t is for treasure maps

well, why haven’t we done THIS before?!?!?

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what a hit.  when paper is crumpled and then flattened and then painted on with coffee (freshly made or leftover), a wonderfully old looking piece of paper is created!  it is a little more impressive when an actual coffee cup is used and even more impressive yet when the coffee is still hot and even MORE impressive yet when your teachers are drinking out of matching coffee cups!

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the next day the papers were dry and ready to draw on.

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it was also nice to have a “compass rose artist” in the room one day.

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later in the week we added pre-drawn treasure maps from on line to crumple and paint.

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hanging them to dry with fans was helpful.

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stay tuned to see if those maps helped us find our treasure!  AAAAARGH!!!

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x is for x week props

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thank you, families, for helping us make x week even better.  new puzzles, puppets, trays:

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shells in the water table with our playmobil ship from home (we even made the water salty, though i don’t know if anyone realized it!):

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and for the first time ever, we rigged up a sail for our rocking boat turned pirate ship!!!

by the end of the week we added a flag that would actually blow when the boat got a-rockin’.

why, oh why, have we not done this before!

o is for opportunity

well, this month is national child abuse prevention month and it also hosts the “week of the young child.” these are  two opportunities to move towards treating children with dignity and respect.  a friend/former preschool mama who has a friend offered one opportunity to change one child’s life.  i keep thinking about him as he simply represents one of millions.  i don’t suggest he’s being abused or not treated with dignity, but there are many who are.  this is just one little guy who has a family waiting to shift his life.

whether you donate $10 or simply allow yourself to remember these children, let’s take this opportunity to move one step closer towards dignity and love for all.

(sounds like the end of a pledge….maybe there is one already!)

e is for easter

we’ve had quite a good number of easter discussions around here.  while our preschool is a ministry of my church, it isn’t our practice to teach specific theology or doctrine.  we want children to feel the unconditional love and acceptance that we believe god has for us all.  when one preschool friend brought a paper from her local sunday school, i paraphrased the story of christ’s resurrection that was depicted in the paper.  without saying his name, i told the story.  afterward there was an exchange a bit like this:

does anyone recognize that story?  do you know who i’m telling about?

(ideas being called out:)  martin luther king?  someone chris?  a zombie?  

no, actually i’m telling the story of jesus.

jesus was a zombie?!?!?

then on and on with another friend sharing facts on why jesus can’t be a zombie.

on and on.  on and on.  it was a moment i wished i had recorded.

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all this to say, i am reminded of the tender development that is happening.  i celebrate the imagination and wondering in young children.  i love the easy faith.  and because of it, i long for us to be careful with these children.  they can be molded and shaped, squashed and pulled apart.  this easter day, look at them as the sign of hope they are.

e is for earth day

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I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.

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(black pepper play doh…wonderfully satisfying!  just use pepper in place of some flour and add black food coloring)

v is for van

i brought our little wooden van from home for the week.  there were quite a few doll house people and animals getting rides.

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then we moved it to our paint box and used it lever style.

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eventually we added paint…known as “lava” since we were big into volcanoes this week!

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we also had our own van with chairs as van seats, fabric strips as seat belts, diaper bags loaded up, car seats installed (i kept turning the “carseats” backwards but they would get turned back…), a paper plate and rhythm stick steering wheel mounted on our ironing board.  it was a busy place!

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and just like some real babies, this baby was brought to circle time still in her carseat.

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