We added on to our morning circle this week and I can say that I think everyone is catching on and beginning to grasp the whole circle time idea! It helps to add something familiar. All year long we start with our morning verse of "Good morning dear Earth, good morning dear sun"...
We then pretended we were going to an orchard and playing a game of "Ring Around the Rosy". They LOVED being able to play this familiar game, and it is very useful in getting the children to carefully follow directions. They can't tug too hard on one another's hand, they have to walk not too fast or too slow; if you think about it, it's a fairly complex task for 2 year olds and young 3 year olds! But it's a wonderful game that prepares them for more complicated tasks. Then we went into the orchard where "The apples are ripe, the apples are red..." and did the same verse as last week. But now one of the children would fetch a basket and we would sing,
"There came some children and picked them all up, picked them all up, picked them all up.
There came some children and picked them all up
And put them in the basket.
We would put our imaginary apples in the basket, then we sat down to get them ready to make applesauce. Each child grabbed an imaginary apple, some had small red apples, some chose big green ones, and we sang our polishing song. At last, it's time to:
"Chop, chop, chop, and put them in the pot" (2x)
"Then stir, stir, stir and cook them till they're hot" (2x)
"Now scoop, scoop, scoop. Scoop some in a dish" (2x)
"And eat, eat, eat. Mmmmm. Applesauce is sweet" (2x)
Our story remained the same. Children love to hear stories over and over for awhile as it helps them to grasp what's going on, and the familiarity is comforting. I will begin a new story next week, but they have loved hearing the story of the fairy putting a star into each apple.
The week was capped off with our Autumn celebration, when all of the wonderful parents came to share the apple cake and apple sauce we had made. Big hands and small helped press all of our polished apples into delicious cider!