Hooray! We had the first class today. It has been a long time in the making and I am so excited that it has finally begun. Kate Bennis helped to organize and she will host several sessions at her lovely home.
Children and moms began to trickle in at 4:00pm. Shy toddlers, clinging to their moms immediately opened up when a fluffy yellow chick was placed in their hands. I'm glad that I was able to show this wonderful creature to them.
We had a scavenger hunt outside, where Eric Carle cloth animals were hidden around the yard. Each child got a magnifying glass to search around and find 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear' hiding in a tree or 'Blue Horse, Blue Horse' hiding in the garden.
Next we brought all the little cloth animals inside and gathered around the felt board. Elements were added to the board as they came up in the story. The children got to help and participate in the telling. Here's how the story went:
Here in Virginia we have a lot of sunshine. Sometimes the shy is clear and blue. Sometimes it is a bit cloudy. Here in Virginia, our mountains look blue! We call them the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here in Virginia we have pine forests.We have hardwood forests too. Here is an oak tree that lives in the forest. In the winter it has no leaves, but in the spring it sprouts lots of green leaves! Many animals, reptiles, and birds live in the forest. We have cardinals, which are the Virginia state bird. We have bears! Oh, yes. In Virginia forests there are frogs too. They like to be in places that are nice and damp. Some animals in Virginia don't live in the forest, but they love to visit it. Here in Virginia, we have cats, horses, ducks, fish, and people!
After the story-time we had craft-time. Children got to make their very own felt boards. They were supplied with felt pouches and an abundance of wool and cotton fabric scraps for cutting and arranging shapes onto the felt. Beautiful compositions were created. The best part was that this was virtually a mess free activity. The fabric scraps stick right to felt without glue or velcro, in fact, they stick right to peoples' clothing as well. In the end, everyone got a pocket full of fabric pieces to take home. They can always add to their felt object collection with new fabric pieces to make all different temporary pictures.