it was only a few days ago, but it feels like a year ago!
our whole preschool is invited to come to the end-of-the-year-celebration-and-graduation (also known as the “popsicle party” because of the popsicle pot luck we have afterwards). it’s a standing room only, hard (impossible) to see your child, hot and chaotic, child focused event. i’m grateful for the grace extended by those who come to watch.
here’s the thing. i think programs like this are totally age and developmentally inappropriate. they can be intimidating, overwhelming, confusing. i get this. so we infuse a lot of humor in hopes that laughing will switch our brains to a more calm place. we don’t practice or offer rewards for participating. instead, i pour myself into hoping children feel safe enough to be there. and if they don’t, then praise all that there is that they don’t have to do it!
we had whistle candy (so that was tricky….we blew the whistles while we walked in and then we ATE them while the families watched us!), we had kazoos (since we are a band after all…we have practice almost every day), we sang the alphabet song the “preschool way” (when we get to the letter P, we say it two times…so it sounds like we’re talking about pee pee), we sang the alphabet song the “kindergarten way” (only one P), i tried to trick them several times with things, and the song that won our school vote was tom, tom the leprechaun (the one where we get to sing about giving him back his underwear!).
before the pre-k friends graduated, we had a special graduate. ms. erin comes to our classroom every week from the high school. she is a seasoned teacher already, sensing the needs of little ones around her, setting boundaries and inviting play. she graduates from high school this week! and what’s even more fun: she was a preschooler here herself (the following photos are from 1995):
and years later we continue on!
sweet babies, whether you are coming back or moving on, may you always feel the warmth of sun and know you are loved.
(thank you, families, for the photo reminders of this night!)
even though it’s dead it can look like it’s taken care of.
and if it can dry out we can take it inside.
a gaggle of kids exploring freely enjoying sun after a late april snow. we have our playground with wonderful metal and plastic sculptures, but what was noticed were the beloved dirt piles in the lot next door, the fire pit left from a church celebration, the field of dandelions, the grape hyacinths popping up all over, evidence of wildlife, mud from the melted snow, a sky that was “mostly blue with just a little bit of white.”
i settled at the delight and care in picking flowers, collecting sticks, making mud balls, running up and down the same piles over and over. i liked hearing the children claim the space around them.
we never need crayons again! we have burnt wood to write with.
it’s like i’m picking a whole rainbow!
if we rub sticks together for a long, long time we WILL make fire.
i’ve never seen it happen, but i know it does.
these are the most beautiful flowers ever.
this is from the dead bunny. the bunny died because another animal had to eat.
we don’t need playdough. we have mud.
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that is what it was called by a certain 4 year old: it’s an ice demolition celebration!
indeed it was.
we had a balmy day on tuesday, ice storm on wednesday, and the sun was back today.
kick. kick. kick. kick.
pick. pick. pick.
we’ve been talking a lot about our different senses…we could use all five to experience today’s beauty.
our play structures were COVERED in ice. it was dangerous play!
i am so grateful to have had a chance to experience the wonder of nature with these children!