Winter 2016: Reflecting on our favorite moments

Can you believe it is mid-March already?! That means warmer weather ahead, blooming buds, and more time spent outdoors! It also means we’ve spent the last nine weeks getting to know each other—wow!

The past nine weeks have been an absolute joy for us. We’ve gotten the chance to get to know all of you better and have become an even stronger and bigger LEAP community. We want to thank each of you for joining us to learn, explore, and play together. Hasn’t it been so much fun?!

It’s been so gratifying and inspiring to see everyone—toddlers, parents, animals, and us too—grow and change over the past two months.  We’ve seen increases in confidence, language, attention span, creativity, and independence across the board. From watching the baby gorillas play side-by-side with little LEAPers to digging in the sensory bin next to a fennec fox, we’ve enjoyed so many adventures together!

As our winter series of LEAP comes to a close and we get ready to “GROW” this spring, we thought we’d reflect on some of our favorite memories from the past few months as we explored our senses. Here are a few of our favorite moments:

Squishing, squeezing, and splashing in the sensory bin

We tried out new things in the sensory bin this winter as well as bringing back a few old favorites. Creating a sensory bin at home is easy! All you need is a container, something to fill it with, and curious hands to try it out.

Dressing up in hats, masks, capes, and crowns

This winter LEAPers wore hats decorated in bright pom poms and donned capes and crowns that made them look just like trees. All of these outfits were put together with a glue gun and a little bit of creativity!

Exploring the colors of the rainbow

Red and blue and yellow, oh my! We made beautiful red art, covered felt boards, crunched colorful cereal, and built a bright geoboard using golf tees and rubber bands. You can focus on one color or explore the entire rainbow!

Singing the LEAP song

Each week we ended class together, singing our famous LEAP song! Incorporating music into your day is a great way to prepare little ones for reading later on. Just because LEAP is over doesn’t mean you have to stop singing!

Playing side-by-side with some amazing animals

The LEAP program is so special because you and your child get to spend time together, learning and playing as you are surrounded by some truly fascinating animals. Lucky enough, Lincoln Park Zoo is free, so you can come back and “play” with your favorite animals any day of the year!

We hope you continue to explore together and find places to play and learn together outside of class. Even if you aren’t with us at LEAP this spring, you can continue to check the blog for more ideas to inspire your play! Thank you all for joining us and happy adventuring!

Sincerely,

The Lincoln Park Zoo LEAP team