March 20 – March 24
This week we will be talking about rain and umbrellas… last year during rain week we had nothing but sunshine – this year Mother Nature appears to be in line with our theme! We will be outside working in our garden – Thank you to Hilary, Nate, and Porter / Bears class for getting our garden ready for planting. They were out in the rain on Saturday.
The children had fun building Leprechaun houses last week and we will begin working on our fairy houses — adding imagination play in our natural space. We will be monitoring our rain gauges and moving them around to see where it rains the most and where it rains the least. Wednesday’s class was able to make the rain painting project and I am hoping that we can do the rain project with the other classes this week.
Gardening is one way to teach the children empathy for living things. When they garden they learn responsibility as they care for their plants. Being outside in nature is allows children to see living things in their environment. As we work in our garden, and observe the worms, bugs and birds in the play area, we are developing a community that has an interest in caring for plants and wildlife. The preschool garden is a certified a Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation and we will continue to build up the garden to support the urban wildlife in our neighborhood. Last year our garden attracted songbirds, hummingbirds and butterflies. As the children are learning to protect living things in our garden they will be learning empathy and respect for all living things.
Kahn (1997) proposes that children can develop empathy toward both nature and people, and that empathy in one domain can generalize to another domain. This conceptualization suggests that as children demonstrate prosocial behaviors such as caring and empathy toward animals and plants, their understanding of perspectives, needs, and feelings of people can deepen as well.
The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea
– Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895)
Can You Hear The Rain?
“Pitter-patter, pitter-patter,” can you hear the rain?
“Pitter-patter, pitter-patter,” on the window pane.
“Pitter-patter, pitter-patter,” let’s go out to play.
I just love to jump in puddles on a rainy day.
Little raindrops, “Splashing, splashing,” all across my face.
Little raindrops, “Splashing, splashing,” splashing every place.
– E.B. (1938 – ) MotherGooseCaboose.
Falling from the sky;
Here is my umbrella
To keep me safe and dry!
When the rain is over,
And the sun begins to glow,
Little flowers start to bud,
And grow and grow and grow
Rain makes puddles,
I make splashes.
Rain on the green grass,
And rain on the sea,
Rain on the house-tops,
But not on me!