Activities and Curriculum
The main goal of this day care is to have fun, improve social skills, and encourage creative expression. I will utilize a variety of activities to accomplish this goal. Free play, reading, arts and crafts, music/singing, dancing, dramatic play/pretend, and puzzles are just some of the activities we will be doing.
Studies have shown that these types of activities nurture a sense of well-being and belonging in children, and contribute dramatically towards the development of self-esteem.
I will try to encourage Children over the age of 2 yrs to participate in a lightly structured preschool curriculum. This will include a variety of activities ranging from art and craft projects to games, songs, finger plays, storytelling, creative dramatics, exercises, and much more. The goal of the preschool is to have fun. It will not be a rigorous academic program as young children still learn best from participating in and observing the environment around them.
Music: helps to develop young brains and will play a strong role in day-to-day activities. We may have special music activities and may also play music during other activities, for example, during arts and crafts or meal times. Some of the music we will be using may include, classical, children's songs (by a variety of artists), Spanish language CDs and others.
Social and Emotional Development: We focus on activities that help develop children's ability to interact with others and to identify and deal with emotions in a socially acceptable way. Some of these activities include group or circle time, and music time.
Small Muscle Development: We do activities that help develop children's ability to use their small muscles in their hands. Some of these activities include art, working with scissors, crayons or markers, different puzzles and table toys.
Large Muscle Development: We focus on activities that help develop the larger muscles in the legs and arms. Some of these activities include daily walks or outdoor play, music and movement, jumping games, plus a variety of outdoor climbing toys.
Language Development: We focus on activities that help develop children's ability to understand and communicate in either verbal or written form. Some of these activities are reading, finger plays, dramatic play, rhymes, and story telling.
Reading: Story time is also very important to the children. We have a certain time set aside where we read from a variety of books that are available. Children need to be read to because this expands their imagination. And in my daycare, I always have plenty of books available for them to read. Reading also helps a child to expand their vocabulary. I will try to incorporate Spanish to some of the readings.
Television will not be used as a tool to help children unwind and relax.
Outdoor play: Fresh air is very important to a childs growth so I try to take the children outside daily (weather permitting). The kids love going for walks or just playing out in the yard on the outdoor equipment. Please make sure that your child is appropriately dressed for outdoor play at all times. Our activities will probably range from 10 - 30 minutes, and in the summer it may be two or more hours long (maybe not all at once).
Music for Children
Every Thursday morning, we have Music class with Jamaroo Kids). This is a class that all the children enjoy and parents are invited to participate.
Why is music and Rhythm Important?
Among other things, music and rhythm can help children:
Express their emotions: Children will sing a joyful song or hum a catchy tune when they're happy. In contrast, their dance movements might be jerky and aggressive when they are angry or frustrated.
Release energy and channel it in creative, productive directions.
Gain confidence in themselves as they realize they can use their minds and bodies together. Children learn that, with practice, their bodies will do almost anything they want them to do - even leap across a room or turn cartwheels in time to music.
Music and the Brain
There are a number of studies that show a connection between music and the development of the brain. Dr. Frank Wilson is an assistant clinical professor neurology at the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco. He reports that his studies show that instrumental practice enhances coordination, concentration and memory and also brings about the improvement of eyesight and hearing.
South American Music for Children
Some of the music that we listen to is from Hugo Liscano & Javier Galue. They have done an incredible job with the Traditional Venezuelan Music. Also, music from Argentina from Maria Elena Walsh
Learning and Playing
Learning is defined in psychology as a permanent change in behavior, motivated by experience. Evolution suggests that mind and consciousness are not confined to humans, and it seems obvious, if one observes the play of young animals, that it is part of their learning experience. Human play is a voluntary, fun-filled activity, a primitive kind of communication in which the players engage in behaviors that mimic reality. Children, who have few other ways of communicating, use play as their major technique for self-expression and social behavior. Find out more about learning and playing, and how they shape our lives, with the links below.
Sample Reading Curriculum Timeline:
The following suggested timeline is a sample for districts and schools to use in planning for a comprehensive reading program. Each category on the chart represents an essential component of balanced reading instruction, and the examples of activities in each strand represent a range of instruction possible in that component. This timeline is not intended as an exhaustive list but only as a suggested plan for districts to use in developing an effective reading program. Reading and literacy instruction also are integral components of middle school and secondary programs.
Reading programs should be dynamic and powerful and meet the needs of all readers, including encouraging students who are good readers to move ahead and providing intensive support for the lowest achievers. While the components in the timeline are suggestions for teachers regarding classroom activities, it is the students who need to be actively engaged in the learning process. They should have many opportunities to draw on their prior knowledge and respond critically to what they read and write based on their own experiences.
It is important to remember, too, that reading does not occur in isolation. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening are linked as a child becomes competent in English-language arts. There should be a deliberate forging of connections among grades, content areas, and all members of the education community whose work affects children and their reading abilities. The continuum of instruction should be seamless while recognizing and adjusting for individual needs based on each child's actual learning.