Hoot n’ Squeak
News from Luna’s Forest and Belleamie’s Playground
Brook and Cara’s News
Life up in Luna’s nest was absolutely fabulous last week! The children and teachers are learning that an outside program is extremely enjoyable, healthy and productive in both social/emotional experiences and academic learning. The Ladybugs have been extremely courageous this week without a tear in site. In fact, we have seen many Ladybugs already bonding with each other. We have read many books (Polar Bear, Polar Bear is by far the favorite) and have made many forts out of stumps and sticks and played in the mud kitchen. The Crickets are amazed that we all get to “play” the entire day and “don’t have to do any work”. Brook and Cara have been passively doing many science, nature, math and literacy projects with them without them even thinking that they we are being schooled. Our marvelous Honeybees have really taken over the forest and even did an exploration adventure trail up to a fallen tree. We were off our normal trail and the children we so excited to go exploring. The were walking through ferns taller then they were saying, “This is so cool!” The staff is so pleasantly aware of the amazing sense of “grit” that all of our students have. We have repeatedly seen children fall down, stand up, wipe off the dirt and keep playing. After being in an indoor program for many years, it is clear that children need to run, jump, scream in joy and explore their environment. It is wonderful to see The Children’s Garden thriving as it has for the last 43 years!
Cara and Brook’s Ladybugs
Cara and Brook’s Crickets
Cara and Brook’s Honeybees
Donna, Thea and Cari’s News
My goodness, how smoothly these kiddos started their school year! Everyone loved the Forest and the Playground. We wondered which would be their favorite, but each day the kiddos asked when they would return to the other campus. Picture Day with Nigel was socially distant and adorable! Our Ladybugs typically have an issue with working with a stranger on just the second week of school, but they did an amazing job of looking adorable and giggling at a socially distant photographer with a stuffed fox on his head. Our first week was soooooo wet up in the forest, as you know. The kids were troopers and loved jumping in puddles. Our second week was sunny and warm, especially in the afternoons, on the playground. Remember that the sun doesn’t really hit the playground until about noon, so it is chilly most mornings. The afternoon class loves to watch the steam rise from the wood chips as it warms up.
Ladybugs: Our first week was a lovely opportunity to have parents get a sense of our procedures and tour our campuses. Our second week went surprisingly well, with 3 of our 6 having tears, but quickly subsiding as soon as they passed through the arch to wash hands and run on to the playground. Our Bugs are learning procedures. Masks are hard, but they are all doing great. We had Teacher Thea as extra hands on our campus this week, and next week, we will just be Cari and Donna. By Thursday, we only had 1 cryer and again, she was done as soon as she got off the parking lot. We made cute books about “Teddy Bears”, we filled our pencil boxes with markers and scissors, and we loved exploring the playground. Next week, we begin learning nursery rhymes and acting them out.
Crickets: Oh my! What a wet first week of school! These children are real troopers and loved playing “Bunnies” with Teacher Thea and Teacher Donna. Ask them about the game that they created, after reading a Garden favorite book, “Bunnies!” We did our September calendar AND our October calendar, wrote our names, did our letter of the week, and foamy painted our Closing Circle Song. On the playground, the children loved to explore the climbers and the adventure trail, and we were able to do more table work, as the tables were dry! Next week, we will be celebrating our first birthday circle for Kensie. Things are different this year! No family will be at the circle, and no treats will be handed out, but a big celebratory circle to make our birthday girl feel special is in order!
Honeybees: Throughout the wet first week, we still managed to get our name writing practice, our letter of the week and our first poem sent out, Our Closing Circle Song. On the playground, each Honeybee took a turn to recite the Closing Circle Song at circle. This will be a weekly event to decorate, learn and recite a poem at circle. We read some fun story books and enjoyed hide and seek, obstacle courses and imaginative play families with turtle and dinosaur pets. These kiddos are growing so fast. It is such a wonderful opportunity to watch them develop their social emotional skills and see them in practice.
A great two weeks under our belts! Remember that we can only provide this wonderful program, (The staff repeatedly comments on how beautiful an opportunity this is for us and our students) if we all keep healthy! Only exit the car if necessary, masked up and on the drivers side. Even if you have to reach across to get your kiddo, by staying on the drivers side only, all of us will remain at least 6 feet apart.
Remember that we are a nut free campus. We have at least 1 student with severe nut allergies. Stay positive in your communication with your kiddos. We are all tired of wearing masks and not hugging, but instead focus on the beautiful forest, the amazing large playground, and the excited and enthusiastic teachers that the kids get to spend their day with. Together as a team, we can do this! And we are knocking it out of the park! Two weeks down, 35 to go!
Cari and Donna’s Ladybugs
Thea and Donna’s Crickets
Thea and Donna’s Honeybees
Upcoming Happenings at The Garden
Larry the Fish Guy
Crickets and Honeybees presentation.
As we learn about Salmon this month we will host a Garden treasure; Larry the Fish Guy. Following all COVID-19 protocols and procedures for our Branching Out program, Larry will visit our campus Wednesday October 14 with two big Salmon from the Salmon Hatchery. Children will learn about the Salmon and watch Larry harvest Salmon eggs and release them into the creek.
Each teacher group will have a separate presentation in their own parking lot area. Salmon eggs will be released from different locations for each campus.
Fall Check In with Teachers
Friday, October 23
Parents will have the opportunity to sign up for Teacher Check In on Friday October 23. There will be NO SCHOOL this day for Crickets.
Look for a digital sign up for these 15 minute Zoom meetings next week.
We will be celebrating Halloween at the Garden on Thursday, October 29 during Ladybug and Honeybee classes and Friday, October 30, during Cricket class. Children are welcome to dress up for a fun day of pumpkin decorating, apple pressing, songs and stories.