A Seasonal Story

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Pumpkin soup is a great story for preschool and primary grade children.  The illustrations are colorful, vibrant and very detailed.  The character development is perfect for young audiences and it is just a really sweet story. 🙂

Take time to read every day!  Open your world through books both fiction and non-fiction! 🙂

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Halloween Provocation

Hi everyone!  I hope your week was great! 🙂

101_6235Today I want to share a Halloween provocation.  As I’ve mentioned before and those of you who are actively implementing a Reggio inspired curriculum know, that provocations are ways to invite, inspire and challenge young minds.  That doesn’t necessarily mean the provocation has to be difficult or too challenging for the children.  Simple provocations usually equal some of the more complex creations I’ve seen.

101_6229I have had a Halloween music box for years and there are two magnetized ghosts that dance on it.  I decided to set this up as a simple provocation to get into the Halloween spirit!  The first thing that comes to mind is that young children will either want to copy what they see or they may be inspired to create a story.  I love provocations that inspire story -telling because it leads to so much more.  Often times the story may start out as either fictional or factual and then morph into the child’s unique imagination with elements of both fantasy and realism.  To support the creative ideas and keep with a theme that may be emerging and staying for a while, it is always great to provide literature that can fuel the creative spirit.  

101_6230Besides adding seasonal literature, the art tools can support the color concepts of autumn or Halloween.  Sometimes color alone can provoke stories associated with the holiday or season.  I enjoy watching the process unfold and offering assistance when I can.  The final product is always something that does not stand alone. Knowing how the child came to the final piece is worth much more!

Please feel free to show some of the seasonal or Halloween provocations you’ve set up and what your experiences were like?  Share this posting and check out my latest one on Halloween Safety! 🙂

101_6223Thank you for stopping by The Marigold School of Early Learning! 🙂

Be Safe on Halloween

teal-pumpkin Hello, everyone!  I hope those of you who have little ones or who just enjoy the upcoming Halloween holiday are getting ready!  I wanted to put out a reminder that the Teal Pumpkin Project is something to look for in your respective neighborhoods on Halloween night.  If you take your children trick-or-treating and food allergies are a part of your lives, please remember that homes with a teal pumpkin are allergy free and “safe” treats for your children who have to be cautious of their food allergies.  This usually means there may not be any candy, but there will be stickers, small toys, playdough, etc., things the children will get instead of the traditional candy that most will not be able to consume.  This is great because these children do not have to feel left out and can enjoy this time of year as much or better than their candy counterparts!  If there is candy it should be gluten, dairy and nut free, so watch out for that.

teal-pumpkin-projectHomes with teal pumpkins should not be giving out both allergy-free treats and regular candy treats due to possible cross contamination.  Yes, even if wrappers are on all the pieces of candy, cross contamination can happen and a fun evening could turn tragic if the wrong piece was given to a child with a severe food allergy.  Another important reminder is to make sure your older children are well aware of not sharing their candy if they have friends or younger siblings with food allergies.  I often think this is a given, but there are those times when young people (elementary through high school) forget.  And it is times like Halloween that we all need to pay closer attention to the important and serious needs of our youngest and most vulnerable population on this holiday.

6fc2be45420873-5607a1ef155b0 This Halloween may also be very rainy and windy, so please remember to dress children of all ages in warm clothing underneath their chosen costumes.  I realize that may change the effect of the costume, but keeping warm and dry is a bit more important than having the perfect costume effect.  However, if you’re not venturing outdoors that evening then it isn’t as much of a concern.  One thing I often think of is how cold little hands can get being outdoors in the cool rainy night.  If at all possible you may want to consider a pair of mittens or gloves to keep their little hands toasty.  Most of us adults giving out treats will make sure we get the treats in their little childrens-umbrella-with-ear-20284667480bag or bucket, so no worries there.

woman-giving-candy-to-children-on-halloween-300x200 Another safety tip that I believe to be one that is often times overlooked is making sure that you do not leave a group of young children in the care of an older sibling that is not an adult.  And yes, I mean do not leave the responsibility of watching over young children to teenage kids.  The reason I say this is because Halloween has a long tradition of going door to door in your neighborhood or a friend or relatives neighborhood.  Going to houses of people you do not know is common on this particular occasion, however, if something should happen you don’t want your older child feeling the guilt and having that heavy weight on their shoulders.  Adults should be responsible for all of their children and allow all of their children no matter the age to be able to relax and have a really fun time on Holloween.  Just think of it as getting more exercise for yourself by walking along with the kids and keeping a safe eye on each of them.  Work together to make sure we don’t hear of any tragic accidents the next day on the news.  Halloween does not have to be a sad event, it can always be safe, happy and fun if we adults take responsibility for the children out on that one evening each year!

disney-characters-cosplay-for-your-lovely-kids3Some people may say their teenager is super responsible and doesn’t mind and it is a good experience for them learning how to be more responsible as they mature.  I believe there are many, many other occasions throughout the year that your teenager can show responsibility and it doesn’t have to be on an occasion that may put both in danger if attention is easily distracted by the older child.  And yes, teenagers are not yet adults, they are still children in many ways.  Just look at the current brain research and you’ll know that your teenager still has some years ahead to develop into a mature and responsible adult.  Let your kids be kids without the heavier responsibilities that are meant for adults. If you don’t agree then you can find another blogger that sees things your way, but for those that do, you probably have experienced similar events in your life that support what I’m saying.

101_6228Have a happy, safe and memorable Halloween this year!  Let’s keep all the children safe and make it possible for them to have fun without worries!!  They deserve that, don’t you think? 🙂

Walk, ride or drive to The Marigold School of Early Learning! 🙂 Please share this blog with families you think could use these safety tips.  Also, be sure to leave any comments about your experiences trick-or-treating with your children!  Have any of you stopped at homes with the teal pumpkin?  Let me know! 🙂

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A Touch of Halloween

 101_6246  Halloween is just around the corner and I wanted to make sure my school had just a sprinkling of the season in its mix.  I do not go all out with a ton of scary decorations because for me Halloween is more of a “candy day” than it is a scary celebration.  I am very well aware that many people love this holiday and find it to be the best one of the year!  I like seeing the creative and cute costumes and I do enjoy seeing all the new commercial items as well.  For my school, I really like keeping the decor for Haloween specifically to a minimum and increasing the autumn feel.  This year, however, autumn seemed to drop on us the first of October.  We did not have a longer summer as we’ve had in the past recent years, so the cold really hit.  Not that it has been super chilly out there, just all of a sudden I saw the leaves turn lovely colors and wind and rain became our norm.

101_6242I prefer to keep Halloween themed provocations to a tiny amount because the curriculum for the school is emergent.  With an emergent curriculum the children’s interests do not always match the holiday season and that is just fine with me.  That doesn’t mean that costumes and parties are off the table for discussion, it just means Halloween is not the main part of the curriculum and the school’s goals.  I have never liked interrupting real learning and natural interest with artificial things that match the holidays.  If children are interested in building with recyclable materials, then why should they be pulled away to do a “Halloween activity”?  Let’s not interrupt real learning and interest with topics that may be best suited for outside the classroom time.

101_6220  What Halloween provocations have you set up?  What autumn provocations have you set up?  How successful were these provocations and what did they lead to?  Let me know below!  

Walk, ride or drive to The Marigold School of Early Learning!101_6155