Chef Natalie dreams up three amazing, 100 percent organic meals per day for Little Sprouts children. Everything from grilled cheese and tomato soup to spaghetti and meatballs to three-bean enchiladas. What?!? And psssstt…. she’ll even share her recipes, if you ask nicely. “I just love cooking for kids, feeding kids,” she says. “I love knowing what I’m feeding them is not only delicious — it’s also nutritious!” This chef is no stranger to little humans — she has three boys of her own. And boy does she know how to cook. Wander through Little Sprouts any time of day to catch a whiff of her recipes. Lucky kids!
This week, we are highlighting Bitty Sprouts B, our older infant program. Our teachers in this classroom are Miss Cheryll and Miss Kiana, working with children between 6 months and one year old. Miss Cheryll has cared for children for most of her life, but has been working in formal childcare for four years. Her favorite thing about working with infants is watching them grow up and learn; it is such an exciting time in their little lives! In her free time, she likes to spend time with her two pups. Miss Kiana is the newest staff member at Little Sprouts. She loves working with infants because they are easy to talk to! She loves to hike in her free time. We are so excited to have her on our team!
One new addition to Bitty B has been a set of stacking bowls. There are ten multi-colored bowls, which all connect together. Our kiddos have been enjoying stacking and unstacking these bowls in order (or not in order!). The skills utilized with this new manipulative toy include gross motor, fine motor, logic, and mathematics!
An exciting sensory experience that our older infants had over the holidays was working with salt dough – a mixture of salt, flour, and water. They were able to feel this new texture, and pressed their handprints into the salt dough to create holiday ornaments for our parents. Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to
use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore.
This week, we are focusing on Busy C, one of our three year old classrooms!
Our teachers in Busy C are Miss Marissa and Miss Sarah! Miss Marissa has been working in child care for almost three years here at Little Sprouts. Her favorite thing about working with three year olds is the stories they tell! In her free time, she likes to hike. Miss Sarah loves helping children learn and explore new topics and concepts. She is a recent transplant to Colorado, and is excited to see what our beautiful state has to offer.
One exciting skill we work on in our three year old classroom is cutting! Our Busy C friends have been getting some good practice holding scissors, using fine motor skills, hand strength, and dexterity through cutting magazines. They are able to pick and choose which photos they want to cut out, or even cut straight through photos!
Busy C recently did an exciting science project, which utilized the skills of measuring, mixing, hypothesizing, and recording data! This experiment was called ‘the dancing popcorn’. The children put a raw corn kernel in water, and observed that nothing occurred. Then, with a 1 cup scoop and teaspoon, they added vinegar and baking soda and observed. When both ingredients were added, the corn kernel danced and moved around in the bubbles. It was exciting to see the kiddos wonder what will happen, and see the results!
This week we are focusing on Bitty Sprouts A, our younger infant program, with ages 6 weeks to 6 months. Our teachers are Miss Cristi and Miss Tori. Miss Cristi has been working with Little Sprouts for six years, since we first opened in 2012! Her favorite thing about working with infants is snuggling with them! She has been married for 25 years and has three kiddos. Miss Tori has been working with children for six years and has been with Little Sprouts since August. Her favorite thing about working with infants is watching them grow! In her free time, she enjoys watching hockey and loves Harry Potter.
In this classroom, feeding, diapering, and sleeping are all on demand. Miss Cristi and Miss Tori are knowledged about each infant’s normal schedule at home, as well as how they express their needs and wants while in our care. While they are not verbal in this room, they definitely know how to communicate with their caregivers!
Recently, Bitty Sprouts A has been implementing a foldable block mirror during the day. Our smaller infants have been enjoying their ‘tummy time’ in front of this block mirror, and the older infants have been enjoying free play in front of it. This is similar to our large mirror, which is in the cozy area of Bitty A. While relaxing and playing, our infants are working on facial recognition, observing themselves, and discerning their own faces from others.
This week, our school is highlighting Busy Sprouts B, our four to five year old program (Pre-K) with Miss Sam and Miss Yomaris. Miss Sam has been working with children for eleven years – beginning her educational journey as a youth basketball coach in college. Her favorite thing about working with four year olds is seeing the results, for example when children combine their skills to work through situations. In her spare time, Miss Sam creates artwork and jewelry, and has a passion for animals. Miss Yomaris has been working with children since 8th grade, where she assisted her mother at a summer camp. Her favorite thing about working with this age is their curiosity – they are like little sponges for learning! Miss Yomaris loves being positive, and making the best of every situation!
One exciting concept that has been implemented in Busy B has been Spanish Circle Time in the afternoons. Miss Yomaris is from Puerto Rico, and shares her passion for bilingual learning with our children. During this circle time, we learn in a variety of ways. Busy B has songs about colors, numbers, and body parts, and are working on how to present themselves in Spanish (name, age, etc) through conversation. They read books in English, Spanish, and a combination of the two. This has been a great experience, with awesome results!
Earlier in the month, Busy B held a taste test of ingredients like crackers, pickles, coconut, lemon, and raisin bread. Yum! They used their math and logic skills to vote on their favorite taste, and see which food was the most popular. Check the graph out in the hallway outside of Busy B this week!
This week, we are focusing on Waddling Sprouts A. Waddling Sprouts A works with 12 to 20 month children – our teachers are Miss Sara and Miss Sabrina! Miss Sara loves working with younger children, and especially loves dancing and music time. In her free time, Miss Sara is a musician, who plays guitar and keyboard, as well as singing. Miss Sabrina has been working with young children for 6 years, and was a youth correctional officer before childcare. In her free time, she loves to crochet.
One developmental area that Miss Sara and Sabrina really strive towards for their kiddos is expressing needs and wants through sign language. Waddling A can sign the words ‘eat’, ‘more’, ‘please’, and ‘sorry’ to help express their needs. They are working on more complex signs, such as ‘baby’, ‘cracker’, ‘banana’, and more! Check out the photos below of us practicing our signs!
Waddling Sprouts A also works on fine motor skills through unique art experiences. They clipped clothespins onto cotton balls and used those as paintbrushes! Miss Sara and Miss Sabrina dipped these ‘paintbrushes’ into watercolor paint, and helped the children hold and create with them. They also used orange tissue paper, glue, and orange paint to create Halloween pumpkins recently. Look on their walls to find more fun, spooky artwork 🙂
This week, we are so excited to talk about Busy D, our Pre-K program for 4 ½ – 5 year olds. Miss Emily is the teacher in this classroom! Miss Emily graduated from UCCS with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She loves play-based learning, and has been running marathons since she graduated from high school.
Busy D has been working on science as of late, growing their own crystals and observing them throughout their growth. A long-term experiment like this teaches patience over time, because you do not see results overnight. Busy D’s kiddos did observations of their crystals frequently, recording data and drawing what they saw. Some crystals grew successfully, while others did not grow at all. Sometimes experiments turn out, and some do not – but the processes and successes taught us a lot!
Up next for Busy D is the topic of dinosaurs. Every morning all of our preschool rooms come together in Busy C, and they are studying dinosaurs. Busy D thought the topic sounded really interesting, and want to learn about them too! We are excited to see what learning explorations they will experience. Check them out creating dinosaur skeletons using q-tips, glue, and black paper dinosaur cutouts in these photos!
This week we will be highlighting Toddling B, a classroom for 24 to 36 month old children. Our teachers in this classroom are Miss Renee and Miss Jasmine. Miss Renee moved to Colorado one month ago from California, and has been working in childcare for 6 years. She loves hiking and spending time with her family. Miss Jasmine has been working in childcare for 5 years. She loves watching movies, hiking, and traveling. Our kiddos are gaining independence at this age, and doing lots of things on their own.
Toddling B has been working hard on exciting fall process art. Check out our fall trees in the hallway – we used brown paper trunks, cotton balls, glue, and eye droppers full of paint to create these trees. We utilized our fine motor skills and creativity to work on gluing, pasting, squeezing, and dropping.
Another multi-day project Toddling B is working on this week deals with leaves. They explored leaves through senses of smell and touch, then used motor skills to squeeze glue onto paper, and glue on the leaves. The next step will be painting over the leaves. This will be an interesting sensory experience with painting over the leaves. It is slightly similar to the leaf rubbings (which you can also see hanging in the classroom) that Tod B did last week by rubbing crayons over leaf pattern sheets. We are so thrilled by Toddling B’s classroom structure and creative learning experiences.
To continue building our wonderful community of families and classrooms, we will be writing weekly to highlight one of our wonderfully unique classrooms!
This week, we begin with Wads B – Miss Julia and Miss Katie! Miss Julia is our lead teacher and recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UCCS in psychology. She has been with Little Sprouts since May and loves art, such as painting and crafting! Miss Katie is our assistant teacher and has been with Little Sprouts since July. She has worked with children for seven years and loves fall, reading, and music.
Wads B works with ages 18 months to 24 months and focuses on developing social skills, establishing friendships, and helping children expressing themselves while encouraging them to become more vocal, and working together to improving language skills.
One new addition to the Wads B routine has been reading time during transitions, such as going from indoor play to outdoor play or from indoor play to meal times. This short reading time helps the children see themselves as readers, as well as increase literacy skills. Transitions are hard, and this pleasant time helps lower stress, and get children into a routine.
Wads B has also taken the information given by parents in their parent questionnaire to make an awesome display outside of their classroom – check it out and get to know the students in Wads B! Also outside of the classroom is an awesome display of sensory and motor exploration – painting our table! We mixed colors together to see what they would create, and had a great time doing it. Check out their work in the hallway!
Thank you so much to all of our families for giving us such kind reviews over this past month. We truly appreciate and love you all!
We are thrilled to announce the winner of our drawing for a free week of care…….
The Stehlik family!
Stay tuned for our next giveaway, coming up in the next few months