Aldersgate Preschool


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Ice Cream Social 2022

Saturday was our Ice Cream Social and it was so fun to see all of our families enjoying themselves! This morning the children were so excited to come in and tell us all about their favorite parts of the event. Not being able to have our Ice Cream Social last year, it made it extra special to all be together this year!

Here is a glimpse into all of the fun we had!

We want to thank all of the people that worked hard to make sure this day was a success. Thank you to Julia Willhite and the rest of our board members who organized such a great day! Thank you for organizing all of our donations, scooping ice cream, setting everything up, and so much more. Thank you to our amazing Aldersgate staff for helping set up our activities and making sure the day ran smoothly. Thank you to everyone who provided baked goods for our bake sale. We sold a record number of goodies this year! Thank you to Stepping Stones KC for providing entertainment. Our preschoolers loved being musicians!  Thank you to the boy scouts for setting up an amazing box maze, serving ice cream, and cleaning up at the end of the day!

We also want to thank all of the wonderful people and organizations who donated to our event:

360 Gymnastics

Abbott Insurance
Amazeum
Andys Frozen Custard
Anonymous Aldersgate Family
AquaTots
B&B Theaters
Backyard Specialists
Blackbob Pet Hospital
Blade and Timber
Board and Brush
Bocks Steam Star
Botanica
Bret’s Automotive
Ceramic Cafe
Charlie’s Car Wash
Chick-Fil-A
Chicken N Pickle
CocoBolos
Cosentinos
Costco Lenexa
Crown Center
Culvers
Cyndi Mawhiney
Dairy Queen
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Denver Zoo
Dick’s Sporting goods
Emery Sapp and Sons
Enterprise Bank
Exploration Place Wichita
Feeny’s Hallmark
Fetchers Play and Stay
Freddys
HyVee
Iowa Science Center
Jersey Mike’s
Johnson County Museum
Johnson County Parks and Rec
Junque Drawer
Lowes
Magic House St Louis
Main Event

MAK Management
Museum at Prairiefire
Museum of World Treasures
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Olathe Parks and Rec
Olathe Parks and Rec
Overland Park Arboretum
Paint Glaze and Fire
Paint Nail Bar
Powell Gardens
Purpose Play
QT
Rainbow Play
Rock N Brews
RoKC
Ryan Lawn
Scheels
Sedgwick Zoo
Silver Dollar City
Six Flags St Louis
Tanganyika
Tastebuds Kitchen
The Facial Bar
The Hewlett Family
The Peanut
The Roltgen Family
The Yellow Barn
Theater in the Park
Torchy’s Tacos
Tropical Smoothie
Union Station
Victory Auto Group KC
Well Wilderness
Wonderscope
Yellow Brick Bakery
Yogurtini


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A Day at Preschool

My favorite parts of my day are when I get to walk around the classrooms and see what everyone is doing. I wanted to give you all a glimpse into what a day at our preschool looks like!

Discovery Days

When I walked into our Discovery Days class this morning, they were having their work time. This is a time where kids can play and explore everything that is set up in the room. The teachers regularly switch out the toys, so there is always something new! This is a perfect time for our kids to practice their social skills as well as develop language skills. Our teachers had also set out an activity that the kids could practice stringing objects. This is a perfect activity to enhance fine motor skills and strengthen their hand muscles!

After work time, our Discovery Days class had circle time. Each child has a spot with a symbol that they know is their own to sit on during story time. Our class read a fun story about a tractor and they even got to help act out the story!

Preschool Lite was learning about magnets today. Each child had an object and had to guess whether it was magnetic or not. Then they got to test their object to see if their prediction was correct. It was fun for them all to try a magnetic object so they could test out what a magnetic pull feels like!

After their magnet activity, Preschool Lite transitioned into snack time. They first said the “Superman Prayer” to thank God for their food. They all had to watch for their name to see when it was their time to wash their hands. Our two and three year olds are doing a great job with name recognition! When it was their turn, each child washed their hands and found a seat to have their snack. This helps to foster independence in our young kids. Ms. Michelle made delicious and healthy chocolate chip cookies that our kids all enjoyed!

Yellow

Our Yellow class has started their cooking unit. Last week they made chef hats, and this week our kids were able to make their own pizzas! Through this activity, our three and four year olds are able to practice following a recipe and following directions. It is also a lot of fun! Our kids loved getting to eat their own pizzas as a snack today!

Later in the morning, our Yellow class broke up into two small groups. While one group enjoyed eating their pizzas, the other group went to large motor. They used scooters to have a pizza relay!

Blue

When I first walked into the Blue class, they were in the middle of their morning circle time. This is the perfect time for our classes to build a strong community and empathy for each other. They also reinforce skills they have been working on during this time. Our four year olds graphed which art supplies they like to use.

After morning circle, they transitioned into two small groups. One group read the story for the day, while the other group worked on their journals. Both our Red and Blue class have writing journals that they work on throughout the whole school year. Today’s journal page went along with the book Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton. Our kids got to make a coat of many colors and decide who to give it to. We love to see what our kids come up with on their journal pages!

Red

Our Red class has just started their 5 senses unit. This unit is full of science experiments, so I was excited to witness one today! Our Red class was experimenting with dry ice today. They learned about how dry ice gives off carbon dioxide and they saw how dry ice reacts to different elements.

After their science experiment, our Red class broke into small groups. One group was reading a story about our five senses. The other two were playing different games to help them learn early reading and early math skills. The first game involved matching objects to the letter sound it starts with. The second game involved estimating how many beans were in an egg and then counting and writing the correct number of beans on a white board. Both of these games involved learning while playing and having fun!

Here are some more fun things that were happening at preschool today!


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Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins!

We have been having so much fun with pumpkins this fall. Our preschoolers have been enjoying being able to explore pumpkins in many different ways.

There are many great experiments to do with pumpkins. We enjoyed making a chemical reaction inside of a pumpkin and predicting if a pumpkin will sink or float.

Exploring the inside of a pumpkin is very exciting for our young scientists.

Our preschoolers have loved doing sensory activities with our pumpkins. Pumpkin pounding has been very popular at Aldersgate Preschool for many years. We love putting pumpkin items in our sensory tables too.

Of course, we have to do pumpkin art!

We love pumpkins in preschool! What are some fun things you have done with pumpkins this fall?


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Fall Festival Fun!

Last night we had our Fall Festival and it was wonderful to see so many preschool families having fun together! It was a beautiful night to be able to celebrate Fall! Here is a recap of the night:

Our teachers served a hot dog meal and families had a picnic all together.

We had carnival games where kids were able to win prizes!

Our families had fun working on crafts and pumpkin pounding together!

It was fun to see kids being active on our obstacle course and with the parachute.

We even got to enjoy the pumpkin patch!

Thank you to everyone who came to our Fall Festival! A special thanks to our teachers for helping make this a fun evening for everyone. It makes our hearts happy to see so much joy on our preschoolers’ faces!


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Music To Her Ears

Aldersgate director, Cyndi Mawhiney, retired at the end of the last school year (May 2021). Cyndi brought many things to our preschool, but one she will always be remembered for is her love for music. During her time at Aldersgate, Cyndi built a music garden on our playground. Last year Aldersgate decided to honor Cyndi’s retirement with new musical instruments in the music garden. With generous donations from our families and church members, we were so excited to be able to add a thunder wall and musical flower to the playground!

We have loved watching children enjoy these new instruments this first week back to school! Whenever we see children playing in the music garden, we will know that Cyndi’s musical influence will continue to grow at Aldersgate.


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Life Starts Getting Good

As you know, my last day at Aldersgate Preschool is rapidly approaching. I have been feeling very nostalgic about it. I have had many people ask me if I am anxious for this next step in my life. I do look forward to having more time with my family (with the addition of our two newest ones we now have 6 grandkids), working in my garden, reading, finding somewhere to volunteer, and taking many trips (I especially love travelling in the spring and fall). Major milestones like this, however, always get me thinking and looking back at my life.

I remember our early years in marriage and raising young kids. I absolutely loved those years! As you can imagine, I loved molding our family and forming our children’s lives. I did home daycare so we often had up to 10 children at a time. I remember music shows we put on, carnivals for the neighborhood kids, 4th of July parades, and so much more. Those are the big moments. I also remember the day to day. Playing and playing for hours, digging in the sandbox, singing together, gathering with the neighborhood kids to play each afternoon, reading books and then more books, so much cuddle time, . . . . I also remember the harder times; the times I wished the kids would finally be in bed. the times I shoved the kids at my husband when he came home. the squabbles and tantrums (usually from the kids but I have to admit I’ve thrown a few in my day.) While I appreciated the chance to be home with my kids I also wished for more. We were very tight financially and I often thought my life would be so much better if/when we had . . . or could do . . .

I remember our kids school years. I was still doing daycare for some of it so we did those extra things like a food fight on the driveway, a neighborhood Olympics, wading kickball games, lots of sleep-overs, themed birthday parties and more. I also remember our kids probably watched way to much TV. I remember wondering if I was doing enough. We still didn’t have much money so I thought our kids were missing out because we couldn’t take big vacations, give our middle child the horse riding lessons she begged for . . . We couldn’t live in the big houses many of their friends lived in. Again, I wished for so much. I was sure those things would make my life better.

As our kids have grown and began their own careers and families, I have truly enjoyed becoming friends with them and not just their mom. I’ll admit I may feel that friendship thing more than they do – you know I’m cool enough to be their friend. (right?) Again, though, I have walked through that time wishing for more; more free time to do whatever I wanted, the ability to do extravagant things for the kids and to just worry less. (You know, are the kids going to find their best place in life?, college, weddings . . .)

I have been at Aldersgate Preschool since April 2002. That’s a long time. Truly my time here has been fabulous! I’ve enjoyed the special projects like building a playground, adapting to technology needs as they arose, building a large store of supplies and equipment for our teachers and so many more. I have especially enjoyed the day to day things; playing with kids, laughing at the things they say (almost daily), watching children grow in skills, building relationships with kids and families, working with people I adore and respect, hearing a child’s first question about God and so much more. I have always had wishes for more too, though. I just new a few things would make this job perfect; a handyman or custodian on site (I wouldn’t have learned to replace a toilet flapper though), rooms with bathrooms connected to them, a human resource department to ask questions about staff issues, etc.

I heard a new song recently that really caught my attention; Getting Good, by Lauren Alaina. I’ll attach it below but here are a few of the lyrics:

Once I fall in love, then I’ll be happy
But then you fall in love and there’s still a hole
Once I get some money, it’ll all be easy
But then you get that money, you still feel broke

Once I get a little older, I won’t worry
Then you get older and it don’t feel like it should
I’m thinking once I learn to grow right where I’m planted
Maybe that’s when life starts getting good

This caused me to pause again: to rethink my life, to look back and truly appreciate the good that I had, to accept the phase I am in and just ENJOY. I encourage each of you to grow right where you are planted! Enjoy the moment and phase of life you are in.

I have often told our preschool parents to enjoy these days because they will go by sooo fast!

The song ends with these words.

I’m thinking once I learn to soak up every moment
I’ll realize my life’s already good


I’ll realize my life’s already good
Thank God that my life’s already good

And truly, it is good!

My years at Aldersgate have flown by. I have been blessed to play a small part in so many children’s lives. Many people have said I gave so much to Aldersgate Preschool but I definitely feel like this place, these kids, our staff (so many over the years) and our families (again, so many) have blessed me!

Yes, retirement will be good but all my years before have been exceptional. Each of you played a part in making them great!

For my own benefit I am including a few of my favorite pictures from my years here. Thank you for all the wonderful memories.


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Summertime Fun!

It is hard to believe that summer is almost here! Here are some ideas to keep you busy while school is out.

Things to do Outside

  • Ice Blocks– Freeze water with plastic toys in a clean milk carton (add food coloring optional) Allow child to use plastic hammer to chip ice to get the “goodies” out
  • Wash the Dishes– Fill a plastic tub with water and have child wash plastic dishes outside. Provide soap, sponges, and towels to dry.
  • Mining for Gold– Spray some small rocks with gold or silver paint and bury in your child’s sandbox or dirt in the yard. Using shovels, your child can dig for treasure.
  • Transparent Painting– Hang a clear, plastic tablecloth to your fence and using washable tempera paints, your child can use the sheet as a canvas.
  • Car Wash– Set up a car wash area for your child to wash their riding cars and tricycles using sponges and shallow dishes of soapy water
  • Sheet Painting– With an old sheet and spray bottles full of colored water (liquid tempera paint works great), allow your child to spray paint their creations.
  • Rock Collecting– Give your child empty egg cartons to hunt for rocks. Provide newspaper, small containers of water, washable tempera paint, and brushes for them to paint their rocks. (Parents can use clear nail polish as a top coat to make them shine)

Places to Visit

Favorite Parks


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Enrichment: what is it?

Enrich: /in'(verb)

to improve the quality of something by adding something else

We currently offer Enrichment options to our MW 3’s, Blue and Red classes. Next year our Preschool Lite class will also have this option. So what exactly is it?

This additional day gives teachers a chance to offer more activities that enhance the learning that is already happening in the children’s regular classes. While the curriculum is definitely age appropriate, it isn’t tied to the curriculum topics that are planned in their other class days. Our teacher’s cover things that are important to them and to their kids. This opens up a wide variety of subjects and ideas to delve into. The lessons focus on science, literacy, drama, cooking or art with each lesson. Our typical classes offer opportunities in these areas as well, however these additional classes give us a chance to do so even more. Our Enrichment classes offer that “something else” that improves or enriches the learning that is already happening.

Let’s take a glimpse into their days through pictures.


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Adjusting to a School Year of Change

Although many things are different this school year at Aldersgate Preschool, we have learned that not all change is bad. We are happy that our preschool has been able to remain open this school year and our kids are loving being able to play and learn with their friends!

Our children have been resilient to all of the changes, and we hope to be a place full of love and consistency for our kids and families during uncertain times.

We are so thankful for our wonderful teachers who have handled this year with such grace! The joy our teachers have while being with children is seen even under their masks.

We want to thank all of our families for being so supportive during this school year!


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Boundaries: the gift of security

“Give your child choices.” “Allow children to exert influence over their own lives.” “When children make choices it builds their self-esteem.”

These are all phrases we are familiar with in this era of parenting. I, too, believe these statements. However, I believe all of this should be framed within the boundaries of clear limits. These limits ultimately give our children a sense of security and a knowledge of being cared for and loved.

To understand what I mean, picture yourself driving a car in a world with no limits. No rules. At first the freedom of driving at whatever speed you desire, stopping when it makes sense to you, etc. sounds like a dream come true. (My husband would agree that I would like this – I admit I have a heavy foot.) Then, reality would most likely set in. You might approach an intersection unsure of who is stopping and who is going. Personally, the security of knowing I can cross an intersection confident others are stopping. Imagine how insecure you would feel otherwise.

Just as the rules for traffic help us feel confident as we travel life’s roads, I believe boundaries offer that same sense of security to children.

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Even though every child’s goal in life seems to be to exert as much influence as they can in all aspects of their life. They seem to think, “If I don’t get my way I can, and will, throw a fit or keep whining until I get my way.” Why not, at 2, 3 and 4 years of aget the world revolves around yourself – right? Again this is all true. Children feel this way and test the boundaries that are set around them. Often! It’s what they are wired to do – and some more than others.

As parents and the adults in children’s lives, however, we are called to set limits that help children grow – feeling safe and secure. It sure sounds nice to let your child help decide what preschool he or she likes, if he or she wears a coat in cold weather, etc….. Instead, parents should set a consistent bedtime. (It actually helps there body get into a rhythm.) Parents should deicde that school is a priority so we are going today. Parents should decide when it is time to leave the park. And on it goes.

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Yes, children need choices. Yes, children need some influence of their lives. Let children have those things for the little things. Children can make choices within the boundaries: How are we going to bed tonight, crawl up the stairs or hop down the hall? After a reminder from parents that it is almost time to leave the playground, children can decide if they want three more pushes on the swing or one more time down the big slide.

I know, I am making it sound easier than it is. Truly, I remember the days of trying to decide if this was an issue I needed to make a firm boundary. I had a child who was a “Tantrum Expert.” Untilmately I believe she grew into the strong, capable woman she is today BECAUSE she was allowed choices but always encased within clear limits. Sometimes it was not convenient for me. Often I questioned myself. I believed in my gut, though, that she would benefit from knowing that I was the parent and she was the child. Today, as an adult, she is also my friend. I belive that is the privilege we parents experience once our children are grown in to adults. That is OUR gift.

Right now you have the opportunity, and I believe the duty, to give your child the gift of boundaries. Megan and I will gladly be your cheerleader. If your child is testing those boundaries especially hard, give us a call. Hopefully we can ease the burden, give you the strength to hold firm, or even make you laugh in the midst of the “storm.” My sister did that often for me and it helped me so much. We will gladly pass on the gift of support to you.

Cyndi Mawhiney