Making Smoothies, Music, and Clay Creations

The toddlers were busy creating everything from music to "fires" this week! On Monday, children used a blender to make smoothies from bananas, strawberries, yogurt, and milk. Many children had smoothie mustaches after tasting their creation!

On Wednesday, Joe joined us in the morning with his guitar! Children were fascinated by the guitar case, which was covered with stickers. They noticed that the outside of the guitar case and the inside of the guitar case felt different and asked Joe about all of the tools inside. We saw a guitar tuner, guitar picks, and a capo! Joe opened our music session with two of the children's favorite songs: "Country Roads" and "The Garden Song." Some children sang along while others patted their knees and legs to the music. During a folk song about a cat, many children meowed as they listened to the story of a cat scratching on the inside and outside of a door. Katie shared that the song reminded her of her own cat, which began a conversation about whether children had cats or dogs at home. After enjoying the music together for several minutes, everyone was ready to make their own! The toddlers joined in by tapping and banging on drums. When the group noticed that some of the drums had straps while others didn't, teachers used pieces of thick yarn to make new straps and everyone tried carrying their drums as they played.

Later in the day, Allie visited our playground to share a new materials with us: clay! She talked about how clay comes from inside of the earth and demonstrated how to cut the clay into pieces with a string. A few toddlers took turns cutting their own chunks of clay with the string. Children enjoyed smelling the clay and talked about how it smelled "like dirt" and "so yummy."

Each child manipulated the clay in their own way. One child flattened the clay on the table and punched it, noticing the imprint of his knuckles. Another child rolled the clay in the dirt and was intrigued by how the sand and dirt clung to it. A few children rolled the clay in their hands and on the canvas to make "worms," and Allie talked about how those shapes in art are called "coils." Teachers noticed the different textures children created. Allie used the word "texture" several times and talked about how "texture is a great art word!" Some talked about making food with their clay, including pancakes, birthday cakes, and chicken! After everyone in the group had a chance to explore, some children moved the clay to the ground and began a game where the clay was "chicken" and needed to be pushed off the slide. There was a great deal of laughter and surprise as the clay got knocked down off the slide by one child's, then two children's, then even five children's feet! Eventually the clay, old stumps, sticks, and rocks blended together to create a fire that the toddlers cared for until the end of the day. In the midst of their play, children made sure everyone was safe by giving warnings such as: "Stay away from the fire! Don't get burned!" and "Not too close!" The next day, children built the river and noticed that when the clay got wet, it became soft again.

Friendly Reminders:

Last Day of School

Our last day of school will be Wednesday, June 14th. The last day of school will be a half day with NO AFTERCARE.

Shopping Bags for Work, Clothes, and Everything Else

Please bring a bag to carry your child's artwork, extra clothing, and anything else that may still be in their cubby.

School Picnic

Please join us for a school-wide picnic at noon on Wednesday, June 14th at 12:00 AM to celebrate the end of the school year!

Toddler End of Year Celebration

We invite families to join us at 11:30 on Wednesday, just before the picnic, to celebrate a wonderful, fun-filled year! We will enjoy a snack together on our playground.

Ask

The toddlers transformed the clay into many different things with Allie. You could ask your child what they made with the clay, how it felt, what happened when it combined with the dirt, and what kinds of marks they made with their hands, sticks, and spoons.

During Joe's visit, he talked about how some of his songs were fast and upbeat while others were slow. You could ask your child how they moved to the music when it was fast and how they moved when it was slow. You could also ask what kind of music your child made with their drum.

Music with Joe

Clay with Allie

Making (and Drinking) Smoothies

More Fun Photos

Investigations and Fun at Kettle Cove!

Thank you for making our trip to Kettle Cove such a wonderful experience.  The toddlers enjoyed observing creatures that were found in the tide pools, on the rocks and in one another's shovels and buckets.  One of the children found a tiny snail and said, "We better move it out of the way so it doesn't get stepped on while she waits for her Mommy."  Another child collected snails in her bucket and said, "Wow!  I have so many.  Do you want to see?"  Children compared the size of crabs and looked to see if they could find more.  

Children also loved to explore with the current in the river.  Friends were placing boats and containers in the water and watched as they moved along.  When they stopped they asked, "Will it move again?" and were delighted when they continued their journey toward the ocean.  A toddler asked, "How far will it go?''  A preschooler answered, "To the ocean.  All the way over there."  When the boat stopped before the ocean a child said, "It stopped before it got to the ocean.  Now it won't sail away!"  

On Wednesday, children remembered how they "ran", "splashed", "stomped on the bridge" and "took a walk in the woods".  They recalled finding snails, crabs and seeing a lobster in a bucket.  One friend said, "I went to the ocean.  I got so wet!  It was fun.  I want to go back another day."  

Friendly Reminders

Conference Sign Up

Please sign up for your child's end of the year conference if you have not already done so. We'd love to celebrate your child's growth and development with you!  

Last Day of School - June 14th

It's amazing that our last day of school is a week and a half away!  We wanted to remind you that it is a half day, pick up will be an noon and there is NO aftercare.  Keep an eye out for an email about our last day of school celebration.  We hope you can join us at the Breakwater Farewell Picnic Lunch at noon on Wednesday, June 14th.  Please fill out the form, which was sent home today, to place a lunch order for your child and family by Thursday, June 8th.

Bags for Wet and Soiled Clothing Please!

We are in need of bags to send home wet and soiled clothing.  Please send in your extra plastic bags on Monday or a labelled reusable bag each day till the end of school, whichever you prefer!  Thanks!

Clothing Reminders

Please send in extra clothing for your child's basket.  Each child is in need of shirts, pants, shorts, socks, underwear (if needed), water shoes/rain boots, extra shoes, rain gear and an extra sweatshirt.  If the weather is warm and sunny you can dress your child in their bathing suit and water shoes for outdoor water and sensory play.   

Ask

You can show your child photos from our Kettle Cove trip and ask, "What did you find?  What did you do in the water?  What kind of sand toys did you use?"  

Kettle Cove

More Fun Photos from Our Week's Investigations

A Walk in the Woods, A Painting Project, and Baby Chicks

We went on an adventure to the Fore River Sanctuary on Wednesday where children noticed many different creatures, plants, and parts of the trail. Early in our walk, a child stopped to peer at a large, brown slug resting in the dirt. Other children stopped to look, asking questions such as: "What it doing?" "Can we pick it up?" and noticing "It's so slimy and slippery." On our way to our picnic spot, many toddlers picked dandelions on the path and gave them to moms, teachers, and friends. Once inside the trees, we stopped to eat a snack before walking down a steep hill where we found a spot to throw sticks, pebbles, and pieces of grass into the nearby river. Two children noticed that nearby branches kept blocking their sticks from going in. Others listened for the sound of pebbles falling into the water and laughed when they heard the "plop!"  Others were interested in the fact that "some went down to the bottom and stayed and others come back up."  

After our big walk, everyone stayed busy painting fence posts for the garden. Using paint brushes, craft sticks, and their fingers, children transformed the white fences into colorful masterpieces. When they were finished covering the fences in paint, children discovered different canvases. One child slapped his hands on the bench and laughed when red and blue handprints were left behind. Other children loved the sensation of paint on their skin and decided to paint their hands and arms. A group of children even worked together to paint the car on our playground! As children engaged in this painting work, they asked for specific colors through phrases such as: "I need red," "I need blue, red, white, and yellow all mixed together," and "I need a stick for my blue."

Later on this week, we visited the Castle Room to meet the baby chicks! We tip-toed inside the classroom and children watched the chicks move inside the incubator.  One child exclaimed in delight, "They finally hatched from inside the egg!"  Another child noticed that their feathers looked "a little wet".  One child said, "My favorite is the tiny one.  Look at the little beak and the little eyes."  Children looked carefully at the small cracks on another egg and noticed it shaking.  They also listened carefully to the gentle "Peep, peep, peep" sound that the chicks made that they imitated later in the day.  It is such an exciting thing to see baby chicks so soon after they come out of their shell!!    

Friendly Reminders:

Kettle Cove Field Trip

Our annual field trip to Kettle Cove will take place on Tuesday, May 30th. We can't wait to explore this exciting spot with you! When packing for the trip, you may want to bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Extra clothing
  • Bug spray
  • Toys for water play
  • A summer hat
  • A picnic blanket
  • Snacks, water, and a lunch easy to eat at the beach

Extra Clothing

With warmer weather comes more opportunities for water play! Please continue to check your child's basket and add extra clothing as needed, labelled with your child's name. Please also continue to send water-appropriate shoes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays when we begin our day outside.

Ask

The walk to the Fore River Sanctuary was filled with discoveries. You could ask your child: "What animals did you see on your walk?" "What was growing in the forest?" "How did you get to the picnic spot? The river?"

Learning about animals, especially when they are born at school, is an incredible experience. You could ask your child: "What did the chicks do?" "What sounds did they make?" "What did they look like?" "Where were they living?"

Please enjoy the fun photos below!

Fore River Sanctuary Adventures

Painting Fences, Cars, and Everything Else!

Hatching Chicks

Visiting Preschool

Exploring Inside and Outside

Exploring with water! Painting! Working together!

Children have been asking us to turn on the hose and create a river.  Another child wanted to use the boats he saw in the classroom.  On Wednesday with the beautiful, warm weather the children were excited to use the hose in a variety of ways.  Some children were interested in filling up containers with the hose.  They filled up their own and worked together to fill up watering cans for some of our older friends and one another. 

Other children preferred to put the hose through pipes and tubes so the water would flow through to create a river.  One child said, "I want the water to go all the way here and make a big, big pond."  While the water was moving through the pathway created in the mud, a child worked with boats to float them down the child-made river, as well as to explore the concepts of sinking and floating.  Others enjoyed splashing in the water and washing trucks and cars.  The water was also used to clean up paint containers, as well as used as "paint" on various surfaces. What a marvelous thing to explore with so many possibilities and many opportunities to collaborate with one another!    

Children worked together this week to paint small picket fences for Breakwater's campus. They used primary colors and white to create beautiful and colorful fences to protect the gardens around campus.  While working together children painted different pieces on the same fence and shared paint with one another.  Some comments heard while painting, "You can paint with me.  I'm painting this part yellow.  Do you want to make that part blue?''  Another child said, "I want some red."  A friend responded, "Here is red.  Put your brush in here with mine.  There is a white space here where you can put some paint."  One child painted with yellow and blue.  He said, "Look I used yellow and blue.  I made green."  A friend overheard and said, "I need some yellow so I can make green too."  Another friend said, "I have yellow.  Let's keep it in the middle so we both can reach."  Wow!!  

On Friday, children visited the kindergarten classroom to meet the first baby chick to hatch in the incubator! Sari shared pictures of what the chick will look like when its grown up with the children, and everyone had a chance to peek over the bin and watch the chick walk around. Later that day, while eating snack, children imitated the chick's cheeps by saying: "Tweet, tweet, tweet," in soft voices as they sat at the picnic table.

Friendly Reminders

Warm Weather

Now that the weather is warming up and the sun is getting stronger please remember to apply sunscreen every morning, as well as send in water shoes, water bottles, sun hats and extra snacks to fuel your child through our outdoor day!

Kettle Cove Trip

Just a reminder that our Kettle Cove Field Trip will be on Tuesday, May 30th with a rain date of Wednesday, May 31st.  Please make sure your calendars are marked and you have been thinking about who can chaperone your child.  It will be here before we know it!  Keep an eye out for an email with more information about this special trip!   

No School Memorial Day, Monday, May 29th

Ask

As you look at the photos below you can ask your child what type of work they did with the water, what tools did they use and who they played with.   You can also ask what they painted, what color(s) they used and who they worked with.  

Exploring With Water!

Meeting a Baby Chick

Painting

Other Fun Photos

Toddlers at Work

Children arrived at school on Monday ready to build! At the picnic table, a group of toddlers used hammers, nail drivers, and nails to finish the sides and bottoms of our bird feeders. By looking carefully at the shape and size of materials already in the wood, children were able to identify screws and nails and think about which tools they might use to help them go deeper into the bird feeder. One child said: "Need a screwdriver!" when she found a screw on the top of the bird feeder.

During imaginary play, children continued to build using tiles and long pieces of plastic. Some of the tiles were shaped like "eggs", others were "so heavy", and still others were "shiny." Two children used the tiles to surround a toy construction vehicle and described their creation as "a garage." Many children carefully stacked the smaller tiles and egg-shaped tiles to make "towers." Ideas about building turned into ideas about fixing on Wednesday when children decided the toy car was broken. Two children began to work on the car by flipping it onto its side and spinning the wheels. They piled sand on the car and said: "So dirty! Have to clean it!" As more children joined, one child dug her finger into a hole under the pretend gas cap and announced: "We gotta get gas." Everyone hunted for "gas" on the playground and got it inside the car in different ways. Some used shovels, some used their hands, and one child fit a long piece of plastic into the hole and said: "Now the gas will slide down it into the car!"

Using epsom salt, lavender, a jar, a ribbon, a tag, and a hammer, children created something special at our picnic table. You could ask your child what they did to the epsom salt, what they smelled as they were working, and how they got the epsom salt from a large bowl into many small jars.

Friendly Reminders:

Kettle Cove Field Trip

Early childhood is preparing for our annual trip to Kettle Cove! The field trip will take place on Tuesday, May 30th with a rain date of Wednesday, May 31st. Keep an eye out for an email with more information about this special trip!

Spring Concert

Our Spring concert is on May 18th from 6:00-8:00 PM! Come join us and hear the songs we've been learning with Danielle this Spring!

Extra Clothing

The weather is warmer and we're spending as much time outdoors as we can! Please send in extra clothing for your child's cubby so they can change out of wet and dirty clothing. Extra clothing may include:

-Socks

-Underwear

-Pants

-Long and short-sleeved shirts

Ask

You could ask your child what they have been building and fixing this week. Children used many different kinds of materials to build. You could also ask your child what they used to build on the playground. Examples of materials include: tiles, sticks, plastic pieces, baskets, dirt, and sand, among others!

Please enjoy the photos below!

Working on the Car

Building and Using Tools

What Could We Be Making?

Outdoor and Indoor Discoveries

Signs of Spring!

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Outdoor drop off has led to many interesting experiences this week.  Children found a large nest filled with sparkly eggs that the Kindergarten children created for us, engaged in bird watching, painted outdoors with feathers and watched as the feathers flew, floated and fluttered in the wind.  The toddlers enjoyed walking around campus looking at the new flowers that were planted on Sunday during the campus clean-up.  As children explored the grounds they noticed hydrangeas, forsythias, pansies and a variety of other blooms.  Comments heard as the children were talking with one another were, "This one is yellow.  That is my favorite.  I like this orange flower.  I see raindrops on this one.  This smells so good."  

As we were walking we also visited the preschool playground.  We noticed the fence that the preschoolers have built around the butterfly garden and looked at their garden beds.  We found some leaves from strawberry plants, as well as some other types of greens that children were interested in identifying.  We talked about asking Sari what type of plants they are.  We also talked about visiting the preschool playground later in the week.    

On Wednesday and Friday children joined preschool in small groups to work in the gardens and play on the playground. Friends quickly discovered that one of the garden beds was full of worms by using shovels to dig deep into the ground. We talked about how some worms were "fat" while others were "long and skinny." One child found what looked like a worm, but turned out to be a centipede! On the climbing structure, one child followed a peer up the rope ladder, to the steering wheel, and down the blue slide.  When toddler friends climbed up to the steering wheel on Friday, preschool friends introduced language such as: "I'm the captain of this ship!" and turned the entire climbing structure into a boat. The toddlers also enjoyed watching birds perch in the corners of the roof of the Jessie building and ran to follow them as they visited the trees on the preschool playground.

Friendly Reminders

Drop off will be outdoors on Monday, Wednesday and Friday as long as the weather permits.  Please drop your child off with a lunchbox, water bottle, clothing appropriate for the weather and an extra layer because the mornings can be chilly.  

Please apply sunscreen before coming to school and we will reapply before we go out again in the afternoon.  Check our sunscreen basket on the shelf over the changing table to make sure your sunscreen is not expired.  

Remember!  You're invited to Breakwater's 60th Birthday Bash: Songwriters in the Round Benefit Concert and Silent Auction on Saturday, May 13th @ 6PM.  Our very own toddler parent Joe Boucher will be performing, as well as many other talented individuals!  We look forward to seeing you there!  

Mark your calendars for our Spring Concert on Thursday, May 18th.  Keep an eye out for more details!!  

Ask

When you look at the photos with your children you can ask, " What did you see on your walk around campus?  What did you see that surprised you this week?  What types of vehicles did you see outside of the fence? What type of creatures did you find on the toddler and preschool playgrounds?  How did they feel?"  

Noticing Flowers and Plants Around Campus

Outdoor Exploration

Preschool Visits

Feathers and Watercolors

Buses, Play dough and Potting Soil too!!

Fore River Walk With Kindergarten

Returning to School and Visiting Broadturn Farm

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The children were eager to jump back into explorations after returning from April break. On a rainy Wednesday, the group made a new batch of play dough for the classroom using many dry and wet ingredients. When shown a bag of flour, children guessed what might be inside. One child said: "Sugar!" After a teacher gave the hint that it was white like sugar, but not sweet, another child said: "Flour!" Children passed ingredients around the table to add to a large cooking pot. When we added vanilla to the play dough, children shared: "Smells so yummy!" and "I want to eat it!"

If you would like to make our play dough recipe, please check out the ingredients and steps below:

-2 cups of flour

-2 cups of water

-2 teaspoons cream of tartar

-2 tablespoons oil

-1/4 cup salt

-Several teaspoons of vanilla, or other scent, if desired

Add dry ingredients to a cooking pot. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until well-mixed, then cook on stovetop, stirring constantly, for about five minutes or until solid.

Outside, we explored our playground in many different types of weather. On Monday, everyone played in the dirt and enjoyed running on our dry, dusty playground. On Tuesday, the temperature dropped but no one was deterred from climbing, eating outdoor snacks, or even celebrating birthdays! One child began a birthday game by pretending a cup filled with dirt was a "strawberry cake." She asked a teacher to sing "Happy Birthday" to her. As more children joined, the teacher added more names until she and the group sang to everyone at school! The picnic tables made a great spot for a birthday party.

During our visit to Broadturn Farm, children fell in love with the mud, tractors, and chickens. Stacy showed us how a huge, green tractor lifts its bucket, and one of the toddlers later discovered they were just small enough to fit inside the large tractor wheel. In the barn, we met Clementine, a large brown cow who is pregnant with a calf. Children asked: "Where is her baby?" and many children chose to pet Clementine. Perhaps the biggest hit of the farm was the chicken coop, where one child pulled a fresh egg from beneath a chicken, and where many children ran among the chickens to say hello.

Back at school, one child walked to put his food in the compost. A teacher asked: "Do you think our compost goes into a place like what we saw today?" He replied: "I think a big truck comes, drives it, and drops it at the farm, where we were today, and worms eat it." Another child remembered the pregnant cow and shared: "Mama cow with a baby in its belly!" A child added: "Her name was Clementine!" Another child said, "I saw one baby chick with her mama.  She climbed out from underneath."  Another child said, "Was a mama chicken and 1, 2, 3, baby chicks.  Saw them by the cow's barn."  We look forward to hearing what else children remember about this exciting day. We hope families who joined us for this trip enjoyed the discoveries as much as we did!

Please join us on Tuesday, May 2nd at our community meeting to see a slideshow of our day at Broadturn Farm.

Friendly Reminders

Outdoor Classroom:

Beginning next Monday, we will be starting our days on the playground every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, weather permitting. Please have your child ready to enjoy the outdoors with sunscreen, bug repellent if desired, and outdoor shoes.

Sunscreen:

As we spend more time outside in the warm and sunny weather, please remember to apply sunscreen before your child arrives at school. Teachers will reapply sunscreen if we go outside after rest time.  Please check in our sunscreen basket to make sure your sunscreen has not expired.  

Woods Walks:

Our woods walks in the Fore River Sanctuary resume next week on Wednesday, May 3rd! We still need volunteers for our first Spring walk. If you are interested, please sign up on the Toddler Volunteer Sign-Up page in Google Docs.

Please also be mindful of insects by applying bug spray, if desired, before the school day and packing clothing items such as long pants for woods walks. Other helpful tick prevention tips include spritzing peppermint oil on clothing, tucking long pants into socks, and dressing children in bright colored clothing.

Extra Clothing:

Please check your child's basket of extra clothing for the following items:

-Underwear

-Socks

-Pants

-Shirts

We love spending time outside! Because we try to go out as much as possible, we will go out in a drizzle or light rain. Please send your child to school with a rain jacket and boots on drizzly or rainy days, as well as a change of shoes.

Ask

We saw, felt, and heard many different things at Broadturn Farm. You could ask your child which animals they saw, what sounds they heard, and what they smelled in the field, in the greenhouses, in the woods, in the chicken coop, and in the barn.

Broadturn Farm

Making Play Dough

Outside: Wet and Dry

Exploring in the Classroom

Spring Thaw!! Amazing Discoveries!!

The toddlers welcomed the warm Spring weather by spending much more time outdoors.  The children were excited to exit out the toddler room door and wearing much less clothing.  On Wednesday the children were lucky enough to watch a bald eagle sitting in a tree by the field.  They watched it fly away and then became birds themselves, flapping their wings and landing in their nests.  The children stopped one another to listen closely to the sounds the birds were making and continued their flight.  It was an amazing experience to watch the eagle soar and then return to the playground where it flew over us again.  As children were gathering materials to make a nest a child spotted sea gulls too.  She said, "Sea gull and eagle.  That rhymes."  Another friend chimed in with a belly laugh, "That's so funny!"  

Another amazing discovery was the pumpkin that we watched decompose in the fall, only to be covered with snow.  The children talked about how it changed, "It's flat.  It's squishy."  Then they discovered seeds.  Upon a teacher inquiry of what we could do with the seeds, a child said, "Plant them.  Why?  Cause we can grow pumpkins!"  That seems like a superb idea.  

Children have also been diving into the earth, literally.  They have been digging, burying objects and moving the muddy and dry soil about the playground.  The other day a child poured over a bucket of water and watched as it created a river.  Teachers turned on the hose and friends busily filled buckets and watering cans and made mud of various textures.  It feels so good to get your hands in the earth after a long winter of it being buried beneath the snow and ice.

Friendly Reminders

April Break

Breakwater will be closed for April Break from Monday, April 17th through Friday, April 21st.  Enjoy your holiday and we look forward to seeing how each child has grown while you are away.  

Outdoor Pick-Up

Now that the weather is warmer we will be heading outdoors after rest.  Please plan on picking up your child outdoors on the toddler playground.  We share the space with After Care, so please remember to arrive promptly at 3:00pm and quickly make your way to the blacktop, the big kid playscape or the field if you would like to enjoy the warm weather.  

Broadturn Farm Field Trip

Just a reminder that our field trip to Broadturn Farm will be on Thursday, April 27th.  We hope you received our email with all of the important details.  Please let us know if you have any questions.    

Ask

When you look at these photos you can ask your child, "What kind of bird did you see in the tree?  Where did the bird go when it flew away?"  You can also ask, "What kind of work have you been doing with the mud and the sand?"  And, "What have you discovered since the snow melted?"

Discovering a Bald Eagle

Unearthing a Pumpkin

Getting Messy With Mud, Sand and Water

More Fun Photos

 

 

 

Enjoying the April Showers

The children continued to explore the Breakwater campus this week. On Monday, one group of friends explored the tree and picnic table near the field. They were soon joined by students from 1/2 who pointed out an important sign of birds: "Bird poop!" Meanwhile, a second group took a walk upstairs to find out where the triangle window was located. While on the hunt for the window, this small group also visited the art and tinkering studios where they discovered markers, crayons, pencils, charcoal drawings, the kiln, goggles and tools.  They would like to learn what the buttons on the kiln are for and why you touch them.  They also visited the library as we were heading back to the classroom where they found "chairs, shelves, books and spoons".  Then they read a couple of picture books, which was an experience they would like to repeat.  

Another group of children visited preschool on Wednesday and enthusiastically explored within both classrooms.  One child joined preschoolers as they played bird bingo and another child explored puppets with Yazi.  Each child spent time at the sand table in both rooms pouring and filing, as well as discovering "teeny, tiny animals" in the sand table.  There were some magical moments with their big siblings, sprinkled throughout our visit.  Another highlight was for a couple of children who joined a parent who was visiting and pretended to go fishing in the hallway!  We're excited to see where our explorations will bring us next week.  

Out on the playground, children used the mud created by melting snow and rain to make meals for each other. First, a pair of children scooped water and mud out of buckets and into bowls, talking about how they were making "hot chocolate and soup!" As they worked, one child let passing children and teachers know: "It's coming right up!" The mud kitchen grew busier and busier until the group decided to have a birthday party. After putting the "cake" in the "oven" and letting others know "it has to cool off," everyone on the playground gathered to listen to a combination of "Happy Birthday" and "Simple Gifts" as they pretended to eat cake together.

The children have been asking to make smoothies like they have seen Maeve finishing up when they arrive to school.  When asked what ingredients to include, the children decided on bananas, strawberries, yogurt, and milk.  The children excitedly joined our visiting teacher by peeling bananas, breaking them in half and giving a piece to a classmate so everyone could add one to the blender.  They talked about the cold strawberries and one child chose to suck on one.  Teachers chose to buy vanilla bean yogurt, which was a great choice.  It was so delicious children were gobbling up the yogurt before and while adding it to the smoothies.  The smoothies were a delicious treat, which will become a classroom favorite.  Here is the recipe if you would like to make it at home!  

Ask

Children were busy cooking with mud this week. You could ask your child what kind of food they made on the playground.

Groups of children also visited different parts of our campus, both inside and outside. You could ask your child where they visited this week. Some places they might mention include the field, Moriah's office, the preschool classrooms, the library, or the tinkering and art studios.

Please read the friendly reminders below:

Broadturn Farm Field Trip

We are planning on visiting Broadturn Farm in Scarborough on Thursday, April 27th. In order to go on this exciting trip to learn about farm animals and farm jobs, we need to gather enough chaperones. Please email Erica or Katie with your chaperone plans by Thursday, April 13th. You can also let us know your plans in person.  Thank you to those who have already responded!

April Break

Breakwater will be closed for April Break from Monday, April 17th through Friday, April 21st.

Extra Clothing Donations

In addition to bringing extra clothing for your child, please consider donating clothing your child may have outgrown to our classroom! Our extra clothing bin is in particular need of socks and pants.

Exploring Our Campus

Cooking and Splashing on our Playground

Exploring Materials

Delicious Smoothies!!  

Exploring Beyond The Toddler Room

This week the Toddlers have been working and playing outside of the toddler classroom.  On Monday children asked to join the preschoolers engaging in their Art Studio in the hallway. Friends painted pine cones and then asked to see what was happening in the Castle and Forest Rooms.  During their visits in Preschool on Monday and Wednesday the children worked with tongs in the sensory table, used droppers filled with colorful water to explore color mixing, made some delicious food in the pretend kitchen and explored locomotion in the block area. Other children worked with play dough to make balls and investigate how they move.  

Friends also took nature walks around campus. Last week, children talked about birds and their homes. During the first walk, children looked for nests and birds in trees, on buildings, and tucked into corners of the preschool playground. While visiting the preschool garden, friends heard and looked at several birds flying near the Jessie building. One child said: "Fly!" as a bird flew from the ground to the roof. After searching for nests, children noticed enormous puddles on the preschool playground and jumped in with their big winter boots. Children talked about being "so wet!" and how they were jumping in "deep puddles!" On the second walk, children noticed birds in the air. One child pointed up at the sky and announced: "That one fluttered across!" The group walked to the preschool playground and garden and watched birds fly up and down from the climbing structure, the bird house, and the corner of the preschool garden. On the way back, children noticed birds under the brown storage shed and crouched down on the blacktop to watch them.

We finally were able to continue finding answers to the questions children posed about Breakwater beyond EC.  On Thursday a small group of children set out to answer the question, "What does the triangle window look into?"  As we were standing below it, the children were delighted to look into the window behind the bell and the boat and discover that they could see Erica and their friends.  One child said, "Erica!  Erica!  I'm up here.  Do you see me?''  Then we talked about where the triangle window might be and what might be on the other side.  One child said, "Up, up, up."  Another child said, "I think there may be monsters behind that window."  

When we headed upstairs we discovered that it was not actually monsters behind the window, but Moriah's office.  The children climbed up to be sure that was the window we see from below and confirmed that it indeed was.  When we returned to the classroom the children shared their discoveries.  Then when we were getting ready to go outdoors one child said, "When we go out we will see the triangle!"  Another friend said, "And Moriah's office.  And her plant.  I saw it inside and outside."  

On Friday our small group was very excited to see their friends through our classroom window as well.  They joined the 1/2 during their math time and were very excited to enter an older siblings classroom.  They joined a movement pattern game and were watching closely as the older children clapped and tapped.  As their walk continued they headed up the stairs and discovered Maggie's office.  They were drawn to the window and talked about "cars".  Then one child noticed the Jessie building and said, "Where we have morning meeting"  and another child said, "Mommy's office".  We continued up the stairs and enjoyed visiting the art studio and tinkering space.  Again children noticed that there were similar art materials, as well as showed curiosity about the kiln.  We finished our "walk" with a visit to Kindergarten, also know as "Jackson's office."  All of the toddlers were reunited as they explored the sand table in the hallway by Kindergarten.  

Friendly Reminders

April Break - Breakwater will be closed for April break from April 17th through April 21st.

Extra Clothes - Please check your child's extra clothes basket so they will have dry clothes to change into after messy explorations, as well as outdoor play.  Be sure to pay special attention to socks, pants, underwear and shirts. 

Ask

As you look at the photos you can talk with your child about what type of materials they explored in the Castle and Forest Rooms.  You can ask what they discovered and saw when they went upstairs on their walks.  You can also talk with your child about the birds they saw and how they moved.  

Visits to The Castle and Forest Rooms

Nature Walks

Exploring Breakwater's Space Beyond EC

Work in the Classroom and Community Room

Fun With Mud!

Welcome Spring!

The toddlers welcomed Spring by beginning work with flowers from a giant bouquet. First, a child pulled a single flower from the basket and snapped the petals from the stem. More and more children joined her as she pulled more flowers from the basket. One child observed yellow petals falling to the floor and talked about how there were "crumbs" on the floor and the rug. He gathered more petals and dropped them near his snow blower so they could be cleaned up. A few children noticed all of the petals on the floor and quickly found brooms big and small to sweep them up. During our big clean-up time, one child sat on the floor and carefully swept petals into a dust pan before pouring them into baskets to save for later.

In the block area, one child built a truck to "carry other cars" out of many hollow blocks. He asked his friends not to move the blocks but said they could put cars on it. Three friends played with small cars on the truck, pretending it was a road and sending the cars down ramps, over ledges, and into holes! When another child wanted to build on the truck, he listened to the message about not changing his friend's work and instead gathered many hollow blocks and piled them next to his friend's creation. When a teacher asked him what he made, he said: "A bridge!" with a voice full of excitement. He began to drive cars along the blocks. Meanwhile, other child joined and added to the end of the bridge, trying to make it as tall as possible.

Outside, we enjoyed two very warm days on our playground. Many children experimented with taking their mittens off and feeling the snow. They discovered that because so much snow had melted, they could now climb through the log tunnel, find the bridge, and dig in the garden boxes to find dirt. One child built "a birdhouse" using a bucket, snow, and dirt. He noticed that he couldn't keep the dirt off the snow even when he tried to shovel it off. His friend found a small hole in the house and asked: "What's that?" The house builder shared: "It's a window so the birds can go inside and eat!" He described his plan to make holes "just like the tall birdhouse" and pointed to the bird feeder on top of the metal pole on our playground.

On Friday, Sari joined us in our classroom to build bird feeders after we told her about the toddlers' interest in building bird houses. A small group of children used drills, hammers, and screw drivers to put together many pieces of wood in the shape of a bird feeder. When using the drills, children practiced using two hands to push the button. When using hammers, some children practiced using a nail driver and a hammer together to push the nails as far into the wood as possible. Children noticed the sound of the hammers as they worked. First, they laughed while hammering by themselves. When teachers helped hammer the more stubborn nails, children stepped back and covered their ears while still laughing at the exciting sounds. We saved the materials to create bird feeders so children will have the option to continue working on them next week.

Friendly Reminders:

Baby Photos

Many friends have been showing interest in when they were babies, expressing ideas such as: "I used to be a tiny baby!" We would love to share baby photos of the toddlers in the same way we are sharing current photos of friends in the classroom. Please send in baby photos of your child if you can so we can explore this interest! You could email us or bring in printed photos.

Exploration Walks Next Week

To prepare for resuming our woods walks in the Fore River Sanctuary, we will be taking small groups of toddlers on walk around campus. We hope to have these walks on Wednesday and Friday. If you are interested in joining us, please email us and we would be happy to have you on these special walks!

Extra Clothing

Please continue to send in extra clothing so we can keep engaging in messy play! We observed that the snow often gets into children's boots and they need new socks by the end of the day. Please consider bringing the following clothing items:

  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Pants
  • Long-sleeved shirts

Ask:

Everyone explored how the weather changed our playground this week. You could ask your child: "What was the ground like on the playground?" "What happened to the snow?"

Children have expressed curiosity about birds and bird houses this week. You could ask your child what they noticed about birds on our playground, what they think birds eat, and where they think birds might live.

Many children also examined flowers. You could ask about how the petals ands stems felt, what they used the petals for, and what happened when they pulled flowers out of the basket.

Please enjoy the photos below:

Exploring the Flower Basket

Building Bird Feeders

Playing On Our Changing Playground

Exploring with Materials

Maneuvering, Rocking, Constructing and Travelling

It was a short week due to our almost Spring blizzard, yet there was still plenty of time for much work and play indoors and out.  Outdoors the children worked very hard to stomp and shovel the deep snow so they could move throughout our playground space.  With all of the snow we've had over the past couple of months, maneuvering over the deep snow has become less of a physical challenge for the children and more of a silly and fun experience.  This week each child spent time rolling in the snow, climbing up the big mounds that the wind created and sliding down in a variety of ways. Falling over and landing in the snow led to giggles and trying to dig out the car was a group effort.  

Indoors children enjoyed seeing Danielle for music after not seeing her for a couple of weeks. She brought in a large blanket and we hummed a tune while teachers rocked one child at a time.  Some children climbed right in and enjoyed the sensation of being suspended in space.  Other children were a bit more wary of this new experience and preferred to put their lovey or a baby in.  At the end of our experience children each put a lovey, a baby, their blanket or all of the above into the blanket and helped rock them so gently while they learned the tune we were humming.  We're hoping to do more rocking soon!  

After being home for so many days children were eager to work and play with our materials. We added some helmets and goggles, which served as great props for all of the fixing work that occurred.  Children worked on the mushroom house, built homes and created some of their own special projects.  Raisin containers were perfect for creating tall towers, as well as knocking them down, while paper cups were perfect for drinking milk.  

On Friday children built two airplanes with hollow blocks and boxes.  It was important that the planes have wings, "why cause they could fly", as well as that everything that was needed was packed up before the planes took off for their destinations. Two large rectangular blocks became storage for books, which moved from one plane to another and there was a lot of negotiation taking place about how to make room for everyone to stay safe.  There was one captain on each of the planes, which led the trip or sang a book, whatever was needed in the moment.  One plane traveled to Florida once it was all packed up and the other was headed to Africa and Puerto Rico.  Thankfully, the children returned to the classroom to clean up and eat some snack before their adventures took them any further.  

Ask

When you look at the photos of the children's in so much snow you can ask your child what they did in the snow and how they changed the height of it.

When you talk with your child about Rocking with Danielle, you can ask how it felt to rock and to be rocked.  You can also ask if they remember the song that we hummed.  

When you look at the photos of your child working with materials you can talk with them about what they constructed and what they were pretending.  

Reminders

Please be sure that your child has extra clothes (including panties), indoor shoes and a couple set of mittens.

If you have any extra plastic bags that you would like to donate to our classroom please send them in.  Thank you for those of you have already donated.  

So Much Snow!!  

Rocking with Danielle

Plane Rides to Florida, Africa and Puerto Rico

Work With Materials

March into Mud

The snow on our playground melted and created a landscape of mud, ice, and dirt for the toddlers to play in this week. Early in the week, one child described the dirt-covered area by the climbing stumps as “the beach” and drove his car to and from that spot while shouting goodbye to his friends. Children rediscovered stones that had been buried by the snow and collected them in buckets as they walked along the playground. With the snow gone, children were also able to find sticks large and small in the garden boxes lining the wooden stage. Some children tried fitting sticks through the hole in the picnic table, which many children investigated during the beginning of the school year! A few others learned they could make music with the sticks by banging them on the metal pole that holds our birdhouse.

After a rainstorm, the playground was saturated with mud and children squeezed, squished, and stomped through it. While marching through the mud, one child noticed her boots "stuck" and needed help stepping out of a particularly gooey spot. Some children pretended dried mud pieces were “chocolate cookies” and handed them out to teachers. Near a puddle-filled area of the playground, kindergarten students pretended to be sanitation workers and toddlers helped them fill trucks with mud. The next day, toddlers continued this work by saying the area was "a work site" and saying they needed to "punch the dirt." Everyone noticed that the mud made their clothing and hands messy. Some children asked to wash their hands right away while others enjoyed the sensation and even wondered what mud might taste like.

Inside, children used pencils and colored pencils to make marks inside of small, handmade journals. They made marks, sharpened pencils, and filled pages of their own mini journals. One child said she wrote her name and told her friends she was writing their names in her journal. Another friend proudly said: "My book," as she showed it to a teacher.

During art studio this week, children used stamps and ink pads to create artwork on large pieces of paper that we spread over the tables. It was our first experience using ink pads this year, and many children wanted to scrape the ink off and experience the interesting texture. A child who was very interested in the texture of the ink pads dug his fingers into the pad and announced: "Squishy!" One child discovered a star stamp and said: "Twinkle, twinkle!" as she picked it up. One child who used her fingers and hands exclaimed: "My hand all black!" after covering it with ink. After stamping it on the paper, she said: "My hand!" when she recognized her handprint. To preserve the ink for later, teachers replaced the ink pads with trays of paint. Once the paint was available, children dipped their fingers and many kinds of stamps into the paint and created marks and patterns on the paper.

Ask:

You could ask your child about the work they did with mud on our playground. You could ask: "What did the mud feel like?" "How did you pick the mud up?" "What happened to your clothes and your boots?"

You could also ask your child about their journal: "What did you put inside it?" "How did you make those marks?" "What does this page say?"

Please read the following reminders:

Professional Development Day

Monday, March 13th will be a professional development day for Breakwater faculty. We will see you on Tuesday!

Extra Clothing

Please bring in extra clothing as we continue to play in the mud and explore messy art materials!

Extra Plastic Bags

If you have any extra plastic shopping bags at your home, please consider donating them to our classroom! They are very helpful for packing wet clothes and for diaper changes.

Enjoy the pictures of our adventures below!

Fun in the Dirt and Mud

Art Studio: Stamping with Paint

Journals: Making New Marks

More Fun Photos

A Special Delivery

The toddlers discovered a special package in one of the cubbies on Wednesday.  Children guessed what was inside.  "Maybe it's a digger. . . .  Maybe an excavator. . . .   Maybe a gorilla. . . . "  A practical child said, "Let's open it and see."  Before we opened it one friend said, "Erica said it was balls.  Maybe when we open the box there will be balls inside."  When we opened it there was a white net bag in the box.  Inside of the bag there were many colorful things that did not resemble balls and an interesting black tool.  "What is it?"  one friend asked.  "Those are not balls."  We also found a paper with a photo of balls inside.  One child said, "Maybe we could blow them like a balloon."  Another friend said, "Maybe we could use the black tool to blow them up."  Another child commented, "They are squished balls."    

When we got outside each child felt a puff of air from the pump on their face and their hands. Then children got to work blowing up the balls with the air pump one at a time.  Each child took turns pushing the handle on the air pump four times and watched intently as the shape of the "squished ball" changed.  Children together asked, "Is it a ball yet?" and commented on how the concave areas changed and expanded. When we blew up the yellow ball the children decided that we should count to five, so children helped one another count in English and Spanish.  We blew up a purple ball, a yellow ball, a green ball, and a red ball.  It was even more fun playing with the balls when the children worked together to make them!  

During art studio this week children worked with dot paints to make a variety of colorful marks.  Children made dots, lines and circles of various colors.  They also used the paints to cover up masking tape.  Please take a moment to look at their work displayed over the cubbies with your child if you haven't already.  They were so invested in their work we had the dot paints on the art table for the remainder of the week.  We decided together to give the painting to Erica, as well as some child made cards and drawings.  Children dictated some messages for her too, which mostly were asking her to "come back soon!"    

Earlier in the week the children also dictated a letter to Katie for Josh, David and Graham ("cause he's a worker guy") asking them to make some accommodations to our new toddler outdoor entry way stairs.  Katie typed it up and emailed it to them.  Graham stopped by as music was beginning on Thursday to ask questions about the specifics of the children's request.  We are going to invite him back so the children can discuss it with him personally since the changes are their ideas.  Here is a photo of their letter:  

Friendly Reminders

Extra Clothing

Please send in extra clothes for after working with our sensory and art materials, as well as for after playing in the mud and melting snow.  Extra clothes may include:

-Socks

-Shirts

-Pants

-Underwear 

-Indoor shoes

-Extra outdoor shoes or boots

Asks

When you look at the photos of our special delivery you can ask your child what they thought was inside of the box.  You can also talk about how they used the air pump to blow up the balls and if they had a favorite color ball that they helped to inflate.  

When you look at photos of art studio you can ask your child what kind of marks they made with the dot paints and what colors they used.  

Please enjoy the photos below:

Special Delivery!  

Art Studio - Dot Paints

Exploration with materials

Investigations of mud, snow and ice

The social world of toddlers

Ice, Snow, and Salad!

This week, the toddlers explored spaces beyond our classroom, experimented with painting on ice, and navigated our snow-covered playground. On Tuesday, all of the children visited the preschool and kindergarten classrooms to celebrate Valentine's Day. Children worked together with preschool and kindergarten students to make a fruit salad that everyone in early childhood ate for snack.

Many of the toddlers chose to work in the Castle Room during the Valentine's Day celebration. One child stacked many wooden blocks on top of a drawbridge and laughed after he knocked them down. Another child picked up a crayon, opened a journal, and created lines and swirls on several pages. Several children stayed at the fruit salad table for a long time and sliced fruit. As they added fruit to the large serving bowls, one child insisted: "Eat! Eat!" and tried to use a serving spoon to eat the salad. After teachers explained that we would eat together in our classroom, children were eager to continue cutting fruit until snack time. During snack, children labeled familiar fruits, by saying: "Berries!" "Melon!" and other fruit names.

Outside, the snow was so tall that Graham and the toddlers needed to shovel a path so we could play! Children used big shovels and stomping feet to help make safe spaces for us to walk, run, and play. Later in the week, one child discovered tiny icicles hanging from the bottom of the climbing structure. He tried to snap them off, but said: "Can't reach!" A teacher helped him break off an icicle, which he watched melt on his mitten. The next day, he and three other children found more icicles and discovered they could break them into pieces by bending them.

In art studio, everyone painted on ice! Some children painted ice cubes, while other children painted big blocks of ice. One child said: "So cold!" when he touched his piece of ice. Another child said: "I want a big piece!" when teachers were cracking the large ice blocks. Many toddlers observed the ice melting as they added paint and the pieces of ice sat in our warm classroom. At the end of art studio, everyone worked together to clean up the mess by wiping the tables, chairs, and parts of the floor that were covered with paint.

This week, the children had many sensory experiences both indoors and outdoors. At the beginning of the week, children explored with snow, cups and bottles. Fitting the snow into the bottles was challenging, and one friend discovered that it melted soon after she put it in the bottle. On Friday, children explored with shaving cream and toy animals. The shaving cream stuck to fingers, toys, and clothing. Children enjoyed squeezing it between their fingers, filling measuring cups, and scraping it off the bottom of the table. When play time was over, all of the children worked to clean the table by wiping it with towels and helping Katie pour fresh water to rinse the bottom.

Please read the friendly reminders below:

Pick-Up at 3:00 PM

A friendly reminder that toddler pick-up is at 3:00 pm. We ask that parents arrive promptly to reunite with your child each day. The time between 3-4pm is reserved for teachers to clean up, attend team meetings and plan for the next day. In the event that you find you are running late please call to notify the school.

February Break

Breakwater School will be closed from Monday, February 20th through Friday, February 24th for February break. Enjoy your time whether it is a vacation, staycation, or a few extra hours to enjoy with your child!

Extra Clothing

Please send in extra clothes for art studio and for after playing in the snow! Extra clothes may include:

-Socks

-Shirts

-Pants

-Underwear

Asks

Together with preschool and kindergarten, we made and ate a fruit salad together. You could ask your child: "How did you help make the fruit salad?" "What kinds of fruits were in the salad?" "How did the fruit salad taste?"

You could ask your child what happened when they painted ice. You could ask: "Did the paint stay on the ice?" "Did mixing paint make new colors?" "What colors did you use?"

Please enjoy the photos below:

Making Fruit Salad

Exploring Preschool and Kindergarten

Art Studio: Painting on Ice

Out in the Ice and Snow

Sensory Play: Snow and Shaving Cream