Why your child should get messy

Last week, we had our very first Messy Playgroup.

Many of us immediately melt into a cold sweat at the thought of children and mess in the same sentence, as for putting our precious, sweet smelling, tiny little bundles of joy into something messy …. surely not!!20180921_155400

However, many and varied studies have shown that “messy” play can contribute massively to the cognitive and creative development of babies and young children. In fact this type of play can continue to have numerous benefits throughout our entire lives including a great way to relieve stress and tension in adults.20180921_152548

The term “messy” is often seen as negative and therefore undervalued but to give a baby the opportunity to explore, create and combine new materials without a necessary end result is a massive step towards their physical and emotional well being. Without boundaries in their exploration they will develop confidence in their ability, become risk takers in their learning and be happy to try new things with confidence.20180921_160032

Messy Play allows

1. Babies to explore without a focus on making or producing something (so ne pressure to get it right).

2.Babies the opportunity to mould and manipulate new materials.

3. Babies use all 5 senses in the process of exploration, especially the sense of touch.

4. A positive approach to new experiencesand much much more.

This list is by no means exhaustive, messy play can also develop concentration, Problem solving, planning, sharing, response, feelings, counting, creativity, imagination, communication, vocabulary, shape and so on. 20180921_152245

Children at different levels of development as well as children with special needs can all play together as there is no right/wrong way to explore, so barriers are lifted and tolerance and acceptance are promoted.

The benefits of messy play are boundless and over the next few weeks I will introduce more to you but in the meantime why not come along to our next class and see the benefits for yourself?

Register here

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This is Me! Entry Point

This week, we have launched into our very first IEYC unit theme- This is Me!

Excitement peeked as we wheeled a white suitcase full of clothes, jewelry, shoes and other items that have been carefully put together  to capture the curiosity of our 2-2.5 year old children. (currently, our oldest child is 2.5 years old). We made our world passports which have now been approved for travel.

This week, we will take a trip around the world to all the countries from which all our children originate. It goes without say that our first stop is to our home and host country, Uganda.

With our children’s ages in mind, we will be focusing more on activities that develop their movement, concentration and language skills in order for them to enjoy and benefit from the unit in the coming weeks.

We have fun theme based activities planned for the next 4 weeks and hope we can take you all on the journey with us.

Here are a few photos of our Entry Point activities.

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Freedom to choose. Why? How?

Hi everyone,

I am sorry I haven’t been able to write a blog post the last few weeks due to the stress of opening the school. We are three days into our first week of school and I must say that we are all grateful that it has been one smooth sail of a week.

Anyway, back to the blog post…

I can do it!

Child-led play for the under 5’s means that ‘the right to choose’ is very much anchored into many toddlers’ values. And over the last few years we’ve seen aspects of this child-led philosophy find their way into national debate on the core school curriculum. We’ve even seen the emergence of a ‘democratic’ pre-and primary school where child-led education is the rule of the day.
So, although that might not be everyone’s cup-of-tea, democracy and democratic values are and have to be present in all aspects of our work with children – through play.

Through play children learn to share, make their own choices and develop their independence

I can do it!

Toddlers like independence and choosing for themselves.  Some small changes in your toddler’s environment can facilitate this while providing practical, fun activities for the child.

Labelling:

Help the child identify where things belong by labelling. Place pictures or photos on the outside of drawers and cupboards within reach. This allows for choice making, showing preferences and builds self-esteem. It also builds early math skills as s/he sorts and matches items. By labelling toy boxes, for example, tidying up becomes a fun activity whereby the toddler feels in control, responsible and capable of completing tasks

Collecting:

Make a ‘treasure basket’ of everyday school items for the child. The basket should be large enough to store a variety of items, low enough for the sitting child to reach into and strong enough to lean on. Many household items are safe for the child to play and experiment with through banging, touching, tasting.  Change the basket contents to vary experiences. Stay with the child to create a sense of security as s/he explores and to ensure safe play.  The treasure basket offers rich, sensory experiences through sight, touch, taste, smell, sound and movement. While the child investigates and explores, s/he develops concentration and learns about cause and effect.  S/he can choose to use the objects in a variety of ways learning to problem-solve while developing hand-eye co-ordination. Always bear safety in mind while choosing objects and check regularly.


 

I hope you found this week’s blog post useful. If you wish to chat to us about our school, curriculum or even just join one of our play groups, please feel free to fill in the contact form below and we shall get back to you as soon as possible.

Cheers,

Claire x

Intelligent Little Humans

Hi all,

Welcome back to our Bluemoon blog. I hope my first post gave you a little bit of insight on what to expect from us as a school.

Throughout my 8 years in the teaching profession, have seen and taught children from all walks of life. I can tell you with almost certainty that there is no creature more intelligent than the human child between the ages of 0-6.

I mean think about it. These little humans learn to use their eyes and ears, to talk, walk, run, read, write, count, socialize, be compassionate and the list goes on and on. All this within the first six years of their lives when adults think they are too young for anything.

We underestimate this age group of children. Think about it, with all your adult intelligence, how long would it take you to learn a language that you have never spoken before? Even if you do manage to learn it, only a gifted few are able to perfect it at a native level.

And yet, we intentionally shield children from learning words we consider ‘big’, claiming that they are too young. I am thinking, if a child is too young for one word, wouldn’t they be too young for a whole language or two?

After six years of age, this intense intelligence diminishes and the child will start to learn everything consciously and with a lot of effort, revision and repetition.

So why not just stuff everything you want your child to learn and experience while their brains can still take it in easily.

I will be insanely impressed with a preschooler who walks up to me and tells me ” Miss Claire, my jajja went to visit an Otorhinolaryngologist on the weekend for her throat infection”.

It would sound more like, “miss Claire, my jajja visited a Otogis on the weekend for a tot insesho”- but it would make my life!

So parents, dont hold back on the language, social skills and life lessons you teach your 0-6 year olds- if only for your own entertainment. Believe me, the more language your child knows, the more comic they are and the more entertaining your life will be.

Again, if you would like to register your child for our International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) program or have any questions, please do contact me on: director@bluemooninternationalschool.com

Where the Journey Begins

Welcome to the Bluemoon blog! Thank so much for you interest in our school. This blog is designed as informal way of introducing myself and Bluemoon International Preschool to the Ugandan community. I hope this post is only the first of many and will give you am insight on the values our school stands for and what you will expect from us.

Without further adue, allow to narrate the story of how I decided I wanted to be a teacher.

When I was 5 years old, I was moved from my small and cozy preschool where I had felt safe and happy for almost three years and transferred to a bigger school where I was to start primary.

The thought of a big school is terrifying to a 5 year old. This wasn’t just any school. It was to be considered one of the best schools in the country.

My mum tells me that I could read and write by the time I was five. You know those Ladybird books that featured Peter and Jane adventures? I could read most of the levels by the time I joined Pre-primary at five years of age.

I was so spirited, determined and intelligent, my my tells me. I passed my interview with flying colors and got a place in the clever class. A class I only attended for about 4 months before gradually being demoted to the mediocre class and finally the dummie class.

Mum relates the story to me with a heavy heart. “You come home one day and you couldn’t read or write anymore.” Its true! I came from reading almost any material I was given to not even recognizing a single letter in the alphabet.

This set the pace for my primary school life which was filled with bad reports or teachers telling me I was lazy, or that I had to repeat a class, or that I was going to be a failure in life.

Fast forward almost 25 years (today) later as I sit behind my laptop typing this first post of many. I wouldn’t describe myself as a failure or lazy. If anything, I have always beaten the odds. You see, when I remember what I learnt in school, the most important parts I remember are not the academics (I was horrible at those), it is the skills, life lessons, friends and experiences that I remember.

Most of all, I remember bits and pieces from my very first school. I was participated in a race on sports day but even though I was among the last, my teachers cheered me on and gave me a certificate for finishing. Although my mind has forgotten her face and name, my heart have never forgotten the kindness of my preschool teacher.

Even at the age of three, I wanted to be a teacher. Not just any teacher, but the best teacher I could ever be- one whom my pupils’ hearts would remember for the rest of their lives.

With that little story, I welcome you to Bluemoon International Preschool. My staff and I are ready and eager to touch some young hearts.

If you would like to find out more about Bluemoon school, do slide into my DMs.