Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our Playground: The Journey Begins

Honestly, I think I could leave the playground exactly how it is right now and they would be forever happy! Rocks, dirt, sticks, and most importantly lots of space to explore. Seven years ago I attended a NAEYC conference session by Rusty Keeler and my mind has been daydreaming ever since. I had never seen or imagined some of the amazing natural playgrounds that existed. What amazes me is the prices some people have to pay to get a stump! Although I am a huge fan of looking through the Arbor Day Foundation's, Explore Nature Sourcebook, I am very grateful that I live in a place where I don't need to order from it! 

They were having a lot of fun today moving rocks around.

Our dump truck load of wood chips arrived today!

Ready Set Go!

So much work to be done! 
Future Trike Path Area

Surprise Picnic Lunch

We decided on a whim today to enjoy the beautiful day with a surprise picnic walk.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spinning Light Art

I'm so excited to have my computer back!!

Here are some late photos from Light Camp. Several months ago I received a donation from a parent, which I had yet to use with the children. Light Camp had almost passed us by when I found it stashed away. A spinning and flashing black light/strobe light? Yes, Please!

The kit comes with a couple black cardboard circles to work with, 
but I cut circles out of white paper instead.

In motion.

Our results!

But who cares about results!

Lights are mesmerizing.

Another light that we borrowed from one of our families.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What about us?

This is the time of year, when I am ready to move on from summer. My husband, who is a high school teacher, generally doesn't want to hear about all that.

Here at preschool we start saying goodbye to our friends who are leaving for Kindergarten and saying hello to a few new faces.  There are lots of transitions and sometimes this leaves everyone in a frenzy.

There are lots of questions.
"When am I going to Kindergarten?"
"When is my last day?"
"Why isn't _____ here today?"

It is easy for parents (and teachers) to overlook the changes that are going on at preschool, because nothing for their child is changing this year. The truth is their entire world is changing. The dynamics of their home away from home is changing.  It is like a domino effect of change. When one child leaves their friend behind, that child now needs a new playmate, but what if all the friends already have friends? Will that child enter a friendship that is already formed or find a friend that has no bond already? Friendships shift and so does their group status.

Kids who were the younger friends last year are now the oldest friends in the class. They are suddenly the role models. Although some march right into their new position with heads held high, some aren't so sure about how to behave. There is always articles and discussion on how to transition kids into Kindergarten, but rarely how to transition the children that are left behind.