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  • Melanie Patric

Restaurant, Sunflowers, and A Walk Around the Block...

August has been a perfect month for sunflowers- our two mammoth sunflowers outdoors are just beginning to bud (at about 7-8 feet tall!), and so our morning pretend session included cooking up and serving some sunflower seed bread with sunflower seed butter. We've also been enjoying two sweet sunflower-themed fingerplays. One of them goes like this:

Here is my garden (make one palm flat toward ceiling)

I rake with care (make raking motions with three fingers of opposite hand)

I plant my sunflower seeds in there. (pretend to plant seeds between fingers)

The sun shines bright, (raise arms above head to make circle)

The rain does fall, (wiggle fingers down like raindrops)

And my sunflower blossoms (place one hand palm toward chest)

Grow straight and tall! (bring other hand behind palm and raise fingers and forearm up behind palm)

Later in the morning we did the first part of a sunflower art project. We began by using watercolors to ever-so-gently paint coffee filters in two shades of yellow.

I modeled gentle brush strokes for the children and they took great care to use a touch like "a butterfly's wings."

The children did very well and not one of the delicate coffee filters were torn.

After that we took a walk around the neighborhood while we waited for the coffee filters to dry. We found a tall gladiolus flower. The children wondered if any of them were taller than the flower.

Nope! The flower was the tallest! It was a fun exercise in measurement.

We also found a deserted section of wasp's nest. We were extra careful and used just our eyes to examine the papery home of wasp. You never know- there might be one last wasp just waiting to sting in there!

At the end of the day the children and I enjoyed listening to me read a story by Christine Natale. The story is about three little stars who wanted to get a better look at what was happening on Earth. Despite words of warning, the little stars wanted to see the water, plants, animals, and people so much that they flung themselves over the edge of the heavens, and the people who were looking up at the sky saw their bright tails as they streaked across the night sky. Later three wise people found the stars that had fallen. A brave prince found one and had it turned into a strong sword that rescued many people and helped him become a just and wise ruler. A doctor found the second and used it to make medicine which gave strength and courage to those who had been weak. A painter found the third and used it in paints which gave his paintings a heavenly light; those who saw his paintings were inspired to look up at the wonders of the night sky and remember the stars.

The Perseid meteor shower will be upon us soon and hopefully some of the daycare children will look to the night sky and see a "falling star" and think of this story.

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