Spring 2020

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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.

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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

Happy Mother’s Day


In the fours class (most of which are now mostly fives 😢) we spent the week celebrating mothers! We made gifts for them. While we were painting gift bags one little girl said, “I’m painting mine red because that’s the color of my heart!”. I heard lots of wonderful things about  the special women in their lives. I asked them, ” Why do you love your mom?”

  • She always buys Dunkin Donut bagels! Also she is pretty special. – Landon
  • My mom always gets me a lot of stuff for my whole life and I love her a lot! – Mia
  • Well she always gets me a birthday present. Also she makes the BEST cookies, chocolate chip! – Brady
  • Before we go to bed she always gives me a hug and a kiss. – Blake
  • She takes me out for ice cream, but my Dad does drive us. – Ian
  • She takes care of me the best and she she made me! – Leroy
  • She always buys me donuts and gives me kisses! – Henry Garrett
  • She always takes me to swimming pools. – Henry David
  • Because we do everything together! – Scarlett
  • She let me pick a beach vacation! – Norabel
  • She made me and she loves me ! – Ember
  • She buys me donuts! – Arya
  • She always lets me have dessert ! – Fount
  • My mom always has great ideas ! – Tucker
  • My mom is so special, I just love her so much! – Reagan
  • My mom always hugs me ! – Braxton

And “What does your Mom love?”

  • She loves me and donuts of course. –  Henry Garrett
  • Hearts! – Henry David
  • Trophies! – Landon
  • She loves me because I love her. I did that smooth dance on the cruise and I won for her ! – Mia
  • She loves me, flowers, hearts, and pictures. – Ian
  • My mom always loves to take pictures of me, but I do not want to do that! Oh wait, she loves working out and then I take pictures of her ! – Brady
  • She loves me. – Leroy
  • She loves me and flowers and hearts. – Ember
  • She loves coffee and taking me to Poppy’s house. She loves using the computer. -Tucker
  • She loves my new blanket, we just got it! – Blake
  • She loves to blow bubbles with me ! – Fount
  • She loves it when we make stuff for her ! – Norabel
  • My mom loves heart stickers! – Arya
  • My mom loves food and me. – Scarlett
  • My mom loves me because I’m a cutie patootie and she loves going to the mall! – Reagan

Happy Mother’s Day!

-Miss Amber

Picture This!

Before I get into this week’s blog post, I wanted to take a moment to express my deep appreciation and gratitude for the job that I have here at Miss Amy’s. I’ve had the pleasure of working here for just over a year and I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without the community here, without the children, and without all of you. I, for one, feel very blessed to be a part of each child’s life. Thank you for that opportunity. Your children are amazing and I learn so much from them, day in and day out. May we never stop listening to their small voices, wrapping them up in our arms, and making sure they know we love them and always will. No. Matter. What.

And, on that happy note, let’s flash back to some of the fun and crazy things we’ve been doing the last few weeks. Of course, we celebrated Easter with an Easter egg hunt and we dyed eggs, but we also decorated some paper Easter eggs and made chocolate chickens.

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Since the kids were obsessed with things popping out of eggs, I made a little chick peeking out of an egg as an example of what they could choose to do with their own paper Easter eggs.

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What they did with their eggs was totally up to them though!

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And boy, did we have some funny looking Easter eggs…

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A few days later, we melted down a bunch of chocolate and poured it into candy molds, making chocolate chicken popsicles for snack!

This past Friday we had our annual Trike-A-Thon, where we raise money for St. Jude’s, so that they can continue fighting childhood cancer and finding ways to improve the lives of those children and their families. Here is a link to more information about these events held nationwide! As for our particular event, we took tons of pictures and have been updating along the way and all of that information can be found on our Facebook page. We had a wonderful time!

In other news, we have been quite into making masks lately. All sorts of fun masks. Beards, sharks, and maybe my face…? I’m really not sure on that one. Sometimes, I just have to sit back and laugh at some of the silly things that happen here.

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Speaking of funny things, when one of the kids learned about my upcoming birthday and they found out how old I’d be turning, they looked at me for a moment and pondered my answer, before announcing, “You’re going to die sooner than I thought you were.” Good gracious, I about fell over I was laughing so hard. Only a child. It made my day.

Another incident that made my day was the dancing down on the porch. We recently put a speaker down on the porch, so children could listen to music in the afternoons. We plugged in our iPod and have been playing Music Together songs and some of the children have really been getting into it. They grab scarves and just rock out to the songs. It’s hard not to smile when you see a two year old getting down to “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”

Here’s just a smattering of beautiful paintings courtesy of the kids.

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And last, but definitely not least, we have officially begun working on our fall art exhibit. I’m going to keep the theme a surprise for now, but here’s a sneak peak at some of the work we’re doing. And, as always, here’s the link to more photos from the past few weeks.

It’s going to be great! Right now, we’re gearing up for the summer and are getting ready for the long sunny days ahead. Here’s to hoping the clouds clear up and the rain, rain goes away and comes again another day.

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

 

Happy Easter

It’s that time of year! We enjoyed coloring eggs yesterday morning (4/12/17). We had many that only colored one egg and I had a few that colored I believe a half a dozen each 😆. Some enjoyed it more than others!

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They took their dyed eggs home with them in a “nest” (rolled down paper bag) I didn’t get a picture of them, but they were adorable.

Today was our Easter Egg Hunt.  It was a great success, the 2’s and 3’s had their hunt first, then the 4’s and 5’s did their hunt. We had a golden egg for both classes, inside was a dollar!  We enjoyed a special Easter snack afterwards on the porch.

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Here are the 2’s and 3’s heading out to hunt!

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Here is our winner of the Golden Egg.

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Here are a few pictures of the 4’s and 5’s hunting eggs. They were quicker and I didn’t get a picture of the Golden Egg winner from that class! They mean business!

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It was a beautiful day for an Egg Hunt.  I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend!

Miss Susie

Picture This!

Valentine’s Day is nearby upon us! And, here at Miss Amy’s we like to make Valentine’s Day special by making our  very own special paper for our valentines. It starts with ripping up a ton of normal paper.img_1325img_1322

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Then we let the paper soak overnight and strain the water from the bin.

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We blend it all up…

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Strain it again and press until we’ve got paper! In order to get all the water out, we had the kids jump on the paper while it was pressed between two towels. By far the best part!

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Our paper as it was drying

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The now completely dry paper, cut into “squares” for Valentines decorating

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Commence decorating!

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Painting, Glitter, Glue, Pencils, Markers, Paper, the works!

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The glitter was our favorite part!

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Now that all of our valentines are finished, they have been put in our Valentine’s Day box. On the 14th, each child will get to reach in and pick out a valentine. Each valentine only has the maker’s name on it and who it goes to is random, but everyone gets a valentine from a classmate.

Of course, after we did our generalized valentines, the children wanted to make valentines for their parents, siblings, and one another, so we set about doing that.

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Over the past two weeks, we’ve also had fun with Play-Doh (an old favorite), paints, and pencils/markers!

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We made scratch art, little clay figurines, and crowns too!

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In case you were wondering, it’s a teddy bear!

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Each week, in addition to our normal art activities, we have a sensory table. We had a mixing table two weeks ago and an ice table last week. We tried painting with ice as well. It didn’t turn out so great, but we had fun eating our “paint.”

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And, last, but not least, I just wanted to share a picture of what art might look like on any given day.

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Children all over the place, cutting, gluing, painting, using punches, and coloring.  It is a wonderful thing to see, children exercising their creative muscles, showing us how they see the world. It is my goal to help them in this expression and to see the world through their eyes. To know as they do, the miraculous nature of everything. They are the future and this is their vision and I love being a part of it. It is my great honor. Until next time, my friends.

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

When it’s Spring…

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My class has had “Spring Fever” for about a month now. They are (not so patiently)awaiting everything that Spring has to offer. I hear, “When it’s Spring…”, multiple times a day. They have plans, plans for baby chicks and planting seeds. They are planning on not wearing jackets, “only tank tops”. They are already planning their egg hunting strategies.

We are close, but frosty mornings are an excellent reminder that we’re not there yet! I gave in a little though, and read, “When Spring Comes…” by Robert Maass

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Miss Amy added some themed items to our lacing and weaving table. The kids really enjoyed working with those. They loved feeling the fuzzy rabbits and attaching “rainbows”  to the table.

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The kids are also very excited about the prospect of new life. Everyone suddenly has a new baby, boys, girls, mermaids, and dinosaurs alike. This kind of play promotes gentleness and caring. As a teacher and a caregiver it’s amazing to see how much the kids pick up on from just observing their parents.

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A "dad" driving his kids to the park

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Spring will be here before they know it, but waiting is the hardest part.

-Miss Amber

Paper Making and Valentines- Old School Style

Friends,

This post is two weeks late getting up, but that is February for you at school…snow delays, snow closure, snow-day-only friends at school all lead to a certain chaos that makes sitting down to reflect difficult to impossible. So, here is a bit about our Valentine’s LOVE FEST crafterganza….

Tear, cut, water, blend, pour, sift, squeeze and squeeze and squeeze some more. Ahhh, the process of making our very own handmade paper for handmade valentines. There was so much sound, color and texture in the art room this morning….and glitter, glitter everywhere.

 

The children blended paper scraps with water, added flower seeds saved from our flower garden, squeezed and formed and squeezed, turned sheets out to dry, decorated the handmade cards with watercolor painted hearts from a prior project, and voila! Each handmade valentine had a tag: “Love, like a seed, grows when planted. Plant this card!”

Of course, LOVE FEST 2016 consisted of other projects:

 

These pictures are of our valentine candy science. Frozen blocks of baking soda and valentine candies (old school style) became objects for Valentine archaeology. The children used pipettes to drop vinegar on the soda blocks and fingers and tongs to release the candy hearts. This was great fun, but took a little convincing that baking soda and vinegar flavored candy hearts are not too tasty.

 

There were also the clay and bead hearts for hanging, the old-fashioned heart cut-outs, glitter, glue and stenciling, heart mini-paintings, fingerprint hearts, and heart cookies. The love just went on and on….and still goes on and on around here.

 

Arrival of the Autumn Fairy

For two weeks the atelier has been a hub of leaves and sticks, a host to hues of gold, russet and brown, and the center of what may be a new ritual: the creation of the Autumn Fairy.  With chicken wire, an iron stand, a styrofoam head, and lots of found materials, recycled paintings, and fall nature treasures we worked until we felt she was ready. Meet the ironically named April,  our Autumn Fairy:

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The children were nearly obsessed with her having a head. We began with her skirt, but they continually asked for her to have a head. They proposed using everything from a smoothie bottle from someone’s lunch to an osage orange from the Fall findings basket. The first head attempt comically failed, but the new realistic one was greeted with relief. The children said she needed pink lips. “She must have them!” Her final embellishment was a stream of thankfulness ribbons woven into her skirt- streaming down with each child’s statement of what they are most thankful for in this season of gratitude.

A happy, grateful Thanksgiving to all. –Miss Lori, Atelierista

 

 

 

Pumpkins

We had our “Pumpkin Patch” again this year.  We took this opportunity this year to teach the children how to show kindness and gentleness. They took care of the pumpkins for a week, they carried them as if they were babies, they covered them in scarves to protect them, they played games among them. Most of the children were very kind and gentle with the pumpkins. They each picked out their favorite one and took it home.

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We chose a pumpkin to take in and carve into a Jack-o-lantern.  We played a game to pick the best design for it. I cut out different shapes and they took turns coming up and sticking the shapes on the pumpkin. They had a fun time doing this they kept wanting to change it.

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Then we made our final decision and the winner was….

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The next day we did the carving. Not everyone was excited about getting their hands “yucky ” as they were about just sticking the shapes on the pumpkin. But I did have a few that really enjoyed getting the “gunk” out.

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As I was gathering my pictures for this post I realized I didn’t have a picture of the finished Jack-o-lantern, it turned out great and we enjoyed it at our Halloween party.

Miss Susie