Fall Enrichment Curriculum
The Enrichment Program is something the children look forward to with enthusiasm each week. The multiple levels of engagement offer different layers of learning for the children, while strengthening skills needed for everyday life.
MUSIC WITH MR. JOEY
Each week Mr. Joey visits the Sunflower and Blossom classrooms to sing and teach music to the children. Even the youngest children in the Buttercup and Sweet Pea rooms enjoy listening to music played on a variety of instruments. Joey teaches concepts such as soft and loud, fast and slow. Music sessions incorporate songs that involve movement and participation from the children. The preschool children have recently been singing about windy weather and apples; while the toddlers have had lots of practice sharing space.
On one of the last sunny autumn days here in Bellingham, music was held for the toddlers on the deck.
GARDENING WITH MCKENNA
McKenna, who assists Coleen in the kitchen, has assumed a new role. With Ms. Debbie’s assistance, she is serving as our master gardener. Drawing on Debbie’s many years of experience and McKenna’s internship on a farm, they are building a garden curriculum unique to our school community. One goal is to be more intentional by planting ingredients needed for Ms. Coleen’s recipes. They began the Fall curriculum, by introducing children new to the Sunflower House to the “big” garden. Those who tended our garden through the spring and summer months, were encouraged to lead by example. After, weeding and planting fall crops of spinach, beets, and carrots, the last few tomatoes and beans were gathered up for eating and seed saving.
McKenna and the children examine a sunflower from the garden.
SUNFLOWER HOUSE KINDER-PREP CHILDREN EXPERIENCE WALDORF INSPIRED ARTS WITH MS. SUZANNE
Paper making is a transformative process which is truly magical for children. Tearing up paper or cutting into small pieces strengthens fine motor development as well as allowing for the eco experience of recycling! The dry-to-wet mash process provides sensory contrast; it is exciting for the children to observe and handle the products of each step! Sensory sensitivity is encouraged when playing in the wet mash and applying it to the screens to press out flat. The pressure activity of squeezing out water from the pulp, yields a cause and effect experience which sets a foundation for other natural sciences. Final products of fine and thick paper is a joy to behold and evolve into more crafts as a foundation for cards, art work and gifts.
Pressing leaves and flowers includes the art of gathering through the summer and fall months. Collecting these materials from the forest and garden supports interest for the children in observing the season changes. It also respects their eye for beauty; what the children select to preserve is honored. Keeping the pressed items in a form that allows the natural beauty of the plant to be exposed and sustained in time is a rich and rewarding experience. The children learn that capturing the essence of beauty in nature can be used for decoration, cards and invitations when applied to the handmade paper or other natural material. This year, the paper was used in the Kinder-prep children’s invitations to their Stone Soup luncheon, an annual event for where the children prepare lunch for their parents.
Darian and a group of children squish pulp to make paper.