At the beginning of the year, Stephanie shared one of the Nature Preschool’s most important philosophies: “We try to say yes as much as possible.” 4-6 year-olds are moving out into the world, looking for their personal edges and gaining confidence in their own abilities. So when they ask, “Can I…?” our job is to assess for safety, and then say yes. They need to see that they CAN. If we hold them in too tight, how will they ever know? These snapshots of the Oaks in action capture some of our Yes, you can! answers.
While county schools had indoor recess, we celebrated our first rain days in ages. The trick to saying yes to all-weather play is good gear. Since the Oaks’ rain gear was soaked from the morning outing, we broke out the school Tuffos for the afternoon. They were snug as a bunch of bright yellow bugs.
We also continued exploring the Planet Pals, connecting to and extending the Saplings curriculum. We started an ongoing experiment with “H2O”, measuring water in a bucket, and observing changes over time. We read the book Raindrops Roll, and then looked for raindrops lingering after the rain stopped.
After the children met “Breezy” we talked about how you can tell that air is really there. We read Mirandy and Brother Wind and noticed how the artist showed the wind as a transparent person with a silvery cape. The Oaks made paper fans and drew their own versions of Breezy. They experimented with the force of air that could hold a piece of paper to their bellies as they ran. They made art by blowing air through straws to move a marble though paint, mixing two colors. And of course, we looked for and felt Breezy everywhere we went – high in the treetops and in the tall meadow grasses.
One of the children’s favorite Planet Pals is even harder to see during an afternoon class – “Star Baby”. So we set up our tarp tent and read the book The Darkest Dark by astronaut Chris Hadleigh, a beautiful book about overcoming fear and pursuing your dreams.
We had a few beautiful sunny days to play at Hilltop too. The gift of rainwater sparked a potion-making frenzy. Since the water was all in one small bucket, the Oaks collaborated and took turns collecting potion ingredients and stirring. They all agreed that this particular bucket of muck was a potion. The magic words were the words of play – “Can I …?” with about six children focused on the same goal. Yes, they can.
Circle Song (to the tune of the Farmer in the Dell)
The frost in in the trees
The frost in on the ground
The frost is on the window
The frost is all around
The frost is very icy
The frost is very bright
The frost is very slippery
The frost is very white!
December huffs and puffs
Books this week:
There is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith
Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre
Mirandy and Brother Wind by Patricia McKissack
The Darkest Dark by Astronaut Chris Hadfield
When the Wind Stops by Charlotte Zolotow