Recently, a fall gust of wind elicited shrieks of joy and laughter as it caused a flurry of yellow-orange sycamore tree leaves to descend on the heads of our PK children, who chased them down to catch them before they reached the ground.
This scene was repeated over and over throughout the Nursery School this past month. Indeed, leaves interjected themselves into our lesson planning and play, as children helped willing classmates “disappear” under a large pile of leaves, like they may have done with sand on a summer day at the beach. Others made “huge” piles of leaves to run and jump in, only to rake the leaves over and over again, to jump into the pile, over and over again. These activities allowed the children to practice their social and collaboration skills, as well as their gross and visual-perception motor skills as well. Oh, and they had a lot of fun along the way.
In the classroom, the changing of the seasons prompted many conversations regarding why these changes are happening in nature at this time, including in the garden, where the children made their final summer harvests and witnessed the sowing of winter wheat. In another PK classroom, reading a picture book about how animals prepare for the coming winter during the fall season, inspired them to make their way outside to build their own hibernation dens. This, and many other fall season provocations, prompted a number of transcribed reflections, representational drawings, and idea sharing, allowing the children to push their expressive language skills as well as their fine motor and visual-spatial skills - using writing and drawing tools as the medium.
Halloween provided an opportunity for the children to learn a set of songs to actually be performed in front of a live audience. Singing at the Halloween parade was the first time we had such a challenge since March 2020. In all the rooms, children got to dress up in any manner of costumes where they explored the difference between imagination and reality, and again, allowing them to stretch their expression language, as well as practice social skills through their avatars of the day. Many even engaged in “self-portraits” of themselves, as their Halloween character, prompting further explorations of the difference between “make-believe” and reality.
While we are loving and making the most of the fall weather and all that it brings to our experiences and learning in the Nursery School - winter will be providing even more exciting opportunities to engage your children in even more joyful explorations where they will engage them in all of their developmental domains. We look forward to sharing those experiences and more in the next edition of HoundBytes.