Natural Playground Provides Ever-changing Experiences

Natural Playground_1By Renee Hennessy, Preschool Director

Our natural playground is always changing as we continuously work on ways to improve the outdoor experience for our youngest students. Each day our teachers prepare the playground with manipulatives and other interesting materials to enhance the play experience while enjoying the outdoors. Activities include preparing the sinks in our mud kitchen with water, setting up dinosaur digs in our sand pit, painting, drawing with chalk, and constructing a bridge with logs and blocks. Oh, and let’s not forget observing the plants in our garden and the insects we encounter all around us! The playground is an extension of our classrooms, a place for imaginative play, and a place to connect with nature.

This week we planted sunflowers and a few vegetables in our garden box. Most of the children eagerly helped to prepare the ground for our seeds. Children are very interested in using tools and doing work they see adults do, and they are very capable of helping. Some of the children recall planting last year and the beautiful sunflowers that greeted them in August. I overheard several children say that they have never planted a seed before. I hope this is an experience they will always remember. Thank you to 8th graders Owen Carey and Luis Reyes for helping us prep the ground. Also, a BIG thank you to Alex Taylor’s 6th graders for helping!  They were very enthusiastic volunteers and many of them “remember” being in preschool. We recommend the children’s book If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson to read to your preschooler. The delightful illustrations and storyline that embeds generosity and compassion into a garden tells an important story about kindness.

Preschool Idlewild Butterfly Farm visit_1This morning we had a visit from Idlewild Butterfly Farm and the preschoolers loved getting to see the different kinds of insects. Visit the photo gallery for more pictures from this fun-filled experience!

Don’t let the rainy forecast keep you away from one of Louisville’s Kentucky Derby traditions this weekend: the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair. Our Preschool’s very talented Paul Harshaw will have his own booth displaying his wonderful paintings that are perfect for a child’s room or playroom.  I’m sure your child would love to see him in his other element – the art world!

If you are considering going to the Pegasus Parade, the best spot on the route, in my opinion,  is our Downtown Campus. I have taken my son to view the parade there several times when he was younger and it offered easy access to parking (right next to the school), restrooms (no long lines), food, and being with other St. Francis School families, which made it a great experience for us. And if it wasn’t already great enough, now there are bouncy houses! You can register for tickets here.

Mark your calendars for our Grandparents’ Day Tea and Preschool Derby Races next Wednesday, May 3rd. A parade of class floats will begin promptly at 11:00 a.m. Afterwards we will “Run for the Roses” by class, beginning with the Twos, and then join our special guests in our classrooms for refreshments.