Monday, 31 March 2014

It's Spring?!

It's hard to tell when you look out the window but it is, in fact, spring time! March came in like a lion and is showing no signs of going out like a lamb so we've had to Spring-ify from the inside out. Over Spring Break we were busy rotating toys and getting the classrooms all set up for the new theme.

Our tree is reflecting what we hope will happen soon, there's no snow! We'll be talking a lot about grass coming back, flowers starting to grow, leaves budding on trees, and the return of our insect friends this month.

The imaginary play area is set up as a garden store so the kids can pretend to plant their own gardens. We have rain boots, rain jackets, gardening gloves, fruits and vegetables, rakes, watering cans, and a little cashier table set up.

We have a sensory table set-up with sand to dig and rake in and lots of bugs to bury and make tracks in the sand with.

The wall has been covered in bees and butterflies so the kids can work on some coordination and strength skills by swatting flies. This one is also great for colour and size identification.
When it's time to change classrooms the kids can hop across the hall following our trail of lily pads and rocks between the Sun Room and Tree Room.

Our dress-up centre has lots of rain jackets and rubber boots. The kids can practice putting on and taking off all of their outside clothes and even target buttons, snaps, and zippers.

The book shelves have all been stocked with a ton of books all about bugs, flowers, baby animals, Easter, and spring.

We've also started with a bit of Easter celebration by setting up our other sensory table as an Easter egg hunt. The kids can work on colour identification and counting and some of the eggs even have surprises in them. We've also put out some nets, baskets, and bunny ears to help them with the hunt.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Green Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Conveniently our colour of the month is green. We're all hopeful that we'll be seeing more of it on the ground soon (and less white). While the kids always remember to show up in their best colour coordinated outfits on our colour days, the staff aren't always so reliable, so this month we decided to take advantage of the green themed holiday and declare St. Patty's day Green Day at STA. Needless to say, it was astonishingly successful.

The kiddos are all looking great in their shades of green. Some of them have had to search a little harder than others to make sure they have some green on but that's made for great natural conversation. The little alligator featured below is a personal favorite of how we've made it work.

Some other exciting news to share... I learned that Canyon Meadows cinemas in Calgary offer Autism-friendly movie screenings. They make considerations like pre-bought tickets to avoid line-ups, medium lighting and sound, and the option to move around and make noise during the movie. Got a kid that might need to flap their arms in the aisle a bit? Or maybe one that likes to sing or echo? That's all ok! I think it's wonderful to see the community finding ways to accommodate for our kiddos. You can find more information here:

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Our plates are full

At Kids Club this week we're discussing the types of food that might go on our plates. Our craft lets the kids create a meal and they are loving it! We start with a blank place setting for each kiddo and then let them choose what they want to add. They pick a drink, milk, water, or apple juice, and then select the rest of their meal. They can choose a main component (chicken, pizza, burger, spaghetti, hot dog, etc.) and then some healthy sides from a pretty big selection of fruits and veggies. This let's them work on requesting but also gives our kiddos that have a hard time with meals a chance to see the different things that can go on their plate. It's lots of fun to see what they've been picking out.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Now that all the excitement of airplanes from last week has died down we can go back to discussing the important things, like food.

Our kids club craft last week was plates of spaghetti and meatballs. We took some paper plates and had the kids paint on some red for tomato sauce. Next they added some white glue and yellow yarn for spaghetti. Last, some brown pompoms for meatballs.

Looks good enough to eat, am I right?

Friday, 7 March 2014


After our amazing field trip to West Jet yesterday we decided to make our own airplanes!

We used some clothespins and glued on tongue depressors for wings and a popsicle stick for the tail and then let the kids decorate them.

 The final products were amazing, as always. We all had a great time pretending to fly our little airplanes around the classroom.

We added some magnet strip to the back so that the kiddos can land their art on the fridge at home.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

West Jetters

Today was our West Jet field trip and I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or the staff. It was GREAT! We went all the way up to the West Jet campus at YYC and were taken on a wonderful tour of their hangars.

The kids got to explore the outside of the plane first and learned all about the nose, engine, wheel wells and cargo storage. They got to stick their heads inside the wheel wells and then checked out where the cats and dogs get to fly. For some of them it was their first time being so close to a real airplane, for most of the adults it was our first time getting to stand right below it (so cool!!!!).

After the outside was thoroughly explored we got to climb the stairs and board a plane in for cleaning. The kids each took a seat, buckled their seat belts and were welcomed aboard by a real West Jet flight attendant! We all took turns (yes, adults too) sitting in the captain's seat and checking out the controls.

 We had such a wonderful visit and experience at West Jet today. The little ones were all way too excited to come back and share their stories. One little guy ran all over the offices telling anyone that would listen about "this morning I went to the airport and saw a West Jet airplane!!"

We'd like to send a huuuuuuuge thank you to everyone at West Jet that was so friendly and accommodating. We are truly grateful to have had such an amazing day.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


March is already here. Crazy. Time seems to go by especially fast at STA with all of things we have going on every day.

With the new month we've brought in another new theme: food. I'm beginning to realize that I say this every month, but our kids really love food and kitchen play so they're enjoying this theme.

We have a small restaurant area set up, complete with STA diner menus! The kids can take turns pretending to be restaurant patrons ordering food, or being waiters serving food. This is great practice for the real world when they go out with their families too as it gives them an opportunity to work through the routine of eating out.

Our sensory table has been drained of water and filled with beans and lentils and all kinds of gardening toys. I also see a zebra in there...

We have some fruit manipulative out for the kiddos who are working on counting, sorting, patterning, or identifying colours.

Our reading corner has been decorated with some giant fruit hanging from the ceiling.

We have this amazing game set up by the OT department, it comes along with some felt fruit bean bags that the kids can try to throw through the holes. Hugh props to Tina who put in a lot of work sewing and designing this.

The imaginary play area has been turned into a grocery store. There's a little cart and shopping baskets that the kids can fill with all kinds of food packaging. We spent the last month saving up boxes and jars that were cleaned out and taped together for this fun area.

And there's this! It's not exactly food themed but we love it anyways. Don, our incredibly handy handyman built us this drawing board. It has two pains of plexi glass in the frame. It allows the kids to draw what they see, draw with a friend on the other side, or create an imaginary scene. It is so cool and everyone, adults included, has been having a lot of fun with it.