Hello Preschool Families,
What wacky weather we have had in the last two weeks! The warmer temps have felt so nice, and have given us a chance to start raking and tending to the earth in our front playground space. Get ready for colder weather this week though. On that note, please pack hats, mittens, snow pants, warm jackets, rain jackets, and warm layers each day this week. These spring days are full of confusion (weather-wise) so we will try to be prepared for anything Mother Nature throws our way!
The Science Center came again last week and we learned all about birds. Did you know that birds are the modern-day dinosaurs? That blew some of the preschoolers away! Naturalist Kyle introduced us to a pigeon skeleton to discover how a bird uses their body to move and beak to eat, and then explained how much birds rely on feathers to keep warm, etc. The preschoolers each got to hold turkey vulture feathers and owl feathers. They flapped those wings fast and hard to compare the sound each type of feather makes. Owl feathers don’t make sounds when flapped. Turkey vultures on the other hand are quite loud! The preschoolers played games with Kyle, matching objects to the types of beaks birds have (which may have inspired a fun sensory table activity in our classroom this coming week, wink wink)... they also played some movement games where they waddled like penguins and flew like other types of birds. We also met an American Kestrel, which is the smallest most common falcon in North America. Naturalist Kyle brought an egg from this type of bird and we compared its size and color to a real ostrich egg!
I love seeing the children’s faces light up with excitement when the Science Center comes to visit. These hour-long visits are adult led and really offer an amazing balance to our child-led, emergent curriculum. Children make so many discoveries on their own each day; they live in a world of trial and error; of “how does this work?”. So, when a knowledgeable person comes along (like a Naturalist from the Science Center) who wants to share information in a developmentally appropriate way, it just lights the children up! Learning about the natural world just makes sense with children because when we step outdoors, we step into the world of bugs, insects, wildlife, etc. It’s a magical place where wonder and discovery come together.
Preschool Happenings This Week:
Instructions for living a life.
tell about it.
One of the greatest joys in my life is getting to spend my time with toddlers. This age is so unbelievably extraordinary because so much of who children are and how they see themselves in the world unfolds in the blink of an eye. To a toddler (and children in general) there is magic in every moment. To be in their presence as they discover and uncover the beauty and wonder that is all around is the gift that children unknowingly give us. To bear witness to this mindfulness, in my opinion, is the miracle of toddlerhood. As some of you may have noticed, we started to clear out the toddler yard space to make room for new changes we will be implementing soon. We removed most ride on toys and plastic structures. I heard someone exclaim “Well, what will the children play with?” Hearing this question brings me back to the notion that we adults often have of children. If adults don’t “teach” or “offer” or “give” children lessons or
toys to “play” with then how or what will they learn? And I say to this...children are naturally curious beings. The brain of a toddler thrives on exploring, discovering and experimenting in any environment. The heart of a toddler thrives on the connection and joy that is made from their discoveries. Children have an innate drive to connect with their surroundings and to figure out how they fit into the complex world around them. Although the outdoor yard
space may appear “empty” to the adult eye, to the child it is full of wonder with endless discoveries to make. As the children raked away leaves from the fence they found sleeping insects. The children created piles of leaves to run and jump into. The children watched and joyfully cheered as the wind whipped up the leaves and sent them dancing around the space. Keen eyes and tiny fingers sifted through the soil and discovered miniscule fluid filled orbs (some type of egg?!) A labyrinth was drawn on the newly raked area that the children took to
running around and around smiling and laughing. Sticks and rake handles became tools and brushes for the children to make drawings of their own on the brown, soft canvas. The warm spring sun blessed us with many opportunities to investigate, share a meal, play and be joyful this week and we are forever grateful!
Some happenings this week include:
● Reading books with friends
● Sweeping and mopping in the sunroom
● Enjoying the tulips at the meal time table-watching the blooms unfold and noticing all the different parts of the flower-talking about the Pistil, Stamen, Petals, Pollen, Stem etc.
● Navigating an indoor obstacle course inspired by a friend's birthday party at Top Gun Gymnastics
● Jumping on trampolines in the sunroom-explored jumping really fast and then really slow
● Raking leaves in the yard-jumping into piles, chasing blowing leaves, discovering insects under the wet piles
● Following the labyrinth drawn on the earth, drawing pictures in the dirt
● Digging in the dirt-discovering worms, insects and tiny eggs!
● A visit from the Science Center! They brought an American Kestrel :)
● Using tongs and magnifying glasses to explore Guinea Hen feathers
Thank you for sharing your most precious children with me. I am forever grateful for your trust and partnership.
Be well families and enjoy this beautiful weekend. See you soon, Sarah