From the principal's desk
The forgotten treasure
Having fun, being innocent, being able to make friends easily, hungry to play for the whole day are all synonymous with children/ childhood. Childhood is all about playing and in the due course acquiring various life skills.
When I travel back to the timeline and trigger my childhood memories, I feel nostalgic. My childhood was filled with lots of games, some sensible and some nonsensical, but every game I played helped me develop many skills. I am sure that you can also relate to this and agree with me. The lovely experiences most of you must have had as children while playing different games with friends must be amazing.
I can undoubtedly say that our childhood is filled with more fun than the modern day kids. Some of the reasons for this are the absence of smartphones, limited access to gadgets and TV channels. The other important factor was that we had friendly neighbourhoods and parents who were not overprotective. As kids, we had more freedom to play. We could design our own game, change the rules as per the conditions and requirement. This helped us develop the creativity and adaptability in us as children.
I grew up playing several traditional games and developed some skills in the process. A skipping rope is one of my favourites. We used to have self-created competitions. It not only developed gross motor skills but also gave physical exercise. The other formats of the game involved a team of two or three and helped us develop coordination.
I also enjoyed playing with marbles. I still cherish the fun we used to have while collecting and winning colourful marbles. Those negotiations with friends and the barter system bring a smile on my face even now when I think of those days. When I think about how marbles helped me, I can instantly say that they gave the required sensorial experience, helped me focus and developed my hand-eye coordination.
On the other hand, games like Ludo and Chinese checkers helped me in developing thinking skills as the game is all about using strategies to win.
How can I forget about all that outdoor fun, playing the game of seven stones, kho kho, hide and seek, current and shock? They not only made me physically strong but also helped me in developing social skills, leadership qualities, empathy towards the weak teammates and most importantly teamwork. These are some of the examples of the treasure we forgot over time in the name of development.
Owing to the conditions and lifestyle changes, the modern-day children are devoid of all these wonderful learning experiences. Lack of time, zeal to methodically teach our children "hobbies", overprotection in the name of good parenting and security, low tolerance level to accidents, screen time etc are all causing children to spend lesser time for traditional play. While certain conditions are unavoidable in the current day scenario, parents need to make a conscious effort to ensure that children get the needed exposure to traditional play in a free environment because the rewards are far too many to ignore.
Beware of the expensive toys that you may give your child which may not have scope for sharing or acquiring skills. Present-day kids are busy with gadgets which will definitely hinder their brain development. Joining kids in sports classes will definitely give them the skill of that sport, physical exercise and maybe the fun if the child likes the sport, but certainly not the overall skills and the joy of childhood.
So, start introducing the games you played to your kids. Make a specific time in a week to have a special "family game time" routine at home. Take some time out on a weekend to gather children in your community and introduce them one traditional game at a time. Be a spectator as the kids play. Remember to not intrude, judge or over-protect them. You are just there to ensure their safety. Once they catch the bug, they will start socializing more and more. Their leadership skills will blossom. They will start formulating new rules for the games you introduced and begin to have the true fun.
Fun games for parents and kids to play together
Play brings people together, creates a strong bond and most importantly keeps adults active and gives children opportunities to develop physical skills. This article lists down few simple games which can be played in little space and with minimum materials. Any time is the perfect time to play with your kids.
This game requires four people.
Pair up, with each pair holding an open bath towel between them.
Try to toss and catch a lightweight ball from towel to towel.
Count how many times you can toss the ball back and forth before it hits the ground.
This is a fun game for two players. It helps develop motor and spatial coordination, along with concentration. And all you need is a tennis ball and a wall with a relatively flat, even surface.
The idea is to throw the ball at the wall, then before it bounces back to you, and quickly perform certain actions before catching it.
You can work your way through each action one time, and then proceed to the next, or adjust the game so that each player must perform each action several times in repetition before moving on to the next action.
If you miss, you lose a turn and have to start from the beginning on your next turn.
Here are 8 different actions you can try:
1. Throw the ball and catch it before it bounces on the ground.
2. Throw the ball and catch it after one bounce on the ground.
3. Throw the ball and catch it after two bounces on the ground.
4. Throw the ball and catch it after you touch the ground once.
5. Throw the ball and clap your hands before you catch it.
6. Throw the ball and touch your knees before you catch it.
7. Lift your leg and throw the ball under your knee before you catch it.
8. Throw the ball and catch it after turning around once.
If all this is too easy, change hands and try repeating the same actions with your non-dominant arm.
For this game, you will need a few supplies:
· A pair of scissors
· A shoebox
· A marker
· A large book or a shoe for weight
Start by cutting a half dozen holes of different shapes into the long side of the shoebox. Circles, rectangles and triangles are a good starting point. Each one should be big enough for a marble to pass through.
Above each hole write a number between one and six. Smaller holes that are more difficult to hit should get higher numbers (greater score value) and bigger holes that are easier to hit should get smaller numbers (lower score value).
Place the box upside down on a flat surface and put the book or shoe on top to weight it down.
From a designated spot, have the players take turns trying to shoot their marbles through the holes.
If a marble misses the holes, it stays where it lands.
If a marble goes through a hole, its owner retrieves it and collects the designated number of marbles as indicated by the number above the hole, e.g. if the marble went through a hole with the number 3 written above it, the shooter collects 3 other stray marbles from the playing area.
The lemon-and-spoon race dates back to the 19th century. It’s also a terrific way to develop balance coordination.
All you need is enough spoons and lemons for each participant.
Have your competitors line up next to each other, each one holding a spoon in one hand with a lemon on it.
With one hand behind their back, have your kids race to a pre-set finish line, trying not to drop their lemons.
The first one across the finish line wins.
This is a traditional Dutch children’s game. A cookie is affixed to a thread and suspended from a height.
Each player takes their turn trying to eat the food item from the thread while keeping their hands clasped behind their backs.
One can substitute healthier snacks for this game, too.
Hopscotch or Stapoo
This game can be played by one or more people
Hopscotch is a popular playground game in which players throw a small object into numbered spaces of a pattern of rectangles marked on the ground and then hop or jump through the spaces on one or two legs to retrieve the object. This game serves as a good physical activity and strengthens muscles.
Langdi is a popular childhood game, especially in the state of Maharashtra. It can be played by 2 or more people. One person becomes the denner who must touch the other players while hopping on one foot. A specified area will be marked for the defenders to move/run around. Alteration to this game would be to blind fold the denner.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Bernard Shaw
Another month of an exciting world of activities. Children were busy with so many activities that they loved to explore, be it academics or co-curricular activities. Children here, are having a holistic development which provides food for their left and right brain. They came to school after 15 days long break which rejuvenated them in more than one ways. We started the new session with the festival of lights. All kids came in beautiful traditional attires. They painted diyas and understood why we celebrate Diwali. They also took an oath that they will not burst crackers. I am so glad to see that my children are becoming environment-friendly and obviously smart too. Now they know the traffic rules and why we should follow them. I can clearly foresee responsible children in making. Every day, they are doing experiments on different types of materials and their properties.
English - My first graders are covering milestones at a rapid speed. They are learning about writing a ‘report’. They are also aware of fiction and nonfiction books.
Math -Everyday we have rapid fire round where they try to beat each other with their answers and my children enjoy it a lot.They are mastering different strategies of addition.
They displayed their learning to their parents at the Student-led conference. Wow! Parents were so happy with their children's performance in academics. I hope to see more smiling and satisfying faces in the next semester too.
October and November were very busy, interesting, and fun-filled months. After knowing each other for months, we now form a cooperative team. We together explored the theme of amazing rainforest where we learned about different animals, the wet rainforests, insects, birds and loads more.
My kids can now group animals and insects by their movement, eating habits and different textures of skin. To collaborate and understand the theme better we visited Nehru zoological park. There we saw animals and birds and understood the differences between them in a practical way.
I introduced the math concepts of skip count by 5 and 10, ascending and descending order, big and small numbers and number names. My kids grasped all concepts very fast.
When it comes to English literature they can now read all CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words which makes them capable of reading beginner level books. They can even write A-Z capital and small letters in order.
The fun part was the events we celebrated at school. As a part of Diwali celebration, my kids showed their creativity by painting diyas and making rangoli. I also discussed the significance of Diwali by telling and showing stories of Rama and Narakasura.
The next fun-filled event was the family fun day. Kids played traditional games with their parents and enjoyed a lot.
My kids had a gala time on children's day as we went to jump zone. They jumped and played together and had great fun!
Another important event was student-led conference(SLC). After knowing so much about animals, birds, insects and many other general themes like body parts, sense organs etc. along with the concepts of Math and English my students eagerly showcased their knowledge to their parents in the form of SLC. I am proud of them as they did very well and mesmerized their parents!
We have enjoyed these months completely and have developed knowledge and skills. We are looking forward to enjoying the upcoming events and to learn much more.
We the PP1 is back to share all the excitement we had during October and November. The activities described below are just a sample.
The auspicious festival of light was celebrated with unsurpassed devotion and passion. The propitious celebration started by making rangoli at school by my little angels. They also painted diyas in their favourite colours and made them beautiful with different designs. My kids also enjoyed listening to the story of Diwali.
Field Trip to Zoo:
Field trip not only gives children a welcome break in routine but also an opportunity for experiential learning. The excitement was palpable in the air when PP1 children went to visit the zoo. All the kids were excited to see different animals and relate them to the theme they learned. They tried to connect the greenery in the zoo with the rainforest and were screaming the names of the animals by instantly sorting them as grass eating and meat-eating animals.
Family Fun Day:
Walking through the timeline was the theme of our family fun day, As it refers, we have arranged games which we (parents & grandparents) played during our childhood like hopscotch, skipping, dog and the bone, five stones, marbles, tire run etc. This was an opportunity for the parents to be children again. They played games with their children and made their children know about these games that were lost in the time
Children day celebration:
It is a day created so as to remember the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru because he likes children. We took children to play at “Jump Zone” as a celebration for the children’s day where children enjoyed playing by themselves without any restriction and enjoyed their day with their friends They had their favourite snacks at the end of the day.
Planting seeds with kids is one of my favourite nature activities. Children loved to be part of the process. They were fascinated to observe how the seeds are tucked into the soil. They have taken great care by watering them daily, waiting for them to grow. When the first sign of green popped through the soil, the biggest smiles erupted from their faces. It was a hands-on activity to make children learn about the process of how the plants grow. They also observed and felt different parts of the plant. Now my class can identify, name and talk about the plant parts.
Knowing about rainforests:
Rainforest was one of the most interesting topics children learned during the term. They were excited to know about the rare animals, colourful birds and the different layers of the rainforest. The miniature rainforest we created in the class added up to the exhilaration. They were surprised to know that their tempting chocolate is coming from rainforest fruit --cocoa.
Learning about a classification of animals & insects:
Children were introduced to the animal groups based on their habitats, like terrestrial, aquatic, arboreal. They are also aware of herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. After the theme on insects, my kids can now identify different insects, especially appreciate the life of the honeybee. During the theme, we could catch few live insects for the children to observe the body parts of insects. They got a closer look as they looked through the magnifying glass.
My Happy hoppers started this month with the theme ”Rainy season” and “Rainforest”. Our Pretend play corner was transformed into a rainforest and zoo. They were given an overview of all the different layers of the rainforest and different animals found in rainforest. They really loved learning and exploring various animals of the Rainforest and the related activities. We focused on finding the 'rainbow colours' in the rainforest animals, birds and bugs. As we learned all about the rainforest animals & birds, our little explorers went to the Zoo and were curiously driven to seek and learn more about whatever animals they saw at the zoological park! Such experiences leave children with memories to be cherished lifelong.
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the children’s laughter and desire to see what animal would be next to learn! Good amount of vocabulary related to animals was introduced through classroom activities. Now kids can relate the sounds of alphabets with different animals, for example, A-Armadillo, Ant, Anteater. B-Blue morpho butterfly, Boa-constrictor, bee-C: Chameleon, d-Dragon fly-elephant p- Poison dart frog, pygmy marmoset and pygmy owl, S-Sloth, scarlet macaw.
As cocoa fruit is abundantly found in rainforest, we connected it to kids favourite dessert ‘chocolate’. We made our very own chocolate milkshake by whipping milk and chocolate syrup in a jar. It was very interesting to see my little chefs measuring the ingredients and mixing those to make the milkshake. Some of the discussions that occur during circle time included, "Why can’t we live in the Rainforest?”, “What do we see in the Rainforest?” etc. During these discussions, my creative thinkers came up with a multitude of thoughts. For example, Ruhi said, ”It will be so hot and humid so we live in our home.”, Tiya said, ”We don’t get food in the forest.”,Akshhat said, “We don’t get water.” and the discussions went on and on. Finally, they all discussed among themselves and concluded saying, “if we live in the forest, animals will eat us.” There will be such endless discussions in the class every day. Each one is a thinker and each one is a speaker.
We recently introduced “plants”. All my little ones are enjoying planting seeds and watering them. During fruit time, they are collecting all the seeds while eating fruits, as they wanted to plant them to grow apples and oranges. Our focus will be more on literacy and language development in the upcoming months. I am so happy to say that my little scientists are observing everything very curiously and applying their learning to their daily life.
My curious climbers had a wonderful time exploring Rainy season and Rainforest during the months of October and November. The enthusiasm kids had while we were learning about different kinds of animals, birds, bugs were unmeasurable.They enjoyed learning about armadillo, boa constrictor, sloth, frogs, monkeys, butterflies, scarlet macaw, and toucan. The special features of all these rainforest animals made my kids fall in love with them. As a part of theme exploration, we went to zoo. Kids had a gala time watching all the animals and birds.
We got an opportunity to learn about rainy season and rainy wear accessories. We did an experiment on rainbow colours with vinegar, baking soda, watercolours.
They had a lot of fun while making chocolate milkshake as they measured and mixed ingredients by themselves. They enjoyed making the shake and finally relishing it.
We introduced kids to plants and the plant parts. Whenever kids eat fruits they observe the seeds in them. They will sort and start counting. One day Anahat was eating cucumber and suddenly he observed seeds in it. He came to me and said, “ma’am see the cucumber seeds. I will sow it in the sand, a small plant will come and give cucumber.” When Yasaswi saw a picture in storybook in which a boy was pouring water she said, “mam, if you pour water, mango and watermelon will come.” During free play time, some kids started watering the plants without any instruction. I went to them and asked, ”why are you watering the plants? What will happen if you give water to plants?” They replied saying, “Ma'am if you give water, big tree will come.” I was happy with their reflection.
During this month, our kids had a lot of fun doing different activities.In our class, we made a forest miniature with sand, leaves, flowers and animal toys. Kids enjoyed making a nest with pipes and thread. We also introduced new concepts: left and right, back and front, and walking backwards. We also learned new letters, numbers, and rhymes. In this month our main focus was on the letters p, i,n,ck,e,h. Kids started to identify the beginning sounds of different words and started with the pictures, for example, a-armadillo, anteater, c-chameleon, t-toucan, s-sloth, p-poison dart frog etc. Our focus will be more on literacy and language development in the upcoming months.
We successfully completed our first term of the school and entered the second term. Kids are enjoying all the classroom activities as well as the dance and sporty beans sessions.
The themes for September, October and November were the rainy season, rainforest animals, bugs, birds. Kids enjoyed the rainy season very much. They understood the rainy season concept and now can talk about the clothes to be worn and ways to stay safe during the rainy season. We planned the rainy season theme during the rainy season. Kids experienced the real rain, heard the thunderstorm and enjoyed getting wet in the rain. Kids had fun making a cloud with playdough and shaving foam. They enjoyed spray painting to depict rain and raindrops.
Theme rainforest was their favourite topic of the month. They enjoyed learning about the different rainforest animals like sloth, armadillo, macaw, chameleon etc. They understood about the rainforest animals very well. Armadillo, sloth, and chameleon are their favourite animals. The moment they see the armadillo picture, they immediately say that it will become a ball. When they see the picture of sloth they say, “he does potty in the soil”. Macaw is their favourite rainforest bird. They made the 3d model of a nest with playdough, dry leaves, and twigs.
We introduced kids to ladybug, caterpillar, leaf-cutter ant, and a spider during the rainforest bugs theme. We went for a bug hunt in the garden and kids could spot butterfly, ants, house fly, red ants, dragonfly. Kids were excited seeing different bugs.
My kids and I celebrated Diwali at school by decorating diyas and making colourful rangoli. I also narrated the story of Ramayan to tell them the reason behind celebrating Diwali festival. On children’s day, we went to the “JUMP ZONE”- a fun place where kids danced, took a ride on the train, saw some pet animals like rabbit, guinea pig. Kids had a gala time in jump zone.
I am looking forward to more exciting moments with my kids in the coming months.
Highlights Of The Month
Field trip to zoo
The aim of celebrating all the festivals at school is to help our kids know the tradition and culture. Diwali is all about diyas, rangoli and fireworks. We narrated mythological stories which are the reason behind celebrating Diwali. Our kids painted and decorated the earthen diyas in their own style and took them home with pride. They also made colourful rangoli. They enjoyed making the colourful patterns and learnt to appreciate each other's work.
Travel down the timeline- Family fun day
On Family Fun Day, we got the opportunity to take all the parents back to their childhood. The old traditional games that we used to play in 80’s and early 90’s were organized for the parents to play. All parents were super excited to see their childhood games and did not leave even a single corner unattended. It was a memorable moment for us to see even the grandparents remembering their younger days. They let their hair down to experience their childhood once again. Our intention behind this activity is to not only get all the parents come together and enjoy a day at Sproutz but also make them recollect these games introduce them to their kids. We hope that we were successful in our attempt to make these simple traditional games an integral part of family routines in at least a few households.
Children’s day celebration
On Children’s Day, we took all our kids to the ‘Jump Zone’ which is specially designed for young children. Our kids enjoyed playing different games there. It was amazing to see the energy levels of all the kids even at the end of the school hours. Even our youngest lot, 'the toddler group’, had utmost fun in the jump zone. It sure was a challenging task for the teachers to wind up the activity and get the children out of the play zone. Phew!
Student led conference
Students led conference gives an opportunity for parents to witness the child’s learning and experience the teaching methodology we follow here at Sproutz. We had our first student-led conference for the academic year in the month of November. Most of the parents were amazed to see their child’s growth in all the aspects. Even the usually quieter ones astonished their parents with their proactiveness in showcasing their accomplishments. We the team at Sproutz also identified and reflected on areas of improvement and started working on them.
Parent teacher conference- sharing skill assessment report-1 – 2nd Dec 2017
Sproutz Zest - 16th Dec 2017
Christmas celebrations- 22nd Dec 2017
Christmas- Holiday for daycare and school- 25th Dec 2017
New year day- Holiday for daycare and school- 1st Jan 2018
Pongal Holidays for school- 11th to 17th Jan 2018
Pongal Holiday for daycare- 15th Jan 2018
Republic day- Holiday for school and daycare- 26th Jan 2018
Note: Annual day practice sessions will be scheduled on 26th Jan.
School Annual Day - 27th Jan 2018