January 4th-8th, 2021
We hope you are having a lovely weekend thus far.
Our first week back at Kinderhaus after Winter Break was dreamy.
On Monday, Ms. Mika and Ms. Erica report that the children were filled with joy at coming back to Kinderhaus after break – hugging each other and greeting each other warmly. And of course the children were delighted to play in snow for the first time this year – pulling each other in sleds and climbing on the snow “mountains” along with shoveling together. Imaginative play was alive and well too, of course.
We started a new circle this week, focused on light, since this is the time of year when we usually gather for our Winter Festival, the Festival of Light. – Like all of our festivals, it is full of magic, and we are sad that we can’t gather with you all for it this year. – But we are still honoring the return of the light by having the “light” circle and the Waldorf story, The Child of Light, that proceed the Festival of Light. – In addition, we plan to celebrate the return of light by having another campfire – next Wednesday and Friday, by making candle holders for project in the coming weeks, and by making a spiral with pine boughs (kind of like a labyrinth) for the children to walk through. ( We normally have a spiral made from pine boughs indoors at the Festival of Light. We will make one with the children’s help outdoors this year, on top of the snow.)
After snack, children enjoyed reuniting with their Little Ones, building them shelters and making them treats in our play kitchen, and carrying them about the classroom. Many “kitties” crawled around in the classroom as well. Some children enjoyed playing with the new batch of playdough that was made over break- making cookies and “noodles” and the like. – Ms. Erica told the story Millions of Snowflakes by Mary McKenna Siddals, since we are all excited to have snow on the ground. And then it was back outside to play in the Winter Wonderland of our outdoor classroom.
Tuesday began inside, with many children enjoying play with their Little Ones again, while others created with playdough or worked on puzzles. After snack, Ms. Mika introduced the Waldorf story,The Child of Light, a Winter Solstice story, where all of the plants and animals and elements and finally children of the world prepare to welcome the child of light that is born in the winter. – After story, we had our first walk to the river where the hill was covered with snow. – The children enjoyed sledding at what we lovingly call “the sledding hill” for the first time this year. Some children also enjoyed climbing on snow hills (made by a plow) at the bottom of the hill. There were many smiles and much delight from children and teachers alike. Ahhh! The magic of snow!
Sledding at the river on Tuesday
On Wednesday children enjoyed playing in the snow in our outdoor classroom again. Some pulled each other around in a “one horse open sleigh” while others worked together on making a fairy shelter – complete with a home, a garage, a road and a mountain. – Some children enjoyed play in the “castle”, the bushes at the edge of our classroom, and others enjoyed running around as horses and driver, using our horse reigns. As children were getting ready to gallop, one child said to the driver, “Say giddy-up!” to which she replied, “No! You don’t say giddy-up. You say “mush”!” – So perhaps we had a dogsled instead of a horse train.
During our “light” circle, since the stars are so vibrant in the winter, we sang an old folk tune about stars:
Stars shine, count them Number 1, number 2, number 3, number 4, number 5.
Oh my! By and by, by and by. Oh my! By and by.
And then we sang a song to honor the sun coming back a little more each day –
Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me.
Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, hiding behind that tree.
These little children are asking you, please come out so they can play with you.
Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me.
After snack, children enjoyed play with Little Ones, while other children enjoyed making delicious cookies with playdough.
I read the story, The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, a simple and beautifully illustrated story about a child’s adventures while reading a book at night. And then it was back outside to end the day, working on the fairy shelter, riding in sleds and adventuring in our outdoor classroom.
Working together on the fairy shelter Playdough fun!
Lots of shoveling fun!Enjoying the outdoor classroom
Working on the fairy shelter together
On Thursday, we had several kitties and doggies playing together in our outdoor classroom to begin the day. We also had several children working on there fairy shelter once again. – Before snack, we had a birthday circle for Linden, to celebrate his having taken 5 1/2 trips around the sun. – It was fun to celebrate our first birthday of the new year, and on the exact date of Linden’s half birthday. (He was born on July 6). The children loved Linden’s choice of Duck, Duck, Goose as the birthday game. – They probably could’ve played for much longer than one round each, but the snack of birthday cake (and apples and cheese) was calling. – And after snack, several children made an impromptu band, bringing back the popular tune “Jingle Bell Rock” while a captive audience listened on. And then we headed back to the sledding hill at the river where children once again delighted in sledding and playing on the snow “mountains.”
Kitties and doggies playing together Celebrating Linden’s 1/2 birthday!
The Jingle Bell Rock band A captive audience
Sledding at the river on Thursday
On Friday, there was so much imaginative play in the outdoor classroom, it was hard to keep up with it all. We had kitties and doggies and queens and guardians… And along with imaginative play there was shovelling and sleigh rides. And before we knew it, it was time to head in for circle and snack. – After snack some children played with playdough, but most of the children chose to play in the classroom – doing puzzles and building shelters for their little ones. One queen sat in her chair observing her royal subjects. – Ms. Mika told the story The Child of Light again and then it was back outside in the glorious weather to enjoy play in the snow to end our day. – What a joy our outdoor classroom is when it is covered in snow. – I keep hoping for more!
Lots of one horse open sleigh rides Playdough fun!
We had a lovely week being together again at Kinderaus. There was lots of cooperative play, friends helping each other, problem solving, negotiating, laughter and joy throughout our days. – A wonderful start to our new year.
In case you didn’t see it in the newsletter at the beginning of Winter Break, our staff wants to say thank you again for all of your generous gifts and well wishes at the holidays. We feel so supported and loved by all of the families at Kinderhaus. We are grateful for all that you do. – It is wonderful to be back at Kinderhaus with all of your beautiful children. Thank you for the gift of them!
(Reminder: We have school all days this week. No school on Monday, January 18.)
Ms. Kristin (Ms. Erica, Ms. Gracie, Ms. Mika)