The Nutcracker returned to the Nursery School this month after a three-year hiatus! This wonderful and uniquely St. Patrick’s experience is brought to us by Nancy Parenti and her daughter Isabelle ’07. Nancy is the founder and owner of Ballet Petite and Isabelle recently became its Director Another fun fact about Isabelle: she was a member of the first Middle School cohort to start and graduate from St. Patrick’s. Some of our alumni and their parents will surely remember their experience of dressing up and acting out the timeless Nutcracker story.
Each year, Nursery School children dress up in costumes and use props, provided by the Parentis, to act out excerpts from a Nutcracker-themed picture book. This year, they brought scenes from Isabelle’s recently published Lisée At The Ballet: The Nutcracker: A Magical Ballerina Fairytale to life. At the Ballet is the first book in a series in which Isabelle, as the author, introduces all the Fairies of Blossom Grove. The picture book is getting great reviews, congratulations Isabelle!
Guided imaginary play gives Nursery School children an excellent opportunity to exercise executive function skills like working memory, impulsivity control, and cognitive flexibility. To stay in character while engaging in rich and dynamic activities requires the children to apply all of these skills at once. The imaginary play led by Nancy and Isabelle this month at St. Patrick’s put literacy into action in a joyful way. And there lies the most important ingredient of all, joy. As we in the Nursery School know well, there is efficacy in joy!