Just a few little stories of life at Southern Stars. You can find more on our Facebook page!
Biking at Southern Stars
An important focus for our children at Southern Stars is Moving to Learn - ensuring that all the children in the Southern Stars whanau are supported and encouraged to participate in activities that develop and strengthen their gross motor muscles - their leg, upper body/arm and core (tummy) muscles.
We aim to get outside as much as possible to support the climbing, running, hanging and swinging from monkey bars, and biking which are great activities that children can do to achieve this, and we are lucky that we have such a large outside area to use.
Biking is one of the most popular pastimes outside, especially since we are right next door to the Pump Track, as watching older children and adults zooming round the track provides some incentive to practice and progress from 3 wheelers, to balance bikes, bikes with trainer wheels, and the ultimate 2 wheels only! The bottom area can sometimes seem pretty crazy with bikes and riders of varying abilities circling the big playground. It is pretty awesome to watch - most times the riders only need to be reminded once to all ride the same direction - arrows drawn on the mats help everyone remember to follow the direction of the arrows if there seems to be compliance issues! And the riders get very good at tight manoeuvres as they avoid discarded bikes, scooters, and other toys - we are very impressed with the quick thinking!
The mud hill is also a popular place to be with the bikes - the children have discovered it is lots of fun to drag your bike up to the top and coast downhill - there is often a group of bikers, with a range of different bikes, congregating on the hill and taking turns to zoom down! Very social, and a place where friends are made and friendships nurtured!
The ultimate reward for all the hours of practicing riding a 2 wheeler is to go on a Southern Adventures Bike Trip on the Lake-to Lake trail - awesome fun and a great celebration for the cyclists before they go to school!
The Bug Man
On Wednesday some of our Southern Adventurers and 4 oldest Explorers went over to the Event Centre to see Ruud Kleinpaste (the BugMan) who was visiting Te Anau, and talking to teachers and school children.
Ruud had a collection of spiders, weta, and a display case for us to see some more unusual insects. Everyone was very interested - some more than others!
It was great to get up close and personal, especially with the big weta - we often find weta during Adventures - but they are not this big!
Thanks to Alessandra and Kids Restore the Kepler for organising Ruud's visit! He is very inspirational and passionate about insects and conservation and is great at getting everyone enthused about bugs! Needless to say we had a few bug hunts that afternoon!
Art and Creativity
Providing resources so that our Southern Stars children have the opportunity to draw, write, and create art work happens on a daily basis. Children have free access to coloured pens, pencils and paper, and if they want to paint the teachers provide paint and brushes, although most times fingers and hands get used as tools as well.
But this is ok, because exploring the properties of paint is part of the creative process, and can provide a great touching, feeling and colour experience, especially for the younger children. The expression on their face as they work with their painted fingers to transform the paper into a colourful work of art, or their hands to change colour completely and then be able to wash off to normal skin colour again, is priceless.
We are so lucky for **** to have been a part of the amazing Southern Stars team before heading to big school. We love the mix of culture, environmental, play, art and learning etc. The kids love going to 'stars'. Thank you!
Such a great adventure! So blessed to live somewhere where you can do this, and that Southern Stars allows such awesome activities.
Whānau connections: We use Educa, a free New Zealand app to connect with caregivers, collaborate and share your children’s work with you. Click to find out more...