Daisies nod to daffodils, little children run up hills…
Along with the latent energy of spring bursting forth in the natural world, so, too, does the energy in our preschoolers. We note a restlessness building as the daffodils and tulips emerge and as the thermometer rises, Grow With Me friends spill out of the inside classroom into the upstairs playground as part of an extension of our morning free play, in addition to the regular outside time spent on the lower level exploring our ravine. It is a beautiful and bustling time of our year.
Speaking of the lower playground, during a recent community workday, parents came together to construct a new mud kitchen connected to a rejuvenated sandbox area, which has witnessed an explosion of newly inspired creative play. As the day of work drew to a close, our families partook in a potluck and enjoyed the festive tunes of our resident parent musicians.
Families also recently gathered for a whimsical family celebration around the May Pole. The day was sun-drenched and warm and began with the children threading flowers through braided bands, which adorned their sweet heads as they marched in procession to the pole where they manned their long ribbons, and the community sang as children encircled the pole with vibrant spring colors. Then ensued face-painting, popsicles, and a spring-themed puppet show put on by Ms. Katy and Ms. Jenny in the Waldorf tradition.
This particular spring took awhile to fully get off the ground, as Old Man Winter proved to be a stubborn guest overstaying his welcome. He retreated reluctantly back to the north, with only bits of sunshine and warmth punctuating his dreary presence. The children coaxed him with reminders of spring’s wonder, cultivating sprouting seeds on the classroom windowsills, pretending to be germinating seeds themselves during circle time, and chatting about the signs of spring they had discovered in the outdoors.
Springtime forest days are especially fun, as we witness nature awakening firsthand on the fecund forest floor. Creek stomping gives way to rhododendron leaf races, crawdad and salamander buddies, and muddy children.
Grow With Me ventured out for two outings this spring: one in education and one in service, but both a lot of fun! Our friends explored the WNC Nature Center and assisted with food sorting at Manna Food Bank, two wonderful organizations in our area.
For Mother’s Day, the classroom mothers received a gift that will dwell in our gardens and hearts for years to come as Ms. Katy facilitated a particularly special craft with our children, and we all took home concrete garden stones imprinted with our child’s hand.
As we wish each other well and send our graduates off into the bright unknown, we look forward to park play dates during the summer months that nurture Grow With Me’s strong sense of community that makes it such a magical place to be young (and old).