Friday, 1 October 2010

Celebrating the Season

The fall season serves up such a delicious feast for the senses! The crisp air this time of year jostles me awake from the lazy days of summer and gets the creative juices flowing. The bounty from the garden, the rich hues of the landscape, the woodsy, earthy scents of the forest are a source of inspiration to all of us.

My sweet Muffy is still home with me most days. I am cherishing this time we share, as I am well aware that it won't be long before he joins big brother on that rumbling yellow school bus. I have noticed that Muffy seems to be enjoying the quiet solitude of the mornings at home with Mommy. This boisterous boy most often chooses to hang up the hockey stick in favor of some quality time at his art desk. I've been making every effort to nurture his recent and intense desire to create with both structured and unstructured art activities. His art materials are always available and easily accessible when the mood strikes. If there is a piece of paper in sight, he's sure to add a bit of embellishment. He recently discovered Daddy's copy of the Canadian Income Tax Act and made some very interesting modifications to the tax laws!

The fall season has inspired me to pull together some fun and festive art activities. The HUGE hit this week was food coloring leaves, which I discovered on one of my new fave craft sites, No Time for Flash Cards. Luckily, I had a plentiful stash of coffee filters on hand, because I struggled to keep up with my little crafters. Between the two of them, they must have made over a hundred leaves. I pre-cut the leaves from the filters and set each child up with a medicine dropper and three glasses of food coloring (red, yellow, orange). I noticed that Muffy in particular was most fascinated with the process involved instead of the final product. He delighted in admiring colors as they slowly spread and mixed across the piece of paper. While he initially fumbled with the medicine dropper, in no time he mastered the skill of sucking up the dye solution. With the piles of leaves quickly growing, I grabbed some yarn and a darning needle and strung up a few garlands. I must admit, they are a beautiful addition to the dining area! Of course, the Montessori lover in me also saw this as a great activity to work on the pincer grip, and an opportunity to present a lesson in color mixing.

While Muffy's interests are artistic in nature these days, Chi-Chi is busy soaking up the French language. Although I am a graduate of the French Immersion program myself, I am still amazed to witness this little boy learning a new language. After having spent so much time with him these last few years, I have to admit, it is adjustment handing the "teaching" off. So, of course I'm not! I recently read this post on the Vintage Chica blog. Her words and approach really struck a chord with me. I believe there is so much learning that can and should go on outside the classroom. Chi-Chi is such a curious and enthusiastic boy. Despite the fact he is now in school, I want to ensure we continue to nurture his desire to learn by following his lead and helping him discover the answers to his questions. I also want to help reinforce what is taking place in the classroom by embracing his new enthustiasm for the French language. They are currently focusing a great deal of attetion on the calendar in class. A quick and easy project was the boys' new calendar for "octobre". It's a great way to reinforce the months and days of the week in French, and it also helps the children visualize the upcoming events in there lives.

Note the number of hockey players on the calendar! Looks like Mama will be doing lots of rink-side knitting this month!

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