Friday, 28 September 2012

Fun, Fun, Fun!! :)

 This week at our Head Start headquarters it was all about FUN!!  We had all the fun activities out that we have played with during the term.  There were the roller coaster, the slide, the balls and skittles, noisy books and climbing wall.  The parachute paradise was a hit as well and even encouraged some of the adults to relive their childhood and climb inside to have a look which was FANTASTIC!!  We love seeing the adults leading by modelling, well done!!
Harry loves posting!
 Our Puku Play date class revisited some of the material we looked at over the term and there was some pretty useful information.  From listening to the Mums I would say the highlight for them was having Amy, who is a Physio with us at RATA South, come and show us all how to strengthen our pelvic floor muscles. THANKS Amy!

Well the school holidays are here and we are going to take a wee break, catch our breath and prepare for term 4.  If you haven't enrolled for term 4 don't forget to give Di a ring (03) 487 9698.  Next term we are also running a mixed age group on Tuesday at 1pm if you have more than one child wanting to attend Head Start this will give them both the opportunity to experience Head Start and gain valuable foundational skills for school and future learning.  See you all soon

Jo and the Head Start Team :)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Visual Figure Ground and Auditory Completion

Wow two weeks since my last post, so sorry.  In the last week we  explored Visual Figure Ground which is the ability to discriminate between visual foreground and background.  For example being able to pick out patterns amongst a busy backdrop.  This is an important skill to improve visual perception and helps your child to focus on something specific amongst other visual stimuli.  For example finding their spot on a page or on the blackboard when reading. 

For our Head Start children they have been finding bugs on a blanket with lots of other things happening on it, or looking at pictures that are made up of lots of other things.  You can extend this skill at home when you ask the children to find a specific toy in the toy box, or a LEGO man in the box of LEGO.

This week we have looked at Auditory Completion.  Auditory Completion is along the same lines as Visual Completion, except instead of mentally filling in the blank parts of pictures and objects it is the ability to fill in or complete words or sounds. This is one of those skills that you are probably doing without meaning to anyway like when you are reading My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes and your little one is shouting out 'Boxes' before you even get the end of the page. They have just worked their developing Auditory Completion skills by using their existing knowledge to fill in the last word. This skill is important as not only does it help in the early stages of reading as it helps your child to recognise and read familiar words but it also helps with language acquisition and cognition.

We were practicing this skill by using the examples of nursery rhymes like Twinkle Twinkle Little ............, Humpty Dumpty Sat on the see if the children could complete the sentences. 

Puku Play Date has been exploring how much can a baby see in the first few months after they are born and then the beauty of books.  We were discussing the importance of  turning the TV off and spending some time reading to your child. I brought along a few of my children's favourite books when they were little and had the little ones captivated with a very colourful pop out book right to the end.

One more week to go before school holidays and all the favourite equipment from the term will be out to play on.  Looking forward to seeing you all there and we might even grab a few pictures of everyone having some fun.  Have a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine.

From Jo and the Head Start Team :)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Gross Motor Skills

Hi to all our Head Start families and friends.  Sorry I missed this week, but fingers and toes crossed we are slowly getting rid of the bugs in our household. This week we were looking at Gross motor skills.  This requires the use of your child’s large muscle groups (legs, arms, back). With practise these movements become more refined and are extended to more complex tasks.  Skills such as running, jumping and kicking are used in active games and sports. Gross motor development is also an important aspect of fine motor control as the large muscle group’s act to stabilise the body in tasks such as writing and cutting with scissors.

This is where the parks are so cool!  All the running, jumping, climbing, hanging, swinging that a child can do over all the equipment really kicks all these big muscle groups into gear not to mention the fresh air and sunshine!  So hopefully at our Head Start Headquarters there was lots of running, jumping, hopping, and climbing through our obstacle course for all our age groups.  Don't forget if you get stuck inside an obstacle course is a great way to entertain the kids as well as wear them out a bit.  Cushions, sheets, chairs and tables all make fun things to climb through, over and under and you can even get the kids to help you design it! 
This week our Puku Play Date class expanded their knowledge with some more pelvic floor exercises while the little ones watched on with interest (or tried to be involved as Morris is now moving backwards!)  Having Amy visit with us and share her knowledge has been FANTASTIC, a big THANK YOU Amy :)
Well I hope you have a great weekend, I am hoping for great weather as I am helping out with the kids' school fair.  See you all next week at our Head Start Headquarters
Jo and the Head Start Team