This week we started off with a morning of celebration of our Holi festival. It has been long awaited and the children were so excited all dressed in white and ready to participate. In the morning circle, Neha explained the traditions and cultural importance of the Holi festival to the children. Holi marks the beginning of spring (yes we know, a little late but it was still snowing in March), and the triumph of good over evil. At the playground, the children took the coloured powders and rubbed it on each others cheeks while wishing each other “Happy Holi”. They then pressed their hands against each others clothes to create colourful handprints of celebration. It was lovely to watch as the children explored the powders with curiosity and joy while also showing lots of respect to each other. After all the powder was used up, we stood in a circle together and threw water balloons in the middle. The children squealed in delight as the water splashed on their feet and legs. A final treat to finish off our celebration was a cool icy-pole (Aussie lingo for an ice pop).
The week continued to be busy with a change of toys for the children. Several children helped to choose some new toys for the group which was a chance to assert their agency and have choice in their learning environment.
We then had our regular trip to the Forest on Tuesday followed by a visit from Martina, where she taught the children “Fray Felipe”, the Spanish version of Brother John/Bruder Jakob. The children then enjoyed learning about Spanish culture, locations of Spanish speaking people and about where different fruit and vegetables come from. They explored the Aztec origins of the tomato that was brought to mainland Europe by the Spanish. The children also practiced offering each other tomatoes in Spanish. “¿Quieres un tomate?” they asked each other at snack. And “Si” or “No” they replied. What an immersive way to share culture and languages with each other. Later in the week we could still hear the children asking each other in Spanish ¿Quieres un tomate?.
On Wednesday we continued our jam-packed schedule with a trip to the Bavaria Statue in the morning. The children learnt in the morning circle about the history of the statue with Nora and talked about what we would do and see. Once there we went up into the very head of the statue in small-groups. For some children the ascent was too nerve wracking and they had to come back down. For others the descent was the tricky moment where they took a slow and steady pace with the support of their teacher to make it back down. For most it was no problem at all and they exclaimed how cool it was to go into the statue. I can assuredly say that the massive metal statue was anything but cool after several days of 30 degree plus heat. Even in the cool morning the head of the statue was mimicking a sauna, so we only stayed a few moments before heading back into the cool reprieve of the outside morning air.
On Thursday the children enjoyed learning about Denmark and the Danish culture through everyone’s favourite experience (or at least mine) of new foods! Henrik shared with the children pictures and examples from Denmark and the children were able to enjoy a Danish sausage roll at lunch, followed by a specialty dessert made from buttermilk and lemon with a crunchy biscuit.
The week thankfully ended in a cool change and the older children participated in their second self defense course. They continued to explore further and build upon the topics started in the previous week. Next week will be the final conclusion to the course.
Thank you to the families that came in to kindergarten this week to share their knowledge and understandings of different cultures with the children for our international theme.