Little Pal News Items


Outdoor gardening

During the summer of 2014 I planted various fruits and vegetables in our garden. The strawberries have been growing for the past few years; their new neighbors included broccoli, tomatoes, green peppers, chives, onions, potatoes, corn, cantaloupes, cucumbers, carrots and sunflowers.

My hope is the children will be old enough to participate in planting, watering and harvesting during the upcoming cooler months.  I have not yet determined what will be planted but after I complete my due diligence on the Internet, I'll know what the best options are for successful experiences for our "Little Pals". If any parents and/or family members, have a green thumb, PLEASE share your skills with us!


Current enrollment is almost at full capacity. Hudson, who has been with us five days a week, is changing to four days due to his mom's changed work schedule.  Baby Sarah, who started coming on Mondays and Tuesdays, is now adding Wednesdays to her days here. Max is the only little one who is here five days a week.  Hunter maintains his schedule of 8-10 days a month, depending on his mon's work schedule.

Twins, Julian and Ethan, come Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons (after their morning kindergarten), and assistant, Ms. Pia, is here on those days to make sure we remain in compliance with licensing standards.

With the older boys and Ms. Pia here, we'll be able to do more gardening and the younger children will benefit tremendously from their skills.

From last year:

In February 2013, we planted lots of things in our individual pots.  Julian chose wildflowers, as did Lingyi; Ethan decided to plant carrot seeds and Nathan, along with Hunter, planted cilantro.  First Ms. Lucy painted our names on each pot - we got to choose a different color for every letter in our names - now we have colorful pots, plus we know whose pot is whose!

We used clean pots and made sure each one had a hole in the bottom, to help the water drain through.  We certainly didn't want the growing roots to get waterlogged. Next, we selected a handful of stones from the backyard to put in the bottom of the pot.  These helped with drainage too.  Then we put soil into our pots and made sure we didn't pack it down too much.

Finally we were ready to plant our seeds! We stuck a finger in the dirt to make a hole, put in a seed, then gently covered it.  We planted a handful of seeds, most of which were very tiny. Then we watered our seeds and began the hardest part: the waiting. After approximately 10 days of watering, looking, turning the pots, making sure they got plenty of sun and looking some more we finally saw sprouts peeking through the dirt.

Each day we show our moms and dads how much our plants have grown.  It's way cool!


Note to families: the planting the children did had many learning elements: math and science and language.  Each child practiced counting when they selected their seeds, and they count their plants as they grow; they described their seeds by color and size, learning about comparisons, and they understand what's necessary for a seed to turn into a plant.  They know if a seed is put in dirt and watered but kept in a dark place (such as a closet), the seed won't sprout.  They know if a seed is planted and placed in a sunny spot but not watered, it won't grow.  Each child understands the three requirements for seeds to turn into plants: soil, water and sunlight. Lastly, they use a variety of words to describe what they see.

As their teacher, I expected each child to be focused primarily on their pot and no one else's. To my surprise every single preschooler enjoyed not just the growth within their own pot, but they also took pride to showing their friends' pots to all parents.  This care and concern for their classmates is simply wonderful.  During the years these little ones have been in my care, I have talked with them daily about the necessity of caring for and about our friends.  To see them put my words into actions and observable behavior is truly satisfying.



Another reminder: parents, grandparents, and other family members are always welcome to spend time at Little Pals. The children really enjoy having a parent or grandparent or older sibling, join us.  The list of things our guests can do vary from reading stories, to leading or just joining us in an art project, to preparing or simply sharing a meal with us, to going for a walk to see and feed the ducks at a nearby pond.  The amount of time spent with us need not be lengthy - if all you can spare is 10 minutes, that's fine!  The point is, you are welcome to be with us - your child will feel extra special and the other children will be thrilled.