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  • Melanie Patric

Goodbye to Bees, Leaves, and Birds...

The children and I are really beginning to notice signs of fall all around us. The bees are slow and less numerous, the brightly colored leaves are beginning to fall, and the calls of migrating geese can be heard throughout the day.

Our circle time aims to capture the flavor of the season, so we've included several Halloween-themed fingerplays in the morning mix. One of them is "Ghost of John." Sung in a minor key, it is particularly spooky sounding and goes like this:

Have you seen the ghost of John?

Long white bones with no skin on.


Have you seen the ghost of John?

We cut the watercolors we painted last week into leaf shapes to make beautiful translucent window hangings. The children took turns using a paintbrush to apply oil to the leaf cut outs. We focused on holding the leaf in one spot with one hand and painting with the other hand.

The finished leaves look lovely hanging above the window and filter the afternoon sunlight.

I recently had an opportunity to visit the shores of Lake Michigan and I couldn't help but bring home some new treasures for the children to play with. I found a bundle of sand-smoothed rocks and scoured the beach for driftwood with interesting shapes.

Once the new treasures were washed and baked, the children found a myriad of uses for them. One child loved using the rocks as cargo for his trains to push around.

Another combined wood and rocks to make a road for vehicles. She built lots of bridges and gates for the cars. Another child used a piece of driftwood as a cradle for a baby.

It's wonderful to see how flexible the imaginations of the children are and it's always fascinating for me to watch them come up with possibilities I never thought of.

We've been working on our Trick-or-Treating ettiquette as we dress up and pretend to visit homes in search of treats. The children have great fun using simple silk scarves to create costumes as varied as birds, princesses, and dragons, and knocking or saying "ding-dong" to indicate that they are at a new house. I emphasize saying "thank you" to the people giving out candy... even ghosts, goblins, and ghouls should have nice manners!

Another sign of fall that we've noticed has been the entrance of a flock of (or, in the spirit of Halloween a murder of) big, black crows visiting our feeder in hopes of finding a treat. To this point, they've been disappointed to find nothing, but soon we'll begin feeding the little winter birds that have begun to appear.

Another amazing thing we've been witnessing is how quickly the littlest Blue Sky Daycare member is growing, changing, and learning. She can make it through longer and longer stretches of tummy time, has found her hands and fingers and has come up with ways to use them, and is beginning to make the connection between her movements and the way they change her environment.

We've been reading a collection of poems from my all-time favorite Halloween book It's Halloween! by Jack Prelutsky. The poems have just the right mix of creepy Halloween symbols and wholesome fun, and the children love to listen to the rhythmical rhymes in the poems.

See you soon!

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