March & April 2017

Who would believe that May is here already!  As always it has been a very busy few months at Moa Kids with lots of things happening.

You would have noticed lately I haven’t been spending much time in the office, I have been very lucky getting to hang out in the nursery and support more in there. It certainly has been lot of fun and I have enjoyed strengthening my relationships in this room.  However as my office work grows a little, as of next week, our staffing is semi back to normal, so you should see me more in the office. Remember if I am in the nursery or in the preschool on the floor, you can certainly still call in and see me, I might not get to your request that second, but please be assured I will J

A big thank you to all the families and children who took part in the holiday program we had set up over the last few weeks. We had so much fun. One of the main reasons we started this was to help the children that have siblings at home come in, so hopefully this helped. We have been a lot busier these holidays than normal, so if this is anything to go by, we may have some success here.

As you probably are all aware I have put it on my “to do list” each day to update facebook. I have had some lovely comments from parents on the latest post and updates. I will continue to do this on regular basis. We would love it if you like and share our posts that we put up. This is the way for the wider community to see the great things that are happening at Moa Kids and even better for your families and friends to see what your children are up to.

Also please check that you have liked our page. I have noticed lately that a lot of parents are commenting and liking our posts, but haven’t liked our actual facebook page.

We have a busy few months coming up with community events along with some fundraising events. With Moa Kids being a community preschool and a not-for-profit organisation, I cannot emphasise enough how important it is that families, teachers and our wider Moa Kids community support these different events. We appreciate all your support and help that our families and the wider Moa Kids community give us.

Please make sure you check the next few events coming up and pencil them in your diary.

The Entertainment Books are here and are ready for you to purchase. Please share our post on facebook, it has the links and details connected to it, as your friends and families might like to purchase one as well.

This part is always in the reminder section, but I just want to quickly mention the amount of lost property we seem to be collecting. It is very important that all children clothes are named, as it makes it a lot easier to home. We do not have lockers at Moa Kids, so sometimes named clothes are also put on the rack. Please make sure you are checking the lost property rack regularly.

At Moa Kids one of our unique differences is, of course, how flexible we are with hours and changing days. We will continue to this when we can but it is very important parent’s call or email us to change your days or hours.  We need to know for ratio purposes and at the moment the nursery is full on some days.  I have noticed parents just change times on the role without checking. Again it shouldn’t be a problem, but we do need to know if you are planning on leaving your child longer than they are booked in. I really do appreciate your understanding around this.

You may have noticed a few new casual teachers in lately. Sue, Margie, Sarah and Sophie are now our own Moa Kids casuals, they have been a great addition to the relief team. It is always hard to try get good relief staff that can come in at a drop of a hat so it great to have these ladies come on board.  Welcome to all of you.

A few parents have asked where our good friend/reliever Ali has gone. I’m excited to let you know that Ali was successful in get the permanent breaks cover position. However, unfortunately Ali had to head back to the UK at very short notice.  We are hoping to have our wonderful Ali back with us by the end on the month. We of course miss her as much as the children, but I will keep you posted.

I hope you all have a wonderful couple of months.  I look forward to seeing you ALL at the AGM on Monday 15th May at 7pm J Remember we have a great guest speaker coming in this year. Mrs O from Redcliffs school will be discussing “School Readiness”. Please invite any friends that may be interested in this talk, the more the merrier.

Hayley

Welcome to our new families

A big welcome to Milo, Max, Florence and Celeste.  They have all started over the past two months.  It’s great to have you all join the Moa Kids family.

Farewell

We are so lucky not to have said goodbye to any of our friends over the last 2 months.

Staff News

Lots of our teachers have had well deserved breaks over the school holidays and Easter break. We are excited to have everyone back on board.

Emily is on her second placement for the year. She will be back as normal on 15th May.  Hayley and Margie will be covering for Emily in the nursery until then.

Letisha will be heading away to the Early Childhood annual conference in Wellington at the end of May.  We hope she has a wonderful time and I am sure she will come back with some great ideas.

Shay headed along to the Childspace “School Readiness” professional development a few weeks back.  She was very excited to come back and had got some great ideas.  Shay is looking forward to implementing what she has learnt into the dolphin club time.

Zoe is heading off on holiday for the first 2 weeks of June.  She is going to New York to meet a family member!  If you have any questions or queries over these two weeks please let Hayley know or email in.

Reminders

  • Moa Kids is a “nut” free zone.  Lately we have been noticing a lot of nut products coming in cashews, almonds, peanut butter sandwiches etc.  Please can you remember that we are a nut free zone when you are making your child’s lunch?
  • Moa Kids is a Healthy Heart Centre.  This year we are going for the GOLD award.  Tracy has re-done our healthy heart notice board at the centre.  Please make sure you have a look, there are some great recipes, tips and advice around children’s eating.
  • If you have any spare plastic bags.  We would love to take them off your hands.  We can never have too many.
  • It’s getting pretty chilly out there now!  Can all families please ensure there are lots of clothes for layers and a winter hat in your child’s bag.  Please ensure all clothing is named.

Governance Committee

Our next Governance Committee meeting is on Monday 15th May.  This is our AGM.  Mrs O, Redcliffs School’s new entrant teacher, is coming in to discuss “school readiness”.  The meeting will start at 7.00pm.  We would love to have some new members join us.

Nursery News

We have had lots of busy bees in the nursery over the last few months with lots of opportunities to be creative through messy play, painting, water play, playdough and lots more.  The children have all been very engaged with these activities and have been wanting more.  As you probably have seen on facebook there have been some great snaps shot of these learning experiences.

The children have been very interested in music and mat times.  These activities encourage the children to develop their listening, turning taking and social skills.

Outdoor play is very popular with the nursery children.  We will often have them lining up at the door, banging on the window at the teacher who is doing the safety check.  As if to say “hurry up”.  Outdoor activities allow the children to explore their environment and develop their gross motor skills. 

The little ride on bikes have become very popular with the children.  They are learning how to get on and off the bikes, this is great as they are working on silks such as their coordination and balance.

The children have also taken an interest in using the little brooms to help sweep leaves and sand. They are turning into such big helpers.

With the winter months upon us and the children having such a big interest in the outdoor environment, this is a great reminder to pack warm clothes and also extra’s, just in case they have a wardrobe change.

We have had great feedback on the communication notebooks. Please remember to bring them in each day, so we can fill them out for you.

Preschool News

The “all about me” project has been trucking along nicely in the preschool room.  Lots of these activities and learning experiences have been completed in the dolphin club time.  It has been a great project for the children to increase or for the new children to develop a real sense of belonging at Moa Kids.

The children have all spent time drawing self-portraits by using the mirrors. They have also done family portraits as well. These look and are fantastic so make sure you check them our when you come in, they are hanging above the cloak bay.

Our new hut at preschool has meant a big revival in the children making huts.  The children are even adding beds and blankets to their huts, they definitely are 5 star accommodation!  With the huts comes the dramatic play as well, again, this is a big interest in the preschool environment at the moment.

The construction corner is always popular at Moa Kids.  Recently the children have been spending more and more time in this area and I must say there have been some amazing towers, houses and different buildings made.

Sensory play is a great learning experience, especially with our younger children.  The green tub normally has a sensory play experience set up.  If the children see it out, they run straight over to it to see what the teachers have set up.

In March we celebrated St Patrick’s day.  It was a fun day in the preschool room with lots of green activities.  We made Irish soda bread, curly potatoes and even had green water. While the children were inside for mat time, a Leprechaun jumped over the gate and delivered gold into our playground for the children to go and find.

Then it was Easter celebrations.  On the Thursday the children again were pleasantly surprised to see bunny footprints throughout the playground. The Easter bunny had also jumped our gate and delivered eggs. I think we might have to start bringing on security with all these things happening in our playground, when we are not looking J

Over the last few weeks, the children have been busy engaging with our holiday programme. It was great to see all the children, teachers and families get involved.  We ended this with a lovely afternoon tea prepared by the children.  Thanks to all the people who came in, it was a lovely way to end the holiday program and great to meet the special people in our children’s lives.

The preschool teachers have noticed how well the children have been working together.  There has been an increase in group interactions that have been initiated and maintained by the children which is fantastic to see.

Dolphin Club News

Whooooo the Dolphin Club has been a busy little club  over the last few months.  The children just love their   time in this group.  Shay has most of the children    packed into the room come 9.30am.

The project they have been working on lately is “All about me”.  The children have really been into this project and there is some wonderful work and learning coming from it.

You may have seen the wonderful 2D creations of the children’s parents/caregivers in the preschool room.  The children worked on these for many weeks and were so pleased to be able to display them and show off their wonderful work.

The children got the opportunity to express what their favourite thing is about their parents/caregivers.  

There are some very entertaining quotes from the children, so please make sure you go and check them out.

Shay has been teaching the children their own “Mihi” They are all getting very good at this. Some of the children did a wonderful job at sharing their Mihi in front of their parents and grandparents.

They have also been learning about the importance of being a good friend and how we do that.  Shay and the children refer back to their friendship tree that they have made and which is displayed in their dolphin club room.

The children still want to take reading books home, so Shay will continue to provide and do this while they are all interested.  Just remember that there is no pressure for the children to read these. They can just take them home, share them with you and also read them together if you like. They have taken huge ownership over their reading folders, which is great to see.

What’s on?

Saturday 6th May – QUIZ NIGHT

Get your team together for a fun filled night. (7.30pm at Moa Kids)

Monday 15th May – AGM & INFORMATION EVENING

Come along and listen to Mrs O discuss school readiness (7.00pm at Moa Kids)

Sunday 21st May – TRIKE-A-THON

Bring everyone you know to our community event (10am at Moa Kids)

Check out all of the posters for more information

Children’s corner

Have you been away for a break? We love to hear about places that you and your children have been, especially exotic places or somewhere interesting.  If you have any photos and would like them displayed in our newsletter please let Zoe know.  Also, if there are any new siblings to our children we would love to share the happy news amongst our community.

Note from Zoe

Wow, it’s May!  How did that happen?

I hope you all had a fantastic Easter.  It was a big time for me over Easter as I celebrated my 40th birthday!  I managed to get away with my family to Arrowtown for a few days.  The colours down there were amazing and the weather was pretty good too.  We had a day trip in Queenstown where we went luging, Cassie absolutely loved this as did my older 2 girls!  Then we had a day in Wanaka at Puzzling World which was great fun. We also spent lots of time wandering along the river enjoying the fresh air.

It’s been great to hear about places your children have visited, they have been very descriptive in their explanations of where you went!

As you read earlier, in June I’m heading off overseas for a couple of weeks.  I am meeting my lovely cousin in Toronto then heading to Niagara Falls for a few days before flying over to New York for a few more days.  I’m going on my own so it’s going to be quite an adventure for me.  I’ll bring lots of stories and photos back to share with the children.

Lunchbox Ideas

Corn, Spinach & Bacon Muffins

Ingredients

2 tsp vegetable oil
3 bacon rashers, rind removed, finely chopped
150 g baby spinach leaves
2 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup grated tasty cheese, plus
¼ cup extra
2 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup milk
125 g butter, melted
2 x 125 g cans corn kernels, rinsed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Line a 6-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over moderate heat. Add bacon: cook stirring for 2 minutes or until browned.  Drain on paper towels.
  3. Add spinach to pan; cook stirring for 1-2 minutes or until spinach wilts.
  4. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
  5. Using hands, squeeze excess liquid from spinach; chop coarsely.  Combine spinach and bacon in a medium bowl.
  6. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add spionach and bacon mixture.
  7. Make a well in the centre of mixture.
  8. Whisk eggs, milk and butter in a medium jug; pour into flour mixture.
  9. Using a large spoon, gently fold together until just combined.
  10. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tray and sprinkle with extra tasty cheese and corn kernels.
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted at centre comes out clean.
  12. Stand muffins in tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
  13. Serve.