We're just beginning to see those first hints of green new life around here. Our seedlings are emerging and some will go out to the garden this week, while others need to wait. Our daffodils have been coming up and the children love to pick a couple to put into our flower arrangements inside. Our peas and radishes have sprouted and each day we water them to help them along. A visitor recently asked if I do lesson plans such as "How does a seed grow?" and create a curriculum for the things we're seeing growing. I explained that I don't because I feel the child's task is to simply observe and wonder. There will be so much time later in the child's life for information to be given to them, but the time is limited for them to just wonder and observe without explanations being given to them. As adults, we feel the weight of information overload. What a gift to be given time to simply BE in the environment and watch day by day as the garden unfolds, without being given lessons about HOW it happens.
Our seasonal circle has been quite an aerobic workout with bunnies hopping, bears waking up and bumbling around, snakes waking and slithering, and on it goes. By the end, I'm often panting out the last verses, as are the children! For our morning table activities, the children have been doing wet felting to create butterflies for their spring garden projects, as well as little felt caterpillars. Wet felting is such an interesting sensorial experience. It requires careful, light touch in the beginning so that the wool doesn't just break all apart, and then progressively firmer and faster movements to get it to bind together. It's warm, wet, soapy fun.
We've been preparing our garden for planting over these past couple of weeks. Last week, we planted pea seeds in one of our outdoor garden beds. This past week, we've been filling egg cartons with soil and planting more tender seeds to grow on our sunny windowsill until the threat of frost is gone. The children planted swiss chard, arugula, peppers, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, and basil. It's so hard to wait, but each morning the children check for tiny green sprouts and I think when they come in this Monday, they'll be quite pleased with what they see!! At the same time, we have daffodil and tulip bulbs popping up in our play yard and our circle time is about all of the bulbs coming out and catching sunbeams in their cup. We'll be adding more songs to our circle this week and singing about the beetles and caterpillars and other creatures waking up to the changing world around them.
Inside, we've added some cypress knees to our play time. They are wonderful for creating stories and the children right away figured out all kinds of things to do with them. They love to drape silks over them and create little canopy areas to tell a small story, or they nest stuffed animals in them, or even just create a "sculpture" with various ropes and pom poms. It's so nice how something so simple can create so many new ways to play.
We've had special spring crafts that we've been working on. The children used hole punches to cut shapes out of kite paper. Later, the children stuck the shapes onto contact paper and mounted the contact paper between an egg shaped frame that they cut from some watercolor paintings. These will be displayed in our window as special Easter egg suncatchers to decorate our room for spring.