Sharon's Giving Tree Family Dayhome

ABC's and Apple Trees -- Loving and thoughtful care for your child

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Rules, routines, and library walks

Posted on September 8, 2007 at 12:31 AM

Rules, routines and library walks.

 

Most of the children have rejoined us -- the last starts again next week.  It has been lovely seeing them again and discovering how much they all have changed and matured during their time at home over the summer!

As we get back into the swing of things, I am not attempting too much in the way of planned programming yet.  We are re-learning rules, especially the ones about safety, respect for others, personal care and taking responsibility for tidying up after oneself.  We are talking about rules and learning from reading books like the following: 

Hands are not for Hitting    http://www.freespirit.com/catalog/item_detail.cfm?ITEM_ID=93

Germs are not for Sharing   http://www.freespirit.com/catalog/item_detail.cfm?ITEM_ID=424

The House that Had Enough  http://www.cdaccess.com/html/pc/houseen.htm

 

I am imposing some rules, especially the safety ones, and trying to get the boys to generate others.  There is a poster up on the playroom wall with our favorite �rule� keywords up on it and I plan to add others as the boys suggest it.

 

I�ve made it clear that the more the children can help with tidying up after themselves and being respectful towards one another, the more fun (messy) adventures we can have together and the more toys and materials they will have available to them.  The dayhome children have been very willing and committed to these routines.  My own have had a harder time, but are coming around as they realize that after the relaxed routines of summer and vacation travel, dayhome time is back and mommy means business!

 

In particular, I am focusing right now on having everyone say �thank you� for meals and snacks and excusing themselves from the table. I am also having the older boys clear their dishes to the sink and the uneaten food to the counter by the fridge for me. This is working better than I�d hoped � even the 16 month old wants to help!  I hope to work up to having them load the dishwasher themselves, too.  So any dayhome parents reading this, please feel free to have your sons start clearing the dishes at home while you kick back and relax!

 

Seriously, the after-lunch time last year, while I cleared away and cleaned up, was the most likely time for fights to break out and bumps and bruises to occur.  I think these children are old enough now to really be able to do their share, and having them help will make our transition from lunch to quiet time run more smoothly and safely.

 

We have set up some new routines with craft and play materials as well.  We have done painting with our new easel and spill-proof paint pots, sensory play with colored rice in our new-to-us sand table, and playdough play with new playdough toys.  The emphasis has been Montessori- like on �this is how we set out the materials, these are the things we do with the materials, and this is how we put them away and clean up after� 

 

I�ve been watching the boys at play and collecting materials and ideas for some special themes based on their interests.  Definitely, we have to have a dinosaur theme, led by the four-year-old whose imagination is alive with dinosaurs, their Latin names and attributes�although every day is dinosaur day already because of him!  I am also looking at a Sharks/Ocean life theme, another round of the Space theme, but with a bigger emphasis on rocket ships, space suits,  and robots this time around, and we�ll have to do the bunny theme again in the spring because it was just that much fun!

 

I want to start with a superhero/hero/community helper theme, hopefully pulling together some threads of interest I see.  I often see the 3 and 4 yr olds playing with Spiderman, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear toys and they all have various superheroes on their underwear.  There is also a fascination with Scooby and Shaggy � antiheroes who are scared of their own shadows and help anxious children to laugh at their fears.  I am hoping to talk about �what is a hero?� (a helper) and maybe even touch on some very simple ideas and stories about heroes from the Bible , and from Greek Mythology.  Pulled my �Superhero Songs� cd out today and the boys really cut loose, striking poses and dancing to the Spiderman theme and various other superhero music.

 

We have had some really beautiful outdoor time, too!

 

n      We�ve enjoyed picking apples for snacks, although the better tree didn�t produce at all this year.  We still used our cooking apples to make apple juice for lunch one day (but it is pretty pulpy!  I need a cheesecloth strainer for next year)

n      We have spent a lot of time in the secret playground. The children found a pile of pine cones under the branches of pine trees overhanging a fence � these shady spots became forts and the pine cones became money, pretend food, and treasure.

n      We are walking a lot with our �ring rope� and the carseats for babies in the big wagon, observing birds, cats, and various construction workers who are improving yards and roads in our neighborhood.  It is nice to have the time to dawdle and enjoy learning about the surprises we encounter every day.

n      We have added a wonderful Little Tikes log cabin playhouse, which is seeing a lot of play in our yard already!

 

Mondays through Wednesdays are going to be very active days, with lots of exercise and preschool activities that are as structured as I get.  On Thursday mornings, we are having baby days, interacting with and learning about the nine-month-old who has joined us and taken over the role of �dayhome baby� this year.  I am modeling this as far as I can on the spirit of the Roots of Empathy/Seeds of Empathy program, which brings babies and their mothers into classrooms and daycares to teach children about empathy and reduce bullying and behavior problems.  The baby is enjoying the attention and presence of the big boys, who are competing to be gentle and helpful as I care for his needs. 

 

On Fridays, we have been walking to the library with our wagon � about a 1.5 km trip one way.  There is a storytime program which two of the boys are registered for, starting next week..  We�ve done two  practice runs already, a good thing since I�ve discovered that it takes about half an hour to get ready to leave and  another hour to walk there, with time to stop in a park for a snack and enjoy the adventure of an extended walk through the neighborhood.  I�ve rigged the wagon with a hula-hoop frame and plastic cover, similar to stroller covers for wet weather.  Our crazy congestoga will let tired ones ride and keep the baby and toddler warm and dry. 

 

At the library, we enjoy the train table, the new toddler and baby toys they have available, and the adventure of choosing stories to take home for the dayhome to read that week..  All of the children are reading, together and separately, taking grownup books down and pretending to read them, looking at pictures, enjoying the magic of books.  I could do another long post about the joy of watching them all show me how important books are in their lives�but it is getting on towards bedtime! But I am very excited by all that is happening here this fall!

 

 

 

 

 

Rules, routines and library walks.

 

Most of the children have rejoined us -- the last starts again next week.  It has been lovely seeing them again and discovering how much they all have changed and matured during their time at home over the summer!

As we get back into the swing of things, I am not attempting too much in the way of planned programming yet.  We are re-learning rules, especially the ones about safety, respect for others, personal care and taking responsibility for tidying up after oneself.  We are talking about rules and learning from reading books like the following: 

Hands are not for Hitting    http://www.freespirit.com/catalog/item_detail.cfm?ITEM_ID=93

Germs are not for Sharing   http://www.freespirit.com/catalog/item_detail.cfm?ITEM_ID=424

The House that Had Enough  http://www.cdaccess.com/html/pc/houseen.htm

 

 

 

I am imposing some rules, especially the safety ones, and trying to get the boys to generate others.  There is a poster up on the playroom wall with our favorite �rule� keywords up on it and I plan to add others as the boys suggest it.

 

I�ve made it clear that the more the children can help with tidying up after themselves and being respectful towards one another, the more fun (messy) adventures we can have together and the more toys and materials they will have available to them.  The dayhome children have been very willing and committed to these routines.  My own have had a harder time, but are coming around as they realize that after the relaxed routines of summer and vacation travel, dayhome time is back and mommy means business!

 

In particular, I am focusing right now on having everyone say �thank you� for meals and snacks and excusing themselves from the table. I am also having the older boys clear their dishes to the sink and the uneaten food to the counter by the fridge for me. This is working better than I�d hoped � even the 16 month old wants to help!  I hope to work up to having them load the dishwasher themselves, too.  So any dayhome parents reading this, please feel free to have your sons start clearing the dishes at home while you kick back and relax!

 

Seriously, the after-lunch time last year, while I cleared away and cleaned up, was the most likely time for fights to break out and bumps and bruises to occur.  I think these children are old enough now to really be able to do their share, and having them help will make our transition from lunch to quiet time run more smoothly and safely.

 

We have set up some new routines with craft and play materials as well.  We have done painting with our new easel and spill-proof paint pots, sensory play with colored rice in our new-to-us sand table, and playdough play with new playdough toys.  The emphasis has been Montessori- like on �this is how we set out the materials, these are the things we do with the materials, and this is how we put them away and clean up after� 

 

I�ve been watching the boys at play and collecting materials and ideas for some special themes based on their interests.  Definitely, we have to have a dinosaur theme, led by the four-year-old whose imagination is alive with dinosaurs, their Latin names and attributes�although every day is dinosaur day already because of him!  I am also looking at a Sharks/Ocean life theme, another round of the Space theme, but with a bigger emphasis on rocket ships, space suits,  and robots this time around, and we�ll have to do the bunny theme again in the spring because it was just that much fun!

 

I want to start with a superhero/hero/community helper theme, hopefully pulling together some threads of interest I see.  I often see the 3 and 4 yr olds playing with Spiderman, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear toys and they all have various superheroes on their underwear.  There is also a fascination with Scooby and Shaggy � antiheroes who are scared of their own shadows and help anxious children to laugh at their fears.  I am hoping to talk about �what is a hero?� (a helper) and maybe even touch on some very simple ideas and stories about heroes from the Bible , and from Greek Mythology.  Pulled my �Superhero Songs� cd out today and the boys really cut loose, striking poses and dancing to the Spiderman theme and various other superhero music.

 

We have had some really beautiful outdoor time, too!

 

n      We�ve enjoyed picking apples for snacks, although the better tree didn�t produce at all this year.  We still used our cooking apples to make apple juice for lunch one day (but it is pretty pulpy!  I need a cheesecloth strainer for next year)

n      We have spent a lot of time in the secret playground. The children found a pile of pine cones under the branches of pine trees overhanging a fence � these shady spots became forts and the pine cones became money, pretend food, and treasure.

n      We are walking a lot with our �ring rope� and the carseats for babies in the big wagon, observing birds, cats, and various construction workers who are improving yards and roads in our neighborhood.  It is nice to have the time to dawdle and enjoy learning about the surprises we encounter every day.

n      We have added a wonderful Little Tikes log cabin playhouse, which is seeing a lot of play in our yard already!

 

Mondays through Wednesdays are going to be very active days, with lots of exercise and preschool activities that are as structured as I get.  On Thursday mornings, we are having baby days, interacting with and learning about the nine-month-old who has joined us and taken over the role of �dayhome baby� this year.  I am modeling this as far as I can on the spirit of the Roots of Empathy/Seeds of Empathy program, which brings babies and their mothers into classrooms and daycares to teach children about empathy and reduce bullying and behavior problems.  The baby is enjoying the attention and presence of the big boys, who are competing to be gentle and helpful as I care for his needs. 

 

On Fridays, we have been walking to the library with our wagon � about a 1.5 km trip one way.  There is a storytime program which two of the boys are registered for, starting next week..  We�ve done two  practice runs already, a good thing since I�ve discovered that it takes about half an hour to get ready to leave and  another hour to walk there, with time to stop in a park for a snack and enjoy the adventure of an extended walk through the neighborhood.  I�ve rigged the wagon with a hula-hoop frame and plastic cover, similar to stroller covers for wet weather.  Our crazy congestoga will let tired ones ride and keep the baby and toddler warm and dry. 

 

At the library, we enjoy the train table, the new toddler and baby toys they have available, and the adventure of choosing stories to take home for the dayhome to read that week..  All of the children are reading, together and separately, taking grownup books down and pretending to read them, looking at pictures, enjoying the magic of books.  I could do another long post about the joy of watching them all show me how important books are in their lives�but it is getting on towards bedtime! But I am very excited by all that is happening here this fall! 

 

 

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