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Celebration Day

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We finished our Co-op school year last week (our “academic year” is a bit shorter than the school district’s). But our last days of Co-op were full! We continued our marine/aquatic theme unit with play at the water table. And we had a surprise show and tell with tadpoles that one of our Co-op families collected.

Each class wrapped up with the “Celebrate Friends, Celebrate You” ceremony. Each child has the chance to stand in front of the class and be “hip hip hoorayed”. It is a sweet tradition and the kids really love using the pom poms to cheer for each other!

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Getting ready to cheer.

Thank you Teacher Gail and South Spokane Co-op families for another great year!

 

Bugs!

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The weather has warmed up, which means more outside play! This week Teacher Gail also set up the bug table in the classroom, and with their hands and magnifying glasses, the kids explored in the dirt and under moss and rocks, where the beetles, worms, and pill bugs were hiding.

Later in the class we went outside to “paint” the trees with water. It’s amazing to see how such a simple activity can engage all of the kids- even the younger ones!

A field trip to the library

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Last week was our annual field trip to the library for story time. This is definitely a favorite of all of the kids- the ride to and from the library on the city bus being a highlight! The kids love to drop the quarters in the coin slot and find a seat on the bus.

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Our storyteller, Sumi, always does a great job evaluating the ages and attention spans of the kids and then chooses the stories. She interacts with the kids or just lets them observe and listen, depending on their personalities. After stories we have snack time and then it’s back to the bus for the ride home!

Fun with Slime

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Last week we made slime for a sensory play activity. The kids had fun stretching it, smashing it together, making shapes, and making hand prints. They each had their own ideas of what to do with the slime.

And it’s really easy to make! A quick Google search will provide plenty of recipes, but we combined a 1/2 cup water with a 1/2 cup liquid glue, mixing it well. To that we added some gel food coloring and glitter. In a second bowl we measured a 1/2 cup liquid starch and slowly mixed the glue/water mixture into the liquid starch, kneading it with our hands for a bit to make sure it was thoroughly combined. We had the adults do all of the measuring and mixing with this recipe. It keeps in an airtight container for a few days, so the kids took some home to continue the creativity!

Grocery Store Play

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We had a fun grocery store play unit last week! We stocked the shelves with “real” grocery items and the kids took turns shopping, running the cash registers, and bagging the groceries. This is always a favorite unit, as the kids love modeling what they see adults do!

A Festive Fall Quarter

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Crunching leaves, finding the right pumpkin, and testing out the apple peeler. Every week brought new adventures! We met new friends as co-op began a new year; a field trip to Greenbluff and a tractor ride; and our Spooky Literacy Night costume party and read-a-thon, which gave us a chance to talk about favorite children’s books and learn new authors.

We’re excited to see what Winter Quarter brings!

The end of another year

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We hung the necklaces on the bulletin board so the glue could dry before the end-of-the-year ceremony.
We hung the necklaces on the bulletin board so the glue could dry before the end-of-the-year ceremony.

Our last day of co-op was a whirlwind, as usual! The first activity was making some necklaces out of noodles, shells, stickers, and other random doodads. The kids all got a chance to play one more time with their favorite toys–trucks, the ball castle, the water table, the baby dolls–then Gail rang the clean-up bell and we gathered at the table for a snack. After a romp out on the grass and a quick photo session on the steps, Gail (who is celebrating her thirtieth year at the coop! Amazing!) put on a little end-of-the-year ceremony, calling each little buddy onto the bridge to get their necklace, and then we cheered ‘Hip hip hooray!’ for them. A round of high fives, and co-op is over until the fall.

We will look forward to seeing everyone over the summer at the park!

Mothers Day

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A fingerprint flower.

Today Teacher Gail planned a couple of things to help our kids get ready for Mothers Day. First, they made cards, forming flowers out of fingerprints. She was even able to coax my own son into doing it (he usually steers clear of the art projects, alas), which I appreciated! Then, after a mighty snack of enormous strawberries and crackers, we headed outside. The kids took turns planting flowers in cups–decorated with shiny stickers, always popular with the two-year-old set–for their mothers (and there were actually three grandmothers, plus a grandfather, in our class today! We love to meet everyone’s families.).

It’s hard to believe the co-op is almost over for the year! Springtime is such a fun time of year to explore with our little guys.

Eggs

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Eggs are fun!
Eggs are fun!

With Easter near, our activities this week were centered on eggs. First, Gail had a table set with several different open-ended play options: putting little fluffy chicks into plastic eggs, picking them up with different kinds of tongs, and sorting them by color.

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One of our buddies checks out Sweet Pea.

Next, a parent brought in one of the family’s chickens! We watched Sweet Pea peck at seeds and mealworms, and the kids learned to stay very quiet so that she would come near enough to pet her soft brown feathers. We even got to take one of her eggs home to enjoy for breakfast tomorrow!

Reading is fun!

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Gail displayed our lists of books from the read-a-thon on the bulletin board in the classroom.
Gail displayed our lists of books from the read-a-thon on the bulletin board in the classroom.

We had Literacy Night this week as one of our educational seminars. It was a great time to hang out with the families–we had pizza plus a wide array of salads (not to mention a Martha Stewart–worthy fruit pizza. Wow, it was pretty!). There was also a book exchange, and my family came home with four great new ones that have not left our nightly rotation since.

Since March was also Dr. Seuss month, we had a Cat in the Hat theme for our read-a-thon. We listed all of the books that we read during a week, and then Gail posted them so that we could see what our buddies were reading lately, too. Here were a few favorites:

  1. A to Z My Stars
  2. Archie and the Pirates
  3. The Cat in the Hat
  4. Go, Dog, Go!
  5. Goodnight Moon
  6. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb
  7. Hello Freight Train
  8. I Took the Moon for a Walk
  9. King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub
  10. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
  11. Planes!
  12. Where’s Waldo?