2012 – Term 4

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If anyone asked the kids who come to playgroup “who runs your playgroup?”, they might say “Narelle” (or a version of it because it’s a tricky name for kids to pronounce). But I reckon it’s the kids who run playgroup. They tell me what they want to do, which songs they want to sing, and when the buns are ready. And they love to do the washing up. One little fella helps me brings the bikes inside. Now, that’s what I call ownership.

One girl told me that she’ll be four in March. I told her she can’t possibly be four in March because I knew her when she was only tiny, not yet walking, and it doesn’t seem that long ago. You’ve gotta watch these kids carefully, they grow up in a flash. She told me that “boys are made up of princes and girls are made up of princesses”, and I said that I’d heard that boys are made of slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails, and girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice. We all agreed that was old-fashioned and terrible gender stereotyping.

We have a height chart in the Orana Room. I measured some of the kids today. One girl (22 months) has grown five centimetres in the past five months. Another girl, 4 years, has grown four centimetres. Have your Mums been putting manure in your shoes?

Kyra made a scooter, with cardboard rolls, straws, and the bottom of plastic cups. She was very proud of it.

The internet is going slow, and this image would not go the right way up.

Same with this image, it just would not flip – flip your head to the right instead.

Ah, the diversity!

As there are a few kids who like to wear sparkles to playgroup we sang…

Come along now let’s go walking
Tap your feet, and keep on walking
Come along now
With your sparkly shoes on.
 

So, apart from sparkly shoes, we had sparkly jeans, flower shirt, pink clips, fancy shoes, purple clips, spotty dress, and gold necklace. Have I missed any?

Tayla did the Gangnam Style dance for us at the start of Circle Time. It’s a bit hard to follow up with Humpty Dumpty after such an impressive performance.

Kyra asked to sing “Where is Thumbkin?” at Circle Time. We’ve never sung that song before.

Monisha has spent many an art and craft session doing layer upon layer of textures. One day she went minimalist. She said it was a dark cloud. And there were dark clouds when playgroup finished, it had turned really cold.

    

And I always have help with the washing up.

Lucy declared “I’m making a dinosaur” and so she did…

There was a wide range of child-led art and craft. One Mum said to me “You’re right you know, when the kids do their own thing they value it more”.

I think I’m going to have to change the template for this blog because the photos won’t flip, and they don’t load properly, and it’s getting annoying. It’s a shame because I really like the look of this template.

In Circle Time, one cheeky monkey asked to sing “one finger one thumb keep moving”. I think she likes to see me get muddled up. So we had a shake of our head, one eyeball (nominated by the same cheeky monkey who requested the song), one leg, and one chicken wing.

I suggested we sing “where is thumbkin?” again. One of the Mums thought I said “where is pumpkin?” and that started an avalanche of vegetable suggestions – green bean, zucchini, cucumber, artichoke, carrot, broccoli. This playgroup is too funny.

We sang “lets go walking” for our movement song. Lucy always asks for us to do “let’s go waddling” and cheeky monkey mentioned above said we should do “let’s go bralking”. What is “bralking” you ask? I’m not even sure I’ve spelt it correctly. Bralking is pretending to be a chook. So, we had a very interesting array of chook behaviour and sounds. Never a dull moment at playgroup!

This time of year is Kindy orientation, and we will have about five children from playgroup heading off to Kindergarten next year. Some of these kids I have known since they were teeny, and I will be sad to see them go.

Tayla brought her grandad in with her today, and she took great delight in showing him what she does at playgroup. She excitedly delved into the recycled materials boxes to show Grandad what she can do from her imagination. Grandad even joined us for Circle Time and Ring a Rosie – that was awesome!

Lucy made a bat. It had beetles and a love heart on its back.

This is Tayla’s Mum and Dad.

This drawing by Kyra was wonderfully detailed but most of it was in flouro yellow so I couldn’t photograph it that well. It’s upside down by the way, so you can either view it by doing a headstand or if you are on a laptop you can turn it around. The scissors are holding the edges of the paper down because Kyra rolled it up to take it home.

Boo’s grandma had a hip operation, we hope she recovers well.

This is a bun in the shape of a snowman.

Speedy was wearing a Speedway t-shirt, but he would not stay still for a photo.

There was a little bit of art and craft resembling sea creatures. Boo made a puffer fish out of clay and straws – all his idea, and he gifted it to Lucy, who in turn drew him a picture. Such lovely friendships are formed at playgroup.

Kyra’s mum drew a dolphin, Kyra’s favourite, and she coloured it in.

There was also a star fish.

And a drawing of a koala.

And lots of other creativity.

Speedy is enjoying drawing now, and he also decorated the table. No problem, it was easy to clean off and it was good to see him expanding into other areas of interest. He is such a scientist and super curious.

And we don’t see Em very often as her Mum usually works on Mondays, but she eases right in as if she comes along every week.

The doll’s house was a hit, with the girls playing beautifully together.

We said farewell to Nishika and her Mum. Off to preschool next year. Nishika was just a tiny little girl, under 1 year old, when she first came to playgroup with her older sister. She calls playgroup “Open, Shut” as we always sing “Open, Shut Them” during Circle Time. Mum reports that Nishika asks “are we going to Open, Shut today?” on Monday mornings. Make sure you wave at playgroup during recess when you are at preschool Nishika.

We did Christmas craft. Made with popsticks and sequins, something to hang on the tree. You could make a six pointed star by glueing together two triangles made from the pop sticks.

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But I was in competition with Napier, and most of the kids chose his activity. He is so crafty.

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Talking about competition – Boo bagsed the washing up, carefully supervised by Napier. Napier is such a lovely role model for young fellas.

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One Mum reminded me that we used to sing “We wonder what your name is” at Circle Time. I’d forgotten all about it. So we sang it today. It goes…

“We wonder what your name is,
We would like to know.
Your name is…
(we go around the circle and each child says his or her name)
Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello”.
 

One little Miss, just 2 years old, who has never sung the song at playgroup, shouted out “God!” for her name. The wonder of little kids.

We read the story “The Australian Twelve Days of Christmas”.

12 days of Christmas

…and a kookaburra up a gum tree.

On the last playgroup day of the year…

Napier made White Christmas at playgroup and all of the children went home with the treat wrapped in cellophane. It was a lovely gesture by Napier.

Angela made up the bags of reindeer food for the children to take home and sprinkle on the lawn on Christmas Eve.

And Lucy’s Mum made teeny weeny cupcakes that looked like christmas trees complete with baubles and a star on top. Beautiful!

The Orana Room was busy with families dropping in and out as they needed to as the school had their Presentation Assembly at the same time as playgroup. There were a few extras who visited for the first time. It’s interesting how the Orana Room is a place of refuge for frazzled parents and kids when the school has an event. “Orana” is “welcome” in an Aboriginal language (I’m not sure which one). In Maori “Orana” means “place of refuge”.

It was so busy I didn’t have time to take photos. Lots of kids made Christmas cards for grandparents and other family.

But I did have a chance to take a photo of our baby crawling. She now skips her nap to join us for Circle Time, and has the biggest smile. She is great at “Robots, Towers, Jellyfish”. Her face lights up as soon as she hears “robots”. I swear I heard her say “no” today when I asked her if she was going to have a nap. She is also sitting independently, and really enjoys sitting in the middle of the craft table.

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Every year, on the last playgroup for the year, I read a book called “The Christmas Star”. It has a button that plays “Silent Night”. The kids love it.

the christmas star

We have five children moving on to Kindergarten next year. They all received a Superstar Certificate for their “marvellous attendance at playgroup, plus their fabulous artwork, and singing at Circle Time”.

Well, that’s all for the year. We are back on Monday 4th February 2013.

Wishing you a joyful and safe holiday season.

Narelle xox

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