CHILDREN'S HOUSE BLOG

this week

5th May – Picnicking at home!

This week’s suggested activities are very summery, to tie into the fact that May has arrived, & summer is here – as we can see from the amazing sunshine we’re being treated to at the moment!! We thought it might be nice for the families to get out together and enjoy a picnic & maybe send us a photo of it, as Sarah & her gorgeous model children Calum & Rebecca have done below It could be an outdoors or an indoors picnic, equally great fun!
The children can get involved by helping prepare some yummy sandwich fingers & cutting up fruit before threading them on skewers; this promotes independence, fine motor skills & hand eye co-ordination. The fruit could also be used to make healthy fruit smoothies like we often make in school this time of year – any fruit that you like, add spinach, orange/apple juice, throw in some ginger if you like it & voilà! Tasty AND healthy!! The children could then revise what they remember of the food pyramid from earlier in the year…
Explore fruit using the senses – for example, get messy with a watermelon, explore how it smells, feels and most importantly tastes. Try scooping out the insides using a melon baller; keep the seeds & dry them out to practice spooning and transferring with. Here’s a really cute story to go with the watermelon theme!!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLAteN1YZ3s You could also do blind tasting with the children to see if they can identify fruit by its smell/ taste/ feel while blindfolded…
Try some basket weaving or creating a pattern for a picnic blanket – this is wonderful for fine motor skills!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6W—m5j9I
The children could practice a practical life activity by setting the table, this could involve counting how many e.g. plates/ cups they’ll need so they’re doing Maths calculations as well!
Design & build your own park or playground out of lego, blocks, playdough or whatever you like to use at home – construction is wonderful for pre-Maths skills such as grading, seriation, spatial sense, classification & problem solving.
Play a memory game where picnic & food items are placed on a table, remove an item as your child closes their eyes & see if they can tell what is missing – memory games are fantastic for development of concentration, short term memory, classification, vocabulary….but most importantly, they’re great fun!
Enjoy❤️❤️

27th April – Birds theme

So this week’s learning suggestions are all about birds – there are so many around at the moment making so much exuberant noise!! The children could bird watch & make a note on how many birds they see & what different types – as the swallows are returning for the summer from Africa this could bring in geography & migration (http://www.askaboutireland.ie/…/…/feathered-friends/swallow/); listen to the different bird songs & try to identify them using either of these links (https://greennews.ie/know-your-birdsong-click-through-our-…/ or https://www.theguardian.com/…/home-birds-how-to-spot-20-of-… ); draw a picture/collage of a bird; make bird feeders using empty milk cartons & peanut butter & oats or various combinations (https://happyhooligans.ca/32-homemade-bird-feeders/ ); look at the bird’s life cycle; do yoga poses pretending to be a bird; learn songs about birds…🐦🕊️❤️

Using Montessori ethos at home

Dear families, we hope you’re all keeping well! Apologies in advance for the long post….😬We at The Children’s House have been discussing what’s the best way to keep in contact with you & the children – during these weeks at home with your children, we are not going to be sending you ‘work’ for your preschoolers to do – that would be against the ethos of our school, where the lessons are individually planned by following the children’s interests and abilities. We’re also very aware that we don’t want to be putting *any* pressure on anyone in these strange times, we know a lot of you are already working from home/home schooling older children, or ‘just’ trying to keep everything going while keeping well & healthy, but we’d also like to keep in touch to whatever extent suits you, as it seems we might not see you for a while yet.

To this end, we’re going to put up a weekly theme with songs, activities & links to Montessori exercises etc that you can do at whatever level suits you & your children, or not at all – it’s just ideas if you would like to use them. I’ll put up this week’s suggestions later on, but I just wanted to say that even apart from this you can easily adopt the Montessori ethos in your home by simply involving your child in everyday tasks – our main aim is to support your children to be confident and competent learners, happy in being the amazing individuals that they are, and to this end we encourage their independence in every way we can.

So for example you could ask your child to help sweep the floor, peel carrots/potatoes for the dinner, polish shoes, clean tables/windows, pour water, help in the garden…the list is literally endless, & all these tasks reinforce Practical Life skills such as developing gross & fine motor skills & hand-eye coordination.

In order to support Maths development, associate numbers with quantities, e.g. your child could count out how many crackers do we need so everyone in the family has one? They could pour drinks from a jug into beakers, thereby both using counting and division. Involve counting in all tasks you can like closing buttons, laying plates…ask your child to bring you 2 pencils, 5 buttons, 4 dinosaurs. Sing songs with numbers e.g. counting backward songs like 5 little ducks, 10 green bottles.

For Language development, play ‘I Spy’ using phonetic sounds (I can post a list of how to pronounce the letters phonetically). For name recognition, practice joining dots of letters in the child’s name, tracing name & letter shapes in sand/ plate of grains. Nursery rhymes, memory games are excellent for developing memory recall skills.

To support Sensorial development, encourage children to use their senses e.g. smell flowers, candles, spices, shower gels; close their eyes & name/match smells; feel rough & smooth surfaces ‘can you find me something rough/smooth’; reinforce the colours that are in their environment; grade objects small to large.

In the area of Culture – look at a globe or map, discuss the world, parts where relations live, discover which continents their favourite animals live; gardening, baking & cooking – these also use practical life skills such as measuring, sieving, mixing, pouring & science skills – liquid to solid, raising agents. Discuss how to recycle & reuse materials in the home.

These are only some brief ideas to give an overview, but linking their learning to the child’s environment helps to reinforce it, so use what you already have around you! Take care & keep in touch!!

School Closure Extended

Dear parents/guardians, we have been directed to stay closed for a further 3 weeks until Sunday 19th April. We will keep you updated with any further information; we are missing your children very much & cannot wait to see you all in happier times! In the meantime keep safe & well, from all at The Children’s House

School Closure

As most of you are aware, as of this evening we have been directed to close until 29th March; we will be in touch if anything changes regarding this, in the meantime take care of yourselves,
From all the staff at The Children’s House

Coronavirus Update

Dear parents/ guardians, just to let you know that the advice at present from the HSE (10th March) is that pre-school services should remain open, whilst following the guidance available on hygiene and preventative measures.

If we get any further information we will share it with you immediately – in the meantime, we will continue to practice good hygiene with regular thorough hand-washing practices, & to encourage the children when coughing or sneezing to cover their mouths & noses with a tissue, then throw the used tissue away into a closed bin and wash their hands. If they don’t have a tissue, we are encouraging them to cough or sneeze into their flexed (bent) elbows.

If you have any health concerns about your child please let us know, and if your child has a fever, cough or shortness of breath, please contact your GP and seek medical advice.

Take care & stay healthy!

9th – 13th March

We’re learning all about the planets this week at The Children’s House! The children will be looking at a frieze of the planets in order from the sun, and learning all about them and their characteristics. We will be talking about what it would be like to try and live on another planet, why our earth is perfect for us and why we should try to keep it as perfect as it is! The children will be making our solar system from balloons, learning about the parts of the earth and the importance of the sun. They will also be grading colours from Colour Box 3 (a box of 9 coloured tablets graded from dark to light) and doing rainbow process art – as well as decorating the school for St Patrick’s Day at the end of the week – it’s going to be a busy and fun week ahead!!

Planets Song (tune: Skip to the Lou My Darling)

I know the planets, how about you?
I know the planets, how about you?
I know the planets, how about you?…
Let’s say the names together!

Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars;
Jupiter and Saturn among the stars;
Uranus and Neptune are up there too;
All spin around in space it’s true!

Everything goes around the sun,
Spinning, spinning everyone!
The Earth is ours, it’s number three,
Its atmosphere is right for me!

I’m a Little Leprechaun (tune: I’m a Little Teapot)

I’m a little leprechaun, short and green,
I hide gold coins so they can’t be seen.
Can you find them all? Are you ready to play?
Good luck to you, Happy St Patrick’s Day!

2nd – 5th March

We can’t believe March is here already, 2020 is flying by!!! Our theme this week is Spring, so as well as talking about the new month of March, we will be discussing what animals are born in the spring time, what flowers appear, how the weather changes – it’s such a wonderful time of year, birth and growth all around, and it’s fantastic to take the time to observe the buds on the flowers & shrubs, nests being built (& occupied!) in trees, lambs jumping about in the fields, the evenings getting longer & warmer….it’s good to appreciate the little things, as children do completely naturally! The children will also be making bird feeders, and doing music & movement during the week.

Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks went swimming one day,
Over the hills and far away,
Mama duck said ‘quack, quack, quack, quack’…
And only four little ducks came back!

Four little ducks went swimming one day…

One little duck went swimming one day,
Over the hills and far away,
Mama duck said ‘quack, quack, quack, quack’…
And all her five little ducks came back!

24th – 28th February

Welcome back, we hope you all had a lovely break over the mid-term! This week we will be continuing on the topic of recycling, so we will be asking the children to bring in something from home that we can use for recycling arts & crafts – e.g. egg boxes, milk cartons, kitchen rolls, cereal boxes, newspaper, string – the list is endless! We will be doing yoga at the end of the week, and of course, on Tuesday we will be making stacks of delicious pancakes for Shrove/Pancake Tuesday, mmmmm…….

Ten Green Bottles (with Lámh signs)

Ten green bottles sitting on the wall,
Ten green bottles sitting on the wall,
And if one green bottle should accidentally fall…
There’ll be nine green bottles sitting on the wall!

Nine green bottles sitting on the wall…

17th – 18th February

As it’s the week of mid term break, it will be a very short week in The Children’s House, but we’ll still be fitting as much in as much fun as possible! We will be starting a theme of ‘recycling’; introducing the topic to the children and seeing what they think recycling means, how we can recycle in the school and at home, and then setting up a recycling station in their classrooms. We will be continuing on this theme next week!

The Children’s House will be closed for mid-term break from Wednesday 19th until Friday 21st February inclusive, re-opening next Monday 24th February.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (tune: The More we get Together)

Reduce, reuse, recycle, recycle, recycle,
Reduce, reuse, recycle, it’s easy to do…
For my world is your world,
And my world is your world,
Reduce, reuse, recycle, it’s easy to do!