Spring 2020

Sunflower

The spring of 2020 was probably the most uncertain time of all of our lives. I felt like I was waiting for something but didn’t know what I was waiting for nor when it was going to get here. It was an eerie feeling.

Kind of like that feeling before a snow storm. Although the spring of 2020 gave us so much to consider, I noticed it was a breathtakingly beautiful spring. The most beautiful spring I can remember. Unfortunately, our springs in this area have been reduced to a couple of weeks at best. This spring the colors were vibrant and vivid. The blooms were heavy, long lasting and big. The pear trees didn’t shed nearly as quickly as they usually do.

The sky was even bluer. We had a LOT of rain and unseasonably cool temperatures. This resulted in a technicolor spring. There are so many lilac bushes in Miss Amy’s neighborhood I could smell them every time we went outside. The tulips, daffodils, dogwood, red-buds all the early bloomers, really showed off. It gave me some comfort.

Getting to know the upstairs children took me out of my comfort zone and kept me on my toes as they are not easily impressed. We turned everything into a project. How many buckets does it take to return the sand to the playground from the dump buckets? The answer was 87.

We documented new birds that came to the feeders we made.

Mr. Peanuts, our squirrel, does indeed like peanuts although it took him 11 days to find them. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were very social, they made some duck friends and they all slept in the puddles outside.

We learned the Hand Jive – Bob Bop Clap Clap Side to Side. Everyone is very coordinated except for me. I made Bananas Foster French Toast with whipped cream. It was delicious! Now we are all back where we are more accustomed to being. It feels like home. We planted some impatiens but they failed to come up. We planted basil instead. We also turned grass seed, selfies, and plastic cups into a “Chia Pet”. We continued our seasonal tree art collaboration that was inspired by a project from a few years ago.

Seasonal Tree

Until next time,

Ms. Micha

‘Twas The Month Before Christmas Break

‘Twas the month before Christmas break & all through the center

All the teachers were scurrying & the children a ‘twitter

The artwork was hung on the walls with great care

In hopes that the parents soon would be there

The children were drawing & painting on easels

Dancing, singing using glue and glitter

Then settling down for circle & lunch

Then off to find their cots for a short winter’s rest

While visions of Amazon Wish Lists danced in their heads

Singing about the “Lil one” that rolled out of bed

With Miss Amy in her office & Tilly in her pen

Let the end of the year festivities begin

With Christmas break in all of our sights

The Teachers all elated danced in delight

Because the journals were all dated

The weekly count down was about to start

The days they did pass just like an abacus on an advent calendar

Sometimes slowly & sometimes much faster

With cheers of joy and ruckus laughter

With clay, felt, loose parts, and a few noodles

We finished on our artwork and some very good doodles

With cotton ball snowmen

Pipe cleaner reindeer

One with a red nose

One with a crooked antler

When outside there arose such a clatter

We all sprang from our posts to see what was the matter

Away to the artier windows, we flew

Oh, don’t children forget to put on your shoes

The sun glistening down on the sandbox below

Gave the illusion of a dream-like trance to the objects below

When what to our gazing eyes did appear

What? It’s early! Ate the parents really here!?!

Minivans, SUV’s, and some compact cars

Thank our lucky stars!

The parents! The Parents! ALL OF THEM ~ They are HERE!

Come along children, come along children

Come one and come all

To the top of the sign out sheets, the names began to disappear

On their way out the door, we collected our gear

Hand in hand they crossed the crowded parking lot

Safely into the car seat was each tiny tot

Inside the center, the eerie silence was broken

With a roar & a cheer

Woo Hoo! Woo Hoo!

Christmas break is finally here!

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The staff all professional knew exactly what to do

Quickly to work we flew

Brainstorming plans for 2020

Jobs for everyone? Oh, yes, there’s plenty

We rotated materials exchanging this for that

Oh, look! New blocks, a ball, & a bat

Dolls galore & even a new hat

We put out new puppets, new paint, new glitter, new train tracks, different puzzles, new markers, & glue

Oh, Look! We found a lost shoe!

We vacuumed & cleaned up a slew

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We sprayed Lysol & bleach & every kind of cleaner

The teachers went to work with the kindest demeanor

As we stood back admiring our good work

Miss Amy so kindly and eloquently spoke

“Next year will be fun & full of surprises.

I can’t wait to see what’s beyond the horizon!

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Then with her head just slightly a’ tilt

Miss Amy said “I’m so proud of this community we’ve built.

I’m thankful for each child, each Mom, & each Dad.

Happy Christmas to all & to all a good night”!

The End

So, I got up early this morning and drank a lot of coffee. The caffeine boost inspired me to spin our version of ‘Twas The Month Before Christmas Break from the eyes of a pre-school teacher. I hope everyone gets a least a small chuckle at my festive attempt to be witty. Looking back, I have to say we have had an amazing Autumn.

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Thank you so much for your interest and enthusiasm concerning the Steampunk Fall Birthday Party. It certainly was not a cookie-cutter theme. I like to think that’s a reflection of our program here at Miss Amy’s. We are not a one size fits all generic program. It certainly is important to me to treat each child as an individual and with love, kindness, and respect.

With Love ~ Miss Micha

Messin’ & Gomin’

September was an action-filled month for sure. Filled with a lot of firsts; we received our first book orders of the year (which was very successful by the way), our first field trip to the Farmer’s Market, IMG_2052 our first ASQ-3 (Ages & Stages) assessments were conducted, and our first parent-teacher conferences took place. Yes, we were busy.IMG_1890

So, as the ‘downstairs’ (aptly named because the 2’s & 3’s classrooms are located downstairs) parents know, Ms. Micha likes to get messy! It’s always been a part of what I think is important in an Early Childhood classroom setting. I was ‘stim’ before ‘stim’ as a thing. I think about what I liked to do as a toddler.

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According to my mother, my two favorite activities were 1) messin’ 2) gomin’ followed up by prowlin’ as a close third. We will save prowlin’ for another day though. Today we are going to talk about messing and goming. If you are not familiar with these Appalachian terms, we will start with the definitions. These words can be used independently or interchangeably.

 

Goming/messing – (verb) To have a full-body experience in a substance. Typically, a common household product that’s usually sticky or equally obtrusive and/or invasive with the potential of being disturbingly messy and used not for the intended purpose, extremely difficult to clean up.

 

Examples of said substances that are prime candidates are shampoo, honey, syrup, cooking oil, lotion, hair gel, flour, sugar, baby powder, Vaseline, etc.  The list goes on and on, you get the picture. Like I said; according to my Mother, messing and goming were my two favorite things to do. My dear Mother went on to tell me a story about a two-year-old Ms. Micha, a four-year-old cousin, who liked to mess and gom as much as I did, and he was really good at it.

 

Easter eggs, grape juice, and a powder blue bedroom with wall to wall, pale blue carpet. Forty-nine years later, she could recall every detail. I think most children really enjoy the sensation of how these amazing substances feel.

 

My own love of mud mixing, sand building, silly putty, play dough, and the taboo substances like glue, oil, soap, and so on is where my inspiration to do the things that I do in your child’s classroom originated.

 

October is here and yes; it will be busy too! Classroom pictures, the Fall Birthday Party (Steampunk style), a Halloween Party, and Trick-or-Treating! Yes, you better believe we will be cutting open a pumpkin and scraping out the inside! We started our Fall Fairy Garden just this week.

 

The children are doing remarkably well of taking care of their belongings, recognizing their own names as well as classmates’ names. We finished up Japanese and we are already counting 1-10 in German plus a few phrases.

 

That’s all for now, we will update again in a few weeks.

Auf Wiedersehen,

Ms. Micha

Back to School

     During the back to school season, I always get a feeling of melancholy. Going back to school after a summer break was a big deal! My favorite part was getting new “tennis” shoes. Some people may call them athletic shoes, or sneakers. I believe it depends on where you are from as to what you call them. It’s kind of like, do you say soda, cola, or pop. Most of us born and raised in Southwest Virginia call our athletic shoe tennis shoes and it doesn’t matter that some of us have never played tennis in our lives.
So, with new white Nikes or Reeboks and my new Levi’s that were so stiff, they could walk to the bus stop by themselves. I would make my way through the halls, stopping to catch up with my friends, finding out your schedule, your teachers, your homeroom, where your friend would be and of course your crush.
My teachers left such impressions on me there are things that I do in my classroom today that is a direct result of my teachers. My wish is to impact children in ways that hopefully stimulate lots of thinking and challenges them to step outside of the box.
We have completely conquered counting aloud in Spanish and are now learning to count in Japanese! It is great fun and the children enjoy it so much. This is an activity we do during transition times throughout the day. Transitions are the toughest part of a toddler and/or preschooler’s day. Adding signals or cues make transitions so much easier for all of us, plus it is a fun thing to do.
Our fairy garden is another huge success for us!

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Miss Amy found some nice galvanized trays. We then added some aquarium gravel. Then we put in some potting soil. Next, we spread the grass seed/mulch mixture and watered it. The children found some really great decorations and ornaments to go inside.

 

They chose objects that they felt may attract friendly fairy’s and then they waited….and waited….and waited some more. At last, we saw the first signs of bright green grass. That is when Miss Amy thought a ‘grow light’ may come in handy and how right she was. WOW! What a difference a day made. We now have a beautiful lush grass so thick and long that Miss Stephanie had to give it a ‘hair-cut’.

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We have been busy, busy, busy…We even made, and ate, Purple Stew!

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If you have been following our blog then you know that this is our most favorite song and dance. You can find it on YouTube GoNoodle Purple Stew. The recipe is rather simple; It contains purple potatoes, purple carrots, purple onions, purple cabbage, a couple of beets, corned beef hash, some V-8 juice, and little bit of blue food coloring. Viola! Purple Stew! We all liked making it and most everyone enjoyed eating it.
Back to school season is a time of renewal and reflection. I’m excited to begin the process and build new relationships. I am very proud to watch a few students graduate to the older classrooms upstairs and spread their wings a little. I fondly remember a teacher that let us go for a walk and brought in exotic fruits and vegetables for us to taste. The teacher that encouraged u to make a big mess and sing a little louder. So maybe this is why I always “need” a new pair of “tennis” shoes every August and why I now like “soft distressed” jeans rather than those 505’s that could stand alone.

Until next time ~ Miss Micha

Boy’s Day Out!

So Miss Amy and I took only the children who were going to kindergarten to the Colonial Trade Fair at the Virginia Highlands Festival. Since all of my girls were out we took eight boys. The  Trade Fair camp is being held at the Fields Penn house until the end of the festival.

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Off on an adventure

It was actually perfect because they were really into the weaponry part of it. We met a nice lady named Stephanie Foster who makes cording and gave each of the boys a coin and showed us her camp, the gentleman with her showed us his outfit and hat.

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He’s not fooling us, he’s a pirate.

The boys really loved the hat and insisted he was a pirate even though he told them several times he was not.

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This colonial hat would make a great pirate hat.

We also met a couple and their daughter at the Knight Miners tent. They were from Georgia. The boys really loved their tent because they had megalodon teeth. They also enjoyed the “crystals” aka quartz they were selling and the handmade onyx knives. They had several oddities as well like animal bones, skulls, porcupine quills, and shark jaws.

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Tell Miss Amy not to touch 😀

Miss Amy picked up a shark jaw and a tooth fell out, Abe screamed: “Oh no! I hope you have money to pay for this, you break it you buy it!”. Luckily the Knight family was very understanding. Their daughter also had her own tent of wares which I thought was very cool, and it was a favorite of the boys because it had tumbled rocks, crystals, arrowheads, sea glass, marbles, and fools gold.

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What sort of magic lies in there?

They are all such magpies that they wanted to look through and touch everything! A few of the boys noticed that they also had pet rabbits with them. Jillian explained that they were pets, but their babies would be for food and they had already taught their daughter how to harvest them, and she can do it all herself. They also have a full farm back in Georgia where they harvest a lot of their own animals.

The last tent we went to sold wooden toys and various handmade items. Larry and Shelia Ard are from Indiana, and they are an older couple, but really enjoyed having the boys running around exploring everything.

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They have lots of puzzles and games too!

They showed us how to use toys like tops and yoyos. Larry even showed them how to shoot a bow and arrow.   They also let all the boys sample some maple candy. There were several bugs crawling around in the outdoor tent and they spent a long time explaining how important spiders and honey bees are to our planet which I thought was very nice.

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Thanks for the wonderful time! Till we meet again, sir.

As a going-away present, we bought several worry dolls from the Ards to get rid of those kindergarten fears.  ~ Miss Amber

Change

As with anything in life, change is inevitable.  Major changes began in the fall of 2017 for our little school.  For many years now we have had the same staff, fitting comfortably together like a well-worn puzzle.  Our days were filled with ideas and conversations that we had discussed as a collective group of early childhood educators over and over again.  Always finding something new in our old ideas.  We were comfortable, like a family.  Then the inevitable happened.  A lead teacher, dear to our hearts, moved away.  This seemed to set in motion a flurry of change that felt at the time more like a hurricane!  We also said goodbye to 2 devoted young ladies who had worked with us, aiding and substituting since they were teenagers, young ladies who had been raised by early childhood educator mothers, who taught them well.  They both moved on to pursue their own young lives.  This too was not easy.  Even though I want the best for both of them as if they were my own. The new task at hand was a daunting one, of job postings, interviews and decisions.

As the weeks progressed, it was easy to see that the replacement for our lead teacher fit nicely in with our current staff and families, bringing with her new ideas and conversations.  It took a few tries to find new young ladies to work aiding classroom teachers, young ladies who understood what we were trying to accomplish with the children.  As with most early childhood programs, I am sure this is a struggle.  We are located in a more rural area, and so we are challenged to find those who are “just right” for us.  I have found over the years that the children themselves are the best indicator as to which support staff will work out or not.  Children have a special sense when it comes to these things.

As the calendar moved forward into the fall of the year, it seemed that our lead teacher replacement was working out nicely. She fit in with our other teachers.  The children and families really had adjusted well to our new staff and the changes happening all around.   Even though things felt different, there was an air of newness and excitement in the classrooms.

I have been reflecting during the holiday break, over the changes of the past several months, giving thought to our style of teaching, emergent, a project-based approach, and have realized that since we teach our children to problem solve, to love learning, to try new things and welcome everyone who enters our school that the children did not seem troubled by the changes happening around them, and that possibly this ease with which the children approached each day, taught us to relax and accept the changes before us.  To find joy in each day, and to share that joy with our friends, classmates as well as co-workers.  So as we enter into 2018, I hope that each of you can embrace the potential that all change has to bring us new experiences and new learning.  Happy New Year!

Miss Amy

 

Three days of learning…

This is the Fuqua School of Business, at Duke University, where the conference was held.


My colleague, Miss Amber and I spent three days full of optimism, wonderful insights and inspiration at the 8th North American Reggio Emilia Alliance Winter Conference at Duke University, North Carolina.

 We brought this knowledge back with us to use in our every day interactions with our young children at Miss Amy’s LLC.

“The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was developed after WWII by the psychologist Loris Malaguzzi, and parents in the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy. Following the war, people believed that children were in need of a new way of learning.” (Reggio Emilia approach – Wikipedia).

The two things that stand out the most in the Reggio Emilia approach, to me, is the absolute respect and understanding that each child is shown by all adults.

During the conference, there was a lot of discussion about citizenship and what it really means. According to the Reggio Emilia approach, each child is a citizen of not only his or her country but also of his or her community. This right to citizenship starts at birth and this is explained to each child as he or she grows up and each child is reminded of this often, by adults but also by other children. Children are respected for who they are and their full potential is encouraged and helped along the way as the child grows older.

According to the Reggio Emilia approach, “The competent child has a brain that is extremely plastic and able to learn and explore.” All children are capable and all children can reach their full potential. Children with special needs are called children with special rights! Children of different abilities are encouraged to work side by side and together solve problems and to find new solutions. It is believed that putting labels on children restricts their future.

 All staff members at the schools, not just teachers but aids, cooks and cleaners, are also teachers in their own rights. Is very important to mix adults from different backgrounds . The Reggio Emilia approach has a lot of support from the community of the city of Reggio Emilia . It is very involved in teaching the the young people through theater, music, dance and photography and it does so happily! There are many field trips made into the city. Even the very youngest students who are just babies get to go and explore their world and this continues all through the child’s schooling. This approach reinforces the feeling of belonging, of citizenship. 

“Children-teachers-parents are competent co-authors in/of a community of learning.”

Children are genetically wired to learn through emotional connections. It is important to give credit with joy and humor and with encouragement. Children learn how to learn by imitation. Learning is traversal. A teacher’s job is to be available for the child at each new developmental stage. It is good to have a base idea but let the children take the reins and let them go where they want to/need to. Ask questions like how are we learning rather than what are we learning. The process itself is the most important part. The free use of imagination is encouraged. There is not just one way to play with something in order to learn and to understand. The teacher is the interpreter, the one who gives meaning to what the child is discovering as well as the “encourager”. Some other key points of the Reggio Emilia approach are:

“Be with the child in their own time of learning”

“The teacher’s job is to be a bridge between different children, between what the child knows and what he/she wants to know, to lead the child on to the beginning of their journey.”

 “We all learn through relationships with others.”

“Children are explorers both through their bodies and their minds.”

“Do not separate learning and life – LIFE IS LEARNING.”

When we learn we sometimes fail and then get up and try again or like Simone, age 3 years 10 months put it, “To take a step you have to lose your balance.”

This three day conference has given me a lot of hope for the children in my own community and it has reminded me why I am an educator.

“Teaching is a profession for thinking big.” -Anon

Miss Maria, the lead teacher for the 2-year-old -classes at Miss Amy’s LLC.

Practicing kindness

 

I have been thinking about a good subject for this blog for quite a while now. After observing the children in my care over several weeks, I noticed all the acts of kindness they showed not only each other but also the adults in their lives.

 

I wanted a good photo to go with my story, which further delayed my blog entry. I love photography but I love interacting with the children more. To me, taking pictures removes me from the dialogue and instead of being an active participant I become a bystander, a recorder of fleeting history, an important job for someone but not my first priority.
Although knowing better, I waited for my perfect photo opportunity, which of course never came. I found myself with even more time to think about the topic of kindness, and I came to this conclusion:

Kindness comes to children naturally, but it has to be practiced to last a life time, even into adulthood and until the day we die.

Children take words at face value. When words and actions do not correspond, children do what you do and not what you tell them to do.

It is a very important part we adults play as role models not only for our own children but for children everywhere. A child learns by observing and then copying, over and over again.

We adults need to keep that in mind in our daily lives. Children are always listening and watching us. This is how children are made. It is pretty ingenious really, as long as we adults remember our roles of being kind ourselves, and not just towards children but towards other adults as well.

Having worked with 2 and 3-year-olds for over 15 years I have come to understanding that these young children have taught me so much more about life and about myself than I could ever have imagined! If I can be kind like a 2 or 3-year-old child, honestly and wholeheartedly, I am doing well.

Kindness is a work in progress, let’s keep on practicing.

– Miss Maria, lead teacher for the 2-year-old classes.

Picture This!

Happy Saturday! I just wanted to take a second to let y’all know about the new art themed picture based blog post series I’m about to start up. Each week, I take oodles of pictures of the art that your wonderful children are producing day in and day out and I wanted a way to share this outside of my normal blog posts. So, every few weeks, I’m going to update “Picture This!” with new pictures of our recent art! Don’t worry, still the same blog, just a running series of posts within and I’ll always call it “Picture This!” Excitement! Now, without further ado…

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The kids love this book, so I thought we’d find a way to incorporate it into an art activity!

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In case you’ve never read Sneezy the Snowman, he melts over and over again because he’s too cold and keeps trying to warm himself up by drinking hot chocolate, sitting in a hot tub, and standing by a fire.

Here’s a link to a reading of Sneezy the Snowman on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RiHfYElP-M

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First we painted snowmen and decorated them and then, using straws, we blew our snowmen into oblivion!

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Looks like a melted snowman to me!

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Next, we decided to take normal Play-Doh to the next level and draw on it!

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Each child got their own hunk of white Play-Doh and then took to it with markers.

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And once they’d finished drawing on it, we mixed it up with great success! Beautiful!

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Played with our Play-Doh…

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And even practiced our letters.

Our end result: Play-Doh as unique as each child’s imagination and a great future toy!

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We also tried our hand at replicating snowflakes!

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All we had to do was place tape on watercolor paper in the shape of snowflakes…

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Paint…

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And pull the tape off!

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Not one snowflake like any other!

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With Pajama Day coming up and yet another book we all love, we started making our very own red pajamas from all manner of materials, including tape, noodles, and glitter.

Here’s a link to a reading of Llama Llama Red Pajama on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD1g3P-nKWo

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After we were finished decorating our pajamas, we could move on to the next step of making sure we put heads, hands, and feet on our pajamas.

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Because headless pajama would be scary – Eek!

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Some of us wanted to use yarn for our hair and others just used pencils and crayons.

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But either way, we drew our faces, painted our hands, and stamped our feet and soon had…

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Pajama clad versions of ourselves to take home on Pajama Day!

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We also painted many a picture over the past few weeks, something we quite love to do.

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You just can’t go wrong with paint!

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Our creations included this car, which looks like it came straight out of a children’s book…

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And the Moaning Lisa!

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We circled back around to snowflakes and tried our hand at decorating them too.

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Once more, not a snowflake too similar!

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We had a few sensory tables thrown into the mix as well!

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Here, our biodegradable packing peanuts are dissolving in water…

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Being squished by children…

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and rolling around in a bucket of shredded paper “snow!”

Can you tell yet how desperately we are hoping it will snow very very soon?

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Finally, we built things, drew things, and just played and had fun!

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Wiki Sticks!

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Spaghetti and Meatballs!

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Melty Beads

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Loose Parts

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Look at that structure!

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HAPPINESS!

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It’s only a snapshot – I take at least a hundred pictures a week – but hopefully it brings you into our world of art and exploration. Until next time!

~ Miss Kt, Clubhouse Kids Teacher & Atelierista (Art Teacher)

A Blast From the (Recent) Past

Hey y’all, it’s been a while since we last posted, but – oh buddy, let me tell you – this holiday season has been crazy! From Trick-or-Treating with all the kids at Halloween, to Thanksgiving, to our annual Christmas party, to New Years, it has been a very busy time. Just add fifty odd children, some snow, sand, freezing pipes, and general chaos and that about sums us up! But, in the best way possible. We’re getting ready and raring for a fantastic next year, but first I think we should do one final recap of some of the fun things we did last year. I’ll warn you now, it’s going to be a long one!

Reminiscence #1: Pumpkin Slime!

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Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, at the height of fall wonder, we decided it would be fun to make some pumpkin slime. All we needed was some hot water, glue, borax, and orange food coloring and we were in business. Our end result was gooey and slimy, slick, but sticky. Sometimes it stretched out and sometimes it snapped right in half. We could mold it into different shapes and watch as it melted back into a gelatinous mess. It was a great opportunity to explore a new material and tons of fun too!

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Making the “Great Wall of Slime-uh” (Hehe, get it? Great Wall of China, Slime-uh?)

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We also really enjoyed writing our names in slime before it became one giant puddle!

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And, last but not least, where would we be without a slime highway to get us from place to place!

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Reminiscence #2: Preserving Fall Leaves

If you’ve never tried to preserve some fall flora between two sheets of wax paper, I’d highly recommend it! All you have to do is find some leaves, grass, or flowers, and gently iron them between wax paper. Depending on what you choose to preserve and what you want it to look like, you could create a great little picture like the one below. Alistair was very careful in his placement of his leaves and grass so that he could create a wonderful scene of two leaf people. I personally think they are Mom and Dad leaves and are walking hand in hand with their leaf baby. He even gave them smiling faces! Too cute!

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Reminiscence #3: Magnifying Glass Fun

Remember when you were a kid and you first discovered the strange and mystifying magnifying glass? Of course you spent the next hour running around your house or school, magnifying everything humanly possible. But, no matter what you found and made big, nothing ever compared to making your own face strange and distorted. Gigantic eyes – all the better to see you with, and a huge mouth – all the better to eat… er, smile at you with!

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Reminiscence #4: Construction Zone Ahead

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Here at Miss Amy’s, we really really like to build things. In the above picture, Astrid decided to craft Santa’s sleigh and if she’d had the time to build eight reindeer and hook them up to the sleigh, she’d have done that too. And, by golly, if she could have put in an “electronic chip,” she’d have been well on her way to making it fly “like a drone.” Isn’t imagination wonderful?!

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A few other things that have been built lately include Astrid’s skyscraper (above), two lovely “tornado” proof shelters for when Hurricane Kt hit, and sand castles, just for the joy of experiencing what packed wet sand can be sculpted into.

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Speaking of packed wet sand, some of the children decided to test their engineering skills and wanted to build sand bridges. They started out trying to use the wet stand to build bridges above ground, above a river they’d dug out, but it wasn’t working. The sand kept falling off and breaking. It just wasn’t sturdy enough. That’s when they got the idea to try building bridges by digging tunnels. When the sand is dry, tunneling never works, but this time, they were able to make a complex system of tunnels or bridges. They even tried digging a tunnel so big that they could crawl through it!

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Reminiscence #5: Wearable Creations

When I was a kid, I remember spending endless hours pretending to be different animals. Sometimes I was a bird sitting on a nest of pine needles I’d scraped together around myself and sometimes I was a big cat, stalking through grass and hunting my prey. But, no matter what I was doing, I imagined myself transformed into that creature. At the time, it was the best I had. I didn’t have access to tons of paper and glue, scissors, tape, and string. I only had my own imagination. The children here though, have far more. Instead of just imagining they are a shark swimming through the water, they can make it real.

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I don’t know about you, but that’s one terrifying shark to me!

Some of the older kids like to make other things they can wear too. The other day Astrid made a wonderful paper and string headband that I wore almost the entire day, as well as a funny mesh hat. And not long after that, Raleigh decided he’d lost on eye in battle and needed to make a spectacle so he could see.

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Reminiscence #6: “Shadows”

Oh my goodness, since the kids discovered this, it has been one of the most exciting and fun things to do on a bright sunny morning. When the sunlight shines in through the windows, the children with grab anything that reflects light and cast “shadows,” as they call them, around the room. Then the other children will chase the shadows and try to catch them as the shadow-throwers move them erratically. Sometimes I feel like a disco ball has just dropped from the ceiling with the number of little light balls that are flying around the room!

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Reminiscence #7: Miscellaneous Moments

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We also decorated gingerbread cookies. Tasty!

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And saw the creation of this amazing little frog!

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We were the best of friends…

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And we were thankful for every minute!

Thank you all for such a great year! I had a blast and I’m looking forward to making this coming year even better. There is truly, never a dull moment here, even when all we are doing is playing in the sandbox. We are always learning and growing, learning about physics, chemistry, biology, language, love, the works! And always growing into our best selves. This is the place to be. We love it here and we hope you do to. Happy New Year everyone!

~ Miss Kt, Clubhouse Kids Teacher & Atelierista (Art Teacher)