Lakelands Playgroup News
Children under the age of three are in various stages of language development and the adults in their lives have an influential role in this crucial part of childhood. Through meaningful conversations with our little ones we role model how to conduct respectful conversations, correct the use of grammar and we assist in expanding their vocabulary. While we talk they absorb not only the sounds we make but notice the movement of our mouths, and the tone and volume of voice, and they are keen observers of the facial expressions and hand gestures we make. The conversations we have with our young ones set the pace for their self-perception and feelings of belonging. We need to consider how, when and what we communicate with them; are we mostly instructing? Do we encourage feedback? Do we include them in everyday life conversations or only focus on topics revolving around their lives?
Montessori playgroups offer wonderful opportunities for meaningful communication between adults and children. The prepared environment includes materials to assist in expanding vocabularies, such as our sensory nature basket containing items of varying textures, temperatures and dimensions. Naming the textures (rough) as well as the item (bark) while you explore them connects vocabulary with the tactile sense. Our playgroup also offers opportunities for counting, sounding out complex words, and identifying different parts of an object such as; the head, trunk, legs and tail of an animal.
Modelling grace & courtesy is also part of language development as we demonstrate making respectful requests, using polite phrases and responding kindly when faced with a problem. By exploring activities with or alongside your child you can share the excitement when they have achieved something, assist when they become frustrated and build on a stronger relationship. We are blessed with beautiful families at Lakelands who use these opportunities to the fullest and who set great examples for new participants to observe.
We are happy to report that Lakeland’s Friday playgroup has reached capacity but we still have a few spots available on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Rockingham Playgroup News
Well, the holiday season has arrived. The tree gets re-decorated hourly, the smelling jars with festive spices evoke curled-up noses of possible displeasure and there seems to be a fine coating of glitter absolutely everywhere on and around the art shelf. We are busy card making. Pasting, sprinkling, stamping, painting, cutting, folding and tearing. Hours of fun and so easy and inexpensive to set up at home, you can totally omit the glitter, but honestly, glitter is a close second after paint when it comes to choice of medium in toddlers’ hands. Biodegradable glitter exists and as always, please supervise your little one as glitter and paint should not be ingested.
We wish Blaire, Jacob and Poppy (our soon to be three year olds) a smooth transition into Children’s House early next year. We also wish Logan, Maya and McKenzie (soon to be three also) all the best for the future. It is always a little sad to see so many older children move on from our group, but also so lovely to have witnessed them at this special phase of development. Don’t forget to keep up the practical life skills at home.
Our little friend Ava and her family are flying home to Switzerland after living for the past year in beautiful Rockingham. We will miss you and Mum. Safe travels and we hope you will find an infant toddler group near you to continue your journey with Montessori.
Return dates for Term 1, 2023 are from Monday 30th January at both our Lakelands and Rockingham sites. Enjoy the long summer break, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.