Friday, 29 June 2012

Fun Week

Hey thanks everyone for a really fun week.  We have had ALL the equipment out at our Head Start Headquarters and everyone seemed to have a favourite from the term that they got to explore again.  We will have a break for a couple of weeks and start back on the week beginning July 16.  If you haven't enrolled please give Di a ring or enrol online at

If you get stuck inside don't forget to have a preview of the take home sheets we have provided over the term to get some ideas for activities around the home. If you have forgotten to pick up a sheet just flick back through the blogs for some ideas.

We will try and post some holiday ideas on our Facebook page as well but please feel free to put some ideas up when you come across them, or even better why not get together at an event with other Head Start adults and children.

So some highlights for me this term have been, Mrs Bunny (I don't seem to get tired of this song at all and I love watching the kids faces while we are doing the actions), the enthusiasm of the children (I take tears at the end of a class as a compliment, sorry Mum's and Dad's), the confidence of the children as the term has progressed and our day out at the Meridian Mall (we saw some of you there).  So thanks everyone for a great term and we look forward to seeing you all back real soon.

Take Care over the break
Jo, Anna, Sonya, Di and Avis :)

Friday, 22 June 2012

Cross and Cross and Cross the midline

Well we are in the middle of winter now.  I am always reminded of this by the mid winter festival, this can only mean that the weather can only get better from here on in (fingers and toes crossed).  Speaking of crossing that was the foundational skill we were looking at this week, crossing the midline.  This means we have the ability to reach across the middle of our body with our arms and legs to the opposite side.

This is a skill that takes time for some to develop but is really useful for reading (looking from left to right across the page), handwriting (being able to write from the left to the right side of the page with one hand), getting dressed as well as many other daily activities.  Why not have a look at what you do in the day and see how many times you
have to cross your midline!

So this week at Head Start Headquarters we have seen some old favourites out such as posting activities but this week we have put the midline crossing as the focus.  Its been great to see Mums, Dads, and carers encouraging out little Head Starters to use their non dominant hands and to cross their midline,  Well Done To you All!

Jo's fishing didn't work to well for my Tuesday guys, sorry about that, but with a bit of adaption it is now up and running so we can go fishing for our last week before the holidays.   The beam with the bean bags and pipes has been a good one for all our classes, some walking along others standing and posting to the opposite side, while those with a little more "monkey" in them have been having a go at the swinging bars.

If you are interested in some more activities to enhance this skill you may want to check out or or

We have one more week before the holidays and if you know of someone who wants to sign up for term 3 at Head Start then send them to the Meridian Mall this Saturday where Anna and I and a couple of others will be set up all day introducing the wider Dunedin community to our Head Start program.

Have a great weekend :)

Jo and the Head Start Team

Friday, 15 June 2012

Visual Sequencing

Wow can you believe we are almost at the end of term 2.  We have now put out the timetable for term 3 so make sure you sign yourselves up for another exciting term with us at the Head Start Headquarters.  If you want to let all your friends know about our classes then direct them to our website, here you will find our timetable and contact details.  Otherwise just give our friendly office ladies a call at (03) 487 9698, and they will be more than happy to help you out.

Well this week was visual sequencing, do you remember what this means and why it comes in handy for our wee Head Starters???  Well what it is, is the ability to see objects like letters and numbers, in a specified sequential order.  This is really important for handwriting, maths and reading.

So for example do they understand that the letters
c   a   t = the word cat    OR that the numbers   1 0 0 = the number 100
The other example we looked at this week was the sequence of a specific activity.  On the white board were examples of what order we clean our teeth in or have a bath.  This kind of sequence is all around us all the time and you can use it as a conversation starter both before and after an event.

For example, what is it you do first to get ready for bed?? or when we went to the park today did you go on the slide or swing first, what did you go on next?  You can also help them to learn to follow particular sequences by playing games that get your child to copy a sequences of moves they see you doing (no matter how silly they are!)

Well I hope you all have a good week, we only have two more sessions before we break for the school holidays.  Take Care

From the Head Start Team :)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Auditory Analysis and Synthesis

Well I hope everyone has been keeping nice and warm.  It has been great to see everyone still coming out in all their nice winter woollies, there have been some busy knitters out there. 

There are some bugs around so please be mindful of others at Head Start and put any toys that get put in mouths into the blue bucket at the back of the room, this way everyone can keep enjoying our programme until the end of term. Thank you.

What a mouthful the title is, so what does it mean. Well auditory analysis is the ability to to identify different parts of words and Auditory Synthesis is the ability to perceive these individual sounds as a whole.  Auditory synthesis and analysis allows children to hear sounds, recognise the sound and know it's origin.  It is important for learning to read as it provides a structured analytical approach for breaking down unfamiliar words. Whew!!  This might be easier to understand........

Auditory Analysis is the ability to break down what has been heard into smaller parts. This includes breaking up words into syllables, and sounds. e.g.: elephant = e-le-phant and e-l-e-ph-a-n-t.
Auditory Synthesis is the opposite of analysis in that it is the ability to build sounds together to create meaningful words. e.g.: e-le-phant and e-l-e-ph-a-n-t = elephant.
Check out for more ideas
In class this week we broke out all the musical instruments to practise our listening skills.  Some ways we can practise these skills might be going on 'auditory walks' where you see how many different sounds you can hear - how about getting your little one to close their eyes in their buggy and see what sounds they can recognise. This is also a great time to pull out all those noisy books to listen to farmyard sounds, different tractors/trucks etc. For the older ones how about breaking down larger words into their individual sounds and see if they can blend/synthesise the sounds together to work out what the whole word is! Remember, opportunity to learn from auditory cues is all around us all the time, it is just making the most of it!!

Well I hope everyone has a good week, stay warm and we will all see you next week, week 8.
Take Care from the
Head Start Team

Friday, 1 June 2012

Eye-Foot Coordination

Who can believe we are now past half way through the term and winter has defiantly arrived. Don't be put off coming out in the cold as it is always warm at our Head Start Headquarters and parking is close.So our new concept this week has been, Eye-Foot Coordination. What a great excuse to practise some kicking balls around the room. 

This foundation skill is all about learning to control the movement of our feet in relation to what we see with our eyes. This is important for gross motor skills and many games.  

The possibilities are endless but a few of the ideas that we have had this week were kicking balloons on strings for the little's, kicking balls, balancing on the beam and stomping on our jumping leap-frog FUN!  

In case you missed picking up our take home sheet here are a few of the ideas that you can use to continue to develop your child's Eye-Foot coordination: 

· Hang interesting items under your play-gym and encourage your child to kick them – eg, a bunch of spoons to make a fun noise!

· Put a bunch of interesting textured items in a low bucket or paddling pool and let your child explore them with their feet

· Practise kicking into different sized and shaped goals, eg. boxes, laundry basket, closet etc.

· See if your child can catch something on their foot – feather, scarf, bubbles etc.

· Set up your own catapult at home!

If you have any other ideas that you would like to share, post them on our face book page as I am sure there are many parents, grandparents,nannies and careers who have got children inside on these bleak days that need some fresh ideas about how to entertain some restless children.

Have a lovely long weekend this weekend and let us know if you find any great parks or cafes, maybe you could use it as a regular meeting place for a group of Head Start adults and children :)

Catch you next week
From all the Head Start Team