Shearwater students proudly showed their year's work to families and friends during the School's annual Open Day at the end of November - a breathtaking display of colour, creativity, beauty and incredible energy.
Here at Playgroup, we were very lucky to have a visit from ‘Sunshine Susie’ with her magical biodynamic potion. We all helped stir the potion and then after an hour sprinkled it all around the Rosewood Cottage gardens. Mirabai and Lottie are investigating the potion with Susie (above).
Steven and Willa are grating beetroot together for our lunch. Dad is using the big grater and Willa is practicing her hand eye coordination and fine and gross motor skills on the small grater.
Quinne is deeply engrossed in is solitary play. His train track has stepped up to the next level as he has discovered adding blocks creates a kind of viaduct.
The groups are very busy making felted butterflies and everyone is joining in - beginning with observation, for one of our youngest children, Amber.
Another end of the year is approaching fast and many of our families are getting ready for Preschool next year. I feel very lucky to have been part of so much learning, building of friendships, sharing of happy times and deep intimate experiences. A big thank you to you all and the warmest wishes.
Our Hummingbee Kindies thoroughly enjoyed an outing to visit Wink Blink Lighthouse and to watch Wash Wallow Whale and his family travelling North to where the waters are warm… back to where Wash Wallow was born. “It feels like we’re flying!” one child commented as we began their first journey together on the school bus.
We have spent a whole term finger-knitting, weaving, feeding and sewing our beautiful Grandmother Shellyback Turtles - a wonderful long-term ‘will’ project. The children have discovered the pleasure and satisfaction of making something beautiful which requires perseverance and thoroughness. “My heart feels so filled up with love and excitement” was how one child described the moment she realised her turtle was almost finished. The children now want to make a story about the adventures of their turtles - a lovely reflection of the children feeling a sense of belonging and togetherness as a group, preparing to head to Class One next year.
Our Spring Festival last term began with the children and parents making flower crowns. We then shared some of the songs from our stories about Queen Honey Hum’s Happy Humming Hive, the Golden Palace.
This term, our garden has been lovingly sprinkled with a biodynamic preparation, known at Kindy as Star-Secret Sprinkles, to help Mother Earth nourish her soil and plants. The sense of wonder was tangible as the children stirred then looked at their wet hands to see if they could see the star sprinkles! Our potato harvest gave a bumper crop, which the children took home to share with their families for dinner.
Sand play, mud play and water play are becoming favourite activities at outside playtime, to keep us cool as the weather warms up again. We continue to stretch the capabilities of our limbs, trying new things on the monkey bars, balancing and pulling heavy loads for the garden.
This week we begin a woodwork project, making paddle boats, with lots of sanding, painting, sawing, hammering, tie-dyeing the sail, tying knots to secure the anchor and then finally launching, at the end of term, when the children will be well and truly ready to launch off on the next step of their own exciting journey into Primary School!
The Hummingbee Team
Alex Korobacz from Bare Hands Carpentry recently completed stage two of our Preschool playground equipment with the support of the dedicated families who took part in our holiday working bee. A big thank you to Alex and Bel (parents of Malika) and Magnum (Zion and Isis), who were hard at work nearly every day. Also to Tam (Matchum and Tommy), Nikolett (Maya and Leila), Rich (Yasmine), Jacob (Willow and Isi), KDN (Tula) and Thomas (Mattea), for their hard work sanding, sawing, digging and varnishing/oiling. Also to Bel (Malika), Elyse (Dylan), Jo and Matt (Francis and William), Claire (Matchum and Tommy) and Rachelle (Willow and Isi), for food and drink deliveries to keep everyone's energy flowing.
A BIG thank you to our beloved Frankie for his skill and care as he zipped in and out of our gardens with the tractor, digging holes, clearing ground, moving logs and removing one of our plants to make room for our Crystal Castle. A BIG thank you also to Ken and Sunshine Suzie who, with love and dedication, ensured the surrounding gardens were ready for the adventures of our precious little ones when they arrived back from their holidays.
Our Therapeutic Space has also been completed over the holidays - a big thank you to my own boys, Malcolm, Jared, Connor and Jordan, for volunteering their time. The Therapeutic Space will provide all the children at Preschool and Playgroup with an opportunity for quiet time, when needed, complete with cuddles from our guinea pigs, Scuffles and Rosie Beautiful Flower.
Our deepest appreciation from all Preschool staff,
Craig, Sandy, Suze, Danni, Antoinette, Gabe, Karen, Susan and Kaz
The young child learns through imitation and through social play with peers. For our Preschool children, this term (as always) has been a time of ‘doing’, with imagination and creativity. You can see from the photos above all of the amazing things we have been doing including: climbing and exploring in Grandfather Fig tree; working together to make cubbies; helping to take care of our guinea pigs; reading stories to each other and going for adventures sailing on the sea.
With the arrival of spring, we have started to notice new growth and new creatures joining us in the garden. The following is one of our favourite spring songs, (sung while we all hold onto the waist of person in front and make a great big caterpillar line!).
Many Legs Caterpillar
Has many, many, many, many legs.
Many Legs Caterpillar has many, many, many, many legs.
Across the garden he does run,
Following the light of the golden sun
With all his friends, he does roam
Until he finds a place for a cosy home…
Many Legs Caterpillar has many, many, many, many legs.
Many Legs Caterpillar has many, many, many, many legs
After our nourishing winter break, the children of Birdsong Kindy came back rested and ready for busy Kindy work. As we transitioned from the cold winter months into spring, we heard the stories of Wallow Whale and his family, who made the long journey from the icy southern waters to the warm waters of Golden Bay, where Mama Whale would have her baby. Along the way he met many new friends, including Diver Dolphin, Careena Green Turtle, the Rainbow Sparkle Fish and of course, passed by Blink Wink Lighthouse. We learnt many new songs of the sea and the children’s clever hands began finger knitting the rainbow colours that will eventually be woven together to make the shell of their very own turtle.
To finish our Wallow stories, the class took the bus to visit Blink Wink, and to look out for Wallow and his friends and family. It was our lucky day, as the water was clear and we saw many whales splashing and waving their tails. The children will tell you that we saw more than 100 whales ("what’s the biggest number, Kat?") as well as Diver and Silver Seagull, and Busy Bush Turkey. We finished the day with a picnic and a play in the park. Fun was had by all.
Now, spring days have arrived! A big thank you to all the parents and staff who contributed to a wonderful Spring Fair, helping all our children to celebrate and welcome the change of season. Now in Birdsong, we sing of the birds, bees, butterflies, and rain! We hear the stories of Lady Spring’s Garden as we begin our preparation for our Spring Festival, when we look forward to celebrating with our families again.
We have been very busy at Playgroup this term, thanks to lots of teamwork and help. We have been experimenting with making our own stepping stones, leading from the veranda of Rosewood Cottage, over the bridge and eventually to the cubby house and sandpit. We've still got quite a bit of work ahead of us, but it is a lot of fun and it looks great too. Thanks to Beverley Clark for the inspiration and materials for our stepping stones project and for donating silk that she dyed with her wonderful color experience. Big thank yous also to Vanessa, for expertly sewing the two big pieces of silk together, and to Ken for digging in all our pavers.
Well, what a transformation in our garden over the holidays! A big thank you to all of the busy bees who gave their time and effort to help to make our playground come to life. And an extra BIG thank you to Alex, Bel, Malika and Huon for their vision and dedication. From all the children, now and to come... our deepest appreciation.
Susan’s group discovered the cubby house and it was a huge hit... it became a house, a cafe, a food stall, a caravan. The children swept and cleaned and watered the plants, they made a path and a garden, and came up with some great ideas for extensions, having picked up on the enthusiasm, creative inspiration and imagination that poured into every corner, detail and brush stroke - a veranda, front steps, two levels, an umbrella for their cafe and many more wonderful ideas.
The new boat, Bella Rosa, took Susan's whole class on a journey together across the silvery seas, amidst the frolicking whales. A few children fell overboard and Officer Elias jumped in the rough seas to rescue them while the deck crew all gathered together with their ropes to offer support.
Then, Sandy’s group went fishing on the boat. They gathered some logs to have a fire and cooked up a feast. I'm sure there will be many more adventures to come!
Hummingbee Kindies have been busy with seasonal activities this term…we’ve tucked our Golden Daffodil Bulb Babies into their cosy winter beds and care for them each day; some are starting to tentatively pop up their little green heads already!
We have been preparing for our Winter Festival... rolling beeswax candles, and constructing our ‘little houses with starry windows and a fireplace inside’ for our lanterns, to shed a little light for us at this darkest and coldest time of year.
Our fingers have been busy learning finger knitting and making all sorts of things from our stories using modelling beeswax.
Outside we have loved stretching our bodies and exploring what new things we can do with long-rope skipping and our new monkey bars. Thank you Alex for building them for us!
Thank you, too to Zach and Willow’s families who donated rocks for a new dry creek-bed in our playground, and to all the kindies who loaded and pulled trolley loads of rocks into our garden! Our mud-pit continues to be a favourite play-space and is transformed every day with a new play-story, construction and sculpting in mud.
Crystal Creek provides us with opportunities for cooperative play…like moving a huge tree branch to make a bridge to help us cross the water to Crystal Treasure Corner.
Our garden has provided bounteous gifts for baking day – silverbeet, shallots, basil, parsley, tomatoes, mint and lemongrass for warming teas and we have beetroot, zucchini and peas coming on for next term's baking days. Above all, we enjoy our native mulberry, with her tiny pearl-like fruit and the little cubby she provides beneath her branches.
Playgroup is a place to share and support each other, to create friendships and learn from and with each other.
Adele and Solae (pictured above) are having a cup of tea together and chatting away like they see their parents doing. They have moved from parallel play, where the children sit beside each other and copy each others play, to actively seeking out friends and engaging in co-operative play. These are wonderful social and emotional milestones observed and celebrated by parent and educator in Playgroup.
We had a woolly day at Playgroup recently. Tzivonit and her son Tamer brought in their one-week old lamb Daisy. Daisy Lamb is always very hungry. She wears a nappy while she is inside, just like a baby, and needs to stay close to her adopted mum. Thank you Tziv for this wonderful experience. Also thank you to Joss for showing us how to spin wool into yarn and a big thank you to all our wonderful families for sharing these special moments.
© Shearwater The Mullumbimby Steiner School