even upgraded to a 4L apple cider jar. They seemed happy enough, but when Lawrence saw a Craiglist ad for a free fish tank, with a filter, rocks, and all the kit, it was too good to be true. Especially when he found out the tank was from the apartment building right behind the daycare! He went straight out to get it.
Talia had some errands to run, and while she was downtown, she picked up some new fishy friends for Fin in his new home, and Max and Lawrence got the tank ready.
After a bit of a shock when they first went in, the 6 new additions – the Red Team and the Blue Team – perked up and seemed to enjoy their new digs. (Fin’s always been a bit of a lurker, so more active fish are a nice change.) We’re thrilled to welcome them to Buddings, where they will be teaching the children about caring for creatures, the value of life, and why lentils do not go in the fish tank. Hint: they expand. 😉
While enjoying popcorn and avocados for afternoon snack on January 4th, one buddy shared that she was saving her popcorn kernels so that she could plant them and grow popcorn trees. The idea grew into a spontaneous growing experiment following snack time and the popcorn kernels and an avocado pit were planted after gathering our materials such as: soil, plant pots, spoons, watering can, paint to decorate the pots. After a few days there was no sprouting despite all the watering and care, days past and still nothing was happening. Our research told us that avocados planted in soil would grow faster than any other method. After a few weeks, the children were open to planting spinach and basil and wanted to see if these would sprout sooner. The grow light was added to the mix, and soon many of our buddies wanted to plant their own!
The children have put together their own planting books, where we keep track of the watering and how much time it has taken to see some sprouting! On February 1st we noticed the first seeds to sprout! There are now 2 basil plants showing tiny sprouts and 2 spinach plants showing more prominent sprouting. We will keep watering these little sprouts and look forward to tasting them too!
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It began with a simple question: What can we make out of straws and connectors? After a brief argument, and a failed attempt at making a bed, the kids decided to make a spaceship. “What do we need for a spaceship?” Lawrence asked, and a list was created.
Once the ship was created, we needed to set the destination! They decided to explore nearby planets, including “Big Ben” Planet, “Playdough” Planet, and many more! We made a thorough investigation, and collected samples from each one.
This little buddy dropped into Buddings excited about the Grinch, from the Dr. Seuss movie: “How the Grinch stole Christmas.”
Together we looked at pictures of the Grinch on our very cool Ipad and our little buddy decided to create a Grinch Image on our front window to get to know this character a little bit better. The process continued with our little buddy wanting to dress up as the Grinch with a BIG heart. The mask has whiskers draw on it (hard to see because they are yellow), and the claws were so fun to tape on! We traced our buddy’s body on to large paper and cut out the arms and legs and drew fur onto the images, we also added a rib cage x ray with a small heart and a Santa hat!
The play was then extended further by finding out what our buddy knew about the Grinch. What he knew was: the Grinch had a small heart, and that is why he wanted to steal Christmas. He also knew that the Grinch has a dog named “Max” and so, after viewing images of Max on the IPad, we created a mask for the dog. It was then decided that: Jenny would play “Max” and our little buddy would play the Grinch!
This Grinch at Buddings wanted to role play as the Grinch with a BIG heart. When I asked him why the heart changes from small to big, our buddy shared: ” The Grinch grows a big a heart because he is giving back all the presents”.
Then it was time to make a Christmas Tree with Presents underneath. These presents were taped onto the tree that he painted, so we could pretend to “steal” them and then “give the presents back”. Our little buddy then wondered if his body was bigger than the Grinch with the small heart. So to find out we traced our little buddy’s self onto the window with our magical erasable window markers! As it turned out, our Buddy is a little bit bigger than the Grinch with a small heart! We also researched and printed out the words to the song “Your’e a mean one Mr. Grinch” from the movie. This little buddy loves learning the words to songs he loves. He especially loves the part:” The three words that best describe you are as follows and I quote: Stink, stank, stunk! ”
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This week, our inspirational topic is: all about bears. We were ready with materials to make bear puppets, and a den for them to hibernate comfortably. Our little buddy wanted to create a dragon puppet as well as make a den for the dragon. So we created a web of possible materials for the project! Toe pin the paper bag dragon was created.
His den is brown, filled with bamboo and soft paper spirals. Next, we made a Lego dragon. Toe pin the paper bag dragon was happy to have the lego version come by for a visit!
The Bears – Ed, Fred and Ted – and the Dragons embrace one another. They celebrate their differences and rejoice in the ways they are the same!
This week, in celebration of the end of our licensing adventure, our Theme is APPRECIATION. We have so much to be thankful for! Of course, an emergent curriculum is an active process, and while we visited our theme in a few different ways, the most interesting project by far revolved around… da da da! PTERODACTYLS!
What do we know about Pterodactyls?The Pterodactyl needed a nest. The children decided that nests should be made of bamboo sticks and big and small branches. And a nest should have eggs! Luckily, Jenny knew a great egg “recipe,” so we could fill the nest. When Talia asked what we say for when babies come out of eggs, the answer was: “Wow!” … or “hatch”… 🙂
When we discussed what pterodactyls eat, we then needed a frog. Luckily, Talia had a blue jumping frog in her handbag! We found out that we would find the frogs in a pond, so we created that, too!