Dear Moms and Dads,
Autumn at Playmates is quite spectacular purely because all the trees in and around our playground are evergreens unwilling to part with their leaves! In order for the children to fully experience the glory of this beautiful season, we, therefore, had to improvise and make our own magic! So Yusuf and I drove down those lovely lanes lined with stately old oak trees where an abundance of leaves lay in huge piles, just waiting for us to bag. We brought back enough to adorn Playmates and it did indeed look splendid!
Autumn had arrived!
The delight on the children’s faces when they saw this miraculous transformation was worth the effort a million times over! How they loved throwing the leaves up and revelling in the feeling of having them cascade down around them. How they relished sweeping them into piles, filling their wheelbarrows and having leaf-throwing contests! It was so easy to lose oneself in the face of such excitement and some moms and dads couldn’t resist the spontaneous urge to release the child within, and play! It was very special to see.
It is sad that in today’s world, hands-on learning is being devalued and minimised by school administrators and the public who push for more and more formal academics at earlier and earlier ages. Those in power care about test results, not the emotional well-being of children.
At Playmates, we believe in active learning through experience. This nurtures understanding and the ability to process concepts at a deeper level. Our little ones discover their world through their sense of wonder and curiosity and it’s a truly magical way to learn.
The colour brown presented many opportunities to have fun. Apart from all the brown leaves underfoot we went on a treasure hunt to find other brown things like twigs, stones, nuts and seeds and we learnt a new song about a grizzly brown bear hibernating in winter. We baked delicious brown crunchies, made autumn trees using handprints and also painted squirrels with fluffy tails. Planting seeds in rich brown soil was a real winner too.
It was all wonderfully tactile and such an inspiration to see their enthusiasm for all these activities!
Becoming more familiar with the colour Orange was also a wonderfully tactile and sensory adventure. They peeled yummy naartjies, a divine fine-motor activity during which they had to concentrate really hard!
They also discovered a pumpkin in the garden and there was great excitement when we cut it up and made pumpkin fritters to die for!
The leaves have now been swept up for the compost heap but the playground still hums with fun and laughter and many happy memories!
The colour Blue will be our focus during the coming week. Wily Komodo is becoming very colourful and has successfully laid a new egg every week.
I hope you all enjoy the gorgeous sunny weekend ahead. The rain has been marvellous and I’m told we’ll have plenty more next week.
Stay warm and safe,
Sheila and all at Playmates