Bluego the flying spider

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By Jackie We have a flying spider named¬†Bluego in our backyard. It hangs out under our stumps, around the corners of our deck, toy box, sand box and garden bed. We are always very excited when Bluego shows up. We had many conversations about Bluego. We wonder if it has a family and what do they do as a family, … Read More

LS’s Creation Story

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By Laurie Is getting ready to say goodbye to LS, who is making the move to preschool, we have been looking at a lot of old photos and talking about what once was (babyhood) and what is to come (what to expect at preschool). This is coinciding with our several month long reading and rereading of Raven: A Pacific Northwest … Read More

Imaginary Play

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By Laurie In reviewing my week in photos and notes, I’m really struck by how we are seeing the developmental stages of this year’s range of toddlers (1’s-3’s) work together as the Just-Turned-3’s really shine in their mentorship, while at the same time are totally swept away in the fast, exciting world of imaginative play and want to branch away … Read More

Ladybug Caterpillars

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by Mage Lately the hops bine in our backyard has been bursting with ladybug larvae, which the children call “ladybug caterpillars.” There has been much interest and amusement with these tiny creatures living in our backyard. Here are some reflections from today.

Four Little Butterflies

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by Megan Over the past couple of weeks we have been caring for, observing and learning about the life cycle of butterflies! Each morning the children have been eager to check on our small insect friends, noticing how they change day by day. We’ve been learning a few terms for the life cycle like egg, caterpillar, cocoon and butterfly, but … Read More

Face puzzle

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By Jackie At one of our teacher meeting, I mentioned my searching for directions to go after my conversation about our eye colors. I thought of a face puzzle but was afraid that it would be too complicated for some younger children. Laurie mentioned that I can do a very simple puzzle by folding the pictures in half. I thought … Read More

Nests and eggs

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by Mage Recently, some of the children found large, painted white rocks in our backyard. They carry these rocks around in their arms, talking about “eggs.” One day, when CG was talking to me about one of these “eggs,” I asked, “What do eggs need?” CG said, “A nest!” “Would you like to build a nest?” I asked. “Yes!”

Sensory Brushes & Consent Culture

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By Laurie Our introduction of sensory brushes as a tool for the children in transitions this year went in directions we couldn’t have expected, but has been really wonderful to watch. Sensory brushes are used in a very specific brushing protocol, often proscribed by an occupational therapist (O.T.), in order to bring an overstimulated or sensory-avoiding system into regulation. For … Read More

Screen time

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by Mage As the children at Elm House grow older, they tell us many stories. Stories that they made up on the spot, stories about their lives outside of school–both fiction and non-fiction, and they also tell us stories about what they saw on screens. “Last night I watched a movie!” one child told me, recently. “You watched a movie? … Read More