We always look forward to the annual World Cultures Fair, sponsored by the School of School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs, which was held recently in the Stern Center Garden – it is an event that really represents the emphasis we place in our curriculum on celebrating the diversity among our children and their families. The Stern Center Garden is also one of our children’s favorite spaces on campus, especially the “bamboo forest” from which we have harvested lots of bamboo stalks for all kinds of different things. The Butterfly class visited the fair, made new friends, and enjoyed many of the activities, especially the music!
Our Butterfly children are showing remarkable restraint and understanding about the fragility of the life cycle. We have milkweed growing in their garden, the preferred food for monarch butterflies and site for deposit and growth of the crysalis that eventually becomes a new monarch. The children have identified the location of a number of them in various places around the playground in addition to those in the garden. As a result, of their own accord they have roped off some of their favorite play spaces, including the tunnel under the climber, a bench, and part of their potting bench/mud kitchen area. They are willing to forego play in those areas to keep the crysalides safe until they hatch. It is rewarding to see the care and concern they have displayed – we don’t think they have too much longer to wait.
The theme of our recent Play Day picnic this year was “Playground Explore,” focusing on the newer activity areas we created this year to prepare for certification as a habitat. We:
- rejuvenated our outdoor art frame with painted dinosaur puzzle pieces
- washed baby dolls and clothes in the village
- had “special” ingredients to use in the mud kitchen
- used the potting bench to prepare seedlings for the garden
- experimented with a metal detector in the archaeology dig
We also had a special visitor, Greg Guay, who played classical guitar with Jonathan who is one of his students. He was a wonderful help in our new music area also, showing children many things they could do with our outdoor instruments. Weather was perfect, and we enjoyed seeing many of our “alumni” children again and welcoming and meeting many of our new incoming families next fall. Thanks to Evy for her hard work on the signs and her helpers, Mae, Anaya, Tulah, and Maria – they were a huge hit and we are trying to figure out a way to have the children design the permanent signs we will be putting up to designate the play areas. Also thanks to all the teachers and parents who coordinated the event. Funds raised helped us meet our goal to purchase an awning to shade our new seating area on the steps.