Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A glorious end to Term Two

What a wonderful last week of term we had at Willmore!

Both Group A and Group B were able to spend the morning at Ferny Hills State School – the kids loved hearing a special story while they ate their morning tea, and being able to borrow books from the library like the big kids! Both groups were also able to spend a bit of time with Ferny Hills Prep class – how fun! 

Here’s what else we’ve been up to:

Threading some fabulous bright jewellery creations…

… orchestrating some visionary construction (including this fantastic sprawling cityscape)…

…and experimenting with colour and tie-dying...

Looking forward to a brand new term of learning - have a happy and safe holiday, Willmore Families!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hello, and welcome to the place of butterflies…

Have you ever wondered about the meaning behind the big sign in the fairy garden? 

In 2012, What-A-Mulla-Balumbeer, which means Hello and Welcome to the Place of Butterflies, was the final significant piece of the beautiful fairy garden project undertaken by the 2012 Willmore kids. It was a task that was embraced wholeheartedly by our kindergarten community – and was dreamed and envisioned by the children, facilitated by Judi, Linda, and Linda, and brought to life by Willmore committee and the many hands of willing parents. The effect was a collaborative project that connected our Willmore kids with the greater community, and that celebrated the beauty of the environment that we are fortunate enough to share. 

Have a wander around; the fairy garden is an amazing space! It has bridges and platforms and fruit trees, elevated garden beds brimming with new growth, and an embankment filled with beautiful native flowers, stepping stones, magic toadstools, fairy houses, and other small, special things. It’s a fantastic place to play and explore in, supplies endless extensions in terms of the children’s learning, and provides a wonderful first impression for our beloved kindy. 

On completion of the project, the educators and children decided that this special place needed an equally special name; which is how What-A-Mulla-Balumbeer originated, so named and dedicated in a beautiful ceremony by Joe Kirk, Aboriginal elder of the Turrbal and Wakka Wakka people. What-A-Mulla-Balumbeer is from the local Turrbal language, and connects us with the traditional owners of the land that we are fortunate enough to play and grow upon. 

What-A-Mulla-Balumbeer is an evolving space - there are always opportunities for children and parents to plant new flowers or seasonal vegetable seedlings; the platform has been used in morning play as a musical space, an art space, and a performing space; and the rocks have been piled into pretend campfires, paths, and runways for planes. Little feet run over the coloured stepping stones, birds (and fairies) find homes in the branches of the trees, and warm sunlight filters through the leaves, bathing the space in a warm glow. It’s a place that changes to suit the play needs of the children. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Under 8's Morning

Not even rain could dampen the spirits of our enthusiastic Under 8’s, as they explored, played, made, and experimented alongside the Ferny Hills State School kids, and some local visiting high schools.
And what a lot of things to see and do!
There were baby animals to be patted, biscuits to ice and decorate, instruments to play, grass men to grow, fish to catch, and slimy goop to dip hands in (and to find creepy crawly creatures); on the oval, there was boxing, a jumping castle, aerobics – boxing style, bubble blowing, ball-through-the-hoop throwing, and a soccer game; - and best of all! A police car and fire truck for the kids to investigate. A few kids were lucky enough to speak through the radio and over the crowd, and to turn on the siren!

Inside in the hall, was the young artists dream – a series of stations for all kinds of wonderful art projects. Little ones could make beautiful fish with long crepe paper tails, threat pasta onto string for necklaces, make rock people with googly eyes and woollen hair, paint boomerangs, glue feathers and sparkly stones on paper glasses, and construct kites and paper lanterns. 

We had the most wonderful morning! Parents, what was your favourite part? What did you love discovering with your child?

Ps. For more gorgeous photos of our morning excursion, please visit the Willmore Facebook page. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Our Protected Red Bloodwood Tree

Did you know that we have a very special protected tree in the grounds at Willmore?
The Pine Rivers Shire Council (now the Moreton Bay Regional Council) listed the beautiful Red Bloodwood (Eucalyptus Gummifera) on its Significant Cultural Heritage Sites plan in 1987, after local residents petitioned to have it listed as protected. 

The tree was left for aesthetic reasons when the land was cleared; and now, nearly 30 years later, its branches stretch over the Willmore playground, providing shade for the children, and homes for the local wildlife.

Because our special tree watches over the children as they play, it’s lovely to know that Willmore has incorporated an Environment and Sustainability plan for the Red Bloodwood, to make sure that we watch over it and that it remains an important feature of our kindergarten garden. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

So much to do!

There’s a chill in the air, and clouds in the sky – but our wonderful Group B children greeted the kindy week with new ideas and big imaginations. Want to take a look at what they got up to this morning?

The strong interest in planes continues – and today, Mrs. Meinicke made lots of paper planes for the children to experiment with. 

The children tested force, angles and different positions to find just the right technique that would enable them to soar high and far – some ended up with squashed noses and bent wings from lots of vigorous throwing! Do you know of a folded paper plane design that the children could experiment with?

There were detectives and spies investigating as well this morning – special treasures, phones, clues, and sketches helped frame some puzzling cases...

Downstairs, in the dappled sunshine, the artists of Group B experimented with pastels and sketched our new beautiful flowers in the communal garden beds. 

In the newly reclaimed digging garden, big trucks hauled rocks, shifted dirt, and made mountains…

And upstairs, instruments waited…

…as well as a table full of ingredients for cooking special, delicious things...

What a busy morning, Group B!

Friday, April 19, 2013

How far can you throw a gumboot?

The best thing about sharing holiday stories at Kindy, is that great ideas are born – which is how Willmore came to host a gumboot throwing competition this morning with some eager Group B children.
Riley was lucky enough to visit a country fair on the weekend, and saw a Gumboot toss – an idea that he loved so much, that he brought back to the group. With the children keen to try out different ways to measure distance (and to see how far they could throw, of course!), Friday morning play was met with a long line of gumboots - in different shapes, colours and sizes – sticker prizes for participants, and lots of willing contestants! 

The children tried throwing them high, or low and fast; over-arm, and like a discus; with two hands and with one. It was a lot trickier than it looked! Some children helped to mark with ground with chalk where the boots landed, so that the distance could be measured once the game was done.

Everyone had a go – some more than once! 

And with all the children happy with the distance of their throw, the winner was…..

Riley! - with his boot travelling far and away further than all the rest.
Well done!

Monday, April 8, 2013

End of Term One: Recap

The end of term saw many busy children and lots of wonderful activities at Willmore.

In Group A, a discussion was started about how the children could share their kindy stories with their families. One clever little boy suggested that pictures could be sent in the mail – what a wonderful idea!
Each child got creative, and drew a beautiful picture for their portfolios; and each was put into an envelope, stamped and addressed, and made ready for a very special outing with lots of friends. A few days later, twenty special parents came to hold hands with the children, as they walked down the road to the post box to send their pictures home. It was a glorious morning out!

There have also been some future artists experimenting with flora bursting with colour in our garden. We love the beautiful portraits of bromeliads in bloom: 

In Group B, the last week of kindy saw a visit from the Easter Bunny, who left powdery footprints across the verandah, and little chocolate eggs hidden in the garden. 

There was also lots of discussion about class rules, and some beautiful artwork created that illustrated points like, “No Throwing Rocks,” and “No Kicking.” It’s a helpful visual reminder of the expectations that the children set themselves.

It’s almost time to begin term two – I wonder what new and exciting things they’ll discover? 
Hoping that all our Willmore families had a relaxing Easter break!