Happy Halloween!

We love Halloween at Grow With Me! Not only is it fun to dress up, but it means that Autumn has settled in over our mountains and the ground is covered in leaves of many colors just waiting to be raked into a huge pile at the bottom of our slide. The last day of school before Halloween all the kids (and Ms. Katy!) dressed up in their costumes for the day. Everyone looked so great! Since it was Thursday, which is our painting day, everyone settled in at their places at the table. But, Ms. Katy had a surprise! As the children began to paint on their papers a special Halloween picture appeared! Our snack was in theme, too, with clementines made to look like pumpkins and each child was given a peeled banana half which they could decorate with little chocolate chips to make it look like a ghost. At the end of our day, Ms. Katy told the story about how the farmer decided to carve his pumpkin to scare off the hobgoblin from playing tricks on cows. It was a fun day filled with merriment and laughter. We hope your Halloween is just as joyous!

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Rosie the Apples, Crimson the Leaves

Today we went to the Long Branch Environmental Education Center in Leicester, NC, to pick apples and look for signs of Autumn. Many parents tagged along as well as several smaller siblings. It was a GORGEOUS day! Once we had all arrived, we gathered in front of the main building to have our morning snack which is our weekly loaf of bread made by the children earlier in the week. Afterwards we all headed up the hillside to the orchard where we gathered apples to take home and for making yummy snacks in the classroom next week. Paul, of LBEEC, met us under the trees just as we had filled our baskets and told us the local Native American story of how the mountains and valleys were made by the wings of the turkey vultures. Then Ms. Katy told us Susan Down‘s story of how apples got a star inside to house their seeds. Afterwards we sang apple songs while passing around yummy apple pieces which Ms. Katy cut up for everyone. While we were walking back down the hill to the picnic tables to eat lunch we came across a friendly black garden snake. We left him to bask in the sunshine while we ate our lunches and said goodbye. It was a great day and we look forward to going again next year!

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Crossing the Bridge

Today four of our students crossed the bridge on their way to begin Kindergarten next year. It was a bittersweet moment but our Ms. Katy made it so special by presenting each child with a small stone which she felt embodied their best properties. After the ceremony was over we all gathered outside and had a delicious potluck lunch with all of the families. The weather was beautiful and offered the perfect send off into summer. Until next fall, we wish you well!

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Benn Benn’s Birthday!

At Grow With Me we celebrate birthdays using the Waldorf tradition of telling the Rainbow Bridge Story. It is a very sweet ceremony and makes the birthday child feel extra special. Benn’s birthday is during the summer but asked if we could celebrate his birthday together in class before we end the school year. Of course Ms. Katy said YES! Happy birthday Benn Benn! We love you!

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May Day

We celebrated May Day this week with a traditional May pole dance, flower crowns and a picnic lunch. The children also painted coffee filters which were turned into clothespin butterflies and wrapped ribbons onto fairy sticks. Children and parents alike painted a canvas which will become our new classroom flag. It was a gorgeous day!

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Ice Castles in the Mud

It has been a snowy winter here in WNC. To help the children explore our icy surroundings, Ms. Katy put together a sensory table using blocks of ice, colored water, eye droppers, and salt. The kids would put salt on the ice blocks to help it dissolve and then squirt colored water into the melted crevices. The shapes and colors created were magical! Later, during our outside playtime, the kids found chunks of ice frozen in the dirt and happily spent the afternoon digging them up from the mud!

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Winter Solstice Celebration

We gathered at school this evening to celebrate the Winter Solstice with a traditional spiral walk to welcome the return of the sun and longer days ahead. The week before the children made lanterns out of watercolor paintings they had made using warm colors of reds and golds. They also decorated the classroom with seasonal foliage and created a table center piece with weekly offerings for the Stone Kingdom, Plant Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and the Human Kingdom. Tonight we brought offerings for a potluck dinner which was enjoyed after the walk. If you are interested in learning more about spiral walks and other Waldorf inspired Advent traditions, you can read about them here.

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Apple Picking

Today we went to the Long Branch Environmental Center for a day of apple picking. It was a gorgeous fall day and the dappled light coming through the trees was magical! After we had gathered apples to our hearts’ content, we sat in a circle to listen to Ms. Katy tell the story of The Red House with No Doors, No Windows, and a Star Inside. Then we headed down the hillside for a little berry picking, too. Afterwards we gathered at the pond for a picnic lunch before heading home.

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Fun in the Forest

We’re a family under one sky.

We are people, and animals,

flowers and birds that fly!

"We're a family, under one sky."

“We’re a family, under one sky.”

Through the exploration of the elements of earth, air, water and fire, we discovered that the spirit of the forest was all around us in the beautiful forest at Shope Creek, part of the Pisgah National Forest.   Thirteen sweet children joined us for a week of “Fun in the Forest”.

creekWith the help of Green Works, we explored the creek waters with kick nets and found lots of little macroinvertebrates.  We also learned some fun songs to help us remember the difference between stoneflies and mayflies.

 

On our daily hikes, we met many plant friends.  We learned how plantain can help usplants if we’re stung by an insect.  We enjoyed munching on the lemony leaves of wood sorrel, and we were always on the look out for Sister Poison Ivy.

Our exploration of the earth revealed the life living in the soil and on the trees.  We were always very excited to discover the aliveness snail
slugsof the forest.   We found slugs and snails.  Saw lots of beautiful butterflies!  And even a walking stick!  Though we walked on our giant paws like a “big black bear”, thankfully, we did not see any of our large four legged friends!

During the week, the children worked together to create their own lean-to fort.  We also made lots of fun crafts.  Sit upons to keep us dry, mobiles made from nature, mud paintings, and our own bark boats, which we sailed together down the creek.  Our week ended with roasting hotdogs and marshmallows over the fire!

We have another camp coming up soon!  There are still a few spots available in our Summertime in the Garden Camp (August 11-15).  If you are interested, please leave a comment on our contact page.