Our Programs

Learning Lab

Learning Lab

Wilmington Friends is excited to share a free program each Thursday for children 18-36 months and their parents/caregivers. While we are all at home doing our part in the fight against COVID-19 and engaged in remote learning, we are pleased to offer Learning Lab activities for you to try at home.

    • Music Mystery Musician


Play Mystery Musician
One of the favorite music class activities for our preschool Kangas and Roos is Mystery Musician.  Each music day, one special friend hides behind the mystery curtain and plays an instrument. The other friends, using their terrific listening skills, try to figure out what the instrument is.  Does it sound like metal or wood or plastic? Is the friend shaking it or banging it? Is it loud or quiet? Have we heard it, or something like it, before? This is a great game to play at home with your family to develop auditory discrimination skills.  
See if you can guess which instrument Teacher Liza is playing!
The Learning Lab is taught by WFS preschool and pre-kindergarten Music and Movement teacher Liza Conces. Liza has been a teacher and teacher trainer in Early Childhood Education for 15 years. Her focus is on play-based learning and joyful exploration for both children and parents/caregivers.
 
Learning Lab - Try at Home Activities
 
Thursday, May 14, 2020
 
Dear Learning Lab friends (old and new!),

In today's story, our young friend, with the best of intentions, makes a big mess in the kitchen.  Mom and Dad enter looking very surprised!  While we are busy turning the page, Mom and Dad are busy taking a deep breath and re-centering themselves to give their child a great big hug and say, "Don't worry about a thing.  Every little thing is gonna be alright."  Go Mom and Dad!  that is what we always hope we will do, right?  Even though we sometimes lose our cool as parents, messes happen, and as long as we have that page-turning moment to take a deep breath, we can help our child learn how to admit to mistakes and, most importantly, how to clean up.
 
Spending time together in the kitchen can be a challenge for every parent of young children.  My thoughts are that the younger we help our kids learn practical life skills in the kitchen, the less stressful this will be for adults. Two-year-olds are very capable kitchen helpers!  Here are a few thoughts to work on this spring and summer:
 
1. Setting the table, counting the silverware, setting out placemats, folding the napkins, putting the salt and pepper, or even a centerpiece together.  Deciding if you will have dinner by candlelight can also be the job of the table-setter even if they can't yet light the candles themselves.
 
2. Making toast in the toaster and buttering the toast (work on that pincer grip with the tongs to safely get the toast out of the toaster)
 
3. Set up a spot on a lower shelf in the pantry and in the refrigerator with snacks that your children can get for themselves.  
 
4. Counting out the ingredients for you while cooking.  3 eggs.  2 cups of chocolate chips.  5 cherry tomatoes.
 
5. Cutting and decorating cookies or bananas.
 
6. Pizza, sandwiches, smushing an avocado for homemade guac, pouring milk onto the cereal from a small pitcher (ours is shaped like a cow!) so many ways to cook without high heat or sharp knives.
 
7. After the meal, can your child clear the dishes? Wipe off the table? put away the placemats?
 
8. When they head off to preschool, will they be able to open their own lunchbox, Tupperware, etc?  Will they be ready to drink out of a cup without a lid?  This is a great time to work on those skills.
 
These are just a few thought starters.  All mistakes help our brains to problem solve how we might do it differently next time.  The mistakes are an important part of the learning.  Two-year-olds LOVE to help!  Most 7-year-olds do not lol!  Enjoy your eager helper while it lasts.  
 
Read Aloud "Every Little Thing" by Cedella Marley
 
In Friendship,
Liza Conces