Fall Festival at Nature Preschool

childrenneednature-01By Shannon Dryden, Nature Preschool Manager and Lead Teacher

October and November are a time of transition and growth here at Nature Preschool. The leaves are changing, the children are growing and bonding, and the environment is preparing for the colder temperatures to come. This is the time when I hear, “Does my friend John come today?” or “Miss Shannon, look what I found, it’s the fur from a milkweed plant!” The children are becoming more aware of each other and even better observers when it comes to the outdoor world.

Perhaps one of the times when this is most apparent is during our Fall Festival. Each year, we mark this exciting time, with our very own pumpkin patch accompanied by pumpkin painting and nailing (with real hammers and nails), sensory explorations like shaving cream and plastic insects or cornstarch and water, a fall obstacle course, “pin the face on the pumpkin,” and stories with families, teachers and friends. It is such a heartwarming event and I love to see smiles on the faces of children; engage in conversations with parents and teachers; and watch as the children accompany one another or their parents to the various activities.

The greatest part of the morning is the “Mask Parade” which allows each child to show their creativity with their black and orange attire and hand-crafted masks full of color and texture. They march along with their teachers talking about how they are going to sing to Miss Bea or cannot wait to get downstairs to see Miss Gail. They walked around the visitor center discussing what costume they would be wearing while trick-or-treating and how much fun Halloween Hikes was last week. This year, I was overwhelmed with emotion as I watched two classes engage with one another and share observations with teachers from their fellow class. These new experiences lead to excitement and curiosity and stronger friendships and bonds with teachers and parents. Take a look at all the fun…