CW Spotlight: Creative World Avalon

We are so proud of Avalon Park for achieving the APPLE Accreditation!

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APPLE (Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment) is a national early learning program accreditation. In Florida, APPLE is a Gold Seal Quality program. This achievement broadcasts to the community that Avalon Park is operating at the highest standard of early childhood education in their instruction and operations. APPLE Accreditation includes a strenuous process of portfolio submission and intensive on-site scrutiny. Avalon Park was evaluated in a variety of areas including Emergency Procedures, Personnel Management, Staff Qualifications, Professional Development, Ratios, Records, Furnishings and More! They also submitted various publications and manuals such as Parent Handbooks, Weekly Lesson Plans, Assessments and Referral Tools, and Medical Forms. Their review of these and a myriad of other subject-matter proved outstanding and they were rewarded with Accreditation. We are proud of them for working hard and setting a high standard of excellence for Creative World Schools!

If you live in the Avalon Park, Orlando, or Orange County area check out their school and take a tour or visit their website today!

For more on Creative World School and the accreditation process, click here.

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CW Celebrates: Earth Day Activities

This Tuesday, April 22, marks the 44th Earth Day! Each year almost 200 countries and over 1 billion people observe and promote Earth Day, which is the largest civic movement in the world! The support of the movement has led to many environmental conservancy and preservation acts.

 

We are gearing up for the big day with some fantastic eco-active fun for children.

 

Sweepin Relays

Supplies: brooms, rounds objects in different sizes

This game is perfect for two or more kids. Gather round objects from around the house and provide each team with a broom. Mark a start line and then a “goal line” 25-30 feet from the start line. On “GO” the first player will pick up the broom and select a round object and sweep it to the goal line. Once their object has passed the goal line, they will return to the start line to pass off the broom to the next player. First team to sweep all the objects across the goal line, wins!

 

Plantable Post Cards

Supplies: 1” squares of paper scraps (about 1-½ cups) , bowl of warm water, masking tape, window screen, blender, baking pan, packet of wildflower seeds, scrap towels markers

Prep the night before: In a large bowl, add warm water and paper scraps and leave to soak overnight. Take the piece of window screen and fold masking tape over the wire edges.

The next day, pour the soaked paper scraps into the blender then fill it halfway with fresh water. Blend the mixture until thick and creamy. Place the piece of window screen in the bottom of the baking pan then add water until the pan is ¾ full. Pour the pulp mixture into the pan and then sprinkle the wildflower seeds over the pulp. Lay out the towel on a flat surface next to the pan. Lift the screen gently so that pulp and seeds are caught over it and place it over the towel. Once the pulp has completely dried, peel the paper off the screen. You can cut the paper into smaller postcard-sized pieces and encourage your children to write special notes on them. Address the postcards, add a stamp, and spread some flowery fun to friends and family!

 

Sort & Recycle

Supplies: recyclables to sort, recycle bins or containers

Play this fun recycling game with your children. Gather an assortment of child-safe recyclables from around your own recycling. Clean them so they are easily handled. Set up the game by laying the recyclables in the center of the space. Place different containers around the open space and label them: plastic, paper, cardboard, newsprint, aluminum. Encourage your children to pick up a piece and place it in the appropriate labeled container. Once you have sorted them all, take a trip to the recycling facility closest to you to finish the project. You could easily turn this into a relay.

 

Bird Feeders

Supplies: recyclables, string, hole punch, sticks, peanut butter, bird seed

Spring is the perfect time to create bird feeders. You can create bird feeders out of pretty much anything. Smear some peanut butter on a stick and cover it in birdseed and voila! Variations on this can be made by poking holes in containers and filling them with seed and hanging them from tree limbs. You can even string cheerios or other oat cereal on to string or pipe cleaners! Make an assortment of feeders and hang in a group or around your yard for the birds to feast!

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CW Educational Focus: Creativity Materials

Open ended materials provide children opportunities to explore and investigate the unlimited possibilities of materials.  When given a chance to manipulate materials children become artists, designers, and engineers. Rich, stimulating experiences provided in a safe, responsive environment create the best conditions for optimal brain development (Promoting Creativity for life using Open-Ended Materials by Walter F. Drew and Baji Rankin, published in Young Children July 2004)

 

These materials provide potential use (typically re-use) for purposes different than for which the items were originally manufactured. Research and practice has demonstrated repeatedly that open-ended materials create powerful resources in early childhood education for developing children’s problem solving skills, math, science and literacy skills, imaginations, appreciation of not only their ideas but those of others, and understanding of how things work.

To design great buildings, architects and designers use a lot of creativity! Foster creative thought in your child by keeping the following open-ended materials available for exploration:

  • Buttons
  • Bottle lids
  • Twist ties
  • Bubble wrap
  • Toothpicks
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Plastic food containers
  • Scrap cardboard
  • Rubber bands
  • Paper scraps
  • Yarn or string
  • Coffee filters
  • Clothespins
  • Shells
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Rocks
  • Pinecones
  • Blocks
  • Beads
  • Pompoms
  • Craft sticks
  • Marbles
  • Seeds
  • Toilet or paper towel tubes
  • Old keys
  • Paint stirrers

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Build It Up: Construction Activity

This month, as explore we building and construction with our Build It Up Inquiry Focus in school, try this fun activity at home with your child!

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Work Bench

Supplies: nuts, bolts, golf tees, styrofoam, play hammer, wood scrap, sand paper, paper, crayons, pencil, ruler, yarn or ribbon, twist ties

Set up a work bench for your child. On a table or in a flat clear bin, place various tools and loose parts (listed above). Encourage your child to draw and create something they would like to build. Ask them about their creation. What will it do? Does it have moving parts? Then, with their building plans, have them build their creation using the parts and tools on the work bench.

Keep the work bench available for them to design and build more creations!

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Literacy Zone: Books About Construction

Check out some of these books for your child to read while they are exploring pets and animals this month: April Book List

 

What books would you add to our list?

April Book List

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CampTastic 2014: All Ball Sneak Peek

We are getting so excited for summer and our CampTastic program!

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Here is a sneak peek into our All Ball theme:

 Get pumped for this summer camp with new & exciting sports! We will craft wacky house rules & play ball games a whole new way. Enjoy tried & true favorites like basketball, football, & soccer. Learn new sports such as bocce ball, cricket, mini water-polo, and broom ball. Everyone will be a fan of the way we twist & turn, jump & dive, catch & throw in a whole new way. Gear up & get excited to play!

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Ball Game Mash-Ups: Have you ever played basket-golf or dodge-soccer? Get ready for a mashed-up day as we combine classic ball games to create something new! You won’t want to miss this summer activity for kids featuring topsy-turvy, upside-down, mashed up fun!

Radical Relays: Teamwork is the name of the game on this day of relay fun. Unconventional obstacle-course relays with games, challenges, and feats of strength will cultivate cooperation and leadership!

Time-Twist Triathalon: How SLOW can you go? How FAST can you pass? It’s a day of timed sports events, with wacky awards for Slowest Pitch, Fastest Crawl, and where we make a basket… backwards in slow-mo!

Visit creativeworldcamp.com and reserve your spot today!

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Week of the Young Child at Creative World: Social-Emotional Development

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There is a direct link between a child’s social-emotional development and their academic achievement. Research makes it clear that, while knowledge and skills are critical, a child’s long-term success is better projected by measuring their social skills. As children grow intellectually in a group environment, educational benchmarks are accompanied by emotional growth. In other words, working with a lab partner is just as important as the science experiment!

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At Creative World School, we encourage children to make decisions and play an active role in their classroom community. Recognizing and interpreting feelings is paramount to budding friendships. Open-ended play allows children to practice their emerging social skills. Children need collaborative opportunities to discern the impact their actions have on other people. Our teachers encourage relationship-building by helping children with the daily challenges of learning how to take turns, share, resolve conflict, and care for friends. Sometimes “heart work” can be hard work!

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Here’s how YOU can integrate nutrition & healthy routines into your family’s core foundation:

  • Host a family meal with parents and siblings.
  • Introduce your child to new foods often; it can take up to 15 tries before a child attempts a new food.
  • Provide child-sized dishes and serving ware.
  • Let your child select and serve their own food portions.
  • Ask questions and talk about the food you are eating.

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Week of the Young Child at Creative World: STEM Principles

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It is always exciting to see a child’s face light up when they have an “Aha” moment! Children are naturally curious about their world and make connections as they experiment and explore. STEM is a national focus to expand children’s opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The foundation of a great STEM education begins in early childhood when a child’s intellect is nurtured by rich, hands-on experiences.

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At Creative World School, we nurture curiosity and wonder with a challenging curriculum. Our inquiry-based instruction perfectly integrates the learning goals of STEM education: at Creative World, we are all about Science, Math, Technology, and Engineering. Young engineers build bridges with blocks and emerging scientists observe and track the growth of classroom plants. Instead of rote memorization, our emphasis on problem solving and experimentation encourages children to be thinkers. These topics are integrated into our explorations in a fun and seamless way that nurtures our students’ intellect. We are proud to be part of their “lightbulb moments” every day!

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Here’s how YOU can integrate critical thinking into your family’s core foundation:

  • Nurture what your child is passionate about and build on their interests.
  • Provide open-ended toys and tools: what can your child create with a box?
  • Rather than answering questions outright, investigate the answer together.
  • Reflect “why” questions back to your child.
  • Ask your child to express their opinion: what do they think?

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Week of the Young Child at Creative World: Nutrition

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Good nutrition and family-style meals are essential to the development of a healthy brain. Every parent wants their child to have a positive and healthy relationship with food, but the way we approach healthy eating is changing. The “clean plate club” may be a thing of the past as our nation fights an epidemic of childhood obesity. Research points to the importance of children selecting their own foods, adults modeling healthy eating habits, and providing diverse food choices as key factors influencing children’s eating habits.

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At Creative World School, we share “family style” meals in the classroom. Children participate in setting the table, food selection, portioning, and clean up. Sharing a meal and sitting together fosters table manners and gives children opportunities to see others trying new foods. Even the exposure of foods they do not select helps children to be open to trying new foods in the future. An encouraging, stress-free mealtime helps promote healthy eating. In addition to the nutritional benefits of these mealtimes, regular and routine meals provide an opportunity for children to grow socially and emotionally. We are proud to play an integral role in “feeding brains” as well as bodies!

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Here’s how YOU can integrate nutrition & healthy routines into your family’s core foundation:

  • Host a family meal with parents and siblings.
  • Introduce your child to new foods often; it can take up to 15 tries before a child attempts a new food.
  • Provide child-sized dishes and serving ware.
  • Let your child select and serve their own food portions.
  • Ask questions and talk about the food you are eating.

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Week of the Young Child at Creative World: Outdoor Play

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Who knew playing outside could make you smarter? Outdoor play is now seen as essential to the education puzzle, not just as something in-between or a “break from real learning”. Open spaces allow for opportunities that simply can’t happen indoors. Children can express themselves in new ways and experience the world through their senses. Research has shown that children who regularly play outdoors are more inclined to take social initiative, test the limits of their physicality, and observe their environment.

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At Creative World School, we learn and move outdoors as an integral part of our curriculum because we know how important playing outdoors is to the mental and physical development of our students. Research shows that whole-body movement is important for the developing brain. Our fun, educational playgrounds are equipped to engage children in gross motor movement and imaginative play. We also provide regular enrichment activities such as painting and water play that make our outdoor spaces exciting and engaging. Fun + movement outside = smart, active kids who love learning!

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Here’s how YOU can integrate the outdoors into your family’s core foundation:

  • Take it outside: have a picnic or read a story under a tree.
  • Play a game of tag, plant a garden.
  • Plan an outdoor family outing: visit a new park.
  • Take a walk: meander through the trees
  • Hunt for bugs, chase a butterfly.
  • Have fun and enjoy moving outdoors!

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