Welcome to the first Willow Tree Blog of the year!
September was off to a great start, with both the Educators and the children eager to get back in the swing of things. In the first few weeks we learned how to make paper airplanes in a few different ways, then practiced our aim with targets. We made friendship bracelets for ourselves and each other, we climbed trees, and we tried new ways of making art with water colors.
The last week of September was focused on learning the 7 Sacred Teachings, to honor Indigenous culture. We went over each teaching and discussed what they mean for us.
The Buffalo teaches us to respect all living things, especially when they help us thrive and be our best. We talked about what respect means to us and how we can show respect to others.
The Eagle teaches us about love. The children talked about ways we show love to our families, ourselves, and the Earth.
The Wolf teaches us about humility, and we talked about the strength of a wolf pack stemming from the care and consideration we give to one another.
The Turtle teaches us the importance of truth, and we had a great chat about why its important to be true to yourself and being truthful to others.
Honesty is taught by the Sabe, sometimes called Bigfoot, it is a mythical creature that protects the forest. We talked about how we're honest with our words and actions.
The Beaver teaches us wisdom, and the value of using the knowledge we gain. For example, making good choices because we are wise enough to know the difference between right and wrong.
Courage taught to us by The Bear. The Bear is brave and faces their fears, so we chatted about times we had to brave. And that a lot of these teachings require bravery.
Educator Carmen played a big role in helping us with the teachings, as she provided a lot of the materials for these activities. We'll wrap up the week with Carmen teaching us to make dream catchers!
Thanks for reading, we look forward to sharing more exciting blogs with you all!
- Jen, Milena, Carmen and Emma
At Dawn and Dusk we like to celebrate diversity. Maple Tree spent the last week of September learning about each other and our different cultural backgrounds. We asked each child in our group to bring in items that represent their heritage, and we got to travel the world without leaving Dawn & Dusk!
Language is a big part of culture and our Dawn and Dusk educators discovered that there are many other languages our amazing children can speak, other than English.
French, Polish, Cree, Inuktitut, Spanish, Punjabi, Chinese and Hebrew are just some of the languages they can speak.
After learning about the languages they can speak, they began to share different cultural items they brought in and shared a few things about them.
One child was super excited to show off their Qipao dress.
From ribbon skirts to handmade jewelry, we got to see so many unique cultural items that encouraged them to be proud of who they are and where their families have come from.
This is a Pysanka egg and it was decorated using wax and dye which is a traditional Ukrainian method and has beautiful results.
"These are earrings my auntie made! She used real rabbit" said one child excitedly as they passed them around for everyone to feel. Some children in the group talked about how soft the fur was, and asked about how the earrings were made.
We even had an educator bring in some items from India, showing off their maang tikka, a pair of earrings and bangle bracelets that some children tried on.
The amount of children in Maple Tree that wanted to share their culture with us was so beautiful. We learned a lot about their backgrounds and what was important to them in their family.
We got to see so many interesting things like a clover that came all the way from Ireland, a wooden flute that came from Croatia and so much more.
Maple Tree educators loved being able to not only connect with the children, but also help them be able to connect with other children as well. It was so fun to encourage these connections by sharing our cultures with each other. We would love to continue to learn about the children in our group, as well as their families and we hope you continue to share with us!