11th – 15th November

We will be doing healthy eating in school this week, and learning all about the Food Pyramid. It’s a very visual and interactive way of learning about what we should eat, as the children match up physical samples of food in jars to the pictures in the food pyramid, and it shows how we should eat plenty of grains fruit & vegetables, and only a little of less healthy things such as sweets and chocolates – everything in moderation! Following this, the children will be making soup later in the week, practising mindfulness, and doing planting for springtime!

Lámh, lámh eile

Lámh, lámh eile, a haon, a dó,           (Hand, other hand, one, two)
Cos, cos eile, a haon, a dó.                  (Leg, other leg, one, two)
Súil, súil eile, a haon, a dó,                 (Eye, other eye, one, two,)
Cluas, cluas eile, a haon, a dó,           (Ear, other ear, one, two,)
Ceann, srón, béal, smig,                      (Head, nose, mouth, chin,)
Agus fiacla bána i mo bhéal istigh.   (And white teeth inside my mouth).

4th – 8th November

Welcome back everyone, hope you all had a great Halloween break! We were back last Wednesday for a few days of activities and drama, celebrating Divali as well as another Halloween party for those who could be there! This week we will be learning all about migration – what animals migrate, where to, and why? Following on from this the children will be learning about the parts of a bird, the lifecycle of the butterfly and doing lots of art.

Two Little Dicky Birds

Two little dicky birds sitting on a wall,
One named Peter, one named Paul,
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul,
Come back Peter, come back Paul.

21st – 25th October

It’s all getting a bit spooky at The Children’s House this week! The children will be decorating the classrooms, carving pumpkins, making Halloween arts & crafts, doing science experiments – creating a bubbling witches brew with bread soda, vinegar & food colouring, and making dancing worms with sparkling water & jelly worms – and at the end of the week we’ll be having a Halloween party!

Flutter Flutter (tune of Twinkle Twinkle)

Flutter flutter little bat,
How I wonder what you’re at –
Swooping through the darkest night,
You find your way without a light.
Flutter flutter little bat,
How I wonder what you’re at!

Three Black Cats (tune of Three Blind Mice)

Three black cats, three black cats,
In black hats, in black hats.
They all jumped into the witches brew,
They teased the ghost and the goblins too.
Did you ever see such a hullabaloo?
On Halloween, on Halloween!!

 

14th – 18th October

Following on from many children’s current interests in farm animals and playing with the farm, we have a week full of animal related activities this week at The Children’s House. We will be learning how to do animal names in Lámh (Irish sign language), making handprint animals, building our own farm yards, as well as talking about where milk comes from and doing a milking activity!!

Many thanks to all the grandparents who came in last week to visit us, we really enjoyed having your company, and please make sure to visit any time at all throughout the year; you’re such an important part of your grandchildren’s lives and we would love you to be a big part of their preschool lives too!

Old MacDonald

Old MacDonald had a farm, E I E I O,
And on that farm he had a cow, E I E I O,
With a ‘moo moo’ here, and a ‘moo moo’ there,
Here a ‘moo’, there a ‘moo’, everywhere a ‘moo moo’ –
Old MacDonald had a farm, E I E I O!

Old MacDonald had a farm, E I E I O,
And on that farm he had a sheep/duck/horse/pig…

 

7th – 11th October

It’s Grandparent’s week this week at The Children’s House! We will be doing a history project about older generations, involving inviting grandparents (or any older relations) into school and chatting with them about various topics relating to when they themselves were at the preschool age – e.g. what was their favourite game/toy, what was school like etc – and talking about the differences and similarities between then and now. There’s usually a bit of shock when an older visitor to the school tells the children that they didn’t have a phone/telelvision/Nintendo DS growing up!! As well as this, we will be making our first outing to the playground and asking for volunteers to come with us – especially grandparents, for the week that’s in it!!

Grandparents Poem

I miss you when we’re not together,
I’m growing up so fast,
See how big I’ve gotten since you saw me last?
As I grow I’ll change a lot,
The years will fly right by,
You’ll wonder how I grew so quick – where and when and why?
So look upon this handprint,
That’s hanging on your wall,
And memories will come back of me when I was very small.

30th September – 4th October

This week at The Children’s House we’re talking about emotional well-being; the beginning of the school year can be an unsettling time for children who have separation anxiety or who have trouble expressing their feelings, so it’s a good time to discuss our emotions and show how we recognise and talk about them and following from that how we manage them. Self regulation of emotions is a huge concept for preschool children to grasp, so at the beginning we often use visual aids such as emotion wheels to name a feeling, e.g. ‘I can see you’re feeling happy/ sad/ tired/ angry’, and then ask (if needed) ‘what could we do to help you feel better?’. Sometimes the child mightn’t know what will help them, but often a hug from a friend, doing a special piece of work, or holding teddy helps – the deep breathing from yoga is always a good help at emotional times, for child and adult alike!! As the year goes on, we progress to asking ‘what could you do to help you feel better?’, showing the child that they are in charge of their emotions, and giving them the confidence to self-regulate their emotions – this is such an important life skill.

Further to this, this week we will be describing different emotions, discussing strategies we can use to help self-regulate, practising mindfulness, and philosophising as a group about how it would feel if someone didn’t want to work or play with you – helping to promote empathy for each other.

If You’re Happy & You Know It

If you’re happy & you know it clap your hands,
If you’re happy & you know it clap your hands,
If you’re happy & you know it & you really want to show it –
If you’re happy & you know it clap your hands!

If you’re sad & you know it wipe your tears…
If you’re angry & you know it stamp your feet…
If you’re tired & you know it rest your head…
If you’re happy & you know it shout hooray!!

23rd – 27th September

We’re learning all about families this week at The Children’s House! The children are going to be decorating our family trees in the classrooms with their family photos, and telling us all about their families e.g. how many people are in the family, what they love best doing with them, what their house is like etc. We will be talking about different types of families too, as not every family is made up of the same amount of people, or come from the same place.

At the end of the week we will be doing yoga with the children; we always find this a great practice to begin at the start of the year, and we usually start with deep breathing exercises – putting hands on our tummies and feeling the breath going in and out, breathing as slowly and deeply as possible. This is a great method of calming down if a child has gotten upset over something and can’t find their way out of the moment, it can really focus them on something and take their mind off the upset; an alternative is to have the child lie down and put a little teddy on their tummy, so they can see it rising and falling with their breath!

Families

Some families are big,
Some families are small,
But I love my family –
Best of all!

16th – 20th September

This week at The Children’s House we’re going to be learning all about Autumn – talking about seasons and the changes we can see all around us (days getting shorter & nights getting longer, weather getting colder, leaves changing colour etc); the children will be making leaf rubbings and collages, as well as cooking stewed apple – yum!! At the end of the week, we will have Pet Visit Day, where children are welcome to bring in their pets for a visit during the class session so that they can tell us about them – we have had all shapes and sizes of pets over the years, so all are welcome, and if children can’t bring in a live animal, they can bring in an animal teddy instead if they like!

As always at the start of the year, we are focussing on the Practical Life exercises in the classroom, this is an area which is the basis of the entire Montessori curriculum. Through using the Practical Life exercises, children learn about respect and care of themselves & their environment; they grow to realise the importance of the work cycle – returning an activity to where they got it from, & in the same state as when they got it; during all this they also develop their hand-eye coordination, gross & fine motor skills, concentration & independence. It is a wonderful area for new & returning students alike as we can extend the exercises as a child needs to stimulate their interests & learning (e.g. going from spooning pasta to spooning flour to sieving flour), and we also support & promote the ‘vertical learning’ which Maria Montessori was such a huge advocate of – this is where younger children actively learn from older ones, & the older children gain more confidence in themselves as they can see they are competent & capable within their school environment – we always find there are wonderful interactions within the mixed age groups!

Autumn Leaves

Falling, falling autumn leaves,
Falling, falling from the trees.
Up above and on the ground,
Swirling, twirling all around.
Falling, falling autumn leaves,
Falling, falling from the trees.

9th – 13th September

It’s our first full week back at The Children’s House, and it’s going to be All About Me!! The children will be doing self portraits, making birthday charts, learning about using indoor versus outdoor voices, doing music and movement, and also doing a great project – making their own All About Me posters with their families to present to the class on Friday! In our preschool we want the children to have confidence and be happy in themselves, and at the very heart of it all is celebrating that each of us is different and that’s what makes us so special.

I’m Glad I’m Me

No one looks the way I do,
I have noticed that is true!
No one walks the way I walk,
No one talks the way I talk,
No one plays the way I play,
No one says the way I say,
I am special! I am ME!
There’s no one else I’d rather be!

4th – 6th September

A huge welcome to The Children’s House to all our wonderful new and returning children and their families!! This will be a short week to settle everyone in, and we will be focusing on getting to know each other, learning each others’ names,creating our own rules for the classroom (all part of the Montessori ethos of respect, care of self & care of the environment) practising how we walk slowly, talk quietly, carry chairs and trays in the classroom (refining gross motor movements), and lots of songs, games, and fun activities in circle time – we really can’t wait to get to know all the classes!

To Montessori we will go,
To Montessori we will go,
We’ll learn and play and make new friends,
To Montessori we will go.

Bumble Bee Song

Bumble bee, bumble bee,
Can you say your name for me?
(Child’s name), (child’s name),
That’s a very nice name!