Week #5, and the last one for a handful of kids who head out onto summer vacations, was easily one of the best afternoons of the summer. We were happy to have so many of the parents and siblings join us for our Ice Cream Social. The way the kid's faces lit up when you all entered the room was just magical! Thank you for coming, participating, and enjoying the treats with us. We were very impressed with how quickly you all got the hula hoop around the circle without breaking the chain!
For us, one of the nicest things has been to see how the level of comfort within the group has increased each week for all of the kids. We are observing kids taking more social risks -- inviting their peers to join them while they build with MagnaTiles, leaving the sensory table and joining a game already in progress or asking a grownup to help them open up their snacks. These are all things that will help them be more successful in all other social settings.
We've been introducing new sensory materials every other week and the kids have been loving it. Yesterday, we played with Floof which is a super soft and shapeable material that looks like snow. The sets come with molds to make snowballs, snowmen and clouds. Most of the kids (and grownups) were happy just squishing it all around. We love seeing how easily the kids are sharing the materials on the table and even beginning to try to build things together.
Today's book was The Color Monster. This pop up book by Anna Llenas helps children learn about feelings by matching them with colors. Yellow is happiness, green is calm, blue is sad and, their very favorite, pink is love. The kids loved this book and we were impressed with how focused and attentive they were as we were reading it. Some of them were able to guess what feeling many of the colors represented before we even read them. There are still some children who are really struggling with understanding their feelings at different times. When you notice this at home, you may want to try and see if they can tell you how they are feeling by choosing a color. For some, they may need visual prompts to help them identify their feelings. One thing you could do is fill up some little jars with different colors and have them easily accessible for the kids. We know that sometimes when kids are feeling big feelings, they have a harder time accessing their language and this visual prompt will be able to help them identify their feelings easier.
Vin came up with a great art activity and we loved watching the kids make their very own color monster. The first thing they had to do was pull a colored pencil out of a paper bag and tell us what feeling each color represented. Every single child was able to identify the feeling without our help. Using a variety of materials, all the kids made their own monster puppets. We encouraged everyone to make a monster that showed us how they were feeling but most of them just colored their monster with their favorite color. We love seeing how they are exploring all the different materials, sharing with their friends, and as each week passes, how they are complimenting their friends' work.
We hope you have a great week and thank you again for joining the fun yesterday. We feel so fortunate to have your child as part of our community and loved being able to spend time with you all. We look forward to more of these events when we return in September.