Monthly Archives

March 2017

Word Dominoes Game

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Today we thought we would share this cool word game from nurturestore. This game is good for learning and practicing CVC words. CVC words are 3 letter words that alternate a Consonant letter, Vowel letter, and then another Consonant letter (hence, CVC). The are some of the first words early readers learn and they are good for practicing early literacy skills and building the foundations for spelling.

This game uses CVC words and is played much like Dominoes. To start with you will need to brainstorm a list of CVC words that rhyme. The source site used the following:

Cat Cot Bat Bet But Cut Bit Dot Fit
Fat Got Mat Mot Sat Sit Pot Pet Pat
Pit Rat Rot Top Cop Mop Pop Rip Tip
Pip Sip Big Dig Fig Pig Rig Rib Fib
Dog Fog Bus Pub Put Pup      

Once you have thought up your CVC words. Get some craft popsicle sticks. On each Popsicle stick write two of the CVC words at random and separate them with a line down the middle. These are your “dominoes”.

Divide the dominoes between players. To play the game have someone start by placing the first domino. Then you take turns placing the dominoes until someone gets rid of all of theirs first. You can place a domino by either matching rhyming words or matching the beginning letter of each word.

To extend this game you can have each player make up a sentence with the word before placing it down.

And there it is, simple and fun literacy game!




Nowruz Celebration Today

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Today at the centre we had our Nowruz celebration (Persian New Year) and we just wanted to share some information with you about the tradition! A great video to watch on the holiday is viewable at:

A few days prior to the New Year, a special cover is spread on to the Persian carpet or on a table in every Persian household. This ceremonial table is called cloth of seven dishes, (each one beginning with the Persian letter cinn). The number seven has been sacred in Iran since the ancient times, and the seven dishes stand for the seven angelic heralds of life-rebirth, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, patience, and beauty.

The symbolic dishes consist of:

  1. Sabzeh or sprouts, usually wheat or lentil representing rebirth.
  2. Samanu is a pudding in which common wheat sprouts are transformed and given new life as a sweet, creamy pudding.
  3. Seeb means apple and represents health and beauty.
  4. Senjed, the sweet, dry fruit of the Lotus tree, represents love.
  5. Seer, which is garlic in Persian, represents medicine.
  6. Somaq, sumac berries, represent the colour of sunrise; with the appearance of the sun, Good conquers Evil.
  7. Serkeh, or vinegar, represents age and patience.

To reconfirm all hopes and wishes expressed by the traditional foods, other elements and symbols are also often on the ceremonial table:

  • A few coins represent prosperity and wealth.
  • A basket of painted eggs represent fertility.
  • A Seville orange floating in a bowl of water represents the earth floating in space
  • A goldfish in a bowl represents life and the end of astral year-picas.
  • A flask of rose water known for its magical cleansing power, is also included on the tablecloth.
  • Nearby is a brazier for burning wild rue, a sacred herb whose smoldering fumes ward off evil spirits.
  • A pot of flowering hyacinth or narcissus.
  • A mirror, which represents the images and reflections of Creation as we celebrate anew the Persian traditions, and beliefs that creation took place on the first day of spring.
  • On either side of the mirror are two candlesticks holding a flickering candle for each child in the family. The candles represent enlightenment and happiness.


If you are interested in more information on Nowruz check out this link:

Note: the above photo is our Table for this year’s celebration! Happy Nowruz!

Is Your Play Risky Enough?

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This week we have an awesome post from one of our favourites, the Himama Childcare and Preschool Blog. This one is about risky play. Most importantly it discusses how risky play is actually essential in early childhood as it allows children to increase self-confidence as they master skills they may not have known they could take on, it allows them to practice risk assessment from a young age, and reduces fear and anxiety when it comes to interacting with the world and social play. All the assertions made by the author are backed by recent research in the field of Early Childhood Education.

Read it here:

Is your play risky enough?


Shamrock Marbling Activity

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This week we have a few St. Patrick’s Day themed activities planned! This one is super fun and can be modified to the shape of something else (like a butterfly for example) if you aren’t in the St. Patrick’s Day mood. Here’s the instructions…


  1. green paint
  2. marbles
  3. box or tupperware
  4. paper
  5. scissors


  • cut a large piece of white construction or card stock paper into the shape of a shamrock (this might take a few tries to get it just right, sketch it with a pencil first!)
  • Place the white paper in the bottom of a box. An old shoebox or unused tupperware container works best.
  • Squirt some paint onto the shamrock once in the box. Hopefully you have a couple different shades of green.
  • Place the marbles in the box now and roll them around. The marbles will run through the paint and then across the paper creating this super cool splatter effect! (beware that the paint will also get on your container/box so be sure that it is something you are comfortable getting dirty)
  • Once you are done, remove the shamrock from the box and let dry.



Why Preschool is Beneficial

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This is an old post of ours but we thought we would share it again since our preschool program at Meadowbrook will be resuming this September! 10 benefits of preschool for kids.

  1. Opportunity for growth: this means that it is a chance for children to be exposed to a new learning environment that they may not have had previous experience with
  2. Preparation for Kindergarten: most kindergarten teachers would agree that you can tell the difference between the children who attended preschool before entering kindergarten and those who haven’t (if their preschool program is good). Preschool not only prepares children for the academic skills they need in their school years but also provides them with the essential social development that comes with a classroom setting through an emphasis on learning through play.
  3. Promotion of Social and Emotional Development: children learn to become more comfortable with their attachment to their parents and decrease their separation anxiety before kindergarten. Preschool also teaches children essential self regulation, self-control, and communication skills.
  4. Introduction of Structure: the environment is intrinsically structured, basically there are rules of conduct that are known and expected to be followed to encourage positive interaction between students.
  5. Choices: just because there is structure doesn’t mean there isn’t choice. Children are still faced with problem-solving activities and are given control and option within activities which helps them develop self-esteem and confidence in their abilities.
  6. Independence: children learn to take care of themselves and be less reliant on parents in a preschool setting. They also learn to empathize with peers and help take care of each other.
  7. Language and Cognitive Skills: this is one of the big ones. Preschool programs help children develop essential reading, writing, memory, problem-solving, and other cognitive skills. This development ties into their preparation for kindergarten.
  8. Curiosity: this is one of our favourites at Parkland Players. Curiosity is about wanting to learn and a good preschool program encourages children to think on their own, set their own goals, ask questions, look for answers and enjoy the whole process of discovery.
  9. Pre-math and Literacy Skills: tied to language and cognitive skills. Preschool programs help children build the foundation for learning math and literacy skills in kindergarten.
  10. Motor Skills: play helps children develop gross motor skills. Preschool programs can also help develop fine motor skills like writing and pencil grip movements.