Huron Playschool Cooperative

Plenty the Magazine

I think that our "Cool Stuff Playschool Parents Get Up To" file is my favourite file—and let me tell you, it's full to bursting. This time we're talking about former playschool (super) parent Nathalie who connected with friends Carol and Beth-Anne in a memoir writing class more than five years ago, and they have writing together online ever since. Their parenting blog was reborn last year as the online magazine, Plenty, "for women who like intelligent substance and helpful advice with a side of fluff; hold the judgement." 

The writers' approaches are diverse, and so are the posts (which include pieces by other writers and experts). A nice place to dive in would be with Nathalie's hilarious post on tidy-up guru Marie Kondo, in which she takes issue with the suggestion that books be stored in a cupboard. Pfff. 

And see recent archives for monthly themes on sex and friendship (respectively, obviously). 

Playschool Creations

There was all kinds of creating going on at playschool today. Conventional materials rendered some unique architecture over in the blocks area. 

Blocks

Artists were hard at work on their paintings. 

Painting

painting

And who knew what fun could ensue with children sticking hair curlers to sheets of felt? The creation on the right is a house, by the way. The one on the left is decidedly abstract. 

Crafts

Tracey Loves: So Much, by Trish Cooke and Helen Oxenbury

In this series, our Playschool teachers share their favourites stories to share with children at Circle Time. This time, Tracey recommends So Much, by Trish Cooke and Helen Oxenbury, a winner of many prizes when it was published in 1998. Mama and Baby are home alone one day, not doing anything in particular, when the doorbell rings, and rings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins arriving to hug that baby, to love that baby. Cooke’s prose is almost a song, and a joy to read, and readers will be particularly excited by the story’s surprise at the end. The book is remarkable for its celebration of family ties, portrayal of people of colour, and for showing that love can be displayed in all kinds of ways—even particularly rambunctious ways, which older children can appreciate. 

Support Playschool by purchasing So Much from Amazon.ca

Teacher's Pet

Mr. Bubbles

There is no one at playschool who has seen more than Mr. Bubbles, Huron Playschool's resident goldfish for almost fifteen years. He's watched hundreds of children come and go, and has helped many of them settle into our classroom and become comfortable in this new setting. In his easy, swimmy way, Mr. Bubbles gives our little people a sense of responsibiiity as they help care for a creature smaller than themselves, and provides a calming presence for the group.

Goldfish in the News:

Childcare co-ops featured in Enterprise Magazine

The history and future of childcare co-ops with all their benefits and challenges are explored in Alexandra Samur's piece, "The Quest for Quality Childcare,"  in the November issue of Enterprise Magazine: 

Childcare co-ops grew out of need. They originated in the U.S. in the early 1900s in small or rural communities where public childcare facilities simply would not have existed otherwise. In Canada, B.C. families first began organizing preschool cooperatives in the 1940s, with organizations such as the Association of Cooperative Play Groups of Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island’s Cooperative Preschools leading the way. Shortly after, Ontario and Quebec parent groups also began holding informal meetings. Today, they do more than merely provide a much-needed resource. Participatory models of cooperative childcare can foster social inclusion among traditionally marginalized groups. (Read the whole thing here.)

We're pleased to offer the co-op model to families looking for quality childcare/ daycare in the Annex Neighbourhood here in Toronto. Co-op programs have lower fees and stronger community ties, resulting in great experiences for children and their families alike. 

Two Purple Figs

From our "Cool Stuff Playschool Parents Get Up To" file, we bring you Playschool Mom Mahy and her online enterprise, Two Purple Figs. Mahy is a recipe developer, food stylist, culinary instructor, photographer, wife and busy mom, and she's doing it all on her site with new recipes all the time, fantastic photography to tempt you to try them—and oh, the rewards of actually doing so (i.e. the eating. Her Sweet Potato Black Bean Soup blew my mind!). 

As you'd expect from a food blogger who's also a mom, there are plenty of great kid and family friendly recipes to try. We've become particularly fond of her Instant Chia Chocolate Pudding at our house, a really easy, delicious and nutritious chocolate treat. I sent it to Playschool too during the week I was on snack duty, and it went over a charm. The kids love it. And if you're requiring photographic proof of that, check out the photo on the right. 

Check out more of Mahy's wonderful recipes. 

Huron Playschool Loves Books

One of the best parts of having a history stretching back nearly five decades is that our library has been around just as long, and so we have a huge collection of books to share with our children. This means that our bookshelves are ever-refreshed, new books put out all the time for classes to read together or for children to explore on their own. Our reading choices can be themed around seasons, cultural celebrations, ideas we're learning about in our programs, and those old stand-bys that everyone loves: books about dogs, babies, construction equipment and dinosaurs. Tracey also visits the Toronto Public Library often to borrow books and offer even more variety. A few times a year too we make the trip down Bloor Street to the Spadina Road Library to hear stories and participate in other children's programming. The library is definitely one of our favourite Annex neighbours. 

Other great children's book/ early literacy resources: 

The Canadian Children's Book Centre

Toronto Public Library Ready for Reading

Picture Book Fridays at PickleMeThis

CanLit for Little Canadians

Our Enrichment Programs

Enrichment programs expand our children's horizons, providing the opportunity to learn and practice new skills under the guidance of expert teachers. And most of all, these programs are fun! This year, students in the morning and after-school programs have had a great time with dance and music classes. Learn more about Music with Jennielea, and Dancing with Carolyn. Thank you to both teachers for all their amazing energy—we're so glad you're part of our community!

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