Monarch Butterfly

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We hosted Monarch caterpillar for 1  week at preschool. The caterpillar was found by Celo soccer field. It was carefully transported to preschool for children to have a close observation. We have not had Monarch caterpillar for several years so we were very excited. We have watched it grow bigger every day. We have seen it eat the milkweed and drop many frass on the table.  Children got a small brush and a dust pan to sweep up the frass . Children were very curious about this colorful caterpillar, it was challenging to have them not to touch the delicate creature.  We sang songs to them instead. After one week, on Friday, September 18, we noticed that the caterpillar was attaching itself on a top of the butterfly cage, and forming a "J". We saw it hanging upside down. At circle time, we sang "Caterpillar Crawling By". We pretended hanging upside down like the caterpillar.

The next two weeks, we had to be very patient and as we watched the light green chrysalis. We observed the tiny golden dots on a side of the chrysalis. At circle time, some children got light green silkies and wrap themselves up like a chrysalis. At clay table, we made caterpillars, chrysalises, and butterflies. We were wondering if a butterfly was going to be a boy or a girl. We left the chrysalis hanging very carefully so that it will not disturb during the metamorphosis.  O. F. said, "It is in a process".

Over the weekend of October 2, I checked the chrysalis frequently. On Sunday night, the butterfly was born! It happened quietly and peacefully. Rachel (a Meeting caretaker) said as butterfly pumped the fluid from the body to its wings, orange fluid dropped on the counter. Rachel carefully moved the cage to the sunny window for the butterfly to warm up and dry its wings.  I left a bouquet of flowers in case butterfly was ready to eat.  Children were so excited to see the beautiful Monarch butterfly on Tuesday morning. We noticed when it flapped wings that it had little black dots on the lower part of the wings which indicates that our butterfly was a boy! Should we call him "Chuck", "William", or  "Jo"?  We set him outside the preschool when we were ready to go on a walk. It did not fly away, so we just watched it moving on a cage. We sang "Happy Birthday" and gave him a wish for a safe travel to New Mexico/ Mexico. When we came back from our walk, Rachel L. walked up to check the cage. The butterfly had flown out of it and it was gone!



Spring Masquerade 2015

I don't know what happened, but I was not able to load new post on our blog this spring, so these wonderful pictures were not published. I wanted to share them even though we are already in the fall. It is so sweet to relive the moment again. After two weeks of preparation, finally we had the Spring Masquerade. We were down by the playground getting everything ready. For some reason, my assistant who was coming to help me did not appear at the scheduled time, and I wasn't sure how I was going to do it by myself. I had to get everyone dressed and stay as a group to go and wake up the sleeping parents for the spring (the significant part of this event).

Anytime when we invite parents to a preschool event, children get so excited, but some little ones have no clue what is going on. And of course in the midst of the excitement, there was a poopy diaper to change. I did not happen to have a diaper with me, so she had to go with just a tights under her dress costume. While I was attending the diaper situation, one came to tell me that he had an accident.  This was actually a blessing because earlier he didn't want to wear his costume that he made which was a pair of shorts. Now with his pants and underwear wet, he agreed that he needed to wear the costume (very cute shorts dyed in red and green).

Somehow we managed to get all the capes, dresses, hats, shorts on all the children, and we reenacted the spring part of "Root Children" story by Sibylle von Olfers. When the group procession started to spread apart and the youngest one was struggling to keep up, my assistant who was held up unexpectedly at home appeared like an angel to help with the youngest one. Parents were sweetly woken up by their children and handed a yellow daffodil.  

We held hands to make a big circle with all the parents and grandparents, and one neighbor who came to join us. We sang "Winter Good Bye", and went around to introduce ourselves. Everyone brought lovely food for the potluck. We need to thank Mother Nature for raining before and after but not during the event. I forgot to inform parents that it was Alena's last day as an assistant teacher.  Alena helped us from January through March. She was a returning staff from the fall of 2007. I remember Cosmo asking, "Alena, are you a teenager?". Maybe because of her bright whimsical hair or her light laughter. Alena had to explain that she has a big boy who is getting into playing soccer. Teenager or not, we love you Alena and want to thank you for the fun and wonderful time together at preschool.

Thanks to Ryan for great photos and videos.

Excited to wear our hand-made costume





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Thursday Walk to Becky's Creek

Vera making a leaf boat Mattias watching his stick boat

Vera climbing a "climbing tree"

Mattias spring flowers he picked for his mommy

The bridge we cross to the creek

The little people under the bridge

The children exploring the creek

Now that the spring is here, we are going back to visiting Becky's Creek on Thursday walk. The children love crossing over a bridge to visit this whimsical place. The creek makes tight bends so it feels like you are surrounded by the soft sound of water. Then the spring birds of all kinds start singing above our head. We spent 20 -30 minutes hopping over the small creek, making boats, playing with rocks and sand. Nature found the children, and children were at home with nature. It was both playful and peaceful.

Winter Celebration

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Preschool Winter Celebration was held on Friday, December 13th at 5pm at CCC. We started with a lovely potluck. We acknowledged the hard work of parting staff members, Anna and Peg for the years they worked at the preschool. They were presented with bouques of roses and thank you cards. We will miss them so much! We then had the shadow puppet show, "Bird Tree". This was a lovely Christmas story that speaks to the children about being friendly to animals and with each other. It also brings in inter-generational values.

After the shadow puppet show, we moved upstairs to the evergreen spiral ceremony. The double spiral represents searching for inner light and bringing it outwardly to the world. We witnessed each child on their journey of life as we sung them a song. (pictures taken by Gretchen)

New friends at preschool

We had a wonderful day back to preschool after the three week winter break.  After the initial five minutes or so, everyone was pretty much back to normal self, thanks to the preschool routine and structure.  We had a new friend, Finn who came for the first time.  He had just turned one year old, and he was wonderful.  Vera came and gave a nice snugly hugs and kisses during the indoor pokies time.  Finn was so occupied the whole time, I hardly heard his voice.  Tomorrow, we will have another new friend, Colin.  Colin is three years old and loves being outside, and children are curious to find out more about him.

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First week reflection

Everyone is doing so well.  The returning children seem happy and content.  They certainly grew bigger and sturdier over the summer.  Having them comfortably and freely play at the preschool sets the environment safe and interesting place for the new children.  We stayed at the playground the first day to establish the base, but from the second day on, children were ready to slots online venture out for a walk.  We watched the Tibbit"s cabin move from the hill behind it.   We had a lovely play time at the Bethany"s Garden and around the pond. We went to a creek and enjoyed building a dam, rolling down the hill, climbing up the hill.  On Friday, at Tibbit"s Garden, we had so much fun gathering colorful flower petals and wrapping them in a plantain leaf to make a small parcel for each other.  Thank you Kurt and Stephanie for arranging a tree cutter to take some dead limbs hanging over the playground!

We had a wonderful field trip to see the calf (almost a week old) at AMS.  We walked though beautiful arcade of rhododendron trees and bubbling brook.  We crossed four hand built bridges to AMS.  After the snack and saying hi to Micah (volunteer), Brian, and Brad, we went to see the calf.  It was rolled up in a ball so quietly and peacefully.  It seemed to have overly large nose for his size.  After we watched for a while, it stood up on wobbly feet and walked over to Nettle (mother cow).  Then Tal came over and told us that there is a lamb just born an hour ago.  He invited us to see the lamb, so we loaded on the truck and had a hay ride to the Falcon field.  Mother sheep was still in labor for the second one.  We saw the tiny black sheep following white mother sheep.  His feet were still week but his instinct was strong.  He seached for mother"s nipples to nurse which Tal thought it real pokies online would help to bring the next baby sooner.  It was so sweet to see the interaction between the mother and the baby.  We talked about how the mother was licking the baby just like Roska did in the story we were telling that week.

Finn enjoying the snack time

Shaw enjoying the flower at AMS

Emmet exploring the creek from above on the way to AMS

Nettle and her calf

Baby lamb searching to nurse