What you need to know

Hello from Cooper St Kindergarten, Strathmore Heights Kindergarten and Strathmore Children’s Centre.

We Connect - Family and Children blog

These services have been eager to share some of the learning they have been engaged in over the past few weeks.

There are some things for you to do, listen to, watch and have a go at creating yourselves at home! There are also some links to the Incinerator Gallery’s art programs, storytimes at our libraries as well as a webinar and a podcast presented by the Department of Education and Training.

We hope you find things to engage with and challenge your thinking and learning.
Moonee Valley Early Years Team

Cooper St Kindergarten (3yr old kindergarten)

The 3yr olds at Cooper St want to share some of our favourite songs:

  • Mr Clickety Cane
  • When I wake up in the morning
  • Animal Twist.
  • Ten Cheeky Monkeys.

We have been playing lots of Memory style games like What’s Missing where we hide items under a blanket, take one or more items away and then allowing the children to guess what was missing… Wow! These guys are good at this game. To support the learning and development of memory and recall skills, we have been listening to the song Mr Clickety Cane. In this song, an extra action is added on in every verse. The children try to remember to add on as the song plays. Why not listen and challenge yourself at home.

Strathmore Children’s Centre

Here is Jennifer from Strathmore Children’s Centre singing a song and sharing her progress with teaching herself to play the ukulele.

Stick Insects

The stick insects from room 4 at Strathmore Children’s Centre went home with an educator a few weeks ago for a holiday during the six weeks of stage 4 restrictions. Her son has been looking after them with me by collecting gum leaves for them to eat, making sure they are nice and warm and spraying them with water for them to drink.

The other night, the male spiny leaf insect shed his outer skeleton (exoskeleton) to grow bigger!

  • Stick insects do this five times before reaching maturity.
  • This is his second shed that we know of.
  • Here are some photos of him with his exoskeleton
  • Can you see the difference in the size of his exoskeleton to his new size?

SCC Excoskelton1SCC excoskelton 2SCC Excoskeleton 3

Can you build your own stick insects at home?

Here are some things you could use:

  • 1 ice pole stick or stick from your garden
  • 3 pipe cleaners
  • 2 google eyes (or eyes can be drawn on)
  • leaves collected from outside
  • pva glue or sticky tape

SCC insect art1

twist the pipe cleaners around the stick

scc insect art2

then glue or tape eyes and leaves onto the body

scc insect art 3

Every insect will look different, what ideas do you have to create your insect? We would love to see the creations you have tried at home, send your photos to your educator at Strathmore Children’s Centre.

Strathmore Heights Kindergarten

Blog SHK weather Vane

This homemade weather vane science project is yet another easy way for kids to get hands-on experience being meteorologists. You could make this at home out of recycled materials that you have. Be sure to put something heavy in the bottom of the pot so it doesn’t blow over (soil/dirt, sand, small rocks – as long as what you use doesn’t touch the rod that allows the vane to spin in the wind)

In the southern hemisphere, (where we live in Australia) southern winds would be more likely to have a cooling effect. If the wind was coming from the direction of the equator (north in the southern hemisphere), one might predict warmer weather is on its way. If you live near an ocean, wind from that direction might suggest an increase in humidity (the amount of moisture in the air). Whether or not their predictions are reliable, kids can have fun practicing their weather forecasting skills.

Beginning to understand how wind creates energy is part of our sustainability learning at kindergarten. Seeing the weather vane move by the wind helps demonstrate this capacity to the children.

Learning from Home Packs/Supplies

Due to changing advice relating to the stay at home restrictions in stage 4, we are unable to offer home learning packs for collection from your child’s service. We are also unable to accept families dropping off their contributions to our projects either. We can however accept things sent by mail or emailed photos of your work to keep you connected to the learning that is happening within your program.

You could collect all of your work completed during restrictions, put it in a book or a bag. When you return to your early years program, bring it along and share your learning with your group. Revisiting your work and talking about the learning helps connect your thinking and may open up discussions with the other children and educators.

Some other fun things to do from home!

Incinerator Gallery – Arty Tales

The Incinerator Gallery have moved their Arty Tales program to online. This is a fabulous program delivered by artists to very young children and their families. Check out the links below.

Moonee Valley Libraries Storytime

Connect to Moonee Valley Libraries Storytime on their Facebook page.

Or find more information or resources for remote learning here.

Department of Education and Training – Webinar, Networks and Podcasts.

Minister for Education James Merlino will introduce child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg for a webinar on Tuesday 15 September at 7:30pm – aimed at providing parents and carers with practical skills, knowledge and strategies for managing the lockdown period and remote learning. Find out more and register through Eventbrite.