Hunter Park Kindergarten

Welcome to our Blog.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hand over Hand

From watching the DVD "Getting ready for school", we got this great idea to make a scooter board and set it up with a hand over hand rope. This was a lot of fun, and is great for strengthening hands, shoulders, coordination and developing the brain as hands cross over the midline.

It feels really freaky and David and Sharon agree it is a lot of fun.
After we had done that, Lily wanted to climb a tree, so out came the rope.
"Why can't we use a ladder," several children asked.
"Because that would be too easy," I replied "we like a challenge."
A line of about 15 tree climbers formed up as more and more children where attracted to the challenge.
Sam made it up first go, no one else did though, but we kept trying. Then Jonty got up and we learnt that if you don't succeed at first you can later if you keep trying.
And finally after lunch Lily was rapt because she had made it too!
Several more children are nearly there, so we'll have to keep this up for next week.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chocolate making

We noticed lots of children making chocolates out of blocks and things. For example:
Grace "We can put bacon in them."
Erin "banana and cake and bacon."
Isobel "Hokey Pokey. The chocolate makers make chocolate. This one has caramel in it and these ones lot's of fizzy. This flavour has the most flavour of all, hot chocolate. These ones are sour ones, sour moost."
Chocolate factories have been a reoccuring feature of the children's play at Hunter Park, so since one of our mum's, has a mum, who has a chocolate factory, we asked her if she could make some chocolates with us, and she could! Amanda melted the chocolate then put it in bowls of warm water to keep it liquid. Next the children spooned it into the molds she brought, with regular trips to rewash any fingers that happened to get licked.
Then after some time in the fridge to set, Sharon and the children gift wrapped them to take home.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Inter-Kindergarten Bowling Challenge

The teachers at Mayfair Kindergarten issued a challenge this term to all other kindergartens to take them on in ten pin bowling.
Well we're up for it.
The five hour practise sessions every night after work ;) are grueling, but well worth it.
We've cleared the tables and measured out a regulation length on our polished floor, and brought out our bowling bowls and pins.
We'll be ready!

Update on the helicopter, the bikes are coming in and we had a great time pulling them to bits. the rotors are now attached to a gear sitting on a bearing, the seat is in and we're looking for a joystick.
Skyping continued with Sam skyping his dad, chatting to Geraldine Kindergarten in the South Island (Hi Geraldine) and seeing what Monica was up to in her new job.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Sam is now looking to build a rescue helicopter with assitance from Sharon. He's buildign it to take his sister Emma's dolls to hospital if they get sick.

Here you can see we've borrowed the strandbeast frame (yes we're still working on that one) to test out how we can use gears to make the rotors spin faster. A big thankyou to those people who replied to our email about old bike parts, they should be very useful for getting the large version flying!

Sam's used some bearings from old ezyroller wheels for the rotor.



We've been exploring the use of skype. We sent out a whole bunch of contacts to other kindergartens we found on the directory, plus some emails. and skyping the teachers at Appleton kindergarten after the children left.

We waited Thursday and Friday, but no contacts. Then Monday we found one of our children Sam was online at home so we skyped him and talked to him and his dad about what he was going to do on the farm today. Then after a big chat and while we were talking to Sam, Eltham Kindergarten (where one of my nephews attends) called us.

Wow two contacts in one day! With the occassional technological hiccup, (like phone calls causing our link to drop, and the laptop periodically needing to be restarted so the video would work), we talked with them, shared our blogsite address (Hi Eltham!) and are now waiting for a recipe.

But it gets better, with a few phone calls we finished the afternoon by calling Dannevirke central.

Our children still aren't so sure about skyping or what to talk about, so we're going to keep making it available and see who calls us and how they start to use it as we all become more familiar.

Maybe as we get to know a broad network of kindergartens better we'll all be available and calling each other to ask questions of teachers and children with specialist knowledge, or even just chat with our online friends.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cooking crab apples and cake

Our Crab apple tree has had a bumper crop, so we went out and picked bucketfuls, but still haven't even made a dent in it. Sharon and Adrianne reminded us to pick by twisting the stalk not pulling it, careful your fingers don't bruise the fruit.
Then Adrianne and the children cut off the stalks and the Calyx.See they are like eating apples, and even have seeds inside you could grow a tree from.
Boil up the apples to make a pulp.
Cooled spoon it into Adrianne's mother's jelly bag.
No squeezing, no poking, no prodding, just let the juice drain.The juice was then measured into a pot.Next sugar was measured in. Then we boiled it up and Sharon (too hot for the children) spooned it into pots were it set nicely. Crab apple jelly is apparently very good with lamb, cheese or crackers.Also round the back lots of feijoas had dropped down too, so we gathered those and Adrianne and the children made a really yummy feijoa cake.

Art Ladders and photos

Ladders and people have been a feature of the children's art this week. Perhaps something to do with our carpenters at the woodwork table, or maybe the games we've been playing since one went onto make a four square snakes and ladder game.
Meanwhile after taking his weather vane photo's Jack headed off to take some more photo's of things that interested him. Here's a small sample of his photo art.


Weather Vane

Jack and Ollie wanted to fly the planes, but disaster one flew over the fence, they came to see me where I was having lunch and asked if I could retrieve it. Unfortunately I was in the middle of half a dozen jobs, as is usual for lunch time, and had to say no, but that I could get it later. So they began to explain to me how they were worried the wind would blow it away.
"Which way is the wind blowing?" I asked.
"This way, and this way, and this way, and this way."
Watching their hands it was clear the wind seemed to be coming from all directions at once. I explained how I needed to know if the wind would blow the plane towards the kindergarten or away from it, then showed the boys a simple way of measuring wind direction with a wet finger. When they returned they figured we'd have timeto get it later as the wind was blowing it back towards the kindergarten.Meanwhile outside Jo made a windsock. While the boys had lunch I asked them about the wind and the plane, and Jack looking out the window, was able to tell me which direction it was blowing from. When I asked how he knew, he pointed out the wind sock to me and explained how it worked. So I told him about weather vanes.
After lunch I asked Jack if he wanted to make a weather vane. He did but wasn't sure what one was still, so I showed him how I make one, then left him to it with the materials and mine to copy if he wanted. Later I put mine up,showed him and then Jack went to get his to put up too. Next he asked if he could take some photo's of them, so we found a camera and... Here's his shots. First of his one.
And of the one I made, which proved to bendy for the strong winds.

What a windy day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Other Happenings

Kate designed a fibre optic light, she knew what she wanted and gave us great directions.
Some technical support was needed at the end, it turned out after testing each of the circuit components we had a dead bulb, we quickly found another one.
Kate was not completely happy with the end product however because the light didn't shine up from the middle and out through the fibres. So this one looks like it'll need a revisit. Any one got an old fibre optic light at home they want to donate?Various carpentry projects continue, ladders, planes, dog houses.

Drawings, especially of people and shapes have been very popular.
The committee have arranged for the council to repaint the parking lines. This will be happening Tuesday. Today the council came up and made a very thorough, and much watched, job of cleaning prior to painting.

Earlier in the week Sam finished his net. Now to test it out!
Cleaning time for the locust house saw us all busy trying to sort several hundred baby locusts, from 2mm to 30mm, in a range of colours out of the old grass.
Whoops we missed one. Can you see it. (Right hand side of rim.)
Catching some flies for the frogs I noticed this fly on a window. Can you tell it's been to Kindergarten? I wonder who caught it earlier?

Adrianne, Sharon and myself all attended a meeting with the local new entrants teachers, where we reviewed the DVD "Getting Ready for School." It is well worth a look and we should have some copies for borrowing shortly. We'll try and arrange a parent evening to showcase it.
We've just got the new "Ours" DVD all about New Zealand. We spotted they had a drone fly they called a bee, and pollen they called nectar in the DVD (we let them know), but apart from that it looks great, and we'll have flyers out for you soon if you want to order a copy.
We now have some CD's with four of our favourite songs, you can purchase.

Clean up time, a suggestion has come in from a parent that we could probably use some parent help tidying up at the end of the day. We raised this at the committee, and as a result we will have a board up of ways parents can help out around the kindergarten up for people who are interested to read and help out with.