Unity Preschool News
Home School Edition - Volume 7
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you." Jeremiah 29:12
Never underestimate the power of prayer. We shared some of our sorrows with you last week and asked that you keep us in your prayers. Thus far, my husband's mother is doing fine and no other residents have caught the virus in her nursing home. In fact, the two residents that were diagnosed with it have been released from the hospital. Ms. Alison's dad had a miraculous improvement. His organs were failing and doctors cannot explain his unexpected turn around. He had successful surgery last week for a long term breathing tube and he will be moved to a long-term care facility this week. Ms. Alison is so hopeful and appreciative of your prayers.
The Lord is always listening. Prayer is our direct line to him. Make sometime today or in the next week to spend some time alone with Him. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
We hope that you enjoy this issue focusing on Gross Motor Skills. We will explain what "gross motor skills" are and provide fun ideas for both indoor and outdoor activities to help your child develop them. Your Unity Preschool family continues to keep you in our thoughts and prayers and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and virus-free.
We Miss Our Three's Classes
This week we are featuring our sweet Frog's class taught by Ms. Lauren and Ms. Sarah. Take a moment to enjoy some beautiful children. We guarantee you will smile.
The Nolin Sisters: Colleen, Bailey and Ellie (Ms. Maureen's daughters) made this wonderful sign for their dad's cousin, Dr. Andrew Knapp, who is a COVID ICU doctor in New York City. Have you remembered or honored anyone battling the virus on the front lines?
Andrew and Benjamin: Ms. Tami and her sons returned to her hometown that was devastated by the tornado to help her dad clear tree limbs from his property. The devastation was profound and her sons returned with a renewed perspective and appreciation of their blessings.
Daxton and Colton: Daxton (Owl Class) and his big brother, Colton, (sons of Ms. Danielle) have been speading joy and happiness to some folks in nursing homes. They have been busy making cards and bead crafts (a great fine motor skill activity shares Ms. Danielle - https://www.orientaltrading.com/spring-fuse-beads-craft-kit-a2-13834706.fltr)
Colton has also been reading stories to Ms. Tee's class!
End of Year Plans
As we announced last week, Unity Preschool will remain closed. Unity Preschool Staff is busy finalizing end-of-year plans, including honoring our Four's graduates. We are waiting for some additional guidance from our Session (they meet tonight) about what they will allow on church property. Once we hear from them, we will announce our plans. In the meantime, our weekly newsletter will continue as well as school day contact via the SeeSaw app from our Staff and some Zoom sessions. We understand this school year has not gone as planned and we are incredibly sad and disappointed. We do, however, recognize the necessity to keep everyone safe and healthy as we navigate this unprecedented situation. We look forward to continuing this quarantine adventure with you for a few more weeks.
Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills are abilities that allow children to do things that involve using the large muscles in the torso, arms and legs to complete whole-body movements. This includes activities like standing, walking, running, jumping, climbing and sitting upright at the table. Children rely on these skills to have successful experiences at school, on the playground and in the community.
We work on these skills at Unity Preschool especially during our Playball program, our music program and during our outdoor time. We also include movement exercises in the classroom. So what can you do to help? Here is a list of skills to work on with your preschooler:
- running (with good stamina)
- hoping (on both feet and one foot)
- pedaling and steering a tricycle or bicycle
- climbing a playground ladder
- throwing a ball with direction
- catching a thrown ball with arms and body
- bouncing a ball
Tape Balance Beam: This is ultra simple, but surprisingly fun! Grab several rolls of colorful painter's tape, and set it on the floor in different lines; make the lines zigzag, curvy, straight, or shaped like a circle, square, or other shape.Then challenge your child to walk (or hop or skip or jump) each colored line from beginning to end.
Tape Ladder: Put it on the floor like a ladder. Then have your child see how many rungs he/she can jump. Can they jump farther with a running start? See how many rungs they can stretch – or how far they can go on one foot.
Indoor Hopscotch: Create a simple hopscotch board with numbers. Then have your child toss a bean bag on a space and jump to get there. Pro Tip: Change the skill that your child reviews with hopscotch; instead of putting numbers on the squares, consider letters, shapes, or sight words.
Tape Road: Use painter's tape to make roads through your entire house that they can drive their cars or trucks along.
Move and Groove Alphabet Game: Use painter's tape to make the alphabet and get your kids moving and grooving while learning the alphabet.
Need more ideas? Check out this post at Hands on as We Grow: https://handsonaswegrow.com/5-different-activities-for-6-lines-of-tape/
Outdoor Gross Motor Skills
- Roll down hills
- Play hopscotch
- Golf (like Ms. Sarah's daughter, Elizabeth Grace)
- Make a balance beam and walk the plank:
- Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt:
- Make a bike course with items or chalk
- Blow bubbles and chase them
- Hula hoop lasso challenge: https://www.raisingdragons.com/hula-hoop-lasso-challenge/
- Fly a homemade recycled kite:
- Kickball or throwing, catching and rolling balls
- Add some "tree cookies" to your backyard: https://happyhooligans.ca/play-logs/
- Riding tricycles, scooters, bike and other ride-on toys
- Swinging, sliding and climbing on playground equipment
- Outdoor obstacle course:
- Soccer: Let children enjoy kicking the ball and aiming it toward a goal, large cardboad box or laundry basket
- Tag or other classic games such as Follow the Leader, Mother May I or Simon Says
- Jump the brook: Lay out two jump ropes or draw two chalk lines to represent the brook and have your children try to jump over it.
Ms. Tee - Stairs
Stair climbing may sound nerve-racking with your little one, but it is a great way to keep them safe. It is important to teach your toddler how to correctly go up and down the stairs, especially when they encounter stairs in different environments.
Ms. Tee spends a lot of time working with her Two's classes having them stand on one foot and practicing going up and down our many stairs at Unity. If you are ready to try stairs with your toddler or your child is having issues with stairs, here is a great resource with several tips and tricks for teaching stair climbing:
Reading Giraffe@Home Class
Coach Derick (who also runs our Playball program) and Alphie, the Reading Giraffe mascot, are excited to be running FREE Reading Giraffe @ Home classes on Thursdays at 10 am through May. This class will be run via Zoom—once you register, you’ll receive a confirmation email with instructions, a link to join the class, and the password. You will not need to create a Zoom ID to login, but will be prompted to download the Zoom client if you don’t have it on your computer when you click on the class link.
Class sizes will be limited, and you can sign up at: www.FitLitKids.com/Unity
Please feel free to contact Coach Derick with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scholastic Pop-Up Shop
Vacation Bible School - Sign Up
NOTE: Alternative plans are being discussed if the quarantine continues. To be included in those plans, please sign up below.
Join us for Unity's Wilderness Escape VBS! We'll take a journey with Moses and the Israelites and watch God guide and provide. Each day, the children will become part of history as they see, hear, touch, and even taste what it was like to live in the Bible-times wilderness. These experiences will make God's Word come alive with new meaning for all who participate!
June 15th-18th from 9:00 until noon
Ages Rising 4k to Rising 5th graders
Click here for more details and to register until April 30th:
2. Some fun and easy spring science experiments to enjoy with your child. We do several of these in our preschool classes:
3. It is STRAWBERRY time! Stop by the Peach Stand or the Farmer's Market (drive-thru service) near Springfield and pick up some strawberries. Here is an easy bisquick shortcake recipe to enjoy:
4. Our Christian Education Director, Kathryn McGregor, continues to post weekly devotions and faith formation activities that you can do with your children while you are home:
On a Lighter Note
Unity Preschool Staff "Zooming" Together
Top Row (Left to Right):
Ms. Lauren (3's), Ms. Linda (Director) and Ms. Danielle (2's)
Second Row (Left to Right):
Ms. Kellie (4's), Ms. Tee (2's) and Ms. Tami (4's)
Third Row (Left to Right):
Ms. Carolyn (Librarian/Class Helper), Ms. Jen (3's) and Ms. Kelsey (3's)
Bottom Row (Left to Right):
Ms. Maureen (4's), Ms. Heather (4's) and Ms. Sarah (3's)