How LBA Spent the 5th of May!

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!

IMG_9967.JPG
Petite Piñatas!
IMG_9968.JPG
Small Sombreros!

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.

IMG_9949.JPG
Ari keeps his eye on the weak spot

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!

IMG_9952.JPG
Ms. Liliana takes a swing! 

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.

IMG_9964.JPG
Decisions, decisions.

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.

IMG_9969.JPG

Masks, Beads, & Mardi Gras Things

IMG_0006

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!

IMG_0009.JPG

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!

IMG_0008.JPG

M Is For…?

IMG_9991

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:

IMG_9986.JPG

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.

IMG_9991.JPG

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 🙂

 

 

LBA Learns to Keep Sugar Bugs Away!

16836466_730597757118022_8704923577195229804_o

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!16797639_730597760451355_8236156562145895666_o.jpg 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.

 

Kindergarten Share Day

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.

Share Day Playing

ShareDay2

 

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).
Click here to view the event page on Facebook
See you next month! – Leap & Bound Academy

The Great California Shakeout!

13923718_621323401378792_3576388850134420023_oDid you take part in the Great Shakeout? Every year, schools throughout California participate in a state-wide earthquake drill to test emergency preparedness. LBA was no exception, and today our preschool students put their knowledge of safety to the test!

The drill came as a surprise to our Leap & Bound Torrance students, who were immersed in their morning lessons when Mrs. Mary and the office staff began ringing bells at 10:20am. Our students and faculty recognized the ringing bells and confidently began the drill; they stopped what they were doing and held protective positions under their desks. LBA kids are taught to protect their heads and necks while securing themselves under a strong foundation (like a desk!). Although the event was a surprise, the drill itself was familiar to students: LBA conducts routine earthquake drills every six months to ensure the safety of both children and faculty in the event of a crisis.

At the conclusion of the earthquake drill, teachers practiced standard evacuation procedure by leading their students out of the building. Students organized themselves, with the help of their teachers, into single-file lines and walked calmly outside to the blacktop in an organized manner. The school directors used their daily sign-in sheets to take attendance of the students. Parents: Don’t forget to sign your child in when you drop them off! In the event of an emergency, sign-in sheets are used to account for each student.

13913561_621323418045457_5942078924134118354_o

After making sure that each student was present and accounted for, Mrs. Mary congratulated the kids and staff on a job well done! Living in California comes with the unpredictability of earthquakes, but with practice drills every six months, our LBA students feel safe and prepared!

Thank You Teachers!

October 5th is a very special day for of all of our spectacular teachers here at LBA: It’s World Teachers’ Day! The day is celebrated to create awareness, appreciation, and understanding for the hard work that teachers around the world do for education and development.

dsc01142

The beginning of the holiday dates back to 1994: UNESCO (United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization) founded the holiday on October 5th because on the same day in 1966, the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation was passed. The recommendation set forth the rights and responsibilities of teachers, as well as international standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, teaching and learning conditions. The holiday will be celebrated around in the world in major cities such as London, Paris, Rome, New York, and San Francisco.

dsc01134

Here are some fun ways for you celebrate the holiday, no matter what age or grade you’re in. This is perfect for the littlest of preschoolers to the biggest of high school students.

  1. Give your teacher an Apple! Although somewhat stereotypical, what teacher wouldn’t enjoy a shinny red apple to start their day?

2. Coffee!! What’s the drink that your teacher has every morning? There’s nothing that a teacher enjoys more than a cup of coffee to launch them into teaching their students! Bringing in some fresh coffee, or a gift card to Starbucks or Coffee Bean, will always brighten up a teacher’s day!

3. Probably your teacher’s favorite gift would be that you come to school happy and ready to learn! There’s nothing that can make school more fun than being prepared and excited for school!

Bat-erday Night Fever

 

Unknown

“I’m Batman” – Such a catchphrase could only belong to a man who knows the weight his name carries. Batman goes down in history as one of literature’s most iconic characters. September 26th has been officially declared National Batman Day in the United States and has gained a major following in the past couple of years.

Unknown

Batman himself dates back to the year 1939 when he premiered in the comic series Detective Comics issue number 27. From that moment on Batman has become a staple of pop culture and has appeared in enough comics to fill a thousand boxes. Wow! Over the years the dark knight has undergone many different characterizations making him a unique character since most people differ on which version they like the best. They range from the campy fun of the Adam West batman to the older, darker version seen in this 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

maxresdefault

Throughout his many years of existence, batman has continued to entertain generation after generation of fans. If you’re stuck up stream without a paddle and need some fun things to do today, Batman’s owners at DC Comics have recommended their own special ways to enjoy this holiday for both you and your children.

imagesThe first way is to attend a community batman celebration event. There are tons of events all around the community including signing with famous comic book writers and screening of just about every Batman movie that has come to cinemas. Another fun way to celebrate is to play dress up! What’s more fun than becoming the caped crusader and enervating off all of Gotham’s villains like the Joker and the Penguin.

batman-1126127_960_720

Our favorite way to celebrate is with Batman crafts! There are tons of different crafts you can do with your children including coloring pages, cut out masks of batman’s various collection of cowls over the years or get a blank sheet of paper, paint it black and add your own yellow bat symbol for your own spectacular design.

batman_symbol_by_fataljapan

 

 

3-batman-the-animated-series

The last suggestion to have fun today is to throw a batman themed party! What entails a batman party? You decide! The conventional way is to invite over friends and family (dress up optional) and make some batman snacks like bat-shaped cookies and watch your favorite batman outings. We recommend Batman: the Animated Series from the 90’s for a fun viewing experience for the whole family. Now we at LBA have only one thing left to say. Have a great Batman Day!

LBA’s Hat Day!

imageCowboy hats, derby day hats, baseball hats, hiking hats…you’ve heard of lots of hats. But what about homemade hats? Today Ms. Taregus’s class made their own hats!

Colored paper and a little creativity was all it took for these kids to make their own fun hats on hat day!

From the crowns of ancient rulers to the fun crafts the kids wear, hats have been around for millennium and really do play an important role in the world.  They serve to protect precious heads and to guard us against the sun.  Hats are something we rarely ever notice, something we always use. What are some other things in life that we use every day but never truly appreciate? After all, what would we do without hats to protect us as we ride a bike a horse or a motorcycle, to protect us from the sun’s striking rays. Every hat has a purpose: cowboy hats, derby day hats, baseball hats, hiking hats, even homemade hats. Which hat will you wear today?

Happy 100th Birthday To Our National Parks!!

August 25, 2016 is a special day in history for the United States. A hundred years ago today, the National Park Service was established.

The idea of creating the National Parks dates back to 1832, when artist George Catlin was exploring the northern great plains, and thought to himself that these great lands should be protected from development and modernization. Nothing came of this until 1864 when California senator John Conness sponsored an act to make the Yosemite Valley a protected land for public use and recreation. After the founding of Yosemite, soon other parks followed, such as Yellowstone in 1871 and Mackinac in 1875. Many beautiful lands over the next 40 years were added to the list of protected lands, but things changed for the best for the parks when President Wilson established the National Park Service. The service was created to manage and protect all of these beautiful lands and make sure they could survive for future generations to experience them.

LBA encourages our students and their families to take advantage of this holiday and go off the grid and enjoy the beautiful outdoors in our wonderful national parks.

Here are some of our favorites to visit for hiking, camping, and any outdoor activities:

1. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area

Casa_Conejo_and_Santa_Monica_Mountains

Our first choice is the closest to the South Bay, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area. The park is technically not a “National Park” but is governed by National Park Service. The Recreational Area offers many activities that would be fun for the whole family, such as  hiking along the Backbone trail, and also for the backpacking enthusiasts, the trail is great for a couple days of hiking.

2. Channel Islands National Park

shoreline-and-landscape-of-santa-cruz-island-channel-islands-national-park-california

Second on our list is a coastal experience for the ocean enthusiast. Across the ocean in our backyard, the Channel Islands National Park is a great choice for a weekend expedition. The islands offer great activities such as hiking, backpacking, and especially Kayaking.

3. Yosemite Valley

Our third and final recommendation is for a weekend road trip up north to the beautiful Yosemite Valley. One of the most visited parks in all of america, its popularity is credited to the breathtaking views and spectacular activities that the area offers. The valley hosts some of the best hiking trails in all of the country, and the park is well known for their challenging and unique climbing routes.

Starting today (August 25th) and continuing through Sunday (August 28th) the National Park Service is offering free entry into the parks to celebrate the centennial. LBA encourages all of our families to visit any national park and experience the beauty and freedom that these parks offer.