Monique and Jason welcome you to the EarlyON program.

Monique and Jason, leaders in the EarlyON Family Resource Program, are looking forward to meeting you and your children!

Our free EarlyON Family Resource Drop-in program is open Monday-Friday from 9:30-12:30 and Saturdays from 10:00am-12:00pm.  It’s a great place for kids to play, sing, read and experience early learning activities.  Program highlights include parent/tot swimming, creative arts, music & movement, and workshops.

Monique Vettraino, RECE

Monique Vettraino, RECE has been the St. Alban’s EarlyOn Program Coordinator for 2 months, but has had years of experience as a participant in the program (and many others in the community) which she has been frequenting for many years with the children in her care.  Monique has quite enjoyed building new relationships and advocating for the children, parents and caregivers at St. Alban’s.  She is enjoying the daily song circles and providing new creative ideas to not only implement in the program but also for families to use at home. 

Jason Melville, Volunteer

Jason Melville has volunteered in a number of programs here at St. Alban’s and has been volunteering in the EarlyON program for 5 years! Jason has worked with the older children in the summer camp and STARS after school program, but says that he has really grown to love working with the 0-4 age group through the EarlyON program.  He especially enjoys using puppets to tell stories to the kids and using different characters’ voices. 

The people of St. Alban’s: Meet Akash and Paloma

Meet two of our senior preschoolers, Akash, who is 5 years old and loves sports and Paloma, who is 6 years old, and wants to be an astronaut when she grows up! 

Meet Akash

What is the best part of being at St. Alban’s ?
Because it’s fun!

What do you like to do most of all?   
Playing and doing sports stuff.

What is something your teachers always say to you?
My teacher at school always says, “you are ready for the 2nd grade.”

What is the hardest thing about being 5yrs old?
People bullying me.

What do you do when they bully you?
I tell on them or I figure out the problem to stop them.

What do you want to be when you are all grown up?
I want to be a sports player and an architect. 

What kind of sports do you want to play?
Tennis, basketball, soccer, baseball and volleyball. 

How are you going to do so many things?  That’s a lot. 
Being an architect won’t take a lot of time. There will be other architects.

What makes you happy?
My mom and my dad.

What makes you sad?
People bullying me or somebody died.

If you could grow anything in the yard, what would it be?
Tomatoes, turnips, onions for my family – I don’t like them, basil and grass so I can play soccer.

What makes you feel brave?
My mom and my dad and my sister.

What makes you feel loved?
My mom and my dad and my sister.

How do you show people you care?
Give them hugs.

What is your favorite food?
Macaroni and cheese and pizza and gnocchi.

If you could do anything right now, what would you do?
Play sports.

What do you look forward to when you wake up?
Brushing my teeth after eating breakfast and eating and loving my family.

What’s your Superhero name and what powers do you have?
Captain Weatherman and I can make undertows in the ocean and make rain for turnips to grow and make a blizzard and snow.

Describe a great day. What are you doing that makes it special?
Playing every sport and just be with my parents and have a picnic with ice cream and then go out to dinner.

What animal would make a great driver?
A moose would make the worst driver cause he would see the moose crossing signs and stop driving.
The best driver would be a monkeys and gorillas because they’re the most like us.
The slowest driver would be a sloth.

What are three things you want to do this summer?
I am going to Costa Rica. I want to zipline in the rainforest like Tarzan.
I want to go to Hawaii, Japan and India. I really want to see a tsunami in Japan and Hawaii. 
I want to go to St. Alban’s every day to see Anna.

What makes someone smart?
Being able to play a chess game.

Meet Paloma!

What is the best part of being at St. Alban’s ?

Playing outside on the playground.

What do you like to do most of all?   

Play Kitty Kat with my kitty cat.

What is the hardest thing about being 6 yrs old?

Washing the dishes is the hardest. [Editor’s note: Paloma’s mom says Paloma doesn’t do the dishes.] 

What do you want to be when you are all grown up?

I love to do lots of things, but I want to be a scientist and an astronaut and blah blah blah.

What does blah blah blah mean? 

Whenever you say something you always say blah blah blah afterwards.

What makes you happy?

Everything.

What makes you sad?

Nothing.

If you could grow anything in the yard, what would it be?

An Orange blossom tree.  But no more it’s too many plants – there’s not enough space.

What makes you feel brave?

Kitty Kat’s eyes because they glow in the dark.  It’s like a flashlight.

What makes you feel loved?

My mommy and my daddy and my kitty cat.

How do you show people you care?

Huggies.

What is your favourite food?

Shrimp with garlic.  My mommy makes it.

What animal would make a great driver?

No animals can drive cars!  They have no hands!

What are three things you want to do this summer?

I only want to fly kites!

What makes someone smart?

Figuring out 300 piece puzzles and colouring peacocks!

Free (or almost free) things to do for families in Toronto this month

No vacation booked?  Not to worry, there’s lots to do in this wonderful city of ours during the holidays.   And don’t forget, there’s always holiday break camp at St. Alban’s!

Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery History District

Bigger and better each year!  Local vendors, artisans, and food stalls with delicious and festive European street food.  A giant Christmas tree, a ferris wheel, a carousel, entertainment, and Santa himself!   Free on weekdays and only $6 on weekends.

 

Natrel Rink at Harbourfront Centre

A heated indoor change room with lockers and washrooms.  Food and hot drinks available at the rink side restaurant.  Skating is free!

 

Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square

Skating and festive fun including vendors, food trucks, shopping, a fireside lounge, a carousel, music, entertainment and photos with Santa on weekends!

 

 

 

Christmas Flower Show

Both Allan Gardens and Centennial Park Conservatories host the Christmas Flower Show. Thousands of flowering plants and more than 30 varieties of poinsettia are on display along with topiary masterpieces.   Visitors are treated to horse and wagon rides, carollers, hot apple nicer and of course, visits from Santa!

Christmas in the Valley at Todmorden Mills

Explore the holiday traditions of Toronto past.  Enjoy festive treats and create a take home craft.  ($3-$7)

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Village at Evergreen Brickworks

Every December weekend and December 26-29 from 10am-5pm.  Play outdoors – try street curling, ride a fat bike, play in the Children’s Garden.  Shop – at the Saturday Farmer’s Market, the Sunday Etsy Market, or the Garden Market.   Eat – from local vendors or roast s’mores over a campfire!

What is your family up to this month?  Let us know in the comments!

Summer Time Crafts

michelle-clarkeBy Michelle Clarke
Arts Program Coordinator

Summer is a great time to try out some of the messier crafts. Kids looove the messy crafts, and you can even have your kids do this in their bathing suits outside and follow it with some water fun 😉

But for those of you who prefer to keep the mess for us over here at summer camp, I’ll also include some less messy summer-themed crafts for those times you want to chill out in the air conditioning or get out of the rain.

swimming-jellyfish-craft-2For Young Children:

SWIMMING JELLY FISH

These are so cute, you may want to make them with your older children too!

http://iheartcraftythings.com/paper-plate-swimming-jellyfish-craft.html

How To Make Ice Paints A Fun Summer Lesson In All Things Frozen That Toddlers Will Love Sprout Organices One Savvy MomICE PAINT

A fun way to keep things “cool”!

http://www.onesavvymom.net/2016/07/summer-toddler-craft-idea-ice-painting-how-to-make-ice-paints.html

TISSUE FISH

For this one, you just need a paper plate and tissue paper. Cut out a triangle for the mouth and use it to glue on the back for a tail. For a more colourful fish, you can paint it before adding the tissue paper. Use a googly eye or just draw on an eye with a marker.

Older Kids:

DSC_159533SALT PAINTING

This tutorial is for Jelly Fish, but you can paint anything you want with salt paint: try other sea creatures, writing your name, or anything you like!

http://www.iheartartsncrafts.com/jellyfish-salt-painting-activity-kids/

Fidget-Spinner-CraftDIY FIDGET SPINNERS

These ones are very popular around here 😉

http://www.redtedart.com/make-fidget-spinner-diy/

 

 

 

 

 

For Kids of All Ages:

cotton-candy-puffy-paint-craft-for-kids-PUFFY PAINT

Kids of all ages love this one!
Just make sure that the kids don’t eat it!

http://www.craftymorning.com/puffy-paint-cotton-candy-craft-kids/

Squirt-Gun-Art-3-1SQUIRT GUN PAINTING

This one is super fun! A friend of mine had the brilliant idea to do this at her daughter’s birthday party on a big canvas and now she has some a great big abstract art piece up in her living room!

http://www.firefliesandmudpies.com/squirt-gun-painting/

 

TIE DYE

Go retro with some good old fashioned tie dye!

https://www.tiedyeyoursummer.com/techniques?pp=1

ice cream in a bag pin 0ICE CREAM IN A BAG

This one is fun and delicious too!

http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2013/07/summer-fun-ice-cream-in-bag.html?m=1

 

diy-chalk-5DIY SIDEWALK CHALK

These can be made in ice cube trays, muffin tins or popsicle moulds. If you are feeling fancy, you can also look for different shaped ice cube trays at the dollar store.

https://projectnursery.com/2015/05/diy-sidewalk-chalk-pops/#_a5y_p=5245552

Meet the Preschool Staff – Foss

FOSSBy Foss 
Preschool Staff

Parents sing praises about the preschool and the preschool staff all the time – just read our testimonials page! So for this blog post, we spoke to Foss, one of the amazing staff who run the preschool program.

  1. Your name and position/title.
    My name is Foss and I am the Head Teacher in the Senior Preschool Room.

    Just one of the smiling faces in preschool!

    Just one of the smiling faces in preschool!

  1. What is your long-term career goal? 
    I am currently in the process of registering for school to be a Resource Consultant for Children with Special Needs
  1. What programs do you run/help run?
    I run the Senior Preschool room and I help with all of the other preschool rooms. I also am the the supervisor with staff schedules.
  1. How long have you worked for St. Alban’s?
    I have worked at St. Alban’s for about 10 years now!
  2. What are your favourite activities to do with the children?
    I love to do science with the preschool children because I get to explore different elements and how they react to one another, and show the children how exciting science can be.
  1. What is your favourite part about the job?
    I love watching the children grow and develop over their time spent here at St. Alban’s!

Thank you Foss for all your hard work and dedication over the last 10 years – the children of St. Alban’s preschool really appreciate it!

Spring Time Crafts for Children

michelle-clarkeBy Michelle Clarke
Creative Arts Coordinator

Yay – Spring is on its way! But since the weather is still a bit unpredictable, here are some fun Easter & Passover themed crafts that you can do with your kids over the next few weeks if it’s rainy or you’d just rather stay inside 🙂 Continue reading

Learned Helplessness in Early Childhood & How We Can Respond

kristen

By Kristen Varley, RECE, BPHE
Preschool teacher

There is nothing more stressful than a weekday morning. That dreaded routine in which we run full speed around the house, attempting to multitask well beyond our capability to get ourselves, our kids, our pets, our life, ready for the upcoming day. Walk the dog, shower, pack lunches, dry hair (only if there is time, of course), wake the kids, feed the kids, dress the kids, get out the door. We pretend like we know what we are doing, but the reality is you can never predict what is going to happen next and most likely are still struggling to find your keys. Continue reading

Rainy Day Activities (for Preschool Aged Children)

Raining“It’s raining, it’s pouring,
The old man is snoring….”

Yes!  It is raining outside and outdoor play is no longer an option.

There is no need to sit looking out the window, wondering if it will ever stop. There are a number of appropriate activities that you can do Continue reading

The Importance of Physical Activity in the Early Years

kristenby Kristen Varley, RECE
Preschool teacher

As parents, caregivers and educators, we generally make the assumption that children are naturally active and therefore discount emphasis on (regular) physical activity in the early years (0-5 years old). The reality is however, just like us bigger humans, tiny humans also require reliable daily routines that allow for sufficient time to be physically active. Have you ever heard of the “60 Minutes a Day” rule when it comes to exercise? Continue reading