Wednesday, 17 December 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Yah it's Christmas.  What a great week we had at Head Start with all the favourite bits and pieces out to play on. 

I think the most versatile and used piece of equipment we have in the Head Start room is the ramp.  Over the year we have had cars race down it, balls roll down it, obstacle courses up and down, covered it like a big tunnel, bikes up and down, marbles, hoops, races, rolling etc.. etc...

It is always fun to see how the children use the equipment in the Head Start room and this often gives me lots of ideas for my set up each week






















2014 has been a great year at our Head Start Headquarters.  We all look forward to another fun year.  Our Timetable will be up on our website very soon but if you have been enrolled in the past you will get an email reminder.  If you have any questions just give us a call and we will be happy to put your name down for next year (03) 4879698.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

From Jo, Becky, Di and Avis :)

Friday, 5 December 2014

C...h..r...i..s..t..m..a..

One more week to go and then our Head Start Headquarters will go very, very quiet. When I look back over the past year at Head Start I can't help but smile at all the fun, laughter, growth and changes that have occurred.  The children and adults that attend our Head Start sessions always surprise me and help me to grow in more ways than I can ever put into words.

I look forward to our last sessions as we have the opportunity to bring out all the equipment that we have been using over the year, the children are relaxed and getting into the Christmas spirit and we can pass on our Christmas wishes.

Have a great weekend and come along to our Head Start Headquarters ready for some Christmas fun.

From the Head Start Team :)

Friday, 28 November 2014

Busy Bag Exchange

Well the Busy Bag evening didn't quite go as planned but thanks to Michelle, Shelley, Anita and Jo we did get four very cool bags to exchange. With Christmas just about here these will keep the little ones busy while Mum cooks the Christmas dinner, or travelling in the car :)

This activity is great for fine
motor skills sequencing and
colours.  It can make a chain
or a big long coloured snake:)
Fantastic lacing busy bag.
Great for fine motor,
hand-eye coordination
 



Build a tower, create letters,
make shapes or build a house
on the floor or in the bath

Lots of number recognition,
matching patterns of
dots with the right number

The Christmas decorations have started to appear at our Head Start Headquarters and the Christmas songs are on the play list, with only 2 more weeks of Head Start we are looking forward to lots of Jingle Bells, smiles and excitement as the year winds up.

Hope you have a great week and look forward to seeing you at our Head Start Headquarters next week :)

From the Head Start Team :)

Thursday, 20 November 2014

C..h..r..i..s..t

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families.
This week is our favourite week in the Head Start programme, touch. Have you ever thought about how you learnt to like something or dislike something??  Do you remember smelling something  and have it remind you of your Nana, or someone close to you?  This is your sensory system working.

For children touch is their strongest sense and the one they learn the most from. Sensory receptors on the skin send messages to the brain and make new connections. As children grow touch helps them learn about themselves and the world around them. I say let them explore by feeling, smelling, tasting, listening, watching and experimenting with movement.

Check out this story to see how one school is helping children who have Sensory Processing difficulties:
http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourallekiskivalley/yourallekiskivalleymore/7154743-74/sensory-primary-butler#axzz3JG4oYWLg

Also not too late to sign up for our Busy Bag night, its shaping up to be a lot of fun :)

Have a great week

Cheers for the Head Start Team

Thursday, 6 November 2014

C..h..r..i

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families.  As the term ticks over it is hard to know if you leave the house is winter clothes or summer :) This week we have been "looking" at vision with lots of eye tracking activities and exploring dark caves with a torch spotting all the exciting objects hiding in the dark.

Don't forget:  
Christmas BUSY BAG EXCHANGE!

When: Thursday 27 November
Where: 350 South Road
Time: 7:30pm

After such a successful Busy Bag evening and lots of hints from you all we are going to do it again.
Registar your interest with me via email joanne.hawker@ratasouth.co.nz or phone us at (03) 487 9698
 
This game produced the BEST laughs and giggles
from our Head Start groups on Thursday :)
 
Have a great week and we look forward to seeing you all at our Head Start headquarters next week.

Cheers from the Head Start Team :)
 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

C..h..r

Hello to all our Head Start Friends and families.  For those of you on our mailing list you may have noticed that we are once again running a Busy Bag Exchange.  Everyone is welcome and we are looking forward to all the creativeness that seems to emerge at this time of the year.

Drop me a line via email at, joanne.hawker@ratasouth.co.nz or phone us at (03) 487 9698 and I will send you out an activity to make up (all easy and cheap ideas),make up 6 (1 for you and 5 to exchange) more of the same thing, bring those along to our evening and exchange them for 5 exciting new bags that others have created.


Christmas BUSY BAG EXCHANGE!
When: Thursday 27 November
 
Where: 350 South Road
Time: 7:30pm
 
 
Looking forward to seeing you all next week at our Head Start Headquarters
 
Cheers
Jo

 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Welcome Back!!

A big welcome back to Head Start and an even bigger welcome to our new friends and families, I hope you feel welcome at our Head Start Headquarters. It was nice to have a little break over the holidays so I could do some cleaning and get sorted for our last term of the year.  This is always a busy term for families with concerts, bar-b-ques, picnics and coffee catch-ups.

I am not going to say it too soon but at Head Start this term we will be looking at 9 letters over the term which will spell out that special event at the end of the year so keep your eyes on the whiteboard as these start to appear and create that special word :)

We had a very successful time at the Baby and Child show and it was great to meet so many expectant Mums and Dad' s all in the same room (must be something in the water) and also catch up with some of our past Head Start families.

Have a great weekend and I am looking forward to catching up with you next week.

OH I almost forgot, A HUGE Head Start welcome to Becky who is a Physiotherapist with us at RATA South and is now going to take the Tuesday Head Start classes.  She is fantastic and you will have lots of fun with her :)

See you all next week
From the Head Start Team :)






Friday, 26 September 2014

Another Head Start Favourite

Hi to all our Head Start friends and families. 
Well it's hard to believe we have come to the end of term 3, 2014.  We have had lots of fun this term and the children all seem to be really enjoying the programme. 
 
The biggest thing I have notice in the groups over this term is the social interaction that is happening.  The big "Hello James" or "here comes Thomas" and "where is Connor today?" tells me the children are building great friendships and relationships with their Head Start buddies.  This is also evident with the Mums, Dads Grandparents and carers that bring the children to Head Start, when they all want to go for a coffee together after the group, love it!
 
This week I have provided the words for another very favourite song that we have had throughout this term which has provided lots of Head Start smiles and social interaction.
 
Stretchy Cord
Hebi Ring 8 Metresby Janet Channon
 Swing left, swing right,
Swing left, swing right,
Hold on, hold tightly,
Swing left, swing right.
Swing left, swing right,
Swing left, swing right,
Hold on, hold tightly,
Swing left, swing right.
Pass the ring along,
Sing a stretchy cord song,
Pass the ring along,
Sing a song, sing a song,
Roll big circles around and then
Roll and then we swing it again.
 
Swing left, swing right…
Goodbye, I’m going backwards,
I’ll see you later friends,
Hello, it’s good to see you,
You all came back again.
I have to go away,
So sad I know,
Hold it, hold it,
Then let it GO!
 
 
Have a wonderful holiday and I look forward to next term (beginning Tuesday 14 October, 10.15am Under 2's and 11.15am Over 2's) at our Head Start Headquarters. 
 
Cheers from the Head Start Team
PS Don't forget to enrol for term 4 if you haven't already :)

 
 
 


Thursday, 18 September 2014

One, two, three, four, five bzzzzzzz

Here is a beehive. Where are the bees?
(hold up fist)

Hidden away where nobody sees.
(move other hand around fist)

Watch and you’ll see them come out of the hive
(bend head close to fist)

One, two, three, four, five.
(hold fingers up one at a time)

Bzzzzzzzz… all fly away!
(wave fingers)


This has been a favourite at Head Start this term. If anyone has a song request for the last week, let me know :)

Have a great week and if you are out and about on Sunday pop in and see the Head Start Team at the Baby and Child show at the Edgar Centre between 10am and 3pm.

Cheers

From the Head Start Team

Friday, 12 September 2014

Visual Figure Ground

Only two weeks of Head Start to go before we have a little break before the silly season starts.  This week we have been looking at Visual Figure Ground.  This is the ability to discriminate between visual foreground and backgrounds. For example, being able to pick out patterns amongst a busy backdrop or finding a specific can on a shelf full of cans at the supermarket! 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

Where's Wally is a great way to practise Visual Figure Ground

Have a great weekend and enjoy the sights and sounds of Spring

From the Head Start Team

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Auditory Figure Ground - Moo moo, woof woof

This week has been really interesting.  Watching the Head Start children engaged in the activities around the room, there were very few who actually stopped what they were doing when the animal sounds came on throughout the session.  They were all focused on what they were doing and listening to instructions from Mum, Dad, Nanny or grandparents.

Some take home ideas:

  • spend time during the day in a quiet environment.  Only have one 'noise' on at a time
  • When you are out, spend time listening to different noises and discussing what they are and where they have come from
  • have a picnic in a noisy environment, like the playground or at the pool - spend time listening and identifying different noises
  • provide your child with clear concise instructions, especially in a busy environment.  Get down to their level and look them in the eye when you are talking to them to help draw their attention to you.
Don't forget to have fun this weekend and with the sun shinning and the days a little longer take the opportunity to go out and listen to the birds as they roost or watch the sun set at the beach :)

See you all next week at our Head Start Headquarters

From the Head Start Team :

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Fun at Head Start





So sorry for the late post, where does the time go??  Head Start has been very busy over the last few weeks and I am absolutely loving what I am seeing at our Head Start Headquarters.
All the children have settled so well into the routine and have welcomed our students Abbey and Emma into their world at Head Start.  This is a big bonus for me as it means I am able to spend that little bit more time with Mums, Dads and caregivers finding out just what their wee ones are up too and what sort of activities are best benefitting their child/ren.

Head Start - active body, active brain's photo.For the last couple of weeks the big hit activity has been the ramp with the balls and goal.  This has provided an amazing amount of laughs and depending on the group, lots of variations to how the balls reach the bottom.

Hope you have had a great weekend in the sun.  Looking forward to another amazing week at our Head Start Headquarters.

From the Head Start Team


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Visual Association

Can you believe we are half way through Term 3 already!! I can't believe how fast this term has gone.

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!


REMINDER - Seminar KEEP THIS DATE FREE

How to take the Perfect Family Photo

Date: 18 Septmber, 2014

Time:  7:30pm

Place: 350 South Road, Caversham

Donation

Have a lovely weekend and we look forward to seeing you at our Head Start Headquarters next week :)
 
From the Head Start Team

Friday, 15 August 2014

Building Strong Foundations

Over the last wee while I have been thinking about our Head Start programme and how it relates to building a house.  Each week we focus on a specific foundational skill that helps your child build their developmental skills at an age appropriate level (this week we were looking at Directionality).  This helps our children begin to build a strong foundation for all their present and future learning.

When you are building a house, if you don’t do the ground work and get the foundation strong, solid and supportive, then the rest of the house is going to look like the crooked mans house.
Our children will have  teachers, mentors and people who will influence them over their growing up and education, each one an important link in their chain of learning and development.  If a firm foundation has been laid early in their development then the next level of learning can easily be laid without fear of a downfall, and I believe they will have success in their learning.
With a strong foundation it is easier for our children to manage change and cope with difficult learning tasks.  In the same way we can choose to move a wall or change a  paint colour in a house we enhance what was first built on that foundation, and so at Head Start we want to help you build that strong foundation for your child.
We look forward to seeing you all next week at our Head Start headquarters to continue the building.
From the Head Start Team

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Mooo, tweet, woof woof, Roarrrrr


 

There were lots of unusual noises coming out of our Head Start Headquarters this week, including sheep, cow's sirens, birds. Why was that??  Well we were looking at the children's ability to relate a sound to a picture, object or letter.  This is called auditory association and is really useful as they learn letter sounds, blends and words.

You can continue your child's learning at home by:
  • talking to your child about the sounds that you hear when you are out and about
  • playing lots of noise games with animals or cars
  • choose books that include a sound panel
  • as your child gets older start to introduce the letter sound along side the letter
  • play eye spy using letters or letter sounds
Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you all next week at our Head Start Headquarters.

Cheers from the Head Start Team



Friday, 1 August 2014

Do you remember Kim's Game?

Welcome to Week 2 of term 3.  We hope you had a good week at our Head Start Headquarters and took home some good ideas on how to improve your child's visual memory.

Don't forget that you can continue to improve your child's visual memory skills at home as well.  Here at Head Start we try to keep the activities simple and economical so you can replicate them at home and continue their growth in the foundational skill we have been focusing on.

Kim's game is a great way for your child to practice the skill of visual memory.  It doesn't have to be difficult and maybe you could even get them to eat the vegies on their plate by making them disappear and you guess what has gone missing.

Have a good weekend and we really look forward to seeing you next week at our Head Start Headquarters for another fun filled week.

From the Head Start Team

Friday, 25 July 2014

Welcome Back:)

Hello and a big WELCOME to all our friends and families of Head Start.  We hope
you had a good break and got out and enjoyed some outdoor activities even though the weather was not so great. Welcome also to our new families and we hope you have enjoyed the first week at our Head Start Headquarters for term 3,2014.

This term we welcome Abbey and Emma who are in their final year of study at the Sports Institute, we look forward to their input as the time goes on.

We are looking forward to an exciting term and we are excited to watch your little ones grow as they discover new skills in our professional lead Head Start sessions.

Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you all at our Head Start Headquarters next week :)

From the Head Start Team


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Last Week of Term 2

Hello to all our Head Start Friends and Families.  Wow last week of term 2 and we have managed to run all our sessions without getting snowed out.  I hope you all had a great last week with all our fun equipment out to play on and I especially hope you got one of our cool "I'm a Head Start Kid!" stickers.


 
Don't forget to sign up for next term as we don't automatically roll your name over each term as we know how things can change with little ones.  Give Di a call (03) 487 9698 to register your interest so we can start to plan our term three classes.  It would be great to have all the classes full, so if you have a friend with a little one that is looking for something fun to do in the winter term, why not get them along to Head Start!
 
Have a great break for the next two weeks and we will see you back for our first classes on the Tuesday 22 July,  10.15am Under 2's and 11.15am Over 2's and Thursday 24 July, 9.15am Under 2's  and 10.15am Over 2's.
 
Happy Holiday's
 
From the Team at Head Start :)
 
 

Friday, 27 June 2014

Head Start and Getting Ready for School


Hello to all our Head Start Friends and Families
We have had a busy week at our Head Start Headquarters.  As another term comes to a close, we know there are some of our Head Start children going off to school.  As you know, over the terms we look at a foundational skills that all children will need as they move into further education, so I thought you might be interested in looking at what the Ministry of Education has to say about what your child needs to be able to do when they start school.

Check out this Starting School pdf put out by the Ministry of Education at...
http://www.minedu.govt.nz/~/media/MinEdu/Files/Parents/ECE/StartingSchool.pdf

Friday, 20 June 2014

This Weeks Favourite...

Hello to all our Head Start Friends and Families.  This week at our Head Start Headquarters the most favourite activity was the parachute.  Hooked up over the ramp the children had lots of fun and laughter running underneath making their hair stand on end with static electricity. 

It always amazes me how the children use the equipment in our Head Start room, it's great to see them explore and create their own games in ways that I hadn't even thought of, I love it :)

Looking forward to seeing you all next week.  Sign up sheets for term 3 will be out.  Don't forget to remind your friends to sign up as well.

Have a great weekend from the Head Start Team :)

Friday, 13 June 2014

Great Read, Check it Out

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families.  Short blog this week cause I think this is a great read.  Check it out :0

WHY CHILDREN FIDGET: And what we can do about it
 
http://www.balancedandbarefoot.com/blog/the-real-reason-why-children-fidget?fb_action_ids=10152182653223450&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=.U5oqejTsPwc.like&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582



Hope you enjoy the read.

Have a great weekend and we will see you next week at our Head Start Headquarters next week.

Cheers from the Head Start Team.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Do you remember.....

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families.  Do you remember all the little rhymes your mother, father, grandparent, uncle or auntie sung to you when you were little?  Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Two Little Dickie Birds,  Where is the Beehive?  Do you remember all the words and actions that go with them? 

These sorts of rhymes are important for our little ones as they begin to develop hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, counting, and memory to name a few.  How many rhymes do you remember?  Here are a few of my favourites.

The Itsy, Bitsy Spider
 gif

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.
 
Mary Had a Little Lamb
 gif
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day,
Which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play,
To see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned it out,
But still it lingered near,
And waited patiently about
Till Mary did appear.

“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
The eager children cry;
“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know,”
The teacher did reply.
 
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
 gif
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark,—
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
clr gif
Have fun remembering all the words and actions to your favourite rhymes over this weekend.  Have a great weekend and we will see you next week at our Head Start Headquarters.

From the Head Start Team :)

       
clr gif

       
clr gif

       

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Active Body, Active Brain, Active Movement at Head Start

Hello to all our Friends and Families at Head Start.  As you know at Head Start we like to have active bodies, active brains with lots of active movement.  We do this in lots of different ways at our Head Start Headquarters and each week we try and offer it in different ways.  This is because..."The act of playing is an important tool that influences a child’s life. The primary goals of childhood are to grow, learn, and play. It is often through play that children learn to make sense of the world around them. It is a child’s "job" or "occupation" to play to develop physical coordination, emotional maturity, social skills to interact with other children, and self-confidence to try new experiences and explore new environments." - See more at: http://www.aota.org/en/About-Occupational-Therapy/Patients-Clients/ChildrenAndYouth/Play.aspx#sthash.AjAgucor.dpuf
 
Did you catch the article about "7 Reasons to Climb UP the Slide" on our Face Book Page, well worth the read if you have time.

If you are looking for more ideas to be interactive with your little ones, don't forget to take a Take Home Sheet with you on the way out the Head Start door.  On these we provide you with some more activities to continue teaching your child the Foundational Skill we have been working on during the session.  

For still more ideas on keeping your little one occupied take a look at www.sparc.org.nz.  They provide you with booklets that come with some great ideas for under 5's.

I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.  We look forward to catching up with you all next week at our Head Start Headquarters.

From the Head Start Team

Friday, 23 May 2014

Head Start Favourites

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families.  Here at our Head Start Headquarters we love to change things around each week.  This adds to the excitement of coming to Head Start but it is fascinating to watch the children gravitate to their favourites. 

One of these is our tunnels.  No matter what way it is configured the children always look to explore what is hidden in there or if they can hide and play peek-a-boo. 
 
 
Have a great weekend and we look forward to another great week at out Head Start Headquarters
 
Cheers from the Head Start Team :)


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Lovely Bubbles at Head Start

What a lovely week at our Head Start Headquarters this week.
Bubbles are a big part of the fun we have at Head Start.  They are great for hand eye coordination, fine motor control, gross motor control and are just heaps of fun.
 
This week we the letter "L" was a hit as the children had a go at writing the letter "L" on different surfaces, blackboard, whiteboards, magna doodle, light board, all great ways to practise their writing skills.  Why not play a game with your wee one and see how many things can you name that begin with the letter "L"??
Looking forward to another lovely week at Head Start this week.  See you there.
 
From the Head Start Team :)

Friday, 9 May 2014

Welcome Back :)

Welcome back to Head Start Headquarters.  We hope you had a restful holiday and are ready for a fun filled term at Head Start.  A special welcome to the families who are joining us for the first time.  We have had a fun week back with lots of giggles of excitement as children come back for 'fun' at Head Start. 

 "K" was the letter of the week, so we did lots of kicking, were kind to each other, found the kangaroo and the kite on the letter sheet.  I made this "K" out of our pegs, and my sister-in-law has been making Lego words to help my nephew with his spelling, what fun ways have you found to make letters and words with your little ones?
We are looking forward to another fun term at Head Start and can't wait to watch the children explore all the fun activities that we have planned for the term.
 
Have a lovely weekend
 
From the Head Start Team.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Happy Easter

Happy  Easter  (22)Happy Easter to all our Head Start friends and families.  On a day like today, (we have been stuck inside all day) for those of you who attended our Busy Bag evening let us know if the bags were a welcome distraction for your children.  Have you been inspired to make any more?  Would love you to post some photos if you have.

We are having a couple of weeks off for the school holidays but look forward to seeing you all for our first classes on Tuesday the 6th May, (Under 2's at 10.15am, Over 2's at 11.15am and Mixed Class at 1pm) and Thursday 8th May (Under 2's, 9.15am and Over 2's 10.15am)

Lots of great memories from term one.  I have especially enjoyed watching some of the children who have been really shy in the beginning, gain confidence on the equipment and also socially in their group, just magic to be a part of.

Have a lovely break (despite the weather) and we look forward to another term filled with fun and learning.

Happy Easter from all of the Head Start Team

Friday, 11 April 2014

I is for Integration



Hello to all our Head Start Friends and Families.  This week was VERY quiet in the Head Start room on Tuesday, I am hoping that it is just everyone adjusting to day lights savings and that you will all be back next week for our final week before the school holidays.

The letter of the day was "I" which was very appropriate as we had all our activities out relating to the integration of the left and right brain.  Lots of crawling around the Head Start Room, through tunnels and over obstacles kept us busy and moving.

I am looking forward to our last week at Head Start because I can get all the equipment out that we have been using over the term.  It's great fun to watch the children return to favourites and discover toys which they may have missed during the term.

Term 2 sign up sheet is out so don't forget to leave your details with Di or send an email to www.headstart.net.nz

We look forward to seeing you all this week for our FUN WEEK at our Head Start Headquarters.

Cheers from

The Head Start Team

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Hopping at Head Start

Hello to all our Head Start families and friends.  Easter is coming and at Head Start we are all happy hopping.   
Thanks to the girls in the 1.00pm class for creating the letter H for me:)  We are always busy at Head Start learning while we play.   
 
Looking forward to next week
 
From the Head Start Team :)