Daily activities

Peace on earth

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Decorating a felt Christmas tree

This week’s co-op day was practically perfect. The kids put ornaments on the felt Christmas tree and played in the rice table in the first part of the morning. After sharing some raisin bread for a snack, Gail read a story and the kids made some neat Christmas tree artwork with tinsel. Everyone had fun!

We even managed some staffing sessions, where half of the parents go into another room and talk about new developments in the kids’ lives and other topics, like what we do for holidays and how we manage travels. It’s a good way for us to share solutions to challenges that we’re having, as well as a chance for us to get to know each other better–co-op is about kids, but it’s also a community that has to be built.

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Artwork!

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A young artist makes good use of negative space.

Our activity today was to make real art! The kids painted canvases large and small, so that we could have some of their fine art hanging on our walls at home. (And bonus! we made the mess of painting at co-op, which is well equipped with dropcloths, smocks, and an an array of paintbrushes.) We have a new family on our day, a fun addition to our group of friends!

Our first quarter is already over

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In the past three months, our kids have raked up the leaves in a nearby park, crafted feathery turkeys, and made Christmas ornaments. More importantly to me, they’re learning how to play together! This is my son’s main source of interaction with other kids, so it’s good experience for him to start learning (slowly, very slowly) how to share. The big kids are just dazzling to him, and he wants to do everything that they do . . . even if it means riding on a big boy’s back in order to participate. Everett, one of the older boys, has been especially caring with the little ones, and played peekaboo with them in the tunnel in the romper room (and didn’t even seem to mind that one of the toddlers was crawling slowly through it).

Our monthly seminars have been pretty interesting. Besides housekeeping tasks like voting on a budget and talking about fundraisers, we’ve learned about making environmentally friendly cleaning products, and two parents did a really informative presentation about different methods of saving for college. (Also: we have really good treats at these meetings. Especially the maple cookies we had the first month!) We missed the Halloween party but are looking forward to the upcoming holiday gathering, where Santa will pass out books to the kids.

Here’s a peek at some of our fun. (Click on one of the photos for a gallery to open.)

Day one

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Harper and Remy on the first day of the co-op.
Two new friends on the first day of the co-op. This doorway is a very popular spot in our classroom, especially with the littlest kids. Unless otherwise noted, photos are by Ariane Smith.

Our first day of co-op was pretty fun. To start, we all sat on the carpet and introduced ourselves, then sang songs like “The Wheels on the Bus” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Next was either some play time or an activity (the activity involved sitting at a table and using paint–too much for a ten month old–so my son played with the fantastic front door shown here). There are three little ones around twelve months old, plus six other kids whose ages range from two to four. Our day has mostly moms, but one grandma comes every other week, and there are dads who come on other days.

The two little PEPS kiddos were able to sit in the little chairs and have most of the snack with their new buddies. Remy’s not the neatest drinker, but it’s good experience for him to be around big kids and see how they behaved.

The second half of our class was in the romper room! The kids raced around, jumping on the inner tube, crawling through a tunnel, and climbing up the ladder for the slide.

At the end of our time, we sang the good-bye song and high-fived Teacher Gail. My son fell asleep in the car within about thirty seconds–an amazing, stimulating morning had worn him out!