Fall Enrichment 2018

Fall Enrichment Curriculum

 

The Enrichment Program is something the children look forward to with enthusiasm each week.  The multiple levels of engagement offer different layers of learning for the children, while strengthening skills needed for everyday life.


MUSIC WITH MR. JOEY

Each week Mr. Joey visits the Sunflower and Blossom classrooms to sing and teach music to the children.  Even the youngest children in the Buttercup and Sweet Pea rooms enjoy listening to music played on a variety of instruments. Joey teaches concepts such as soft and loud, fast and slow.   Music sessions incorporate songs that involve movement and participation from the children.  The preschool children have recently been singing about windy weather and apples; while the toddlers have had lots of practice sharing space. 

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On one of the last sunny autumn days here in Bellingham, music was held for the toddlers on the deck.

GARDENING WITH MCKENNA

 McKenna, who assists Coleen in the kitchen, has assumed a new role. With Ms. Debbie’s assistance, she is serving as our master gardener. Drawing on Debbie’s many years of experience and McKenna’s internship on a farm, they are building a garden curriculum unique to our school community. One goal is to be more intentional by planting ingredients needed for Ms. Coleen’s recipes. They began the Fall curriculum, by introducing children new to the Sunflower House to the “big” garden. Those who tended our garden through the spring and summer months, were encouraged to lead by example. After, weeding and planting fall crops of spinach, beets, and carrots, the last few tomatoes and beans were gathered up for eating and seed saving.

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McKenna and the children examine a sunflower from the garden.


SUNFLOWER HOUSE KINDER-PREP CHILDREN EXPERIENCE WALDORF INSPIRED ARTS WITH MS. SUZANNE

 Paper making is a transformative process which is truly magical for children. Tearing up paper or cutting into small pieces strengthens fine motor development as well as allowing for the eco experience of recycling! The dry-to-wet mash process provides sensory contrast; it is exciting for the children to observe and handle the products of each step! Sensory sensitivity is encouraged when playing in the wet mash and applying it to the screens to press out flat.  The pressure activity of squeezing out water from the pulp, yields a cause and effect experience which sets a foundation for other natural sciences.  Final products of fine and thick paper is a joy to behold and evolve into more crafts as a foundation for cards, art work and gifts.

Pressing leaves and flowers includes the art of gathering through the summer and fall months. Collecting these materials from the forest and garden supports interest for the children in observing the season changes.  It also respects their eye for beauty; what the children select to preserve is honored. Keeping the pressed items in a form that allows the natural beauty of the plant to be exposed and sustained in time is a rich and rewarding experience. The children learn that capturing the essence of beauty in nature can be used for decoration, cards and invitations when applied to the handmade paper or other natural material. This year, the paper was used in the Kinder-prep children’s invitations to their Stone Soup luncheon, an annual event for where the children prepare lunch for their parents.

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Darian and a group of children squish pulp to make paper.

Blossom's Dietary Program

Blossom's Dietary Program

Blossom prides itself on providing a comprehensive nutritional program to support our developing children. We strive to use whole foods and ingredients. To ensure quality and nutritional value in every meal, our dietary manager cooks and bakes a great majority of our foods from scratch ingredients. As available Blossom will supplement foods grown on-site through student and family participation. Our philosophy views the process of growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing meals together as valuable learning experiences for all of Blossom Children.

Learn more in the video below.

Blossom's Curriculum...and Beyond!

Blossom's Curriculum...and Beyond!

From infancy to pre-kindergarten, Blossom incorporates curriculum and standards that align with each developmental stage. We strive to offer a holistic approach, including academic and social-emotional based models throughout our curriculum. This supports the 'whole child’ as they transition to learning environments beyond Blossom’s program.

Learn more in the video below!

Fall Enrichment Curriculum 2017

Fall Enrichment Curriculum 2017

Reflections from Ms. Suzanne

 Ms. Suzanne rolling felt with Lilac & Daisy Toddlers. These creations became additional playthings in their classrooms  (Lilypads, 'soft'stones and accessories for their large play-mat ) 

Ms. Suzanne rolling felt with Lilac & Daisy Toddlers. These creations became additional playthings in their classrooms (Lilypads, 'soft'stones and accessories for their large play-mat

The Enrichment Program is something the children look forward to with enthusiasm each week.  The multiple levels of engagement offer different layers of learning for the children, while strengthening skills needed for everyday life.

In September, Sunflower House children were introduced to oral storytelling, followed by opportunities to respond while exploring the capacity of their hands. Painting and drawing were followed by making paper and leaf rubbing. Sunflower House children also learned to wash dishes, as well as to both wash and iron napkins.  The garden was carefully tended and the last few tomatoes and beans were gathered up for eating and seed saving.

In October during the warmer days, we worked outside with wool felting and moved onto spiraling apples on a hand crank peeler.  These apples found their way into many snacks through the whole month.  As the days grew shorter, more activity moved indoors.  Wool craft has been very well received by the children in Blossom’s Early Learning Center; the community of children made a lovely play-mat with the products of their wool work.

 Felted playmat created by Blossom Children.

Felted playmat created by Blossom Children.

A few peeks into what the Sunflower House children have been making came down to Blossom in the beeswax crock pot.  All the older children were able to experience the magic of dipping candles and the warmth of beeswax.

At the Sunflower House, November began with making bread dough and hearing stories from Stone Soup and fairy tales.  Building up to the Stone Soup family lunch, we gathered to make harvest crowns and garlands—good practice for making our Winter wreaths.  Baking and making lanterns will be the work weaving through the holiday season.  Children will craft lanterns with paper mache  and recycled tins.

Staying Healthy - Cold & Flu Season

Staying Healthy - Cold & Flu Season

  Please have children wash their hands upon arrival at the center, a licensing reg.   Ask a teacher for a copy of one of the hand washing songs we sing here.

Please have children wash their hands upon arrival at the center, a licensing reg. Ask a teacher for a copy of one of the hand washing songs we sing here.

Staying Healthy when cold and flu season is upon us is our goal! 

There are several things you can do to help us keep each other healthy. To help us keep our youngest, most vulnerable group healthy, we ask that only those parents and children who have a child in the Sweet Pea or Buttercup rooms enter these.  Many of our older children like to greet the babies, but each time they grasp the gates they may be leaving an unwanted germ behind that may make a baby sick.   

  Teaching children to “cover their coughs" is a smart way to reduce the spread of germs.

Teaching children to “cover their coughs" is a smart way to reduce the spread of germs.

In addition, please follow the guidelines for keeping your children home when sick.  If a child looks or acts ill when being dropped off, we will ask you not to leave her.  If your child becomes ill while in our care, you’ll be notified to pick him up as soon as possible. If we can’t reach you, we’ll begin calling your emergency contacts.  We require all parents to have a current back up plan for illness, and to ensure their child is picked up within an hour of being notified. Having a sick child is stressful in itself, without having to figure out what to do when you get the “dreaded” call that your child is sick. If you haven’t done so recently, now is a good time to revisit your back up plan.

If your child is sent home, they must be symptom free for 24 hours WITHOUT FEVER-REDUCING MEDICATION before returning to care. If medication is needed to cease the symptoms, a doctor’s note is required to ensure they are not contagious OR they need to have been on antibiotics for 24 hours.  If your child has been home ill, we ask that you take his temperature within an hour of returning to care. Upon return, expect to be asked when your child’s temperature was last taken, the degree, and when he or she was last given fever-reducing medication. 


Read on for more information and tips from Whatcom County Health Department's Communicable Disease Prevention Team Member, Kim Hankinson.

 Kim Hankinson, RN BSN CIC - from the Whatcom County Health Department, Communicable Disease Programs provides more information and tips for community members.

Kim Hankinson, RN BSN CIC - from the Whatcom County Health Department, Communicable Disease Programs provides more information and tips for community members.

Positive Parenting

Positive Parenting

Positive Parenting

As working parents, we know how stressful mornings can be and how easy it is to fall into parenting traps--things that make it hard for children to get into a good morning routine.  Examples include getting up late so everyone is rushed and having to look for things you need that morning. This often leads to parents taking over and doing everything for their child.  Children learn faster when they have opportunities to practice their skills. Additionally, if parents give too many reminders to “hurry up”, children may learn to rely on this, and only get ready after repeated reminders. Here are some suggestions to help establish a good morning routine and AVOID MORNING TRAPS!

  • Plan ahead. Before going to bed, be clear about the activities for the next day.  
  • Be organized and get everything ready the night before (clothes, food, etc).
  • Avoid distractions (phone, tablets and TV) 
  • Discuss morning rules & create an activity schedule (a chart with photos or drawings for each step your child must complete)
  • Prompt your child to use the schedule—what’s the first thing you need to do? Praise them initially for each step completed, even if reminders are necessary. Once your child can do the step by themselves, reserve the praise for when it’s done without a reminder.  Provide a reward such as an after school activity they enjoy. Gradually reduce the prompts and rewards once the routine is established.

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Five ways to connect more deeply with children:

  1. Be intentional about your language

  2. Know your hot buttons

  3. See and honor their strengths

  4. Share with children something you love

  5. Be mindful about what you say and how you say it


Ms. Debbie says: “Sing with Your Children!”

There’s a wide-eyed owl with a pointed nose, with two pointed ears and claws for his toes.  He lives high in a tree and when he looks at you, he flaps his wings and says, “Whooo, Whooo!”

A tip for learning new songs:  Write down the words to the song by hand. If it’s short do it more than once.

Some Tips from Ms. Keri…

  • Remember that little things matter
  • Embrace Play
  • Turn off distractions (simplify, slow down)
  • Have relentless compassion for children

Nature/Biology + Nurture/Experiences = Whole Child.      

The quality of our relationships with the children we care for is the most important factor that contributes to their growth, development and success.

Blossom - Curriculum and Enrichment

Blossom - Curriculum and Enrichment

Blossom strives to offer diverse experiences through its curriculum and enrichment activities. We focus on seasons and universal concepts to support a broad family base and backgrounds. This aspect of our philosophy can be seen throughout our programs and classes, as teachers offer rich experiences throughout the children's day. While activities may vary from class to class, teachers and program supervisors plan activities that are developmentally appropriate and meaningful to children. 

Learn more in the video below!

Blossoming since 1998

Blossoming since 1998

Blossom Childcare and Learning Center, Inc. has lovingly served families and children of the community since 1998

Do you have a testimony or experience with Blossom you would like to share? Please visit the link below and share your experience!

Our Snow Plan

Our Snow Plan

When snow or icy conditions are predicted, we closely monitor the weather. Most often, decisions are made in the early morning rather than the night before to factor in the most current conditions.

Ms. Keri’s Rainy Day Movement Ideas for Families at Home

Ms. Keri’s Rainy Day Movement Ideas for Families at Home

Roll the Ball: Roll the ball, roll the ball, roll the ball to me. Pass it, pass it, pass the ball to me. Replace me with the child’s name & replace pass with bounce or kick.

Animal Race: Besides engaging children on a rainy day, this game is a great one for boosting mental flexibility, an executive functioning skill.

Have children line up at one end of a hallway or room and tell the children, “When I say horse, you are going to gallop to the other end of the hall/room.”

Start by calling out the names of other animals, followed by horse. Next time, change it. “When I say crow, you are going to fly to the other end of the hallway.”

When saying other animals make sure you say horse and see how many children try to gallop! Continue the game, changing the animal and motion.

Ms. Debbie’s Cocoa Snowballs

Ms. Debbie’s Cocoa Snowballs

   Felting seen here, like these treats,     also includes squeezing & rolling.

Felting seen here, like these treats, also includes squeezing & rolling.

This simple recipe is a great one to try with children. It’s an opportunity for toddlers to do one of their favorite activities--   dump and fill!

Older children will feel a sense of accomplishment, and both will benefit from the sensory experience of squishing ingredients together & rolling into balls.

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1⁄2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1⁄4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • a pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into balls about one inch in diameter. Best if chilled for 4 hours before eating.

*Inspired by Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles.

Playground Renovation

Playground Renovation

Hooray!! Our playground renovation project made BIG headway this fall. Several Blossom Families joined forces with RAM Construction who donated time and equipment for a weekend work-party. Thank you again Blossom Family Volunteers and RAM Construction!!