The last few weeks before winter break were busy one in the Butterfly Room. We talked about our own family holiday traditions and learned about the traditions of others. The children played the dreidle game and made menorahs. They drew a large Christmas tree, cut it out, decorated it and cut out a star to put on the top of it. They decorated and wrote on gift bags and made centerpieces to put in them. Some of the greens we used were a little prickly, but the children worked hard to make something beautiful for their families. We did an observation of poinsettias. The children used all of their senses except taste to observe the poinsettia plant and I recorded their observations. Afterwards, when they drew pictures of the plant, they were encouraged to include as many representational details as possible. We read many holiday books, including one of my favorites, Night Tree. It is about a family who decorates a tree in the woods with edible treats for the animals. In our classroom each child designed his or her own color pattern and then made an ornament from Fruit Loops using that pattern. We hung the ornaments outside in the Gazebo Yard on a tree the Grasshopper class had also decorated for the animals. When we come back after winter break we will look to see if our ornaments have been eaten. One of the songs we learned at Circle Time was “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” We learned to sing it and to sign it and that was one of the songs we sang for the whole school at Meeting for Sharing in December. We also sang the Potato Latke song.
Early in the month the class was having a difficult time playing nicely with the Bristle Blocks. There was a lot of arguing and a lot of building inappropriate things like guns. We had several class discussions about how to improve our play. One day I noticed that, finally, almost the entire class was happily engaged in building with the Bristle Blocks without any arguing or shooting. When I asked what they were making, I found out they were making Christmas gifts for each other. They had made everything from toy trains, to 3-D glasses, to a machine that squirted candy out of one end and meat out of the other. Mentally patting myself on the back because our talks about kindness and peacefulness had had such a positive impact on their play, I told the children how proud of them I was. One little friend was quick to answer, “We have to be good. Santa is watching.” :)
Working with your children each day is truly a gift. I wish you all a wonderful holiday and many blessings in the New Year.
In Peace and Friendship,