Thursday, 12 December 2013

Thursday, 28 November 2013

A Few of My Favourite Things continued....

Hello to all our Head Start Friends and Families.

This week at our Head Start Headquarters there was lots of lovely jingle bells, and with only two weeks of Head Start to go (final Head Start classes Dec 9) the Santa hats are out of the box as we start the countdown to Christmas/Summer holidays. 

Last week I shared my new favourite toy the Pop the Turtle and this week I would like to share another toy that has caught my eye, The Cheeseburger.

Buttons, domes and Velcro are on just about every piece of clothing, shoe or toy and can be a difficult skill to master.   So this weeks favourite is this Cheeseburger.  It offers button, Velcro and domes to for those little fingers to practise and the cute smiley faces are a hit with the kids.  I got mine from the Sensory Corner (

Have a great weekend and if you spot any really exciting toys please share them with our Head Start families on our Face book page :)

From the Head Start Team

Sunday, 24 November 2013

A Few of My Favourite Things

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families.  I don't want to say it too loud but the countdown to Christmas is on so I thought I would share some of my favourite things with you.

I love the movie The Sound of Music and this song always reminds me of the simple things in life that can bring pleasure.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things

Cream coloured ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favourite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favourite things

So on that note I thought I would share with you some toys that I have discovered over the past year that have become my favourite things. 

First on my list is this CUTE little Pop up Turtle. He is great for strengthening those little fingers for all those fine motor skills like dressing and writing. 
Pop a Turtle - Click Image to Close
He can be ordered from the Sensory Corner on line or I also spotted them in Toy World last week if you want to check them out.

Hope you have had a lovely weekend and we look forward to seeing you all at our Head Start Headquarters next week

From the Head Start Team

Friday, 15 November 2013

Fine Motor Skills

Hello to all our Head Start families and friends.  We have had a busy week at our Head Start Headquarters this week where our focus has been Fine Motor Skills.
This is the ability to use smaller muscle groups to perform tasks that are precise in nature. Our children develop their gross motor skills primarily by exercising their larger muscle groups to move around. These gross motor skills help to develop core strength and this in turn provides a stable base from which to initiate movement from the smaller muscle groups responsible for fine motor control. Gross motor movement is a key concept at Head Start and is being developed every week through the running, jumping and climbing opportunities presented to our Head Starter children. So this week we built on all this strengthening and presented our Head Starters with some fun fine motor skills to practise!
This week the favourite activity for the Tuesday Head Starters was the rice.  Using little fingers (and sometimes toes :)) to find what was hidden in the rice was a great activity to practise their pincer grip.  The little tongs picking up the animals was another big hit and it was interesting to watch the different ways the children managed this task. Posting, threading, dressing dolly, rolling marbles down the ramp all gave those little fingers a great workout.
Fine Motor skills can be practised through food exploration, goo, sandpits, dressing, scissors, colouring,  picking up bugs, just to name a few.  
Lots of fun exploring in the rice
Reminder to keep this date free for our free seminar
 ‘The Benefits of Baby Massage’ 

Speaker: Katy Truscott
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Thursday 28th Nov. 2013
Time: 7.30pm,
350 South Rd, Caversham
All welcome
Gold Coin Donation
RSVP to 487 9698
Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you at our Head Start Headquarters next week for some more fun.
From the Head Start Team 

Friday, 8 November 2013

Training Our Eyes - Vision

Hi to all our Head Start families and friends. What a busy week at our Head Start Headquarters this week. This week we have been “looking” at our vision. 

Why do we have a session on vision?  Well.......Our eyes work together to send visual information to the brain. Like the muscles of our bodies, the muscles of the eyes need to be worked to develop.
When your child’s eyes are controlled without effort their attention is available for visual concentration such as following words on a page when reading and following moving objects when participating in games and sports.
So this has meant we have been watching the balls go down the ramp, over the roller coaster, through the maze, hitting balls as they come out the ball maze.  We have been watching bubbles float by and feathers and balloon helicopters fall softly to the ground and some of our children tried to balance a marble in the middle of a maze (it was pretty difficult).  We also had a cave with torches with rocket ships and planets on them to follow in the dark and spot the toys hidden in the cave.
Hopefully everyone has received their copy of the Head Start Term 4 Newsletter.  If you have missed this then please let us know and we will forward a copy to you, or you can pick up a hard copy next time you are in.
Have a great weekend all. We'll be "looking" out for you next week
From the Head Start Team

Friday, 1 November 2013

Gross Motor Skills - Ball Skills

Hi Head Start friends and families. This week has been lots of fun, balls, balls and more balls of all shapes and sizes have been passed, caught, bounced, rolled, pushed and kicked all round the Head Start room. That's because this week has all been about Gross Motor Skills, namely catching and throwing.

Gross Motor skills use that larger muscle groups in the legs, arms and trunk. They are important for creating a strong and stable base from which to perform more precise fine motor skills. The motor skills of catching and throwing help develop strength in the upper body, stability in the core trunk muscles and hand-eye coordination.

So this has meant, rolling balls, playing with balloons and knocking bottles over with balls on strings.  Some great balance happening on the beam while the balls were being thrown into the hoop as well bouncing on the tramp throwing the balls into the big box.  We have had some fun pushing and chasing the really big balls down the ramp while others rolled the balls down the roller coaster to knock the bottles over (or slid down themselves to knock the bottles over which was just as much fun!)

It's great to see the children coming back to Head Start and using equipment that they didn't even look at last term or others that haven't been for a while amazing Mum and Dad with what they can now do that they didn't before, Awesome!

Have a nice weekend and we look forward to seeing you next week

From the Head Start Team :)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Word Bank - Oral Language

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families.  What a busy week we have had at our Head Start Headquarters.  Lots of talking and building our wee ones word banks.  FANTASTIC!

This talking is totally in line with this weeks topic which is ORAL LANGUAGE.   This refers to your child's ability to express their needs, thoughts and observations of the world around them. You can help them build a 'bank' of words by talking about what you're doing and what you see; this deposits words in their word bank. Oral language is important for children to express themselves. The more they can express orally the less they will need to rely on alternate means of communication, e.g. pointing, hitting, crying etc.
Here are some ideas to try and build your little ones word bank:
*Use meaningful language and activities
*Be aware of background noise and distractions
*Gain their attention before speaking
*Keep it short and simple
*Use specific vocabulary
*Create the need to talk
*Allow time to respond
*Give positive reinforcement
*Repeat, repeat, repeat
*Reduce the number of questions
(Ministry of Education. Much More Than Words)

Have a lovely long weekend and talk talk talk to your little one and you will be amazed at how quickly they develop their word banks.

See ya next week
From the Head Start Team

Friday, 18 October 2013

Welcome - Term 4

active-kidsWelcome back to Head Start for term 4 2013. We had a busy week this week at our Head Start Headquarters, it was lovely to see the children so excited to be back and great to meet all our new families that have joined us this term, WELCOME :)

The team at Head Start are looking forward to spending the term with you looking at a variety of foundational skills that will enable you and your little one to develop those essential skills needed for great learning.

BREAKING NEWS:  If you have a little little one then we are going to be running a
baby massage course. Check out our Face Book page for more details or contact us on (03) 487 9698.

Have a great weekend, see you next week at our Head Start Headquarters

From the Head Start Team :)

Friday, 27 September 2013

End of Term Fun Week

Hello to all our Head Start Friends and Families.  This week we have had lots of fun at our Head Start Headquarters with all our favourite Head Start equipment out to play on.  I hope I didn't forget anything :)

 It has been a great Term Three at Head Start and wonderful to watch how the children grow and develop with all the skills we offer throughout the term. 

We are looking forward to our last term of the year and hope you have all signed up, if not check out our timetable at We are looking forward to seeing you all in a couple of weeks as well as all our new friends from the Baby and Child Show.
If you are moving on next term, thanks for being a part of the Head Start family, we have really enjoyed your company and it has been awesome to have you visit us at our Head Start Headquarters.  

Goodbye, goodbye see you again.  Goodbye, goodbye see you my friend

Take Care over the holidays and we look forward to seeing you all next term (Tuesday 15th October) at our Head Start Headquarters!!

 From the Head Start Team :)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Gross Motor Skills

Hello to all our Head Start families and friends.  Sorry there was no blog last week, had a few technology issues (did anyone notice???)

Anyway this week we have been doing lots of running, crawling, jumping and rolling.  We have been working on our Gross motor skills which means our children have been using their 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.

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!

We will be at the Baby and Child Show at the Edgar Centre on Sunday 10.00am - 4.00pm if you want to pop in and see us (or any of the other great stuff that is going to be there. There will there be over 100 amazing exhibitors at the show with 6 Major Sponsors with  huge sites and some great offers on the day).

FUN WEEK at our Head Start Headquarters next week!!  All the fun stuff will be out, see ya there :)  Have a great weekend

From the Head Start Team

Friday, 6 September 2013

Auditory Sequential Memory

Well just when you think Spring is here and it should be getting warmer all the winter woollies come out again and the garden is totally confused as to what it should be doing.  Good thing we know exactly what we are doing at Head Start and this week we have been practising Auditory Sequential Memory.
Auditory Sequential Memory is the ability to remember things heard in sequence. This helps with other tasks such as learning to spell, repeating number sequences and recalling events. Obviously this is an important skill for us adults, its always good to be able to remember that list of things your better half asked you to do (even if it was during the sports news.....). So it is never to early to start practising this auditory skill.

Our littlest Head Starters listened carefully to our Gibber Gabber game and some even started to mimic the crazy noises back proving that they were retaining that weird auditory sequential information! Try it at home and see how you get on, all you need to do is make up some weird noises and encourage your little one to say them back to you, trust me, the weirder the better, eg. meep meep meep. screech screech boop... how long a sequence can you come up with?!

We also read through some classic fairy tales and used picture cards to see if the kids could remember what they had heard and re-create the story - Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Bears were definite hits! Our older kids listened carefully to number sequences and tried to remember what they had heard to make the same sequence on the whiteboard.
This auditory skill is something that we are actually encouraging often by asking our little people to follow basic instructions during their day. Try to remember to keep the instructions short and concise to start with and as your child develops you can make the instructions longer and more complex. To start with just 2 stage instructions are a good idea to keep it achievable - your child will love the praise you offer when they succeed! For the older kids you can practise by asking them to recall what they did over the day or play games like calling out a number sequence or a letter sequence to see what they can remember, this is also a great way to start with basic maths and spelling - fridge magnets are a great resource for this and might help to keep little minds busy while you are sorting out the tea!
Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you next week at our Head Start Headquarters for lots more fun.
From the Head Start Team

Friday, 30 August 2013

Visual Association

Can you believe we are half way through Term 3 already!! I can't believe how fast this term has gone and how much all our little ones have accomplished.

This week at our Head Start Headquarters we tackled the foundation skill of Visual Association. This is the ability to draw associations between two or more different but related items. To start with this is most easily done with familiar items, such as sock & shoe, knife & fork etc, but importantly this skill builds up to include associations between visual shapes of letters and formation of words, e.g, C + A + T = CAT.
For our littlest Head Starters we made an effort to point out all the things that could be associated together in the class - visual associations are everywhere once you start looking for them!! We talked about socks & shoes, balls in hoops, pegs in bottles...the associations were endless. Sometimes all it takes is the intention to find associations and before you know it they are all around us!

Our older children spent time looking through our visual association items to work out what should be matched up and in no time had figured them all out...we had to make sure that the toothbrush and toothpaste wasn't put to actual use though, but to be fair all the children knew that these two went together!

Don't forget our seminar on Thursday evening at our Head Start Headquarters, all welcome :)
Children’s Nutrition What really matters?
Join us for an educational evening with Jennifer Douglas, Nutritionist. Gain an understanding about the foods that really matter in your pre-schoolers' diet and how to get them to eat!
Thursday 5th September
Have a lovely weekend and we look forward to seeing you at our Head Start Headquarters next week :)
From the Head Start Team

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Up, up up the ladder, down, down down the slide

Hello All!  What a great week we have had at our Head Start Headquarters going up, down, through, round, over and under.  It has been wonderful watching you all have fun running up and down the ramp, forwards and backwards!

This week we have looked at directionality.  Directionality is the understanding of an objects position in space in relation to oneself. A child first learns these concepts in relation to themselves and is then able to transfer them to numbers, letters and words. This skill is important in the visual discrimination of letters and numbers for both reading and writing.

So for all our Head Start kids this week there has been lots of climbing up the climbing wall, climbing up the ladder and down the slide, in the boxes and on the boxes.  Even though lots of these activities are familiar to our children it is good to intentionally verbalise these concepts as the children complete the activities so they are able to later relate this to writing.  For example if you were asking your child to draw the letter "A" you might say: "draw a line that goes up, then down with a line across the middle".  Have fun using these concepts at the park, in the bath and while you are out driving.

Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you all next week at out Head Start Headquarters.

Friday, 16 August 2013

B is for Bubbles - Auditory Association

Hello All! What a busy, noisy week we have had at our Head Start headquarters this week.  There  has been some strange sounds in the Head Start room this week and I was sure my guinea-pigs had been let out and were running around squeaking in the corner.  As it turned out there was also a cow mooing and pigs oinking and these noises were coming from our noisy books as the children tried to match the sound with the animal.
All the noise is because this week our foundational skill has been - Auditory Association, this is our child’s ability to relate a sound to a given object or letter. This is an important skill in early literacy when learning letter sounds, blends and words.
Well I hope you all have a great weekend and don't forget to post something on our Face book page if you get a chance or when you find a great place to go with your wee ones, let us all know.  Looking forward to next week already.

Cheers from
The Head Start Team

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Visual Memory

What a great week we have had at our Head Start Headquarters! This week we looked at Visual Memory. Visual memory is your child’s ability to store visual information in their short term and long term memory.

Short term visual memory is important for tasks such as following instructions and copying information from the board. 

Long term visual memory involves the integration of visual information with previous experiences. This becomes important to ensure a good foundation of basic mathematical and literacy concepts is laid for future learning. 

This week we had lots of things hiding in boxes and egg cartons and it was interesting to watch the children play with the toys and then put them back in the boxes for the next child to find.  Our Search and Rescue game  pit was a great hit too, looking at a visual cue and then searching for the corresponding picture in the pool...Dora the Explorer was a crowd pleaser!

Our "Kim's Game", got a few looks in and trying to remember what was on the tray when the scarf went back over the top was a challenge even for the adults!
This week we have welcomed some Otago polytec students who will be with us for the term looking at how we run our groups and all the amazing learning that goes on in our Head Start classes.

Well that's all from me this week, have a great weekend and all the Head Start team look forward to seeing you next week bright and bubbly ready for another great week at our Head Start Headquarters.

Can you spot the differences??
Take Care
The Head Start Team :)

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome

 Hello to all our Head Start Friends and Families and a BIG Warm WELCOME to all our new Head Start families who have joined us for term 3 at our Head Start Headquarters.  WELCOME :)

This week has been an introduction to our program for those new to the program and a catch up on holiday activities for those that are rejoining us again.  I love to see the children's faces as they walk into the Head Start room and quickly scan the room to see what is out to play on, the excitement and anticipation is great!!

Next week the room will be set out differently again and for those of you new to the program you will see yellow cards next to some of the activities.  These explain how to use the equipment in relation to the foundational skill we are looking at so you are able to direct your child in their play.

Please feel free to ask us if you do not understand what to do on some of the equipment as we always have a purpose for putting equipment out as we do.

We look forward to term 3 at our Head Start Headquarters and it is shaping up to be a busy one which is great for keeping us on our toes :)

Have a lovely weekend and we look forward to seeing you all at our Head Start Headquarters for some active brain, active body and active movement activities!

Cheers from the Head Start Team

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Fun Week at Head Start :)

Hello to all our Head Start Friends and Families.  This week we have had lots of fun at our Head Start Headquarters with all our favourite Head Start equipment out to play on. The bikes and tunnels were a favourite as was the flying frog.  The older children have been working on the bean bag song (throw the bean bag, turn around, stamp, stamp) all term and I think they have finally got it, which is fantastic!!!!

It has been a great Term Two, (hard to believe we are half way through the year already), at Head Start and wonderful to watch how the children grow and develop all the skills we offer throughout the term.  Don't forget to practise all the skills at home and have fun making up new games which include these skills over the holidays.  I would love to hear your ideas when you come back next term, or you can post them so other Mums, Dads, Nana and Grandad's can use them to fill in all the spare holiday time :)

Don't forget to check out our timetable for next term, and sign up (if you haven't already done so.)

Take Care over the holidays and we look forward to seeing you all next term (Tuesday, 30 July) at our Head Start Headquarters!!

Happy Holidays
From the Head Start Team :)

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Crossing the Midline

Hello and a warm winter welcome to all our Head Start friends and families.  Well we are in the middle of winter now but with the shortest day been and gone we can look forward to Spring around the corner.

This week for our Head Start foundational skill we have been looking at is Crossing the Midline.  This is the ability to reach across the middle of the body with the arms and legs crossing over to the other side. This is an important developmental skill and is needed for reading and handwriting as well as many other daily activities. For example; being able to draw a line across a page without having to switch hands or visually tracking from left to right when reading.

 So at our 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!

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, some have been sorting out fruit, others have been picking up small balls and posting them into pipes down our ramp.

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 we are now taking enrolments so make sure you pass on our phone number to them so they don't miss out (03) 4879698 and don't forget to sign yourself up also.  If you have been away for a term ring Di and let her know you would like to come back and see us again, ALL WELCOME:)

Well have a great weekend all and I look forward to our FUN WEEK at our Head Start Headquarters next week :)

See ya then
From the Head Start Team

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Visual Sequencing

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families. 

Wow can you believe we are almost at the end of term 2.  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.
Don't forget that our amazing Speech Language Therapist Karen is imparting her knowledge and years of experience to those interested today (Thursday 27.06.2013, 7.30pm at our Head Start Room).  Ring the office to book your interest.
Well I hope you all have a good week
Take Care
From the Head Start Team

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Auditory Analysis and Synthesis

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families. 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 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.

Take Care from the
Head Start Team

Friday, 14 June 2013

Eye - Foot Coordination

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families.  Who can believe we are now past half way through the term and winter has 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.

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

· 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.
Our term two newsletter is out.  If you did not receive one via email then please pick up a hard copy when you are next in and update your details with Di so you don't miss out on seminars and happenings at our Head Start Headquarters :)
Have a lovely weekend
Catch you next week
From all the Head Start Team

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Visual Completion

Wow what a busy week at Head Start this week.  Thanks everyone for putting on your winter woollies and coming to play at our Head Start Headquarters we have had lots of fun and a few visitors which has been lovely.

This week we have been looking at Visual Completion. This is the ability to identify an object even if part of it is hidden. Visual Completion is important for children to be able to formulate letters and numbers when learning to write.

For our little's we were practising this by covering up our favourite soft toys and playing a slow peekaboo to see how much (or little) you can show before they tell you what it is. We extended this idea in class by using peekaboo windows over pictures of familiar things, for example a picture of Thomas the Tank Engine hidden with only a small window to see a portion of the picture - a fun concept to try at home with some of your favourite picture books! For the bigger kids we took these ideas of completion even further and started finishing partially drawn shapes on the white board...who knew join the dots could be so educational?! For more ideas to do at home don't forget to grab a take home sheet on the way out.

Have a fun weekend and stay nice and warm. Maybe you could play peek a boo in a home made tent under the table.

Take Care from the Head Start Team :)

Friday, 31 May 2013

1,2,3 Listen to Me - Auditory Pattern

Well our Head Start Headquarters was a bit quiet this week with all that lovely snow closing the city down.  I hope you had fun making snowmen and snow angels we sure did. For those new families at Head Start the best way for us to let you know what is happening is through our Face Book Page, but as a general rule, if the schools are closed so are we and we will post on our Face Book page any change of details. 
So this week for those were able to be with us on Thursday was very noisy.  This was due to all the drums, shakers, and noisy toys being played.  The reason behind all this fun noise was because this week we were concentrating on Auditory Pattern. 
Auditory Pattern is the ability to listen to a pattern of sound and repeat that same pattern back. Auditory Pattern is an important underlying skill for a child's speech development.
Our activities this week included drums and shakers that had our children banging and shaking out some fun patterns with Mums, Dads, Nana's and carers all trying repeat them back.  Others found some of the noisy toys lots of fun, pushing, watching and listening to all the interesting sounds these made. This caused lots of laughs and smiles and we love to see this at Head Start.
Musical instruments and singing is a great way to help your wee ones learn to recognise sound patterns. It doesn't matter if you sing in tune or not and the musical instruments can just be the pots and a wooded spoon from the draw. For our older children we had them clapping and stamping patterns with hands and feet and you can do this at home while listening to your favourite songs.
Have fun making your own instruments this week and we look forward to seeing you all next week at our Head Start Headquarters
From the Head Start Team :)

Friday, 24 May 2013

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes - Body Awareness

Hello to all our Head Start Friends and Families. This week at our Head Start Headquarters we have been focusing on Body Awareness. Body Awareness is the internal awareness (in technical jargon: proprioception) of where your body parts are without having to look at them. In other words the understanding of where your arms, legs, head etc are in relation to each other.

As kids learn about where their body parts are and develop a greater understanding of where their body is in space they are better equipped to move in a coordinated way, such as running, turning, leaping and
generally just being active.

When they get to school this can help them to navigate their way in a busy classroom environment and also helps to stabilise their trunk while moving their arm in an isolated and coordinated way while handwriting. Who knew that all those songs and games like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and the Simon Says could be the gateway to so many other skills?!

So this week at Head Start what have we been up too? For our OYM/Ready kids we played with tactile objects out of our treasure box to introduce different sensations to different parts of the body (the sauce bottle was a favourite). Some of the Ready children were popping a beanie baby on different parts of their body whilst the Steady bunch took this one step further by seeing how far they could walk while balancing bean bags on different body parts. The Go team got super inventive with their Body Twister moves managing to get elbows, knees, hands and feet into positions that are not recommended for the older members of the class.

So all in all, another great week for the Head Starters of Term 2. Try to get creative this week and use your newly practised Body Awareness skills at home too - What a great excuse to get  your newborn clothes out of storage and dress up all the teddies...see how many parts of the body you can throw into the conversation!

Try looking through your books and see how many noses/ears/toes etc you can find on each page. For the older ones get creative with your Simon Says instructions. Lastly, see if you can make up actions to all your favourite songs, Hokey Tokey and Knees Up Mother Brown are great places to start but I am sure you can think of heaps more!
Have a fun weekend  and we look forward to seeing you all at our Head Start Headquarters next week :)
From the Head Start Team

Friday, 17 May 2013

Visual Consistancy

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families.  Well week two and it already seems like our newest Head Starters have settled in beautifully. This week we tackled the Foundation Skill of Visual Consistency. In a nutshell this is the understanding that despite differences such as size, colour and orientation an object remains the same.

For example, a duck is still a duck even though it may be brown, white or speckled, big, small or have it's head under the water.  It is the ability to mentally turn and rotate objects in the mind and to picture what they would look like whcih in turn helps to distinguish differences between objects. 

In terms of formal learning this skill is important in order to master handwritting and reading as it helps the child understand that letters stay the same sespite changes in size or shape (font size, font type, upper and lower cases).

Till next week have fun finding examples of visual consistency at your place!
From the Head Start Team :)

Thursday, 9 May 2013


Well Term 2 has hit with a hiss and a roar.  Great to welcome back our Head Start families and a BIG WELCOME to all our new Head Start families.  We hope you enjoy the Head Start program and we look forward to getting to know you all better over the next 9 weeks of the term.

Each week we at Head Start we have a specific focus which is based around foundational skills that makes children better equipped for further learning and development.  The activities that we put out in our Head Start room enhance the identified skill and as trained professionals in Occupational Therapy we are able to assist you, the parents, with grading the activity to fit your child.  With parent's participation you then learn the skill as well as how to adjust the activity at home to fit with the growth and development of your child.

We love our job and seeing how the children develop over the term or terms that they are with and we love to hear your feedback, so let us know what you think of our program or how you think it has helped your child/ren.

Don't forget we are part of a larger team at RATA South LTD which includes Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Physiotherapists so if you have any questions please feel free to ask or call us on (03) 487 9698 for further information.

I am looking forward to next week already, I hope everyone had fun this week I know I did, THANKS.

Have a good week

From the Head Start Team :)

Friday, 26 April 2013

Happy Holidays

Hello All. Hope you are enjoying your holidays, hard to believe it is Friday of the first week already!  I hope you enjoyed the Play Date at the Edgar Centre on Sunday, it was great to see so many familiar faces and lots of new ones as well.  Check out our Head Start Facebook page for some great photo's of the day.

A big THANK YOU and shout out to Constable Ross and his partner from the police and Phil and the Fire Team from the Central Fire Station for being there on Sunday and sharing their knowledge and expertise with us all.

Also THANK YOU to the Parents Centre for bringing all the bikes for the bike course. Everyone looked like they all had heaps of fun negotiating the bike course we had set up.

With the cooler, wetter weather what does everyone get up too?  I have been looking on and they have lots of great ideas from lots of different people that are easy and fun to make and do at home.

Have a great rest of the holidays and I look forward to catching up on Tuesday 7th May at our Head Start Headquarters.

From the Head Start Team:)

PS Please share our Facebook page with your friends, Thanks :)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Fun Week :)

Hello to all our Head Start Friends and Families.  This week we have had lots of fun at our Head Start Headquarters with all our favourite Head Start equipment out to play on.  I thought I had put all the favourite toys out but was quickly reminded that I had forgotten the DUCKS,  how could I forget the DUCKS, sorry Gus :)

It has been a great Term One at Head Start and wonderful to watch how the children grow and develop all the skills we offer throughout the term. 

I am looking forward to our Play Date at the Edgar Centre this Sunday at 10am, I hope you can all come.  Bring a friend and show them how much fun we have at our Head Start Headquarters.  There will be lots to do, face painting, treasure hunt, construction central, bike course, bouncy castle,  I CAN'T WAIT!!!!  See you there!!

Don't forget to check out our timetable for next term, we have made some slight changes

Take Care over the holidays and we look forward to seeing you all next term (Tuesday 7th May) at our Head Start Headquarters!!

From the Head Start Team :)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Integration of the Left and Right Brain

Hello to all our Head Start families. This week we have looked at the integration of our left and right brain. What does this mean, well.....The left and right hemispheres of the brain work in different ways and integration of the hemispheres is important so that the whole brain is involved in the thinking and learning process. Activities that cross the body's mid line promote the pathways between the hemispheres and help to integrate them. Activities that use both sides of the body at the same time are important for developing coordination as well as spelling, reading, listening and comprehension.
For most of our classes this meant getting everyone on their hands and knees and crawling around the Head Start Obstacle course with their child.  Others had fun playing tapping sticks or practising left hand right hand on the low down monkey bar. Wealso had some of our posting favourites out and were getting the children to reach to from left to right to post objects.

Don't forget if you would like to come to our seminar "Foundation Skills for Learning" on Thursday (18th April, 2013) evening (7.30pm) give Di a call (03) 4879698 and please book in.

 Don't forget to take a take home sheet to help you remember the activities that we do at Head Start, these are always beside the sign in sheet. Have a great week and we will catch you next week at our Head Start Headquarters :)

From the Head Start Team

Friday, 5 April 2013

Hand-Eye Co-ordination

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families. I hope you have all had a good week.  Have you noticed the change in temperature and all the leaves changing colour and falling off the trees.  A great time to go walking in the park and go rolling in the leaves :)
Well this week at our Head Start Headquarters we have looked at Hand-eye coordination.  This is, the ability of the eyes to control, guide and direct the hands in movements. Hand-eye coordination is important for gross motor skills & games as well as fine motor skills such as handwriting. You can help your child to develop hand-eye coordination by practising fine motor tasks such as building block towers, and through gross motor movements as when playing ball games.

We had LOTS of activities out and one of the favourites was the new octopus that was hiding the balls in his colourful shoes.  There was also lots of building with the blocks, putting shapes on pegs, threading, and up the ramp another favourite the egg and spoon race. 
So a couple of things happening at the Head Start Headquarters before the end of the term:

1) Anna and Jo are running our "Foundational Skills For Learning"  seminar on Thursday, April 18th, 7.30pm.  All welcome just ring (03) 487 9698, and confirm your place or use the sign up sheet at the desk

2) On the Sunday the 21st April, 10.00am we are running our Pre School Play date at the Edgar Centre. Lots of fun for the wee ones and a discounted rate for Term 2 if you sign up for a class in person on the day.

3) If you would like to receive our newsletter please forward your email/postal information and key contact person to ATT: Di, at with the heading Head Start Newsletter Mail Out

Have a great week and we will see you at our Head Start Headquarters next week for some more fun.

From the Head Start Team :)