As we reach the end of April, it feels like Spring has come with a sprinkling of Summer already.  We begin our days on the cool grassy hill and end on the playground. The time of the grassy hill is just long enough to get the wiggles out before heading into the classroom. The shades are back on the playground, making it a enjoyable place to end our morning with trips into the garden and splashing and pouring at the water table.

Coming inside as a group gives the children the opportunity to practice putting on their slippers. The children are now having small independent snack instead of group snack, because we observed that not everyone was hungry at the same time.  Now the small table is used as a three person snack table and the large table is open for work. Playdough has moved from a group activity to a one person work that is on the practical life shelf. At the beginning of the year the children would not have been able to wait a turn for the playdough and now they can.

In the classroom we dyed eggs with dye we made.  We first looked at beets, carrots, parsley, cabbage, and turmeric, feeling their weight, observing their color and smell.   Using an electric juicer the children helped press the food in and watch a colored juice come out. The beet and cabbage juice color looked very similar but the when dried the cabbage-dyed eggs were a beautiful periwinkle blue while the beet-dyed eggs remained true to their red liquid color. We also used coffee grounds mixed with water and vinegar to create a rustic brown colored egg.

Orange juicing has been added to the practical life area.  It is big and labor intensive work. When the child chooses the work off the shelf, the first step is to carry the heavy tray to the table and use a name card to tag the work as belonging to her.  Then she washes and dries her hands. Using her clean and dry hands she takes half an orange and turns it upside down on top of an old fashioned glass juicer. Standing while pressing down, the children often pause to look at the inside of the orange and marvel at the hole forming.  With some help from a teacher the last bits of juice are squeezed out. The orange half is just a shell. The child removes the top from our small glass pitcher and then, using two hands, lifts the heavy glass juicer and pours the juice into a glass pitcher. The child pushes the plastic top back into the glass pitcher and then pours the juice into a small glass.  The plastic top on the glass pitcher strains out most of the pulp. Finally, small hands cup a pale colored ceramic glass and the child lifts the cup to her lips. The sweetness is delightful.

Dr. Gary Chapman was welcomed by a large group last Wednesday night at Home Moravian Church.  Even though I have heard his talk on the Five Love Languages of Children before, I left with a deeper understanding of his work and some new tools.  For those of you who were not able to be there, check out one of the many recording on Youtube of Dr. Chapman giving a similar lecture. In addition to explaining the love languages, Dr. Chapman emphasized the importance of teaching our children to give and receive love in all the love languages, therefore preparing them for better relationships as they move into adulthood.  He also gave tips on how to figure out your child’s love language. For young children, toddler age, he said observation is the key. Does your child hug you when greeting or bring you a rock or flower as a gift? As the adults it is up to us to help children learn different love languages. He also cautioned that the opposite of your child’s love language is the worst punishment.  For example, if you child’s love language is spending time with you and as a result of a displeasing behavior you give your child a time out that it will feel like a very severe punishment to that child.

May 19th is our end of school family picnic. We hope to see you there.