November 2020
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope."
― Dr. Suess
Welcome to our November issue,

We are excited to have unveiled our new-look foyer to go with our updated paperless sign-in-system.

We are very proud of our Happy Hearts name and logo, and it is great to have that in full view in the foyer. And we are very, very proud of our amazing teaching staff, so we are delighted to feature all their photos as you come into the centre.

Our staff do a terrific job, working together in fellowship while they guide and mentor the teachers-in-training.

You can scroll down to find a picture of our new look.

December, and of course Christmas, is nearly upon us so watch out for details on this year’s Christmas celebrations.

Have a great month.

John & Alina Cook

Our Christmas get-together will take place in December.

Watch out for more details
on Storypark and in the Classrooms.
Another busy month has gone by and the children are enjoying the warmer weather.

Shoes and socks are off – there’s nothing quite like that cool breeze on your feet when running around.
Earlier in the year, Imagination was a big focus. We are continuing to build on that with our theme of role play, dressing up and pretending.

It is interesting to watch and observe which pretend activities the different children are drawn to. 

Role-play is their way to explore real life experiences. – they can be and do whatever their imagination desires. 

Pretend Play is much more than simple play activities; it requires advanced thinking strategies, communication, and social skills.

Being Kind to our Friends is also a big focus at this time. 

Pretend play is a great opportunity to explore kind attitudes and gestures. Through pretend play, children learn to do things like negotiate and consider each others’ perspectives. They learn how to read social cues, recognize and regulate emotions, negotiate and take turns. 

Each room at Happy Hearts is different.

Each age group has specific needs, so every room will focus on their own curriculum tailored to the children in that class.
to read more about what is the current focus in ROOM 1
to read more about what is the current focus in ROOM 2
to read more about what is the current focus in ROOM 3
We had a great Maori Language week – and it is still going. Te Reo is a continual part of the curriculum – the children are still enjoying the new games, crafts and songs they learned. Some of the favourites were "Paki, paki,....." and "Poi dancing". 

Room 3 said their highlight was making rakau/sticks with Anita and learning to play the stick game -titi torea. 
Being kind to our friends is a key part of our curriculum.

Kindness is an important element in our society, leading to initiatives such as Pink Shirt Day in October, and World Kindness Day on November 13th.
Happy Hearts supported Pink Shirt Day, and many children took part by wearing pink.
Room 3 created a ‘pledge’ to being kind, and each child signed this promise with their painted hand-print.

Kindness = Lending A Helping Hand
Teachers encourage older children to help the younger ones as they embrace new tasks and challenges.

We often talk about being a Role Model - and how the younger ones will look to, and copy, the 'big kids' in their actions and behaviour.

Many of our 3 and 4 year olds have a wonderful grasp of the importance of being a ‘big kid’ whose role it is to be kind and support their younger friends.
Dress Up can be fun at home – and you don’t need an extensive dress up wardrobe.
The children’s imagination will do that for you.

A great, easy dress up idea for role-play are paper hats.
Simply create a paper head-band, then draw or glue a picture of whatever hat your character would wear.

A cowboy hat, a postie’s hat, a flower hat, a chef’s hat, a pirate’s hat, a nurse’s hat – the sky is the limit.

With their costume hat on their head, the children can pretend to be whoever they want.

Follow the link for the ‘How-To’ video.

Dramatic play experiences are some of the first ways children learn about their likes and dislikes, their interests, and their abilities. 

They experiment and work to make sense out of what they’ve observed. 
The children’s freedom and lack of pre-conceived ideas is beautiful, they will often enter play with little knowledge, but allow their curiosity to lead the way.

It is amazing to watch and observe children in play, as the game unfolds. Children love it when you get involved in tea parties or playing construction works in the dirt.

Role play activities should always be child-led – go with the flow and enjoy the journey their imagination has invented. As the adult you can provide safeguards, or even encourage additional learning if the opportunity arises, but try to avoid ‘leading’ their play too much.

You can take part and play a character in the situation created by your child’s imagination. Or stand back and support the process through communication and open-ended questions such as:

 “What happens if we … ?”
“What are we looking for … ?”
“What is the weather like … ?”

Role play is great for extending vocabulary and learning new words. You can help encourage language skills as your child works out their imaginary game. Ask them about any rules they want to include – (think ‘lava’ and ‘don’t touch the ground) - or what props they might need. It is their game, so communicating their vision empowers them and builds confidence in their own creativity.
There may be times when your child is out of ideas. You can help spark imagination by using books, stories, movies or even pictures as a starting point. But, allow the child to take charge and work out what happens next. This allows them to reap the full benefits of being in charge of their own play.

Try and resist the urge to normalise their pretend situation. Just because there isn’t often a thunderstorm in the real Sahara doesn’t mean there won’t be one in your child’s imaginary desert. If your little princess decides fishing and catching frogs should be done in full regal attire, this will be because – in the imaginary world - that is what all the best princesses do! Your little astronaut might need to stay inside the rocket in real outer space – but imaginary outer space is safe and fun to float around in.

So grab a pillowslip, make a cape and remember how to fly 😊
Enjoy November!

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