Monday, July 28, 2014

Mr. Steve's Interactive Cultural Music Show

Last week, we had Mr. Steve come to Holly Tree of Brentwood and sing some great songs for us! He really got the children moving and excited and they had a lot of fun! Some of the songs he sang included Old McDonald Had A Farm, 5 Little Monkeys In A Tree, and he made up some songs to sing with us. One song, he kept pretending to fall asleep! The children thought that was so funny!  He also brought some of his stuffed animal friends to sing along with us, which included some snakes, a bear, and a frog. Here is a recap in case you missed the fun! 

Mr. Steve started his show with "Old McDonald Had A Farm"

Our Preschool 2 & 3 classes and our Pre-K classroom had so much fun with Mr. Steve!

Mr. Steve was pretending to be an alligator when we were singing "5 Little Monkeys In A Tree"

The children had so much fun doing the hokey pokey! 

Mr. Steve really got the kids moving during the song "Jump Up, Jump Down, and Move It All Around!"

Mr. Steve had  special "snake friends" join him during some of his songs!

Mr. Steve wore all kinds of funny hats during his show! We hope Mr. Steve comes back really soon! 

For more information about our program, please visit our website at

Monday, July 21, 2014

Turning Mealtime Into Learning Time 

Anytime is a great time for a learning opportunity, but meal time is a particularly good time because it gives children the chance to work on their self help skills. Mealtimes are ideal for modeling manners and for serving up some learning. Slow down so you and your children can dictate the length of mealtimes and enjoy talking and learning together. Wendy Mendola is the executive director of The Tot Spot Child Care Centers in Wayne County New York.   

The learning opportunities at mealtime can include using manners, gaining independence staying healthy, taking part in conversations, practicing fine and gross motor skills, and building math skills. Manners that can be learned during mealtimes include chewing with a closed mouth, saying please, thank you, your welcome, and excuse me, ask for and pass food politely, Pick up food with chopsticks, a spoon, or a fork,cut food using a fork and knife, keep elbows off the table, and sit in a chair while eating at a table. Gaining independence at mealtime can include serving themselves and pouring drinks, discussing feelings, experiences and plans, making good choices about healthy foods and drinks, trying foods they have never tried before, enjoying the meal time routine, distinguish left from right, experiencing foods from different cultures, do things for themselves with a teacher's guidance. Staying healthy at mealtimes can include wiping the table with a damp paper towel before and after eating, wash hands before and after eating, cough or sneeze into an elbow, throw away food that falls onto the floor, place dirty utensils, cups, and plates in the sink or dishpan, use serving spoons for serving, not for eating, wipe hands and face with napkins, take small bites and chew completely before swallowing, and eating and drinking nutritious foods. Taking part in conversations can include establishing eye contact, using indoor voices, swallow before speaking, engaging in small talk, listening while others are talking, name and discuss foods and food groups, discussing likes and dislikes, and following directions and requests. Practicing fine and gross motor skills can include turning on the water faucet, pump soap, and dry hands with a paper towel, setting the table with plates, silverware, and cups, folding napkins, pour liquids with minimum spillage, wipe up spills with a paper towel or sponge, cut food with a knife, serving themselves using a large spoon, tongs, or a spatula, using thumb and pincer fingers to pick up finger foods, and passing a bowl or pitcher of milk from one person to another.  Building math skills during meal time can include counting how many children are in the room, and apply one-to-one correspondence as they set the table with one plate, cup, and napkin for each child.


To learn more about this topic, please visit 

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pizza Making and Dough Tossing Fun

We had a very special guest come to Holly Tree of Brentwood on Monday! Sal's Pizza came to our school and taught us all about pizza making and even did a dough tossing show! The kids had an absolute blast making their own pizzas and were even more excited to eat them once they came out of the oven. Here is a recap of all the fun we had making pizzas yesterday! 

Our Preschool 1 friends showed off their great cooking skills by making delicious pizzas! 

Adding the sauce and cheese. Yummy!

Our Preschool 2 friends learned how to flatten the dough and make it round! 

Sal's Pizza showed us how they make their pizzas!

Our Preschool 3 friends were going over what colors the sauce and dough were. 

Issac and Anna Claire from our Preschool 3 classroom were so ready to eat their yummy pizzas! 

The children said that spreading the sauce was their favorite part! 

Our Pre-Kindergarten classrooms had a competition to see who could get their pizza the flattest! 

A.J. from our Pre-Kindergarten classroom made a happy face pizza!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Water Safety

Summer is in full swing, and here at Holly Tree of Brentwood, we believe that water safety is extremely important! Water safety includes in the bathtub, swimming pool, oceans, lakes, and ponds. We know that all of these places can provide relief from the scorching sun and high temperatures, but it is important to exercise extreme caution with your children when visiting these places. According to,  drowning is the second leading cause of death in children ages 5-24. Please check out these awesome tips for a happy and healthy summer! Here are some general tips about water safety:

  • Young children are especially vulnerable to drowning: they can drown in less than 2 inches of water. This means drowning can happen in unexpected places such as the sink, the toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, or inflatable pools. All children need to be supervised when around any body of water. 
  • Check into learning how to swim. Children who are older than 4 years old, should also take swimming lessons as well. 
  • Invest in proper fitting, Coast-Guard approved flotation devices, or life jackets. Check the size and weight recommendation on the label and then be sure that it fits snugly. Inflatable vests and arm devices such as water wings are not are not effective protection against drowning. 
  • Don't forget the sunscreen and re-apply frequently especially if the kids are getting wet. UV sunglasses, hats, and protective clothing can also help provide sun protection. 
  • Kids should drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to prevent dehydration. It is very easy to get dehydrated in the sun, especially when kids are active and sweating.  

Please follow these tips for a healthy and fun summer! For more information on this topic , please visit:

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