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  • Taylor Dautremont

Late January and February 2021: Hitting Our Winter Stride!

Wow, what a busy and productive month we've had since our last post! I'm very happy to share evidence of all the growth and bonding occurring among our little community of learners right now.

Let's dig in with pictures and videos of *all* the fun our little ones had in *all* the snow that's come our way recently:

The children have also developed independence and skill in getting ready for those chilly adventures outdoors which, in turn, has made our time in the hallway happier. We all appreciate your continued efforts to ensure your children have clean(ish), dry, and weather-appropriate outer gear waiting in their cubbies through the end of this winter season!

The picture above also welcomes the newest member of the Children's House East community to our website. Please join us in welcoming Naana (far left above and in many photos below) and her family to CMC in person if you have not done so already.

Wally and Clara throw a bit of shade down after being among the first to get ready to go outside one morning.

The children have also enjoyed their time in our Movement Room this winter when it is too cold, wet, windy, or just plain grey to muster the energy to get bundled up!

To fight that inevitable mid-winter cabin fever, we've also continued to introduce opportunities for larger-scale movement in the Children's House throughout the day. Here is Carsten about to enter the popular Red Rod Maze.

Wally matches different textured silicone disks on our yoga mat while blindfolded, another very popular activity this month.

Above, Roshan shows off his increasing skill with the Brown Stair! Below, Naana, Roshan, and Hannah build the Pink Tower.

Below, SJ strikes what looks like a protective pose over his completed "45 Bead Layout" (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9=45; this activity is designed to orient children to the scale of the decimal system while reinforcing connections between numbers and quantities).

I smile behind a Sound Game while Carsten waxes poetic about what is, honestly, still a pretty limited understanding of the concepts represented by the 45 Bead Layout. This picture is such a fantastic example of the benefits of a mixed-age leaning community! While SJ takes the opportunity to verbalize his more fine-tuned understanding of what is going on these mats, Amara is able to take the opportunity to listen to language associated with what he had just carefully and quietly observed SJ build.

Above, Josiah shares his wonder over his ability to whip a few tablespoons of water and a drop of dish soap into a bowl of bubbles (to be added to our dish-washing station). Below, Wally organizes the Number Rods while TJ watches.

TJ follow suits with this unwieldy material after breaking his arm.

As much as Golden Beads, bubbles, and Number Rods have brightened our days, no activity has brought us quite so much happiness this month as flower arranging! Thank you to all that have donated fresh flowers to our environment so far this year!

At the risk of sharing too much of my own child, here are some very clear examples of the variety of the different ways to practice motor control an activity like flower arranging can provide our children:

Meanwhile, our new Children's House Assistant, Leslie, has done a fantastic job of taking over the set-up, preparation, and service of snack this month! We continue to take care to help the children follow the strictest reasonable hygiene protocols around snack, cheese cube cutting and all.

Above, Dávid and Lou wait patiently for Leslie to serve them salad and TJ takes a well-earned break from his efforts to master new skills across the environment. Below, TJ tackles all four Cylinder Blocks while blindfolded (for the most part). I wish I had captured him repeating, "I'm going to do this all!" and "I can do this!" under his breath over and over!

Above, here's three good turns at a Purple Sound Game (after two serious stares to get started). Below, the colors and concepts really popped for me (and hopefully the children too) after matching our Red Sound Game clues to the Sandpaper Letters representing their first sounds (from top to bottom and left to right, because that's how we read English: box; bowl; bead; tin; scissors; mat; lacing frame; pencil; pin; Red Rod).

In addition to frequent Sound Games, including a particularly goofy purple one below, we have all enjoyed new ways to develop the physical and mental abilities needed to write.

Everyone in Children's House East is busy engaging in activities designed to indirectly prepare their hands for writing in the future.

Dávid takes our Sandpaper Globe for four spins around four electric candles to celebrate his fourth birthday this month. We started Dávid's journey by sharing a picture of him as a newborn and each time he passed me in the circle, we shared another picture from his next year of life.

(Apologies for my son's choice of activity in the picture above; we assure you we take that choice seriously at CMC and many ounces of sanitizer and hand soap flow in response to it each day!)

SJ enjoys the challenge of a new puzzle, The Roman Arch, organizing the pieces carefully before pulling out the support structure from the arch while Amara and Rita look on.

Carsten spends some quality time with one of his favorite books in our reading area. Many of you may have heard tales from "Bustletown." Bustletown is a series of illustrated board books depicting life in a small German town in often hilarious detail.

Above, Amara picks up one of our red Sound Shakers with the aim of matching its sound to the blue Sound Shaker with the same substance inside.

Last but certainly not least, we all offered bittersweet goodbyes to Clara on Friday as we wished her the best of luck at her new "big kid school", Indian Springs Elementary, close to her home in Clintonville!

As our oldest child enrolled at CMC this year, Clara has been one extremely cool role model for our younger community members. We will all miss her contributions, not least her incredible sense of style.

Our After Care crew waited for pickup while enjoying the grapefruit-orange-lemon-ade we made in Clara's honor on Friday afternoon.

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