Monthly Archives for April 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day Craft

Earth Day Craft

It’s Earth Day! A time to take a moment from our busy lives to stop and appreciate and celebrate God’s amazing creation. I wish I could say that I do this every day but between grocery shopping, diaper changes, cooking, cleaning, and general busyness I don’t often take time to stop and look around me at the beautiful world we live in. That whole “stop and smell the roses” idea is wonderful, but it’s difficult to do when you’re juggling a car seat, diaper bag, and totes full of groceries! Which is why I always appreciate Earth Day.

When April 22nd rolls around each year, strangers meet at local parks to pick up garbage, communities join together to plant gardens, and for one day there is a common focus: the Earth. I can’t help but think God smiles at this, as He gifted us with the earth—the plants, animals, oceans—and calls us to take care of it.

With our experience working with kids we’ve found that most LOVE activities that involve nature and the earth, so getting kids excited about Earth Day is fairly easy. In the past we’ve had our classes pick up litter around the school, and the kids were more excited for this than if we’d surprised them with an extra recess! But we’ve wished we could take it a step further and share why it is important to care for and love the earth—that it’s God’s creation! We are so excited to do this at The Garden Preschool. To teach kids about God’s creation, how to honor and care for it, and to celebrate it not just on Earth Day, but every day!

Here are a few things you could do with your kiddos to celebrate Earth Day this year or in years to come:

  • Read the creation story in Genesis with your kids
  • Get out and enjoy God’s creation: go for a hike, a nature walk, or take a picnic to the park and enjoy the beauty around you
  • Make a family resolution to help the earth: Start composing? Make a recycle bin? Have fun with it!
  • Join with other families to clean up your neighborhood or a local park
  • Use earth materials (sticks, rocks, etc.) or recycled goods to create an art project! (Our classes have done this and the kids LOVED it. And their creations were quite impressive!)

Here are a few websites/blogs we found that have other great activity ideas. Happy Earth Day!

http://www.creativefamilyfun.net/2013/04/10-ways-to-celebrate-earth-day.html
http://playfullearning.net/from-the-bin-diy-recycled-vases-flowers/
http://www.housingaforest.com/recycled-crafts-and-activities-for-kids/
http://blog.melissaanddoug.com/2013/04/19/4-ways-to-celebrate-earth-day-with-your-child/

Our craft…we talked about composting and set up our can.  We also made a scrap holder for our birds so that they can have a soft “bed” in their house.

Logan learning about continents and The Earth this morning

Logan learning about continents and The Earth this morning

Composting Can

Composting Can

Scrap Holder for Birds

Scrap Holder for Birds

Lastly, we had our Garden Preschool meeting outside with a picnic lunch today…beautiful!

Kari and Keira at our meeting

Kari and Keira at our meeting

Logan and Dylan at our picnic

Logan and Dylan at our picnic

Inspiration

Thank-You to Jeanine at The Strawberry Patch Preschool for helping and inspiring us to build The Garden Preschool. Kari and Jeanine met while teaching at an elementary school in Eugene, and since then Jeanine has gone on to build an amazing preschool program. As we are working to plan The Garden Preschool curriculum, environment, and policies/procedures, we are getting a lot of inspiration from The Strawberry Patch. Watch the video below that Jeanine made to get an idea of the vision we have for The Garden Preschool.

The Strawberry Patch Preschool- Eugene, OR

Our Learning Garden!

March and April are our favorite months because they signal the start of spring. At The Garden Preschool it will mean that we can start planning and planting our beautiful garden and the students get to learn many lessons as we work together in the great outdoors! How great are these ideas for our learning garden? We will spend a lot of time in the spring studying science, math, art, health, and literacy through our garden. We will have units on seeds, insects, weather, healthy eating, plants, and water that will integrate learning from all subjects.

Last Spring Nicole’s family planted a garden and had a great time learning about the growth process and enjoying the bounty of the harvests.

Logan_Garden

Logan helping plant the garden

Nicole's Garden

Nicole’s Garden

Along with our personal experiences with home garden building we have found some other great ideas to help us build our future learning garden at the preschool.

Garden Ideas

Each student gets their own tire planter!

Pea trellis the kids can paint

Colorful garden fence

Colorful garden fence

We have a passion for all of the lessons that can be taught through hands-on experiences in God’s glorious outdoors and can’t wait to get out there with our students next year!

What We’ve Been Up To and Where We Are Going

You may have noticed our blog posts have slowed down in the last two months. Don’t let our absence fool you! We are still busy planning and preparing for The Garden each day, filling our Pinterest boards with fun new activities, meeting and emailing each other our latest ideas, and updating our growing list of interested families for the fall (YAY!!). But we slowed our pace a little as our focus has shifted to our growing families.

We are excited to share that the newest members of the Fouhy and Yeager families have arrived! Kari welcomed baby Keira into the world at the end of February, and Nicole’s baby boy Dylan was born at the end of March. Our time in the last six weeks has been taken up with feeding, burping, changing, and snuggling our little bundles of joy (and taking naps as we adjust to late nights with little sleep)!
Meet our kiddos, future students at the Garden Preschool!

Keira Fouhy

Dylan Yeager

Dylan Yeager

As we adjust to life as a new mom (Kari) and a mother of two (Nicole), we are also thrilled to be moving into the next steps with the preschool. We are actively praying and looking for our perfect location, as summer is approaching and we are excited to begin setting up our space. {Again, if you have a lead on a rental house in Bothell, a church, or other space you feel would be a good fit for The Garden, let us know!} And we will soon set up meetings with interested families so we can share more about our school and what the year ahead has in store. If you haven’t yet been added to our contact list and are interested in finding out more about The Garden, make sure to head to the “Contact Us” section of our website. We are so excited to meet with families, share our vision for the year, and get to know future students at The Garden!

Between now and then we’ll be busy updating the blog weekly, so don’t forget to check back to see what’s new!