May 5th is nacho average day of the week at Leap and Bound Academy. No, Cinco de Mayo is a party at this lively preschool; the holiday teaches LBA kids about Mexican culture while engaging them in the activities of this annual celebration. Ms. Angela and Ms. Barbara’s students made tiny sombreros and piñatas in the morning to begin the festivities!
After a dreary morning, the skies cleared and the sun emerged: a sign that it was time for the older preschoolers to venture outside and take a swing at the full-size piñata on the patio! One by one, each of the Redondo Beach students took turns hitting the cardboard star, hoping to be the one to break out the prizes inside.
Every student had taken their turn, but the surprisingly tough piñata would not back down. LBA’s teachers knew there was only one thing left to finally break open the prizes: they stepped in to finish the job!
Finally, the piñata burst into a frenzy of prizes, and the kids scrambled to pick the best toy. Colored pencils, wind-up toys, stickers, coin purses, toy robots, and more were scattered around the patio. Each student was allowed to choose one toy to take home… and they were all very focused on picking the best one.
Worn-out from the piñata excitement, Ms. Liliana’s kindergarten class headed back upstairs to enjoy a celebratory snack of nachos! The cheesy chips were a special treat for the LBA students, who munched quietly while listening to their teacher explain the history of Cinco de Mayo. May 5th was an iconic day for the Mexican city of Puebla in the year 1862, when the soldiers won an unlikely victory over French forces. Now, the day marks an annual celebration in America, and an opportunity to learn about Mexican culture and heritage.
We’ve all heard of Mardi Gras, but a lot of people outside New Orleans celebrate Mardi Gras without knowing what it means. Not LBA students! On one Tuesday every year, Leap & Bound kids are taught what Mardi Gras represents as a holiday and cultural tradition. Read on to discover the real reasons we wear masks and throw beads today!
Mardi Gras is celebrated in Southern Louisiana (especially New Orleans) and always falls on “Fat Tuesday”, a day in which members of the Catholic religion historically ate large meals and celebrated before the beginning of Lent the following day. Today at Leap & Bound, Ms. Sue’s class learned that purple, green, and gold beads and colorful masks are all traditions associated with the Mardi Gras celebration. After hearing about the tradition, Ms. Sue’s students were super excited to make masks of their own! Once the kids put on their homemade masks, complete with beaded necklaces and popsicle-stick handles, they were barely recognizable! With everyone eagerly involved in the Mardi Gras crafts today in Ms. Sue’s class, we could hardly tell these masked preschoolers apart!
How many “M” words can you think of? This exercise is probably easy for you since you are able to read this blog post right now, but for Ms. Tigi’s preschool students this exercise is a challenging activity. Luckily, Ms. Tigi knows how to make learning letters fun and engaging! She helped her preschoolers make crafts representing objects that start with the letter “M”. See if you can spot them all in this picture:
There’s a monkey, a mask, a mitten, a mother, a mop, the moon, a mug, money, and more! Even the letter “M” next to the mitten is decorated with macaroni pasta noodles… which also start with “M”! These crafts are so cute and creative – each one was made using different materials and the students were able to use their imaginations to think of “M” words and decide how to make them.
Ms. Tigi’s students love having their picture taken!
Aside from being a fun activity for the kids, Ms. Tigi’s craft allowed her preschool students to engage in a specific letter of the alphabet and master it. The finished crafts were able to provide a visual representation of words that start with “M”, giving Ms. Tigi’s students the ability to recognize these “m” words in real life! And the finished crafts look Magnificent! Or Marvelous? You get the idea 🙂
Although February may be known for its red hearts and boxes of chocolates, it’s also National Children’s Dental Health Month! We had to take the opportunity to teach LBA students about taking care of their teeth. On Wednesday, Dr. G and Monica from Stephen E. Adams DDS were invited to our Medical Center location in Torrance and gave a presentation on dental health.
Dr. G and Monica brought a special friend with them to help with the presentation – a dinosaur in need of teeth cleaning! The kids laughed as they watched the dinosaur get a check-up, and they learned that regularly brushing teeth and flossing helps to keep the “sugar bugs” away. The presentation was cute, entertaining, and taught our LBA students the importance of healthy dental habits!
5 Ways to Prevent Children’s Tooth Decay
Parents- Be careful when sharing forks and spoons with your child. Using the same utensils can transfer cavity-causing germs.
Encourage your children to eat healthy foods and limit their intake sugary drinks and candy.
Make sure your child starts visiting the dentist by the time they reach a year old! It is recommended for children to visit the dentist for a teeth cleaning and checkup twice a year.
Teach your children to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes (or sing the ABCs twice!) with fluoride toothpaste.
Ask your child’s dentist about dental sealants. They can be applied during a routine dentist appointment on the chewing surface of the teeth and help to seal out decay.
Friday is Share Day for LBA’s Kindergarten class! Students bring their favorite toys from home for a Show & Tell with their friends at school!
While these students think they’re just playing with toys, their minds are soaking up important skills they’ll need for the rest of their lives: The first is being patient when taking turns, because they present their toys one at a time. Whoever’s in the hot seat is also learning to be confident by giving a brief oral presentation to all their classmates! Next, the class has a Q&A session, where students get to ask about the share toy, and inspire a spontaneous answer. With the guidance of their teacher, Ms. Liliana, each student learns how to ask questions that are inviting and pass no judgment.
Now who would invite children to bring in toys, and not expect them to play? After each student has completed a presentation sharing what they like about their favorite toy, it’s time to share the toys themselves. It’s the end of the day for this kindergarten class, and so we wind down with some free play time, before we put on our winter coats and join the rest of the school outside.
Image description: Animated GIFs of LBA Kindergarten students playing with their share toys. Visible toys in these images include a fairy tale castle, a plush dragon, and a monster truck.
Schools around the county are already lining up their kindergarten classes for the next school year. It’s like applying for college these days! To make sure our preschool graduates have an opportunity to continue their LBA quality education into kindergarten, we’re hosting our own Kindergarten Round Up for each school, on February 7th, 8th, and 9th (and feel free to come to a different school’s Round Up if you’re busy that day).