Impossible to believe the Winter Dreaming season is almost over, but Daylight Savings has arrived, and soon – tomorrow!! – it will be spring!
I’ve had so much fun sharing the mysteries of the World at Night with all the Big Kids, and enjoying their interactions, with my materials, and each other. They are an extremely compassionate group, led by one of the kindest girls to grace our floors.
With Liam, Rigel, and Ava, and Maxim, Mattis, Rolland, Mason, plus all the March Break visitors (welcome back, Ziyad and Jackson!!), the Winter Dreaming season is full of charming children, and Sylvie has a special bond with all of them. What a pleasure it’s been having them all come together for the fieldtrips and fun!
Nocturnal animals, and how to use the senses to “see” in the dark, and made our way to Charleston Park for to try out our skills.
Next, we looked for alternate light sources, in a class devoted to science and GLOW!
… I wish I could show the hilarious picture of their faces one time when my flash went off while we were testing glow in the bathroom… 😉
We tested glowing stars, and light sticks, a “glow light” fish, which when we tested it, in the dark, with flashlights, and with our black light bulb, did not glow, and a couple of glow worms, which Gecko enjoyed without minding their misnomer. We made glow in the dark jello, too, and for every experiment, I was met with questions and observations.
What a success!
The world at night is a mysterious place, and this season, we tackled it through the senses, sciences, music, and myths. We made friends with the moon and the darkness, and through them, made beautiful friendships with each other.
This week, we have a fieldtrip, and I still hope we can check out this reflective back pack store, but if not, it will be Crab Park.
And next week, the season finale will be the final exam. The kids learned a lot about the nighttime. We’ll see how much they remember.
Fridays from 1 – 4pm.
This February, Buddings is all about LOVE (like always, actually…), and while Friday afternoon’s Good Night class is about falling in love with the moon, this season, I have been surprised and delighted to have my heart completely swept away with the ways this class has affected my Big Kids.
Fact: The child’s champion of the night is the moon.
The moon watches over the boy’s sleep in I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis and Allison Jay. The beautiful images and rhythmic poetry that used to send Jackson, Carter, and uncountable other sleepy children for their own dreamy wanderings, is now a class lesson plan!
Just so you know, this is not a scientific class. Mysticism. Myths. Music… mmm Magic. (Brought to you by the letter “M”.)
Flying into February with the Big Buddings Boys
For whatever reason (flexible care is like a box of chocolates…), my Friday afternoon kids have been primarily boys. Jackson, Maxim and Mattis, have been regulars, and Rolland, Carter, and Mason, and even our summer buddy Ziyad, among others, have dropped in for classes and fieldtrips. A couple charming girls, too, but mostly boys.
I have been so lucky!
To introduce the phases of the moon, we watched The Girl Who Married The Moon, where the moon’s wife wants to help him light the world, and accidentally gets one of his beautiful masks stuck to her face. We made our own moon masks, but Jackson didn’t want to wear his, because he was afraid it would get stuck.
Jackson is a newly-minted Big Kid. It’s just this season that he’s started resisting his afternoon nap, and his bright-eyed curiosity, plus Maxim’s sweet sensitivity, have coloured my whole month.
I showed the boys pictures of the moon in every colour, and a dance party’s worth of moon songs, and was constantly surprised (and delighted) with their impressions. For example: Blue Moon, Yellow Moon, Pink Moon, Harvest Moon, Moon River, Bad Moon Rising, and Man on the Moon.
Which do you think the Big Boys like?
Jackson doesn’t like Bad Moon Rising, because it’s too scary. Maxim thinks Honey Trees’ Becky Filip covering Moon River is “the most beautiful,” and they unanimously agree that R.E.M. is the best, especially the part where Michael Stipe jumps onto the running board of a moving semi.
When they pull up at a truck stop, instead of St. Peter’s, the singer jumps off, and Jackson says “Where did the truck go?”
Actually, the truck was their favourite part. Omg. They are adorable…
We also went on another fieldtrip (there are some pictures below), and last week, after playing their favourite songs and videos again, I tried to move things into the second phase of the Good Night program: Nocturnal Animals. We didn’t get far, though.
I’m away this week, so class is canceled. Ehlssie’s covering my shift, and I know she’ll have fun with these awesome Big Boys. We’ll be back in action on Mar. 3, when it’s all about the super powers animals have to combat the nighttime conundrum: how to “see” in the dark.
Click any of the images for more information. Find the blog post below. 🙂
|Above: Night Visitor – at Kurbatoff Gallery
Below: Moon carving at Douglas Reynolds Gallery
|Above: Family Lake – at Heffel Art Auction House
Below: Moon pendant at Douglas Reynolds Gallery
Good Nights Begin with the Moon
I want to start my year, and my post, by saying how inspired and grateful I am to be sharing the art and stories of the native people of the Pacific Northwest with the Big Kids Club this season.
I feel blessed to live in such beautiful country, and to be able to see and experience such a rich, living culture that is right here at home. In fact, I’m in their home. And I am thankful for that.
I’ve never felt more connected to a worldview, and that might be because the “native” worldview is one of connection, where the animals, the winds, the land and the moon are brethren, and where man’s place is among the families, not above them. It feels nice to have a place, and it’s fun to bring the preschoolers into this world.
In the beginning, the world was all in darkness, and there was no moon in the sky
To get things started, we watched the story of how, when the world was all dark, Raven stole the light from Eagle (Sky Chief) and in the chase, as he fled, a piece broke off and became the Moon, before at last he dropped the light into the sea, and it became the Sun.
The short video starts with a pair of sisters at a camp fire arguing about who would hold the flashlight. The girls’ grandmother takes it away, and tells them to be quiet so she can begin the story. That sounds familiar…
I guess all children sometimes need reminders about listening. 😉
The characters of Raven, Eagle, and Moon will come up again and again this season, and at the very beginning, we establish Raven’s tricky, curious, nature. He steals the light so he can steal food, and play tricks. Any preschooler can relate to that!
In Search of the Moon…
To better get to know the Moon, we took a bus (!!), and searching for images and stories brought us to four beautiful galleries in South Granville’s Art District, and brings me to the second reason that I am so excited to be presenting this class: Art!
As adults, we may feel confused by art, or overwhelmed, or underwhelmed, or that art is just decoration, or even just nonsense, but children see the paintings on the page. Just ask them! Taking kids to art galleries is an amazing way to expand their minds, and your own.
The staff at each of the galleries were friendly, and each one had at least one example of Moon art to show us. The kids were so well-behaved, we got compliments wherever we went, and after stopping for a snack, we also had time to play at the bus loop playground at Granville and 6th.
There are some pictures on Instagram, and I made a private photo collection for the parents. Join us next time to see more… Fridays until the end of March.
The world at night is dark, and sometimes it can be scary, but by learning through art, stories, adventures, and friendships, the night becomes a friend, too. That’s what Big Kids Club is all about!
This season, Good Night is going to adjust our eyes to the nature, science, and most of all, the mysteries, that play in the light of the moon.
Week 1: Who is the moon?
We take a look at the native legends and myths about the creation of the world. Raven stole the light of the sky father and dropped it to the earth, making the moon and stars. Where else has the tricky raven left his mark? We head down to three native art galleries to find images and art representing the moon.
Week 2: Who has the moon inspired?
From Fiest to the Doors, Neil Young, and Frank Sinatra: We’re having a PJ dance party to all our favourite moon hits.
Week 3: Faces and phases of the Moon
Why? Plus, what the heck are moon cakes? We’re going to make some.
Week 4: What has the moon done for us lately?
The earth’s little sister has a big impact on our weather and tides, but it also protects us from meteors.
So blow a kiss to that shining orb and next time you say “good night,” thank her for making it so good.