Our new year has just begun and we are greeted with some new faces! The children are still watching carefully and exploring the space to begin to understand what it's all about. Our old friends introduced the new ones to the guinea pigs and the garden, and how we celebrate birthdays! Our story this week is one that I find fitting for this summer season and new beginning; it's a story of a little fish who finds a nice big shell to live in and is joined in turn by unique and kind friends. They each make space for one another in their shell and live happily together in their underwater garden. During our inside playtime, the children like to use my story props to re-tell it to one another.
We've been practicing our summer circle time inside and it seems that the children's favorite verse is one where they get to log roll across the floor as we say, "Daisies so bright, grasses so green, tell me I pray, how do you keep clean? Summertime showers, summertime rain, wash dusty flowers all clean again".
We made our bread together this week, as we will every week this year. It's a wonderful sensorial experience to make bread together. While we knead it, we sing a song about kneading our dough for our snack time. Once it is kneaded, the children make it into a shape and we bake it. So the children are experiencing the feel of flour being sprinkled onto their hands and the table, the squish of the dough, they're hearing a rhyming song, and later smelling the fragrance of the bread filling our play space. It's one of the richest sensory experiences of our week and the children love it.
Summer went by so quickly and we enjoyed the warm summer mornings with crafts, car washes, kid washes, and slip n' slides. I love summer as a time to break out some of the ideas that have been in the back of my mind and just do them. Summer winds up being a time to test out different projects and crafts and perhaps bring that with me into the school year. And all the colors! My brain unwinds enough to gain new inspiration. Even though it is such a hot time of year, and generally my least favorite season, our time in summer camp makes it my favorite time for gathering new ideas. I hope the children enjoyed it as much as I did!
Pirate ships and outdoor concerts were a popular theme in their outdoor play. There were some unique songs of "I'm gonna rock and roll all day and party all night long". We painted with ice on big drop cloths, and pipettes on handkerchiefs. We made some pancakes outside during our "Three Boy Week". Popsicles were never forgotten, thanks to the children's unique inner popsicle timers. And the guinea pigs were fed lavishly from our bean tee pees, from which the children loved finding the purple pole beans.
Inside, once the morning heat was too much to bear, we would have a cool-down snack and play for awhile. Many "campsites" were built and stories of the beach or underwater gardens were told.