Brrr Lo Di O doh!
Another freezing morning in Napa! Can’t go outside?
As adults we may be thinking cozy up by the fire or read a good book with a blanket and tea, but how will we get our children to sit still inside for hours!? Although they would like those and many indoor activities with you, it just won’t usually be for hours!
Send them outside for lots of science fun and creativity!
First, let me remind all that children do not get sick from going outside in the cold.
It is virus germs and bugs that breed so nicely in a warm indoor environment that gets us ill! Children do need to dress appropriately so as not to have to fight off a chill, but again, this is not where the illness comes from. There is not bad weather, just inappropriate clothing and there isn’t a better place to explore than outside in nature! I’ve read great reviews of some schools that are held entirely outdoors, even one of our own California Council of Coop nursery schools is held entirely outdoors in Southern California.
So bundle up and go out to play!
During a recent class, one working daddy was telling me great stories of some of his own winter memories as a child. He lived on a farm and even on frozen mornings, there were chores to be done and animals that needed feeding. This daddy recalled many mornings anxious to get out into the yard just to check/break/and play with all of the frozen feeding troughs! Oh the senses and sounds on a cold quiet morning!
Our winter temperatures recently have made for some great play in our school backyard and there are so many simple ideas for outdoor winter fun at your home too.
One of our classes discussed some of their ice ideas for class:
“We could wear socks if we didn’t have gloves.”
We could play “ice bowling if we froze water in a balloon for a ball and water in coffee cups for bowling pins”……although this child’s idea does not understand all facts of the ice as of yet, his ‘creativity is flowing’ and he’s not far off!
We HAVE frozen a nice round tub of water to be a ‘hockey puck’ and we played ice hokey with small brooms and rakes.
Recently, we placed many, many, shallow pie pans of water in the yard for morning exploring. We froze the water in the birdbath and froze small cups of colored water as well. In the morning, many science minds were turning as the children poked, cracked ice, and lifted ice in small sheets like thin glass. Many were enjoying the sound of ‘breaking glass’ as they threw their ice sheets. Some children floated items on top of small ‘icebergs’ in the water play tables. And of course as sensory learners, licking of the ice was also a part. (You may wish to freeze juice or clean cups of water for this, we didn’t. ) Some of the children played till their fingers “burned or stung” as they said, and it was a great way to talk about freeze burns and not just heat burns. (We also provided warm water play and warm melting tray experiences inside for the children to warm their hands when done playing.) At home, just send them into the bath or be ready for soup or warm cider for breakfast!
At home, with just a small amount of prep, you too could send your children out to play and explore. Here’s a few ideas:
Beyond ice and frost:
Take a walk outside and see your breathe’ in the early morning! … A new bit of science and power of our heat!
Also, due to bare trees, while taking a walk, look for nests in bare trees. Nests, ready for the return and usually so usually elusive due to leaf, now visible!
I know, Napa is not the ‘big winter picture’ like some states, but short of going to Tahoe for the weekend, I’m sure your children will help you with many more icy cold ideas for good winter fun….outside!
Rain?! OH my, that’s another science adventure!
Bundle up and have fun!
Can Frost is an easy science project that teaches kids about condensation. Frost forms because of a change in temperature.
What You’ll Need:
Learn about Can Frost
Fill a small metal can 1/4 of the way with water.
Stir 4 tablespoons of salt into the water.
Add enough crushed ice to fill the cup, and stir the solution.
Observe what happens on the outside of the can.
Although I have one last camping event ahead, I feel as if yesterday was the real last day of summer. For many of you families that have children in elementary school, it WAS the last day of summer vacation!
Yesterday was my last weekly visit to the local Farmers Market. I love Tues. mornings to connect with all of our sweet nursery school families and so many alumni….they too remember my promise to see them at the weekly market. Before heading out, I received a call from a former NVNS President, Alice Jackson. She wanted me to know that she had a lovely history write up of our school from 1970! I dropped by to pick it up on the way to the market and there I also reconnected with her 2 grandchildren that previously attended NVNS. One was heading to middle school, the other off to her last year of elementary school. We reminisced about favorite old songs and activities while also talking about their excitement for starting a new school year. Alice herself says she gets together regularly with 7 other previous NVNS Board members! This fills my ‘heart basket’ with the sweet reminder of how special our NVNS community becomes for so many. Many students in high school also reconnected!
I always say at beginning parent meetings that you may meet some life time friends at NVNS, and our time together may change your life. This is wonderful as I also say that we do not do our best parenting work is isolation. It does take a village!
At the market, I could feel the excitement, the anxiety, the bittersweet flavor of the day as I connected with so many ready to attend their new schools. I think I reconnected more yesterday than any other Tuesdays all summer! I met with sweet young families just ready to begin their education journey together at NVNS and others off to high school. There were hugs and tears and a few text messages asking if I was still there as a ‘hug to send them off’ was needed. One child held me so tight but then quickly jumped up with excitement to head off for the special haircut needed to start school! I remember those days as a child and as a parent; excitement for new adventures and sadness for the end of the sweet bliss of summer time.
Journeys as parent and child together will forever have endings and beginnings as a continuous cycle. Enjoy your moments TOGETHER, no matter the age of your children, because as always, Together We’re Better!
Please stay connected with NVNS and watch us grow as well. This year’s school board is well under way with tasks at hand to create another great year at NVNS! Thanks to all of them and all of you who created Napa Valley Nursery School.
Again, stay connected.
With love, Mz. Lori
Just a tiny bit more:
As I have been seeing the years of connections of people from NVNS, I was also sharing our new baby guinea pig, CC, with everyone. I was thinking about all of the guinea pig pets that have made an impact in the classroom with children.
During my years with NVNS we have gone from Snowball, Sugar, Copper, Penny, Mohawk, Jelly Bean, Cuddles, Toot and Puddle, and Tom, we can’t forget Tom. Which pig was there during your years? Come see our new Candy Cane, CC, and many other things that have grown and changed at our school!
As NVNS comes to a close for summer our older and quickly growing children leave the nest of our nursery school. They can fly and yet realize that they will never be alone because Together We’re Better.
This first week from school I have been watching a finch nest on my porch. What seems like only days ago, Mama and Daddy bird were preparing their nest, then nurturing the quickly growing babies. Today I watch as the fledglings flutter, flap and fly! Time passed ever so quickly, just like all the years of our time with our children!
This first week of summer, I also attended two wonderful swimming parties….certainly the true sight, sound and feel of summer!
The first party included preschool fledglings from this year. They were confident and happy swimming fish and mermaids! It was lovely to show them that we will always continue to see each other, even though nursery school had come to an end. It was a wonderful warm beginning of summer fun.
The second swimming party I attended was that of teen age alumni of NVNS. What a wonderful sight of continued Together We’re Better! Both boys, girls and families often make life time friends at NVNS and I am always in awe and delight to watch and listen to continued growth and forever holding hands and sticking together.
Some families separate and reconnect throughout the years and I am proud that NVNS had a supportive beginning for families with like ideas and desires for their children as well as the understanding of the need of community to do our best parenting work.
My first summer dinner night out, I bumped into alumni as well, a lovely family celebrating their two teen girls ready to graduate to new schools. This happens so often in our little town. I am always delighted when people check in throughout the years and I see the changing faces.
I so appreciate how our community of Napa Valley Nursery School continues to support our school, me and each other.
Together We Are Better!
Grab a hat, seek shade and time to enjoy our quickly passing time with children. Happy summer fun to all!
Love, Mz. Lori
I just can’t seem to get over how flamboyantly gorgeous our season is right now! Not only do the colors seem so alive, but hearts full of sharing as a community have also warmed these colors from within.
I wish thank so many of you for sharing this season with our nursery school!
It started a few weeks ago when a ‘sunflower fairy’ put the biggest, tallest, sunflower in our play yard one night. They kindly strapped it to the climber with gardeners tape and the children climbed up and down all morning. They asked if I grew it and of course, that led to more info and questions. Then, it was gone almost as quickly as it had arrived. Thank you Sunflower Fairy. Since that share, we have received so much more!
People have shared apples, apple orchards, Chinese apples (pomegranates), figs, gorgeous leaves, ornamental corn, gourds galore and beyond!
Our week of school with a shared beautiful, wooden apple press was also soooooo delightful! This is a most delicious time of year that includes healthy food AND eye candy in all sorts of colors and textures.
The classes all made spicy apple cake, apple sauce, and dried apples. The MWF class continued the sharing by serving it to their guests at Saturday School. Saturday School was a joy and many extended families were able to see why we keep so busy supporting our little school.
The sharing continued. Each class gave so much food to the Salvation Army where the children see that the sharing and giving continues beyond NVNS. The most joy for me was watching the sweet efforts of the children as they navigated the full, awkward, wagons of food through the school and across the street, crunching leaves and greeting neighbors as we passed on our way.
NVNS families are still busy. As we speak, they are working together building the parade float to kick off yet another season!
Please enjoy your children and family time as well as the harvest of a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner.
I am ever so thankful for NVNS families and alumni that continue to hold hands and stick together.
Together we are better.
With a warm heart, Mz. Lori
It was lovely to see alumni and new NVNS families at our annual Fall Frolic picnic. We frolicked, ate, laughed and played. If you didn’t get a chance to ‘kick off’ the season with us, plan ahead as we do it again in the Spring!
The warm autumn days and cold nights are adding color all over town and the nursery school play yard trees are also changing. Autumn is full of many wonderful sensory items for our preschoolers. The sights, the smells, the sounds, the autumn ‘crunch’, can be enjoyed just by taking a neighborhood walk, slowly, and with a bag for treasures. Many children have already been collecting ‘treasures’ through their neighborhoods (as have I) and they are filling our science center. Many items are also being used at the build center. It’s a lovely season to slow down and take a look/touch/smell.
We are delighted to have Connolly Ranch sharing their apple press with us this month! Many of you have been sharing your harvested apples and we will press many! Mmmmm! Apples and other autumn harvested foods will be pressed, dried, peeled, cut, tasted and you will also see math taste tests on our school walls. Take a look.
Thanksgiving is best understood by a preschooler as the sharing of our harvested foods. As the holiday approaches, we will have turkey talk, drama and songs. We will also dramatize sharing the harvest with big feasts and the gathering of relatives. Vocabularies will increase with words like feast, cornucopia, relatives, wattle, and scamper. We will leave the pilgrim/Indian themes for elementary school.
To further explain the sharing of harvest and food at Thanksgiving, we will be walking to the Salvation Army’s kitchen (across the street) to deliver canned food. On Mon. and Tues., November 21st and 22nd, please send a can of food with your child to assist with the learning process of giving and sharing. Extra cans, dried goods, and turkeys are always welcome! We will fill our preschool wagons! Alumni, please feel free to drop items by our school for extra giving!
I am very thankful for Napa Valley Nursery School families and wish you happy Thanksgiving gatherings! I recall so many of my own great memories of gathering with family for the holidays. We told stories, made up silly languages, played till late hours outside or football in the mud. Sitting round the table together will encourage the passing down of family traditions. Have your children create a fun list of things to ask grandparents!
Enjoy your family time TOGETHER.
Thankful that we are also TOGETHER at NVNS,
Plate Making Day
Mark your calendars for Wed. Nov. 9th. Anytime between noon and 4pm, you may come into class to draw pictures on special paper to be made into plates or bowls. These are wonderful keepsakes and also make nice gifts.
The bowl or plate processing fee is $7.50. Everyone from students, alumni, and neighbors are welcome to attend this major drawing event.
Younger children may like to avoid the elementary afterschool rush by coming in as early as possible to draw.
Dr. Louise Hart at NVNS! Tues. Nov.8th, 7pm.
Don’t miss! We are delighted to have Dr. Hart come into our program to share her expertise and wisdom on parenting, parenting styles and much, much more. As a parent, you will leave with new ‘tools’ and techniques to assist you with your ever important role. You will also have a chance to purchase her books. Please invite a friend if you’d like. Dr. Hart will be speaking on parenting of all ages of children.
Recycle Recycle Recycle–Calling all Laserjet ink cartridges!
We are still collecting ink cartridges both large and small for their recycling points. We are trying to purchase another overhead projector for our science center with our recycling ‘points’. Please remember to bring them into class with you. If you can, ask your place of work, or your dentist office, or or or. The more we recycle, the more points we will have to receive great items for our classrooms.