Butterfield Acres comes to Wee Wild Ones

Tuesday August 21st was a special day around here. The skies cleared (literally) and we were able to enjoy the fresh air for the first time since the smoke settled in over the Calgary skyline. 

And what was waiting for all of the Wee Wild Ones you wonder? None other than Calgary's own Butterfield Acres Petting Zoo! The children were greeted by bunnies, chicks, goats, sheep and two little piglets. 

BA1.jpg
BA2.jpg

All the classes took turns going out to spend time with the animals, giving these city dwellers the chance to experience life on the farm. Did you know that it was more than just fun? Studies have shown than exposing children to farm animals has many positive benefits such as promoting healthy living, hands on, sensory and exploratory learning, language development, and an increased appreciation for nature. 

Special thanks to Butterfield Acres for bringing the farm to us and for doing such a great job to teach the children about the different animals - it could have been a zoo, but it went off without a kick thanks to the great staff. 

BA6.jpg
BA5.jpg
BA7.jpg
BA4.jpg

Summer Fun!

It’s summer!!! The time of year when Calgarians are able to get fresh air, enjoy warm weather, and relish in the freedom of no plans! We absolutely love summer and all the fun that these fleeting months bring.

This year we wanted to give you a list of some of our staffs’ favourite outdoor, free(ish), and family friendly activities and places.

Miss Diana - the Airdrie splash park is one of her favourite places to take her young daughter to. You can frolick in the water 7 days a week from 10am to 8pm for the summer months. There are washrooms and picnic tables near by for picnicking and the area is fenced off to keep little runners close.

Miss Brenna – an afternoon at St Patricks Island. A favourite go to for our preschoolers. It’s an easy walk right from our school and has natural areas, a huge hill for running on, wading area for those hot days and lots of picnic spots.

Miss Alissa – go for a walk at Edworthy Dog Park! With beautiful views and lots of space to run, this park is great for everyone. Don’t have a dog? No problem! There are lots of friendly k9’s that would love to take any and all scratches you’re willing to give.

Miss Meghan - biking through Fish Creek Park! The 3rd largest urban park in Canada, Fish Creek Park weaves throughout Calgary and has so much to offer.  When you get tired or hungry, there are lots of picnic tables and river access to enjoy a snack and dip your toes in the cool water before continuing on again.

Miss Erin – take in all Bowness Park has to offer. Built before the first World War, Bowness Park has a Tea House, playgrounds, picnic areas, wading pool, kiddie train and boat house. A great year round location that is fun for all ages and abilities.  

Miss Bailey – enjoy nature walks at Johnston Canyon, Heart Creek Trail, Troll Falls or Grassi Lakes. These trails are all great for enthusiastic young hikers looking to get into nature – just don’t forget your bear spray!

Miss Hortense - plan a big family picnic at Confederation Park! An extensive pathway system, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, flower/rock garden, natural playground and picnic areas have something for everyone to enjoy.

Miss Shante – Go for a stroll around Prince’s Island Park. Right in the heart of our city, Prince’s Island Park has so much to do. Bird watching, playground jumping, picnic benches and even an amphitheater to play in (when it’s not booked of course) would keep your little one busy for an entire afternoon.

Enjoy your summer!!!

Monster March 2018

WE DID IT

_6136833.jpg

We are so happy to announce that our first annual Monster March was a huge success!

Each child made their own costume and proudly showed it off as they marched their way 3 km through the heart of Calgary from Prince's Island to St. Patrick's Island to raise money for the Children's Cottage Society. 

_6136279.jpg

We had so much fun visiting with the Cottage Society's mascot and Director Patty Kilgallon as we learned about what we were marching for and all the children that would be helped with the money raised. 

It is with much excitement to announce that with the help of 90 little monsters and 40 adult helpers, we were able to reach our goal of $10,000!!! 

_6136713.jpg

Elisha Jackson, Fund Development Manager, said "$10,000 will do so much for our Crisis Nursery. For example, it could help provide nutritious meals for the children for up to 100 days! It could provide all the maintenance on the building for a whole year. Or even pay for our utilities for 6 months to keep the kids warm and comfortable. It is just such an amazing gift to the children and families we serve".

Thank you so much for all your help and support. We look forward to making this an annual event and can't wait to watch the event grow. See all the event photos HERE

IMG_1386.jpg
IMG_1377.jpg
FullSizeR_5.jpg
IMG_1381.jpg

Learning & Playing in Nature

IMG_0579.jpg

We here at Wee Wild Ones & Of the Wild Nature Preschool know how important it is to bring little ones outside and to encourage a connection with the natural world around them. Being outside can be fundamentally beneficial, it leads to one's well-being, health and overall happiness. We want to share a few ways you can get your little ones excited about the natural world too!  Here are a few ideas for games to play this Summer:

Animal Forms: Circle up and imitate the movement of different animals! Stretch, move, and get some exercise. Children can embody a bird ruffling its feathers, a bear scratching its back on a tree, or a frog hopping on lily pads. 

Plant Duplication: Collect leaves from different trees and plants within a certain vicinity. Show the children which leaves you have collected and let them know the area in which you found them. After they have seen the leaves and know the boundaries they search for the same leaves! A nature scavenger hunt that encourages observation skills.

Leaf Puzzles: Find leaves, the bigger the better, and break them up into multiple pieces. Children will then have to put the leaves back together like a puzzle.

Scavenger Hunt: Make a list of various nature items (such as leaves, twigs, pine cones, rocks, etc) and set out on a treasure hunt to find all the items on the list. Once everything is found, share and celebrate!

Nest Robbers: Everyone has a role as either a songbird or a crow. Players are not allowed to speak during the game, only making bird sounds such as squawks and cheeps. Song birds pair up to build a nest in a hidden location. Once the nest is prepared and well hidden, they have to gather 'food' (pine cones for example) from an abundance of 'food' placed in the center of the playing area. The songbirds have to gather as much food as they can to fill their nests, while the crows try to find the hidden nests and steal the food!

Reference: 'Learning with Nature, a how-to guide to inspiring children through outdoor games and activities', by Marina Robb, Victoria Mew, and Anna Richardson.

 

Good Things Are Going To Happen

This Spring we will be welcoming the Day Care of Hope into our studio!

Yesterday evening, we here at Wee Wild Ones hosted an open house for all the families coming over from the Day Care of Hope. It was a pleasure to meet everyone and show off our beautiful new space! All of us here are looking forward to new staff, new children, and new families! 

This will be a wonderful opportunity for us to grow, offer more services, and learn from the experience of our new team members.

Moving to, or starting at, a new child care facility can be nerve racking for children as well as parents! So here are a few tips to help make big changes into a big smile on your wee wild ones face:

1. Give your little one a family picture to hold and look at during their first day.

2. Bring your child in to meet their new teachers and explore the new space.

3. Plan something fun to do as a family after their first day.

4. Make sure to say good-bye during drop off - it is best to not sneak away. You can even create your own good bye routine.

5. Find a familiar face, children may recognize other children they have played with from their previous classroom.

Life doesn't get better by chance, it gets better with change.

Chinese New Year!

IMG_6812.JPG

Our preschoolers have been spending the last few weeks learning all about Chinese New Year and its traditions!

Our Willows class was very curious about the Chinese Zodiac so we spent some time looking up which zodiac animal year we were born in. Most of us were born in the year of the Dragon, Snake and Horse! To celebrate this year, the year of the Dog, we all made our own paper bag puppets! Some of our Willows even practiced writing numbers in Chinese!

Lion dancing is also an important part of the celebration for Chinese New Year (done for good luck and to drive away evil spirits) - we loved watching videos of Lion Dancers! We were lucky enough to have a parent arrange for a volunteer from the Jing Wo Cultural Association Lion Dance Team to come talk to our preschoolers about Lion Dancing and the meaning behind it. He brought in instruments for us to try out and we even had a chance to try on the Lion costume! It was so much fun!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Fur or Blubber? A Science Experiment!

Our preschoolers conducted a fascinating science experiment during our Arctic animals week! The preschoolers tested to see if fur or blubber keeps Arctic and Antarctic animals warmer.

To do this the teachers created ziploc sandwich bag mittens to place into cold ice water.  The mittens were filled with either Crisco to simulate blubber or fluff to simulate fur. They then put their hands into the mittens while they were submerged in ice water to feel for themselves which kept their hands warmest.

The preschoolers concluded that the blubber kept their hands much warmer in the ice water! Hence why our Arctic water dwelling animal friends have blubber.

IMG_20180201_135804.jpg

The experiment is fun and quick to do at home with kids! Here is how:

Take one ziploc sandwich bag and put a couple of spoonfuls of crisco into it, then take another ziplock bag, turn it inside out, and place it inside the first bag, then zip it together. You can also tape the top to keep it together if necessary. Follow the same steps and use cotton balls instead of crisco to make the fur. Try not to fill the bag with too many cotton balls.

Next, fill a bucket or large bowl with cold water and ice, then put your hands in the mitts, and put them in the ice water. Be careful not to put them in so far that the water goes into the mitts. 

Have fun!

Mindfully Me with Ms Lindsay

Our yoga teaching, outdoor enthusiast, and hockey loving Ms Lindsay is bringing Mindfully Me into the schools! 

Every week students get to learn and participate in gentle stretching, yoga, mindful meditations, and self-reflection. Through these practices and activities kids are building their skills and abilities for focus, dealing with difficult life situations with healthier emotional responses, and self care.

We could all learn to show more kindness and compassion to ourselves as well as others. And Ms Lindsay is one of our many teachers who is helping to bring more love into the world by teaching kids effective strategies for better choices.

We asked Ms Lindsay, 'what feeds your love of teaching?'

Knowing that we can make a difference in the lives of theses little kiddos is very rewarding! Helping them grow and learn is so fun to watch, knowing that they are learning about being present and mindful at such a young age is amazing! I learn new things from them everyday .

IMG_5871.jpg