Sunday, January 31, 2016

Our Classroom part 2

I posted Part One of our classroom tour yesterday. Today I will show you some not so great pics thanks to the weather being so over cast today. 
First is our entrance I didn't take pictures of our door or the hooks for each child but here are some pics from standing at the doorway.  We used to have a really cute rug here for our reading/manipulates/puzzle area but the dog peed on it!  
I added a full length mirror to the wall sideways so the little ones could see themselves and explore. Lately they have enjoyed making faces, and trying on dress up clothes especially the capes and masks and looking in this mirror. Mirror is mounted with gorilla glue. The children can take the trays (Green Bins) to the table in front of sofa or use anywhere within this room. I try my best to keep the toys in each room to teach them where things belong. 
We also have a small heart shaped shelf with our sensory bottles. Mostly water beads but these are rotated weekly or as needed with eye spy bottles and more water beads etc. We also have sensory bags but that is a whole other post.
As my husband has that crazy big t.v. mounted down here and spends his evenings here I wanted this area to look more like a home than a daycare centre. Children should feel like they are in their home away from home and I think i am on my way of capturing that feeling.

Here you can see the hallway. It leads to the bathroom on the right, Stairs (gated) to go to our upstairs home on the left, my daughters room on the right and at last the lunch/nap/science and dramatic play room on the left. At first I was concerned that the two major rooms were not directly accessible but surprisingly it has worked really well. 
We have direct access to the side and backyard and tons of natural light. A huge bonus as we only had two windows at our last home and they were situated under the deck so no natural light at all. 
Overall i am happy with our new layout but want to slowly get rid of the the plastic toys and go for more natural materials. 
We also have a wood burning stove in this room that is gated in with a proper gate. In 1.5 years we have never had any problems with anyone getting hurt. Only downside is it van get very hot in this room but we open the windows when this happens. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Our classrooms part 1

wow we moved 1.5 years ago and I'm just now writing a post about our news classrooms. we finally have natural light and lots of it and more space. I have divided our space in the most functional way possible. 
First up is our art/lunch/nap/science/dramatic play room. I now have lots of storage to change out our activities. 
our classroom has changed a lot since moving here but this is what it looks like currently. I have gone through a lot of different styles of tables and chairs and i think we finally got what works best for us and our wide range of ages.

Storage is so much more accessible now and way more organized than its ever been.

This side of the room is obviously the dramatic play area. Its always changing and always a mess. Looking for more solutions as to how to get toddlers to put things back where they belong. Behind the curtains is where I store our sensory bins and tray work that rotated daily. What you don't see in these pics is a narrow part of our room (picture a L shaped room) that's where our beds ad cribs are stored. 
 This is probably my favourite feature of this room. I used chalkboard paint on the wall then cut our a frame and nailed it to the wall and stained it. 
I fought these cuties off guard haha. 
On monday I will post pics of our other classroom stay tuned

***This post is linked up with Our Word wide classroom****

Valentine sensory writing tray

My little guy is almost 4 I can't believe it! He started preschool this month part time and he has no interest in his letters and numbers. As a mother of a beautiful sweet girl who happens to have dyslexia I knew early intervention is key. The little guy like his sister will only participate in writing trays if I make them look fun or add cute little details such as these foam hearts with the letters on them. I made sure to use pink for all uppercase and white for all lower case. 
you can find my post about the sensory stick HERE

Little guy showed some interest so it's a work in progress but we will get there. He still has a full year before he starts school.
Thanks for reading 😄

Branch sensory sticks

Recently I put together a sensory writing tray, we were using recycled wood coloured pencils as our writing tools. When I went to clean the tray after we finished there was a lot of pencil marks all over the tray. I thought hey, wouldn't it be great to have a pencil with no led of Color. I looked our pencils over and they looked just like tree branches but with coloured led in them. I remembered my daughter playing in the snow the other day and she was using a branch to drag along the snow to make tracks. The aha moment! I found the branch and took one small portion off. Then I cut using a chop saw to my desired lengths. 

Then I used a sharp knife and began chipping away till I got to the point that they resembled a pencil. 
Problem solved no more coloured pencil marks on our tray and best part it was free! Took about 15 min from start to finish to make 4. I may dress them up a bit with twine or paint on the handles. 
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