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nutrition

physical-development-ideas

Looking at both fine and gross motor development, here is a list of ideas that can be set-up outdoors or in the gym.  http://earlylearningcentral.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/TIT-HPA-p-14-22.pdf .  You will also find a list of ideas to implement in centres that will develop the fine motor muscles in the hands and spacial awareness.

When looking at the educator’s role for overall good health both nutrition and physical movement should be integrated into your program.  We always discuss nutrition during morning snack and what healthy foods should be eaten first.  At least 2-3 times a month we cook with children.  Last year we planted our own garden and from that we made a salad to share.  We have made pasta, soup, tomato sauces, hot snacks to show the children that simple ingrediants can make good food.  For some it was an opportunity to try new things!  I access free resources from Dairy Farmers of Ontario and send them home with children for parents to read.  Your local health unit website should also have some resources that can be downloaded for distribution.  Gym or DPA should be done daily.  There are also some great resources from the Ophea website  http://hpe.ophea.net/ with lesson plans and ideas on how to include safe and inclusive physical activity instruction.

A question that often comes up for children in the full-day everyday program is the opportunity to have downtime.  The article makes some good reference points to providing a quiet time after physical activities;

Everyday, there needs to be time for physical activity and movement whether that is outdoors, inside in the gym, or in a designated space in the classroom. The schedule of the day should be structured with a balance of active and quiet time. Quiet times are important after vigorous exercise so children do not become overtired and over-stimulated. http://earlylearningcentral.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/TIT-HPA-p-14-22.pdf .

My ECE partner and I have learned to gage what the students need.  Sometimes it was just dimming the lights at playtime, using soft zen music, or an extra story time with lights out, just to give our bodies calming time so that they can regroup and carry on with learning.

vegetable-prints

To continue our Full Day Kindergarten’s focus on nutrition, today we painted with vegetables!

I brought in 2 potatoes, a cucumber, a carrot, a green pepper and a red pepper to class today. I cut them in half (the carrot I cut into thirds) and we used these like paint stamps to create a collage of healthy vegetables.  I used large foil pie plates to put the paint in.  Once the paintings were dry, I hung them up in the hallway so the rest of the school could see our beautiful art.

Another way you could do this art project is to use fruit.  Next week, I will take in apples, pears, nectarines and a few strawberries and we can repeat the activity.  Hopefully the children will like it as much as they did today!

food-groups-in-kindergarten

This week we are beginning to talk about healthy living in our classroom.  We will be learning about good nutrition and the importance of exercise.

Today, we began with healthy eating habits.  During a large group instruction time, I took a piece of chart paper and divided into 4.  I drew a picture of one food from each food group in a corner.  I had several pictures of healthy foods, as well as a few pictures of unhealthy foods upside down on a table, each with a piece of tape on it.  I had one picture for each child in our classroom.  The children got to pick one and then we all helped figure out which food group it belonged to.  Once we were done, I hung the paper on the wall so we can use it as a reference guide for upcoming lessons.