Monday, 1 February 2016

Fizzy Ice

Exploring science is an exciting and wondrous part of early childhood. To carry out their scientific “wonderings,” children need time to explore and discover scientific concepts in risk-free, playlike settings. It is through these repeated experiences involving interaction with people and materials—the physical and social environments—that children construct their own knowledge (Piaget, 1952; DeVries & Kohlberg, 1990). When children are interacting with materials, observing, questioning, thinking, making predictions, and experimenting to confirm their ideas in a meaningful setting, they are making maximum use of the brain’s capacity for learning (Bredekamp & Rosegrant, 1993).

The following activity during one of our Young Explorer Sessions provided the perfect opportunity for our young visitors to explore and investigate properties of ice.  The language captured by our facilitator provides a glimpse into the rich learning that was taking place that morning.

For one of our Young Explorers programs this January we chose to explore ice….Fizzy Ice at that!
Here are the supplies we needed:
2 Large bags of ice in a big container
Water Colour.
Baking Soda.

After the supplies were gathered, we were ready to begin!
We began by shaking baking soda over the large pieces of ice. This made the ice look like an arctic world.
Whoa…that smells yukky [vinegar].

Look, Chelsey….Its fizzing!”
The children began to drop different colours on the ice and were amazed by the reaction that was made when the vinegar reacted with the baking soda. They were also amazed by the mixing of colours and how the liquid dripped in-between each ice cube. As the ice began to melt it encouraged a lot of conversation about lakes, waterfalls and rivers.
I can hear the bubbles…they make a fizzy pop!”
- “Look, it’s dripping, it’s like a water fall!”

See, the colours mixing Mom, it is purple!! Its melting….it looks like a big lake!”     “It’s a big rainbow on the ice!”

Submitted by Lynda Gellner B.ED, M.ED
Pictures and Documentation provided by Chelsey Hobman

Monday, 18 January 2016


In our child-centred environments, providing children with choices is something you will see everyday.  Providing choices is not only beneficial for developing a child's self-esteem but also for cognitive development.  A child's self-esteem grows when they successfully do things for themselves and of course it doesn't stop in childhood.  I reflect on the many times that I have had an increased sense of accomplishment when tackling a new experience on my own.   Making choices is also a building block of problem solving.  When children are given choices, they stretch their thinking and create new and unique combinations of ideas and materials.

"Would you like to use Red or Blue?” Myriam  asks. It is important to have a choice. It is especially important for Miss C to have a choice because she is two. Why is it so important for a two year old to choose ? It is not particularly important whether she selects red or blue but what is important is that she is given a real choice. 

 Myriam knows that it is important for young children to make choices in their life so that they will feel some sense of control, which contributes to healthy personality development by building up a sense of autonomy.
Children had the choice of using the salad spinner to explore spinning and paint or to use an electronic turntable.

This facilitator realizes that by giving children  authentic, limited choices, she is building their confidence. Myriam is also eliminating much of the negativity often associated with two year olds . Children feel in control by making choices like what colours they will use or the type of spinner they will use. That growing sense of control reduces the child’s need to try to gain control in negative ways. But those choices must be authentic.

Thank you to our facilitator Myriam for sharing this invitation with children with the children visiting the Early Years Family Centre and for sharing the photos with me.

Lynda Gellner B.Ed; M.Ed

Monday, 11 January 2016

Loose Parts

If you have been to our Early Years Family Centre you have most likely seen a number of "loose parts" available for our visitors to interact with.  We are often asked why do we include them in our space.

Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways.  They are materials that have no specific direction and can be used alone or in combination with other materials.

 We love the fact that by playing with loose parts children are using more creativity and imagination and of course working on fine motor skills as they manipulate the materials.

Notice the variety of loose parts provided in this kitchen area - the types of meals prepared are not limited by the materials provided

Loose Parts available with play-doh provides endless possibilities.

Here is a great example of how one of our young friends utilized rocks, sticks and animals.

Looking for more information - check out this blog on Let the Children Play

Great Resource Loose Parts by Daly and Beloglovsky
Posted by Lynda Gellner  B.Ed., M.Ed.
Early Years Family Centre Developer  

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Salt Art

On a piece of paper glue salt in a desired design. 
Next, use food colours/water colours and a pipette to colour the salt.  

Puffy Paint

How to make puffy paint:

Equal parts of Elmer's glue and shaving cream
Add a few drops of food colouring/water colour
Mix and Voila 
Have fun creating and painting

Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign

A very special thank you to the Regina and Area Tim Horton's owners and teams as well as all the customers that supported the Smile Cookie Campaign. Today the EYFC was presented with a cheque for $55,300. We are blessed to have such incredible community support!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

House Rules

Every house needs a few house rules to operate well. Please respect and follow our "house" rules for everyone's safety and enjoyment of the program.

  • Make sure you sign in
  • Treat all people and things with respect and care
  • Parents/caregivers are responsible for supervision of their children
  • We need your help to maintain a clean environment
    • No snacks in the centre please (tables available outside of the space)
    • Clean up after yourself
    • Use the changing tables provided in the washroom
  • Please remove all outdoor shoes and boots. Indoor shoes may be brought with you and used in the play and learn space and program room.
  • Cell phones are not permitted during scheduled programs
For health reasons and the safety of others, we ask:

  • If your child has a runny nose, fever, diarrhea, vomiting or other communicable diseases, please avoid coming to the centres until fully recovered. 
  • Leave personal toys at home
  • Please do not let your child walk around the centre with their bottle 
  • Please put mouthed/dirty toys in the "toys to be cleaned" box 
  • Please do not bring peanuts or nut products to the centres 

Thank You for Your Support