Gingerbread Cookie

This week my mind is thinking about gingerbread cookie decorating. I know it sounds trivial but it has been a big part of our last couple of weeks in terms of preparation ( calling to order the dough from the bakery, picking up the dough and arranging our bakers- thank you to Kate and our families!) and the execution. Planning the decorating requires thought and careful organization so that 50 children can all decorate happily and fairly at the same time. Aside from the logistics, what really intrigues me about the whole enterprise, is the excitement that bubbles within as children spread sugary icing and decorate with sugar coated jellies and multi coloured smarties. I am guessing our TNNS children mostly do not eat a lot of these types of treats on a regular basis so it is a combination of the novelty and ‘sinfulness’ of the junk food that is so exciting. When we engage in activities that are out of our norm, even like eating candy, something shifts inside us. A little whirlwind, a buzz, a swirl. The anticipation of something novel or delectable is like nothing else- we humans love to look forward to things; it often helps provide us with the incentive to get through the harder, more mundane moments. So, I wonder, how can we create more of these swirly feelings? In terms of relationships, how can we continue to open space for these types of feelings? I hope you have a swirly moment today- a little excitement bubble inside you!

Yutaka tests his arm strength on this “little tree”. I enjoyed watching him play with his own strength in comparison to the tree.

Laren, Avalon and Sara make soup and muffins. Laren is making a blueberry soup; the children often seem to pretend to make soup from berries.

When Elizabeth notices the scarves in the wagons, she immediately solicits Barry to throw them up in the air as they had done once before a few months ago in this exact place ( in fact, it was in another blog). Isn’t this a beautiful connection of relationship and play?

Roy is very excited as he points out a “bird” to me and then gets ready to have another look through his binoculars.

A loud sound cackles down from the skyway. Quinn looks up to see who is making the sound. This curiosity is so healthy and important as a way to care about the creatures around us.

These Eagles are pulling the leaves off of the ivy strands in preparation for wreath making with our buddies.

Learning to work with a partner in a catching game requires focus and concentration. The velcro makes for a fun game since the ball has less tendency to go flying past the catcher! Rhys and Oliver share many giggles during this game.

Negotiating the play dishes is hard work! There are many dishes that have multiples but some of then just have a ‘one of’ and those are the items that end up being sought after by many children. We love supporting this work, it leads to so much learning.

William and Yutaka explore the grasses, the squishy feel of the undergrowth and the periodic splashes of water seeping up.

Heidi shares a story with the children about the mountains of Chile. Interestingly, I had just returned from a UBC reading group where we are exploring the use of myths and oral storytelling with children, which can be so powerful. Oral storytelling is so important in terms of creating connections between past and present.

Clark so proudly says to me “I wrote my name! C-L-A-R-K!”.

Experimenting with how twigs and pebbles fall, Ezrah is discovering the basis for scientific investigation.

Quinn wants to climb a different structure but she was not tall enough. She is disappointed but not completely heartbroken so Justine and I suggest she try this spider web climber. She looks at it. She looks at me. And, then she puts one foot on the first rung, then her other foot. And she is off and climbing!

Janina and Atlas roll the giant spools. They enjoy watching it roll away from their bodies and then tip over, only to pick it up again.

Sara and Avalon race their spools. Sara and Avalon have quickly become friends.

May, Ohnyou and Yi Teng work on a storytelling project. The concept of working collaboratively on a project is really starting to come to life in a positive way. I am so excited!

Reya and Daniela make cards for their big buddies. The buddies open up their world, offering learning to all.

These Owls are so excited to decorate their gingerbread men! 

Miles and Aaran use the marble pieces to make shooting devices. Kate spends time with them, helping them to create fair and safe rules round this play. We cannot deny shooting devices, it is truly impossible, so rather than constantly trying to shut the play down, we use it as a teaching opportunity.

Wayden is figuring out which pebbles can fit through the holes at the top of the tube. I love how he connected to two towers.

One long, topsy turvy tower! Mia plays with the balance of the tower, while also putting pebbles inside the tube.

Cleo leaps from the spool after standing on it for a long while. Was she thinking about leaping off the whole time?