TINY EXPLORERS

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These classes are for:
1- 3 YEAR OLDS (WITH AN ADULT) OR 2-3 YEAR OLDS AT SCHOOLS

Unlike our other classes where the aim is to complete an arts & crafts project in the allotted time, these classes follow a simple ‘recipe’ of activities that are repeated in every class. Repetition is very important for this age group! Follow a few of these steps in every class. The steps are explained below.

** Choking hazards **

Please be EXTREMELY aware of choking hazards for children under 3. Do not bring beads or cut straws (smaller than 3cm), or small items to any class and only use large crayons. When they have to tear and stick paper, also make sure that it is bigger pieces. Please think about this at all times, and follow your own common sense when you prep and present a class.


THE ‘recipe’/ PROCESS

Keep an eye on the time and leave games out if needed. Do not rush the children to get through everything. It must be a relaxed and fun experience.


MOLLY GAMES
Pick one [3-5 minutes]
Hot or Cold: Hide Molly before the class starts. Ask the children to search for Molly and give them guidance by saying if they are hot or cold.

Do an action: Molly to do an action (hop up and down, twirl around) and everyone must copy it. Now the other way around (go around the circle), everyone gets a turn to do an action and everyone including Molly must copy it.

I spy.. Molly plays ‘I spy’ with everyone.

My name is…. Every child gets a turn to hold Molly and to say something about themselves. My name is Ben and I am tall, My name is Henry and I like to paint etc.

Over and under: Everyone in a line. First take Molly and assist the children to pass her over their heads to the person behind them. Now start at the front again and pass Molly through their legs, all the way to the back. Now again, this time, over and the next person under, over and under... 

Toilet roll binoculars: Hide Molly (let her peek out a little bit). Hand out 2 toilet rolls per child and let them look through the toilet rolls and see if they can find Molly.


SONG | THE GREETING SONG (Remember to include Molly in this song!)
[3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the class]
What?
The greeting song signals the start of the class. Let you guests form in a circle on the floor before you begin. Write down the words to the song and stick it on the wall so that everyone can sing along. Go around and call out each child’s name. “Where is [name of child]? , where is [name of child]? There he is. There he is. Ready for Canvas Club? Ready for Canvas Club? Yes I am! Yes I am!” 

Make movements and act it out when you sing the song. Where? (right hand above your eyes, searching), There (point to the person), Ready (make a big “are you ready?” with your hands and arms) Yes I am (Everyone hands and fists up in the air, Yes I am! Yes I am!)

Waar is [naam van die kind]? , waar is [naam van die kind]? Daar is hy. Daar is hy.. Is jy reg vir Canvas Club? Is jy reg vir Canvas Club? Ja ek is! Ja ek is!”  Vader Jakob se deuntjie
Why? The song introduces everyone to each other and lets the children feel extremely important and proud when everyone sings out their names.


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SONG | THE CANVAS CLUB SONG
[3-5 minutes] Download the song here
What?
Blow bubbles while your guests sing and dance along with the Canvas Club song. Write down the words to the song and stick it on the wall so that everyone can sing along. “Another day at Canvas Club to all our friends we say hello… hello… hello, hello, hello. Making art is lots of fun, it’s time to learn and grow.”
Fun facts to call out in class (if adults attends) : Watching bubbles is great fun for children and even though it sounds simple, this entertaining activity has important roles in cognitive and physical development. Watching bubbles coming out and seeing how they pop, the little ones are learning about cause and effect. Following, crawling, walking, reaching and trying to catch and pop bubbles helps toddlers strengthen muscles and develop gross motor skills.


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CREATIVE CRAFTING TIME
[10-20 minutes]
What? Create a new craft in every class.
Why?
Because in a Canvas Club crafts, you’ll never get away without getting your hands dirty and creating something awesome!

Engage with the children, get to know them, ask them questions about the craft that they are making.

Please be VERY VERY aware of choking hazards! NO SMALL BEADS, STRAWS OR CHOCKING ITEMS, EVER. Remember to always have consent forms signed as well (also for open/ demo days and parties, for every child).
Callout fun facts in class (if adults attend). Found at the OT (Occupational Therapist) download.
Save and share the OT (Occupational Therapist) info with the parents on your WhatsApp or email group after class, along with a few photos. Please do not share the OT writeup on social media, its only for WhatsApp and email for parents only.


PLAY MUSIC

Download music on Spotify or Google Play: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/20pNxbxNNc4Uj2dFu6Sdtn?

BABY SHARK

Learn the moves & teach the children. This is also a great song to play with shakers (if shakers are made). Be warned, over 5 year olds may think that it is for “babies”, ask them up-front “who would like to dance to baby shark?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqZsoesa55w

THE GRAND OLD DUKE OF YORK

Start marching, first in one place, then in a circle. Teach the children the moves…. “UP” (hands up), “DOWN” (touch your feet) and “MIDDLE”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5LgybHRDeI

Why? It is fun


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CHOOSE ONE GAME IF THERE IS TIME. YOU CAN REPEAT THESE IN CLASSES.

GAMES OPTION 1: HANGER GAMES
[3-5 minutes] If they battle with this game, do it again next week, and the week after. Before you know it they will be little hanger game experts.
What? Play one or all three hanger activities depending on the ages present in class:

  1. 1- 1,5 Years: create bows with ribbons on a hanger, hand out a hanger to each child. Let the little children pull the ribbon to loosen the bow. Let the adult tie it again and see if child can pull it loose again. 

  2. 1,5 - 2,5 Years: Tie a piece of wool to a table or window and hold (or ask an adult to hold) the other side a few meters apart. Guide the children to hang the hangers up on the line. You will see how they improve with this game over time.

  3. 2,5 Years and up: Add another step of complexity. See if they can hang a hanger on an existing hanger on the line. Now use your LEFT HAND!

Fun facts to call out in class: This is an easy exercise to do with your child at home, to encourage the development of gross and fine motor skills.

GAMES OPTION 2: CUP GAMES

GAMES OPTION 3: RICE GAMES

For smaller children hand out 3 cups and see if they can stack 3. Try again next week. You will see how they improve over time.

If they enjoy playing in the rice, allow them! Don’t rush it.

GAMES OPTION 2: SHAVING CREAM GAMES

Hand out a dinner plate. Add a blob of shaving cream in each childs hands, let the children play with it. “What do you feel?” Now let them smudge it onto the dinner plate. Now hand out a block of ice. “What do you feel?” put it on the dinner plate and play with it in the shaving cream. Use a large towel to clean hands, smell how good it smells… mmmmm


SONG | THE CLEAN UP SONG
[2-3 minutes]
What?
Children to help pack the cups or hangers away while the clean up song plays. Play it a few times until it’s all cleaned up.

Why? Organising objects is a natural part of a child’s development and provide significant benefits to both physical and mental development


SONG | WRAP UP, WIND DOWN AND GOOD BYE
[5 minutes]
What? After much excitement, start with basic stretching. This is a great gross motor skill activity and will get everyone relaxed to go home. Touch your toes, hold it, now touch the sky, touch your toes, hold it, now touch the sky. Sit on your bum, legs out and tuck your legs into a ball, legs out, now make a ball. Now spread your legs apart into a V. Touch one foot, now stretch over and touch the other foot. End with making a ball and breathing in and out and in and out.

Put on “Twinkle twinkle little star”. Let everyone lay on their backs and wind down to the gentle music (hands up in the air and making stars and playing with little fingers, let adult and child hold hands and cuddle). The ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ song signals the end of the class.
Why? Special cuddle and bonding time for adult and baby,  take a moment to say thank you, wind down and appreciate the time spent together. “A child with a secure bond has the self esteem and confidence to explore the world from a secure base.” 

https://www.babysense.com/advice-and-tips/baby/ages-and-stages/mom-and-dad/what-is-bonding-and-why-is-it-important/


SHARE A FEW PHOTOS AND THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST WRITE-UP WITH PARENTS AFTER CLASS


Important notes to consider:

  1. We recommend smaller groups of maximum 8 to 12.

  2. Practise makes perfect, just like baking a cake - the more you practise the recipe the easier is becomes and the more perfect the end result it - invite your friends and their little ones for a few practise classes before you launch your classes to the public.

  3. Please remember to let the children do the crafting themselves. Stand in front and explain steps in an interactive and fun way. We do not want to see ‘perfect’ crafts, there is no right or wrong; if they want to use black paint, let them use black paint, if they don’t want to stick an eye, then their monster does not need an eye.

  4. Since music plays an important role in these classes you would need a bluetooth speaker.

  5. Have a changing station for diapers at your studio and discuss this upfront with schools. That a carer at the school can take care of dirty nappies.