Tuesday, 7 July 2015

BIG Thanks to Moving Smart

Hello to All our Head Start families.

In term 2 we had the privilege of having Wendy Perea come and talk to us. Check out their website for some more fun ways to get our children moving - MOVING TO LEARN -  http://www.movingsmart.co.nz/ .  We had so much in common when we were talking about the benefits of keeping our children moving it was great to spend time with like minded people. Head Start is all about play with purpose, keeping our children moving and experiencing all sorts of different sensations.  Why not let your child experience some different food textures through play these holidays or you  can have a go at the Ready? Set. Slow! challenge posted by Gill Connell :)
Here are some fun ideas that Gill Connell has posted.  For heaps more check out her blog  Posted by Gill Connell - http://movingsmartblog.blogspot.co.nz/
Ready? Set. Slow! 

1. THE GO-SLOW CHALLENGE! Little ones naturally want to please us and naturally want to show off what they can do, so when they’re dashing about at top speed, say to them, “Oh my goodness, you really can go fast! I bet you can’t go slow!”
2. CHANGE IT UP! Any time you change the way children move, they will automatically go slower. For instance, when transitioning from snack time to story time in my classroom I’d sometimes have the children walk backwards to the mat. Other ways include: walking sideways, walking on a line on the floor, walking with a bean bag on your head, etc.

3. TURTLE! TIGER! TREE! To give little ones a full sense of their own self-control, give them practice changing speed. For instance, when you call out “turtle” they need to walk very, very slow. When you call out “tiger” they need to speed up and move very, very fast. When you call out “tree” they need to stretch their “limbs” like a tree and freeze in place! At first, do this with a predictable rhythm. Once they’ve got the hang of it, change to a more random/unpredictable rhythm. And be sure to change the sequence so they have to listen carefully.

 4. CAREFUL! CAREFUL! Set up activities that require them to be careful and precise in their movements. For instance, crawl through the tunnel without touching the sides or carry a ping pong ball on a spoon from one end of the yard to the other.

 5. GIANT STEPS. The bigger the gait the slower the movement, so have the children walk across the room or play yard using giant steps. Once they have a feel for it, have them count how many steps it takes to get from start to finish. Now have them come back the other way and see if they can do it in even fewer steps!

 6. TWO BY TWO. Pair up the children standing back to back, linking arms. Now challenge them to cross the room or play yard. Without even asking, they’ll automatically move more slowly as they negotiate their movements with each other.

 7. THE SLOW ZOO is filled with the slowest animals you’ve ever seen! Have the children move like a turtle, snail, crab, sloth, elephant, rhinoceros, etc., or make up their own “slowimal” to show you just how slow they can go!

8. SLOW TALK. Doing anything slowly will help children understand how to pace themselves. Talking slow is a really fun way to develop auditory discrimination while sounding out words and at the same time giving them “slow” practice. Model slow talking for them and encourage them to repeat words or phrases you say. Then let them loose to slow chat with each other. It’s hilarious!
9. SLOW TALK & WALK. Once they’ve practiced Slow Talk, add a movement challenge for even more fun. For instance, take a trip back to the Slow Zoo. Have the children move like their favourite slow animal while describing their movements in Slow Talk. “I ammmm walllkkking lllikkke aaaaa turrrrrtlllle.”
 10. IT’S SLOW TIME! Indoors or out, play any favourite game but take it slow. Great games for this are Follow the Leader or Simon Says, but try this idea with any game the children already know. Taking it slow will make the game different, challenging, (and often silly) for them!

Have a lovely break and we look forward to seeing you all next term.

From the Head Start Team

Wednesday, 27 May 2015



Where has the time gone???  Head Start is five years old this year and we certainly have been moving along at a fast pace, hence the lack of blog posts this term.

So far this term we have been looking at visual consistency, body awareness, auditory pattern, visual completion and eye foot coordination.  My favourite was body awareness and the laughs as the children made funny faces in the mirrors :) 
We have also been lucky to have had Jackob, a 4th year Physiotherapist working with us at Head Start for 5 weeks.  The children really gravitated towards his warm nature as he got down to the children's level and just played with them.  Thanks Jackob:)
As part of our 5th Birthday celebrations we had a little party with party hats, balloons and poppers. Two lucky families went in the draw and were presented with a gift from Head Start just to say thanks for coming :)

Events coming up:  On Thursday 28th May (4pm-6pm at our Caversham Site, 350 South Road, $30) we are running "Never To young to Get Ready For School Seminar"  This is run by Wendy Perera who has lots of fun ideas to pass on to keep our young ones moving.  This is open to all who wish to attend and I am still happy to take names if you wish to come.
WOW that's a big blog for me this time I really need to keep on top of it for the rest of the term.  If you hear of anyone wanting to check out Head Start just tell them to give us a call, I am more than happy for people to pop in for a session to see what we do.  Keep warm and as a general rule if the schools are closed so is Head Start but will put detail up on Face Book.
Have a great week :)
From the Head Start Team

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Happy Easter

Term one has gone by so fast, but it has been a lot of fun.  I have enjoyed getting to know the new families that have joined Head Start for the first time and I look forward to term 2 (11 weeks in term two, so lots of time for exploring and growing).
I have included the words for our favourite Head Start Easter song Mrs Bunny. 

Mrs Bunny
From Echo Fred
Mrs. Bunny looks funny when she
Twitches her nose,
Mrs. Bunny looks funny when she
Wriggles her toes,
Two floppy ears and
Two big feet,
I love Mrs. Bunny ‘cause
She’s so neat.
Mrs. Bunny stretches,
Mrs. Bunny flops,
Mrs. Bunny hops and hops and hops and
Mrs. Bunny hops and stops.
By Janet Channon

Term Two begins on Tuesday, April 21, please contact Di on  03 4879698 to enrol if you haven't
already.  Have a lovely break and enjoy some outdoors before we get that cold spell.

and the Head Start Team

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Vestibular System

Well we did have some dizzy fun last week at our Head Start Headquarters as we tested out our vestibular system with lots of spinning, swinging, crawling.  Our Vestibular System is the one that controls our balance, equilibrium and sense of movement and is closely related to our auditory system.  A well developed vestibular system provides stability, good muscle tone and helps to develop auditory language processing and visual-spatial processing.

There were a few cross eyes as the children spun on the blast off chair, zoomed down the slippery slide and sounds of delight as some mastered the monkey bars for the first time.

Catch up with us this week as we look at Visual Patterns.

From the Head Start Team :)

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Busy Busy at Head Start

Hello All, so sorry I have realised I missed the blog last week.  We have been having so much fun in our Head Start classes over the past two weeks.  We have looked at - Visual Discrimination (the ability to recognise similarities and differences between objects) and Concept and Directional Language (the concepts of size and direction - up, down, under).

Have a great week and we all look forward to seeing you all for some Easter fun in the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile check out some of our Head Start Stars:
Never to young for letters

We had our first week with the Mrs Bunny
song as we are coming into Easter

Number Fun

Where can I put all the things in the dollhouse?
On the top, middle or bottom floor


Monday, 2 March 2015

Lots of LARGE movement

This last week at Head Start we have been looking at Gross Motor Skills.  There has been lots of running  chasing balls, crawling through tunnels, jumping and kicking and balloons and bubbles.

Gross motor skills require the use of a child's large muscle groups.  With practice these movements become more refined and are extended to more complex tasks.  Gross motor skills are also an  important aspect of fine motor skills.

We are looking forward to another exciting week at our Head Start Headquarters.  If you have contacted us and have not heard back then please give Di a call at our office 03 4879698 as there have been a few "lost is space things happening".  Give us a call if you would like to pop in and see what we do at Head Start as we are happy for you to do this.
Have a good week and I look forward to sharing some ideas on Visual Discrimination with you at our Head Start Headquarters this week.

From the Head Start Team

Monday, 23 February 2015

Oral Language Skills

Have you thought about how you express yourself. what your voice sounds like when you are in a rush, when you are anxious, scared or angry.  These pitches in your voice are often what your child picks up on and it is how they learn to respond to different situations.  They also learn the language that comes with those situations as often these are short phases or one word which is often at the developmental level of language our young children are banking in their word banks.

Children learn by listening and watching.  Reading stories is a great way for our children to learn about language.  Listening to the pitch in your voice as you read Dr Seuss "Green Eggs and Ham" talking to them as you go round the supermarket or pointing out letters and numbers on signs as you go for a walk all help our children with language.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! 

We look forward to spending another week with you this week and we discover and explore Gross Motor Skills.

From the Head Start Team