Saturday, 15 December 2012

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all our Head Start friends and families.  What a great fun week we have had with all our favourite activities out this week and what a great year we have had at our Head Start Headquarters, lots of great memories for all of us of our Head Start children learning, playing, exploring and growing. 

Thank you for all your support over the past year and we look forward to seeing you and your little ones in the New Year, or at the Play in the Park tomorrow, 11am at the Gardens:)

Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year from all the team at Head Start and RATA South.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Can You Hear What I Hear???

Hello to all our Head Start Families and friends.  Did I hear right on the radio that Summer is here??  One day it's lovely summer dresses and shorts and shirts, the next I see the winter woollies are out again, when will the weather make up its mind?  It's a good thing we know just what we are doing at our Head Start Headquarters.  This week we have been exploring Auditory Figure Ground.

This is the ability to discriminate between background and foreground noises. Or in other words, it is how we are able to attend to certain sounds while ignoring sounds that are unimportant. This is an important auditory processing skill and is crucial in the formal learning environment as it allows our child to focus and listen to instructions in a busy, noisy classroom environment.

So essentially this is a skill that we practice EVERY time we come to the Head Start environment as there is always lots of chatter, laughter and music in the background while we are explaining activities and interacting with our little people one-on-one. This week we took it one step further and added some different noises for our Head Start children to listen out for throughout the class. It was exciting to see that as the classes progressed they all started tuning in to these noises faster and with less prompting...by next week we will have them baa-ing, moo-ing, meowing etc along with the sounds!!
 
Our world is a BUSY place nowadays so this skill to be able to tune out background noise to hear and ATTEND to relevant and important information is even more important than ever, this skill will truly give your little one a Head Start in the classroom so keep it in mind and practice it whenever possible. Take the opportunity when in a busy environment to talk one-on-one with your little one, for example in the supermarket or shopping mall point out interesting things, play a game of eye spy or discuss what is going on around you. Head to the park and see how many birds you can hear over the general noise of the playground or to the pool and listen for the whirr of the spa pool or siren before the wave pool starts - you get the idea!!
 
Have a great weekend and we will see you for our last sessions of the year next week for lots of Christmas songs and jingle bells.
 
Jo and the Head Start Team

 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Gross Motor Skills

Hi to all our Head Start families and friends. This week we were looking at Gross motor skills, running, jumping, hopping etc. 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.
 
Here is an opportunity to interact with the blogg and let everyone else know what you do to get your kids moving. Do you have a favourite park? Where is it? Why do you like it so much? Do your children like making up obstacle courses for your children to negotiate their way around? What do you use?
 

A big Thanks to Averil from the Chat Bus, who came to speak to out Head Start Friends and Families on Thursday night. She gave us some great tips to think about:
 
What is important
Be consistent
Use Praise
Build Trust
Build Self-esteem
Build resilience
Communicate
Consequences
Positive Touch
 
Some quotes from the evening:
"Train your child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it"
 
"You don't need a degree to be a parent"
 
It was a great evening and I think everyone that attended would have taken at least one point to ponder, Thanks Averil. For more information on the chat bus go to http://chatbus.org.nz/ or if you want to hear more of what she said try and catch up with someone who attended and have a coffee and chat about the evening.
 
Hope you all have a good weekend and we look forward to sharing some more Christmas songs with you this week.
 
Take Care
Jo and the Head Start Team