july 16 = national gummy worm day…no better time to learn worm facts, get messy with sticky paint, play in the dirt, taste test gummy worms and gently respect the lives of real worms. our play days are set up much like preschool: when friends arrive they can go where they want and after about a half hour (or as soon as things have “turned” to what seems like an “unconstructive flow”), we go to circle time. then we carry on with snack time and a group activity of some sort and playing outside.
one job was cutting or ripping the red fabric to later stuff in a leg of pantyhose to make our own worm.
ripping fabric has proven to be a most sought after activity over the years. starting with snips made along an edge, then two people pulling them apart makes for cooperation in action.
i bought (or rescued, as some friends said after one little girl said, wait. wait. are these bait?), night crawlers at a gas station.
as i thought of what rules we could come up with, it seemed that these two were adequate: be gentle and keep them close to their dirt.
and maybe that’s true for children too: be gentle and keep them close to what sustains them.
my favorite fact that i learned this week: the longest worm ever found/recorded in the world was 22 feet long (!!!!!).
a big brother and then some more preschoolers counted out 22 of our 12″ floor tiles. a piece of tape acted as worm and we spent the morning with our own 22 foot worm.
there were also play dough worms spanning in length from one inch-the full 36 inch length of a yard stick i taped to the table.
and after i forgot to buy my intended fake worms from the fishing section at walmart, and determined to still make worm prints, i hot glued gummy worms on blocks. these worms were the sour ones, so they had a coating of sugar on them. it might be that that helped them not disintegrate…because they didn’t. they held up and made prints showing the segments and all!
as friends arrived, they had the chance to predict which gummy worm they would like best. we would have a taste test later at circle time (where no one HAD to try anything they didn’t want to, of course). after the taste test, i marked with green if yes, s/he liked it and red if no, s/he did not like it or did not taste it. then i asked them if they would move their name tag, if after tasting they ended up liking another better. no one switched. i was surprised and must have said something to that effect because i remember one friend’s reply: ms. kristin, if we know what we like then we like it no matter what else. i’m still smiling thinking of that.
and then we moved outside to eat more worms along with pretzels they could crawl through and veggie sticks made with spinach (which are like leaves that worms like to eat).
and we ended the day with special surprise: mr matt, his kids and dog stopped by to visit!
and as i’ve experienced so often, my job offers me moments of grace and i offer it to you:
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