The day that the petting zoo comes is the favorite day of the year at KDO. Teachers and kids love the animals. Some kids are more anxious to touch and hold than others, but it is a fun experience for all. We wrap up March with a visit from the petting zoo since the entire month is learning about animals in the classroom. This year we used El Rancho petting zoo and they even brought ponies to ride. Getting up close to God’s furry friends is sweet!
Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child’s senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. Sensory activities and sensory tables facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. Spending time stimulating their senses helps children develop cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally, physically and creatively.
Mrs. Lea is encouraging the 3 year olds to problem solve as they test different objects on a ramp. The children are asked if each will roll down the ramp or not. She asks open-ended questions such as “why?” or “what do you think?”, encouraging the children to think through the outcome. With this one activity the children were learning how to brainstorm, verbalize their thoughts and foster their critical thinking skills. After each item was tested it was then sorted according to the outcome, rolled down/did not roll down. Preschoolers learn best when they’re given frequent opportunities to practice their problem solving skills.
Preschools LOVE a good explosion! Mrs. Rachel gave them just that as she mixed vinegar and baking soda inside a carved jack-o-lantern. The children were thrilled to see the pumpkin fizz! The fizzy chemical reaction came right out the pumpkin’s mouth. Yes, it looked as if it was throwing up! As the children left this day, I heard them telling parents all about it! Definitely the highlight on this KDO day.
Mrs. Cheryl is back this year planting in the garden with the children. I’m not sure who enjoys this more, the children or Mrs. Cheryl? The children anxiously awaited their turn to get their fingers dirty. Plants and seeds went into the ground. They were watered and now we wait…(the hardest part for some)!
What an exciting day! The Leander Firemen came to visit, bringing their truck and so much information. The older children were like sponges, listening to every word they spoke about the truck, equipment and gear. The younger children were a bit quiet and timid, but very wide-eyed! The firemen dressed into the gear from head to toe showing the children that it was still them under it all. This helps the little ones understand that they are friendly and will help them, should they ever have a fire in their home. Each child got to take a tour through the truck and finally a class picture in front!
As the director of KDO, I get to pop into classrooms periodically each Tuesday and Thursday and check out what the kids and teachers are doing. It never ceases to bring a smile to my face. There is not a dull moment and SO many precious moments that I can not even begin to tell you about. But, I will try…
At KDO all the teachers follow the same scope and sequence but they gear it towards the age group they teach. The teachers are good at creating a lesson plan that is age appropriate and allows for learning while playing. The children are exposed to many different activities as the teachers understand that they do not all learn the same way. The teachers have the freedom to teach according to their interests as well. Mrs. Lea loves Science and exposes her children to science concepts. For example, today the children made Fizzy Drops. Mrs. Nicole’s 2 year class created scarecrows while naming body parts and colors. Mrs. Erin’s class created flower arrangements and mailed letters while in centers as they learned about community helpers. Mrs. Rachel’s 2 year olds do lots of movement activities like Ring around the Rosy, shaving cream sensory fun and hammering golf tees into Styrofoam.
What I see each day at KDO, is children having great fun as they learn new things and teachers doing what God has called them to do!
All children get to go to Chapel Time each school day. The 3 and 4 year old children attend chapel in the main worship area of the church. The front rows of chairs are pushed back a bit and the kids sit on colorful squares. The 30 minute chapel begins with 15 minutes of singing and worship. The children sing and dance to very kid friendly praise music. Then we practice the monthly Bible memory verse. At KDO we use the My First Look preschool curriculum. On the very big screen, the children get to watch the 7-8 minute video that comes with the curriculum. This is a fun way of teaching the Bible story that we then follow up with discussion. This month the main point is God is Always with Me. Each week we will see a different Bible story that illustrates this truth. Chapel time is a highlight of our day at KDO!
What a wonderful first week of KDO! That first day, I’m not sure who was more nervous about this new beginning…teachers or kids or parents? But, with God’s calming hand, everyone ended the day with smiles and tummies free of butterflies. Parents did a great job preparing their little ones for the new experience. While, teachers worked SO hard to comfort, love and reassure their new friends! As the weeks go on, the routine will become second nature. Teaching and learning will happen. Relationships will form and grow deep. And memories will be made!