Rhythm is significant in our house throughout each day, week, and each season. With song, we flow seamlessly through our transitions between activities such as playing, working, gathering for circle time or story time or coming together for a puppet show. We provide a haven for our children from the hectic, fast paced life that surrounds us all.
Our Weekly and Seasonal Rhythms & Activities Include:
- Creative Play
- Circle Time & Games
- Hand Work & Crafts
- Festivals and Celebrations
- Storytelling (including puppetry and plays)
We have a beautiful array of handmade toys. My children can choose from hand dyed silks of rainbow colors, fine hand-carved and painted animals, natural wooden tree blocks, wool crowns & more. Their play is limitless. Sometimes they decide to put on their gnome hats, divide the “magic stones” amongst themselves and go treasure hunting with their tool sacks; in the next moment we may find them building “Ireland” with their toys and cloths and we are all excited as they add to the towns and land in hopes of catching a leprechaun.
CIRCLE TIME & GAMES
Children love circle time; it is a highlight of our morning. Most of our circles include the unfolding of a story, told through songs involving a great deal of movement. We incorporate puppetry and various games. We create our circles with the intention of using the whole body through movement and exploring the space around us, building body/space awareness. Children learn to move with cadence as they hop, skip, stomp and clap. They learn the beginnings of counting, adding and subtracting in a joyful manner through games, songs, finger plays and dividing up silks and other items used during circle time or play.
Our handwork activities involve practicing fine motor skills and developing newly discovered abilities. Handwork activities may include finger knitting, beeswax modeling, clay work, stitching (and repairing), making homemade play dough, and learning dry or wet felting. We enjoy making crafts in celebration of seasonal changes, such as the harvest and making cornhusk dolls or making autumn gnomes for the nature table.
We anticipate with excitement in our daily Yoga session. Using our bodies and imaginations, we integrate and weave together storytelling, music and language in a way that engages the whole child. The children are excited at the chance to become a butterfly on a great adventure changing into opening flowers, standing as a strong tall tree and stretching like a dog or becoming other animals along the way.
Yoga helps develop childrens concentration, coordination, body awareness, flexibility and balance. While doing Yoga, children become more connected with their inner self as they deepen their relationship with the natural world around them. They truly feel what it might be like if they were a snake moving about without arms or legs. When children imitate the sounds and movements of nature, they have the opportunity to take on the qualities and become another being. They learn, through becoming another being, a deeper understanding that we are all connected. For example, when a child assumes the pose of the lion, they relate to the lion by experiencing the power and behavior of the animal all while experiencing their own inner power. The children experience the strength and force associated with aggression, and then withdraw to an inner state of calm.
Yoga has many benefits and is a great gift to give to our young children. It is a noncompetitive physical activity fostering self-esteem and body awareness while encouraging cooperation.
Through cooking, baking and food preparation, children begin learning Practical life skills, such as pouring, stirring, chopping and measuring (learning the beginnings of number recognition). Children find great joy and satisfaction in preparing their own foods. We prepare different types of nutritious foods with the children. Through this experience, the children learn to love and appreciate new and healthy foods. We also cook seasonal foods, such as cooking with pumpkins in the fall and then making pumpkin muffins or bread, or creamy pumpkin soup.
EXPRESSION, PAINTING AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
One must surround their children with beauty. Watercolors naturally create very beautiful works without technical talent. Watercolor paints remind me of the silk scarves that parents are encouraged to use as drapes over their babies’ cradles. When children are small, their perception of the physical world is still veiled. Most young children are not able to perceive strict realism. They are still emerging from their spiritual womb. This emergence will continue until the child is well into adulthood.
Gardening furthers the child’s ability to follow the rhythms in nature. Plants have the power to change our lives. They provide simple and therapeutic pleasure. Caring for our garden allows the child to observe the changes and cycles in plants from the beginning stages of planting through the harvesting and eating. Vegetables, fruits, flowers & trees, butterflies, birds and insects all participate in raising the child’s awareness of the processes of life. Through careful care, children begin to understand the importance of the earth’s elements & the effects of the sun, wind, rain and soil on our tender plants. We express appreciation for all who take part in farming and providing foods for our table.
We make it a priority to spend part of each day outdoors, regardless of the weather. All weather is good weather if we are properly dressed. Children need the fresh air and some require the ability to play loud. Outdoor play offers children new challenges for growth and development. Children climb, run, jump and balance. They can shovel snow and build structures with large, wooden building blocks in the warmer months. We work together raking, digging, and moving objects. Children live by their will, their action. They learn by watching the teachers do their work and are carried along in the activity through their desire to imitate. Children love playing love playing outdoor games together. Other fun activities may include hula hooping, jump rope, chalk, tricycles and balls. Children also have lots of fun running and playing. When it is raining the children love to splash in the rain and jump in puddles. Only on the coldest/very rainy days do we stay inside.