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School Age - Newsletter

School Age - Valerie Dupell

The School Age group stayed busy during December working on our holiday gifts!  We are always excited to make things for our families, and this year was no exception.  Our snowman candle holders looked great, and we could hardly wait to take them home for our families to open!  We also had fun decorating Christmas cookies with Kelli Philpott!  It is interesting to see how much frosting and sprinkles can be put onto a cookie without it all falling off!  We enjoyed a pre-holiday visit from ITC alum Ceci Villasenor.  Ceci is a member of the Commonwealth Ballet Company, and she came to talk to the group about ballet and the Nutcracker.

We returned from the winter break to find a new oven in our classroom!  We have used it a few times to make some quick snacks, but we are looking forward to making some muffins or roasting some veggies for snacks as well!  During January we have enjoyed having some snow to play in.  We make good use of the sleds, giving each other rides, using them to haul snow or icicles, or sliding across the field in them.  We have to use our social skills for this activity, as there are not as many sleds as children.  The School Agers have to pair up to share the sleds.  There is usually discussion about who will pull the sled and who will ride too.  It is great practice for our negotiation and compromising skills!

During the Thursday afternoons in January we also headed into the Little Woods.  The Thursday group is enjoying this, and it has become a part of our Thursday routine!  One Thursday afternoon the group realized that there was another slide near the building that they could use.  They worked as a group to carry the slide, position it in different places, test it out, and find a new place for it.  They had a great time figuring out the best spot for the slide, as it tended to move as the children slid down it.  This activity began with just a few children and ended up occupying the whole group!  Some ice on the water led to a lot of experimenting with what could crack it.  The children tossed small rocks and sticks onto the ice to see what was heavy enough to make a crack.  They also worked together to hold long branches and poke the ice with them.  We are seeing a lot of cooperation during these woods explorations!

Of course our favorite indoor activity continues to be using the fuse beads!  We love to choose a design, pick the right colors, and then carefully place the beads onto the pegs.  Some of us choose to design our own fuse bead creations while others like to choose a pre-made design from a book of designs.  Either way, the fuse beads require a lot of patience, color recognition, and fine motor development.  It isn't easy to place the small beads where we want them to go.  We especially enjoy it when a friend helps us pick out the colors we need, which adds a social component to the activity!