Editor’s Note: Mother’s Morning Out is a sponsor of chambanamoms.com.
Preschools usually discourage throwing paint, but this week at Mother’s Morning Out Childcare Center in Champaign, the kids spent part of a morning splattering paint all over a canvas just like Jackson Pollock.
“It was fun because I got paint on my shoes,” explained Hadley, a four-year old. “And I got blue paint in my hair,” added Cassidy. Their friend Ally proclaimed, “It’s a good painting because the colors got all mixed up.” They all agreed that they also were inspired by the jazz music they listened to while they painted.
Every few weeks the kids at Mother’s Morning Out begin a new unit focusing on a specific subject. Currently they’re studying Art – how it’s made, who makes it, and learning about some specific artists and their work. The classrooms are filled with the kids’ versions of works by Vincent van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse and others. They’ll be showing off their masterpieces to parents and family on Wednesday at the school’s annual Art Show.
And a Community Open House on Tuesday, February 5 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. will give the public a chance to learn more about Mother’s Morning Out (MMO), meet the teachers, tour the building and begin registering for the 2013-14 school year.
For more than 40 years, MMO has provided high quality childcare through two unique programs within one school; a Drop-In program for children aged 6 weeks through Pre-K and a Preschool program for children aged 2.5 through Pre-K. The Drop-In program allows parents the flexibility to bring their child as much or as little as they need and only pay for the hours used. Similarly, the preschool program allows parents flexibility to chose two-, three- or five-day programs.
MMO implements the Creative Curriculum® in both its Drop-In and Preschool program. Through this play-based curriculum, MMO teachers challenge and nurture children to become independent, self-confident, curious learners who can work well with others. Activities are designed to foster enthusiasm and creativity.
“Our Art Unit is a perfect example of how we take a subject and approach it in a developmentally appropriate way,” says Director Amy Kilgus Chamley. “Kids this age are all about the process of creating art. So with Jackson Pollock we incorporated large motor skills – dancing around the canvas; literacy – we learned that artists work in studios and we introduced and experienced the term “action painting”; sharing the canvas, paints and brushes helped develop important social skills; and we experienced cause and effect and used our prediction skills when we observed the paint colors blending. The kids might have thought we were just splattering paint, but there was a lot more to it.”
Teacher Jennifer Clark adds, “The kids were so excited to show their moms and dads the painting they created, it was still wet and they dragged them over to show and explain what they’d done.”
Last year MMO added a Music Class and a Creative Movement Class for children enrolled in the program. Children in all age groups love these weekly classes, which expand on the music and movement activities they do regularly in their classrooms. In addition, this year children in Preschool classes sings songs, reads books and play games during their weekly visit from a Spanish teacher.
“Our goal is for children to feel safe and secure at MMO, and for them to see it as a place to explore and discover,” says Chamley. “We want kids (and parents) to feel comfortable having new experiences and developing relationships with friends and teachers. With our older students we also begin placing more emphasis on introducing academics through play. We are teaching children how to embrace learning all through their lives.”
Mother’s Morning Out is licensed by DCFS and located in the Temple Baptist Education Building at 1100 Broadmoor Drive, Champaign.