Friday, August 28, 2009

What a wonderful surprise we had today! Kerry came to visit us and brought us something special from her travels. Everyone was excited to see her and had something to show or tell. Kerry was shown around the kindergarten and taken to see the playground, the play house, Franklin and the fish, the guinea pigs and the birds, the dance studio... so many things to share! There were lots of group hugs too! Showing her some of the portfolios was also a good way to show her what she had missed while she was away. Thanks for coming in, Kerry. we look forward to having you back again.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Tree House

Everyone was very excited today to see the cool pictures of tree houses that Bronwyn sent! At mat time we out them up on the big screen and had a really good look at them. Maddie noticed there was a crane for lifting boxes and the Wizard people in the tree house. Keegan liked the stairs made of slices of wood. Jemma and Jessica noticed the table and chairs.
We all got busy designing our own tree houses. Zac said he thought maybe Steve might help us to make one and Stefanie hoped it would be taller than her. I wonder what other wonderful things Bronwyn will see on her trip.

Prima Ballerina

Beautiful Ballerinas

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lucas designs the play ground.

After photo day the boxes in the playground had all been moved so we decided it would be a good idea to have a change. Lucas was very helpful and had some great ideas. "Why don't we bring the bridge and the tunnel out from underneath." he suggested.
Lots of friends helped move everything around and soon everyone was exploring the obstacle course. Great ideas Lucas thanks for your help.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Completing our drum with Steve

When Steve came in today he noticed that the children had removed the bark from the drum. He was pleased to see that they had done such a good job. Steve discussed the next problem with everyone. How could we stop the drum from wobbling so much? The decision was made to put legs on to the base of the drum and Steve made suggestions of how this could be done. The children voted for flat legs as "It is much downer" (Mackenzee).
Steve had great helpers as he worked to cut the legs and attach them. Ruby had a plan for the pattern to go on the drum and together they burned and then carved hearts around the edges.
The drum looked great! It was ready just in time for mat time, we all had our own drum sticks to play along with the African drummers on the big screen. We had turns at playing our fabulous new drum and some of the other drums we have at kindergarten. It was a very noisy but rhythmic end to a busy morning.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Sean, you are a great drummer! We couldn't wait until tomorrow for Steve to put the legs on to our drum, so decided to use it at mat time today. Sean was the drummer while the children sang "Little Drum."

Working on the drum...

What great helpers! We had to find the best way of removing the bark from the drum that Steve cut for us. After some trial and error, Logan and Jacob discovered that gentle hammering would loosen the bark enough to be able to peel it off. What next? Steve is going to put legs on our drum next time he is at our kindergarten.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Projects with wood

One of the things that we have noticed when children work with Steve is that there is interest from the children around him. some actively engage while others observe from afar, but the learning that is taking place is indisputable.

Wood projects with Steve

One of the main aims of our wood project is becoming familiar with tools and their uses.

We have just set up a children's art gallery on the website

Check out the website by clicking on the link on the top left hand side of this page

Music makers 1

Music makers

Group dance

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Look, the tree is bleeding

Today, being Tuesday, was a Steve day. Having checked the blog for ideas for our next project Steve was challenged to find a common thread amongst the ideas. Having examined the clock, it was decided to leave it as it was ... as it was still keeping good time. So, what next? Steve carried a log to group meeting time and put his ear to the log for inspiration ... and guess what the log whispered to him. The log wanted to create rhythm. perhaps it could be a drum .... Inspired by the magnificent drums of the Pacific Islands the project began. The tool of choice today was the adze.
Jake and Calan were among the children who worked at hollowing out the drum. At group time Kees experimented with the sound of the drum. Steve suggested that the sound might change as the wood dried out, He also thought it might help if the bark was taken off and wondered if some of the children might like to work on this before next Tuesday. As he peeked inside the cavity that had been created that morning he spied a slither of wood. One of the children exclaimed "look, the tree is bleeding." How could that be, Steve wondered. One suggestion was that the rain came down and got in it. Steve explained how the rain came down and watered the ground and how the roots of the tree sucked up the water. Perhaps we could put the drum outside to see if that helps to dry it out.

Embracing ballet

Monday, August 17, 2009

Steve, we have a problem

As you can see our most beautiful clock has a mind of its own and has a split at the bottom.
We talked to the children about it ...
Jayden said .. "Itʻs broken. It canʻt choose the time anymore. Perhaps we could put paper on it and tape it on or we could make a triangle and put it in there."
Mia said, ... "Itʻs all wonky now. If you put it up it goes wonky. We could put some glue here and put another piece of wood here."
Logan said, ... "Get Steve and he could make another one."
Madison said, "Itʻd ripped. itʻs broken. Put a piece of wood there. We could make a bobo dog tomorrow."
Marshall said, ... "Itʻs broke. The teachers should fix it with cellotape."
Gypsy said, ... "Itʻs got that over it. You could put one of those over it (wood)."
Jemma said, ... "We could fix it with glue. That might be better."
Zak said, ... "Itʻs broken. Maybe Steve could fix it. I donʻt know how. I think he might get fire wood and chop it and put it inside."

When we asked the children what wood project they might like to work on next they said ....
Alex ... a house or the Eiffel tower
Mia ... a door
Kees ... a train or a table
Jayden ... we could make a shelf for the guinea pigs
Logan ... a pancake made of wood
Ryan ... a wooden chair to have our lunch
Madison ... a bobo dog
Marshall ... a horse with the fire wood
Gypsy ... I want a dog with four legs
Jemma ... I think we need a horse for kindy
Zak ... I think we should make a tiger with that seat

I wonder what will transpire ....

Rocky and Katie, ambassadors

Rocky and Katie have had many adventures since their arrival at Botany Downs Kindergarten. When Majada Mustafa Kamal visited us from Abu Dhabi they were at the front door as the greeting ambassadors. I wonder what they will be up to next ....

School Days

The volcano

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Disco Fever

The invites were out, the scene was set. All we needed was the cool kids of Botany Downs Kindergarten to come along and boogie the night away. And guess what ... that's just what happened. What a fabulous night. Thanks to everyone who came along. And a very big thanks to all those who helped along the way to make the evening a success.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Isnʻt he cuteiful. Cooperʻs first mat time

What a wonderful surprise it was to have Raelene and Cooper come to visit us today. We thought it might be this week that we might be spoilt with a visit. Some of the children called out, ʻRaeleneʻs back.ʻ They thought she was back to stay .... and we couldnʻt see what might keep her away!!!! Riley said, ʻIsnʻt he cuteiful.ʻ We had to agree. Today was Cooperʻs first mat time. How cool is that! Thanks for visiting Raelene and Cooper.

The next wood project

When Alex suggested that the guinea pigs would need a clock so they would know when they should go to their retreat it was time to set about planning what the clock might look like. Plans were drawn and numbers were written. Interestingly, digital clocks did not feature. As the children carved out the centre of the wood slab for the clock mechanism the hole suddenly went right through! What to do now? There was nothing for it but to start again. A thinner slab was cut, the children stamped on the number spaces and with help chiselled the numbers. With the mechanism fitted all that was left was to set the time. It was interesting that a number of children thought that it wasnʻt a real clock, so we had to watch the hands of the clock go around. What do you think of our clock?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Worms anyone

As part of the process of building a sustainable environment we have a worm farm for all our food scraps. The children are encouraged to feed the worms everyday. Oh, what different responses we get to that process! Every so often it is time to separate the worms from their worm caste and make the function of the worm farm apparent. The worms are relocated to the renewed worm farm and the wonderful worm caste is placed on our vegie garden to invigorate the growth of the plants that we grow to feed our animals. A great cycle of learning.

Developing friendship