OCPCC is open again but with reduced hours and fewer children that we had before the pandemic struck. During the lockdown period Early Ed teachers and staff provided plenty of online fun and learning using emails, videos, and online connections.

We’ve kept some of these materials here to amuse the children who haven’t been able to return to us. Keep watching this space for updated information.

Outreach for the Bunnies (0-2 years old)

Becca is the lead teacher of the “bunnies” our very youngest group aged 6 weeks – 2 years. She emails the families every week and carries out zoom meetings. Here are some of Becca’s suggestions to keep the little ones occupied.  

https://www.tootsmomistired.com/22-easy-low-prep-toddler-activities/

https://talesofamessymom.com/category/crafts-and-activities/

And a few more ideas:

With spring here, and nicer weather, I can’t wait to get outside more! The kids and I have a garden every year, with a pond nearby. I thought I would send along some ideas involving outside play, mud, and gardening.

Muddy Cars and Trucks with a Car Wash

All you need is a bucket or tote with some water and kid-safe soap, med-large toy vehicles, washcloths, and dirt. You can dump some water on the dirt to make mud if there isn’t any, then show the little ones how it’s done (don’t have too much fun haha).

This part should keep them busy for a while. Who doesn’t love driving through the mud? You can then fill the bucket or tote (make sure it is only a small one, not the large size due to drowning possibilities) with water and soap. Show your little one how to wash the mud off with a washcloth, or by dipping it in the water.

This may also help keep little ones busy if you have some outside things to do. We wash our baby dolls baby dolls like this a lot at the center, and it’s a favorite activity. You could also use paint instead of mud.

Veggies, Flowers, Pots, and Soil

This is a great activity for future gardeners! All you need is some organic kid-safe soil, larger sized plastic or wooden fruits and veggies, fake flowers (make sure they aren’t a choking hazard), some pots, and some kid friendly gardening tools. You just show your little one how to put the soil in the pots with tools, then you can ”plant” the veggies, fruits, and flowers. I’m sure they will spend more time tasting and playing in the soil, but it’s a wonderful activity for growing brains!

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Today I am going to include a couple simple activity ideas, using household items, below, I hope it helps with boredom!

Muffin Sheet Fun

All you need for this simple activity is some larger size balls or objects (you can even use toilet paper rolls cut in half) that will fit inside the cups on a muffin sheet. If you put the objects in th

cups, your little one will take them out, then probably try to put them back in. Hopefully, this activity will keep them engaged for several minutes.

Pulling Up Tape

This one is super simple; all you need is painter’s tape. You just take a long piece off and stick it to the floor. Your child will try to peel it off. I’m sure it will keep them busy for a while! Please make sure they are supervised in case the tape gets eaten;).

Plastic Cube Stacking

When little ones get bored with their blocks, use cups. The red solo cups work really well for this activity. Just give your child about ten of them, and they will have a blast! It’s easy clean up, also.

Outreach for the Chipmunks (Toddlers)

This week Cheryl, lead teacher of this class, sent an email about how to incorporate a great developmental skill of scooping and pouring into a fun activity to do outside or in.

She wrote:

“Gather a bin or container, go to your pantry and find something that could go into the bin/container (pasta, oatmeal, rice, etc.)  Look around the kitchen to gather spoons, cups, or other kinds of scoops.

Put onto the floor with a cloth or such under it to make clean up easy and have fun and enjoy. You could also add animals or vehicles to the mix.” 

Last week Cheryl sent a video of herself reading the book The Very Busy Spider, which had been a favorite of all the Chipmunks the last time they were all together. 

Cheryl has also been documenting three Robin eggs in a nest and sharing photos with the families. This past week there were photos of the newly hatched baby birds!

Outreach to the Bears and the Foxes (3-5 year olds)

This group includes the children who receive public pre-kid programming Hannah and Casey are the lead pre-school teachers. Here is what they sent out this week:

And here’s Casey reading the Story The Foot by Dr Seuss

Virtual Playgroups

Every week, virtual playgroups are posted for community families who usually attend our playgroups in Randolph, Bradford, Bethel and South Royalton but ANY family can access the twice weekly emails sent by Sarah Wright, Director of our Early Education Program.

For more information about virtual playgroups and some fun stories that you can share with your children click HERE