Tulip Tree Preschool https://tuliptreepreschool.com Fri, 06 Mar 2020 18:37:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.5 Preparing the Garden https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/prepping-the-garden/ https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/prepping-the-garden/#respond Fri, 06 Mar 2020 18:35:32 +0000 https://tuliptreepreschool.com/?p=23040 Read More]]> By Kerry

It’s that time of year again! The final frost has passed, the weather is warmer and the sun is out nearly every day. In preparation for the major gardening that will be happening after spring break,  we all sat down and read a book called Princess Chamomile’s Garden, where we learned that Princess Chamomile had to draw a picture of her plan for her garden before she could get to work planting. So we drew a little diagram of our garden and took ideas from the kids about what they’d like to plant this year. We had to talk about where the sunny spots were and where the shady spots were and what was already in the garden and what we predicted might come back from last year’s crop. The children were really excited to share all of their ideas about vegetables they’d like to plant  (and eat). They’re especially excited about corn, carrots, cucumbers, and potatoes.

It’s not too early for peas and sunflowers so we thought we’d start there. Katee built an arbor trellis across the path between garden beds and a few of the children helped plant peas around the base of the trellis. Meanwhile, we passed out sunflower seeds to anyone else that wanted to help . Hopefully we will have a whole lot of sunflowers mixed in with all of our fruits, vegetables and herbs when summer comes around.


On Thursday Katee brought shade friendly kale and mustard greens for the kids to plant in our less sunny portion of the garden. We went to investigate the garden bed where we wanted to plant them and quickly realized it was overrun with raspberry plant roots. Everywhere we tried to dig there were webs of thick roots going very deep into the garden bed. So we took out the pitchfork and turned over the soil.  The children jumped right into the garden bed and had a blast getting their hands dirty, plucking out all of the roots. It took us over an hour but the garden bed is ready for planting!


Any avid gardeners out there? Any cuttings or plants from home gardens we could propagate here at school?  Let us know if you are interested in helping with the garden in any way. We’d love for you to contribute to our little community through gardening; plus the children take a lot of pride in sharing things from home, especially you!











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Water Beads https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/water-beads/ https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/water-beads/#respond Thu, 05 Mar 2020 23:54:14 +0000 https://tuliptreepreschool.com/?p=23018 Read More]]> By Bee

The last couple of days you may have heard your child mention water beads. We’ve been working with these wonderful creations this past week. The children, and staff, are absolutely enamored with them. This afternoon we laid the bin in the afternoon sunlight, and it was pure magic. Here are some images as well as the children’s reflections.

“So many colors!”

“They’re squishy! Wet.”

We realized we could hold them with the light behind them and magnify the rest of the bin and the work that was happening there. This led to some very interesting observations.

“They have a secret inside!”

“They have a witch! No…a wish! A wish!”

“This one is a blueberry!”

At one point the children placed the beads in my hand one by one and asked the colors. “This ones white, and this one too!” “I like the purple.”

“Blue, blue!”

“Shhhh, we gotta listen to ’em.”

“Im scoopin it in here. It’s hiding.”

“They’re bouncing! That’s so silly, Bee!”

“We gotta fill it allllllll up. Then I can get them out! I’ll share with you.”

“It has babies! So tiny!”


I’m sure if you share these images with your children they will have even more reflections to share with you! Let us know what they say in the comments below. Personally, I am very curios about the wishes and the secrets that they children see hidden inside. What could they be?

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Project Pollution https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/project-pollution/ https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/project-pollution/#respond Fri, 21 Feb 2020 18:44:00 +0000 https://tuliptreepreschool.com/?p=23007 Read More]]> By Kerry

The past month or so, the children have been diving in deep, exploring ways our actions affect the ocean ecosystem and ultimately our planet. In this particular experiment, the children tried first hand to undo some specific ways humans have polluted the ocean.

We began with a clean ocean setting. We gathered plastics you may find or use at the grocery store and added them to the ocean. Oh no!   We have also discussed drilling and our use of fossil fuels. Unfortunately, there was an accident and the oil leaked into the ocean. AAAAHHH! Then, groundwater that was polluted with toxic chemicals from landfills, agricultural pesticides or maybe waste from factories, finally made it to the ocean. NOOOOOOO!!! The children were very upset to see how dirty the water had become but also how the ocean life was affected. We needed to help! We made a plan about how we could clean up this mess. The children helped make a list of supplies and tools they would need to get the ocean back to the way it was. 

Last week we began the clean up process. Using the materials chosen by the children, they started by trying to remove all the garbage. Next, it was time to tackle the oil spill. The children helped the oily animals by removing them and taking them to a rehabilitation center where they were cleaned with dish soap and toothbrushes. On Friday we used a coffee filter in the final stage of out clean up. Did we succeed in clearing all the pollution from the ocean?







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Traces of Wildlife https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/traces-of-wildlife/ https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/traces-of-wildlife/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2020 19:09:28 +0000 https://tuliptreepreschool.com/?p=22856 Read More]]> By Kerry

A few weeks ago, LS yelled out to the teachers on the yard to “Come look!” Normally this exclamation occurs when a child has found a new crop of mushrooms. a snail in the garden, or lately, bird poop. We teachers were pleasantly surprised to find something much more unique to our backyard habitat: an OWL PELLET!!

After we observed the pellet on the yard, noticing the tiny bones protruding from the mass of wet fur, we decided we needed to investigate further. So we brought it inside.  We are all curious scientists here at Tulip Tree so we got our gear on, our tools out and began our investigation.  First we discussed what a pellet was and we hypothesized about  which animals that lived in our area may have left it behind. We guessed, hawks, falcons and eagles but ultimately decided it was probably an owl.

Next, we got out our trusty tweezers and started dissecting the pellet. As we pulled out the tiny bones, we placed them on a tray and tried to guess what parts of the mystery animal’s body they could be from. We found what we thought might be hip bones, leg bones, claws and even pieces of the spine that were still connected so we could simulate the movement of the animal’s back.


The children were very careful and respectful during this whole process. This was a fascinating biological investigation but it hit at the root of our over-arching ecological conversations as well.  We have been talking  a lot about balance in our ecosystem and this discovery tied in so perfectly.  While we love the squirrels that run free in our yard, owls also need to eat to survive. This animal will now provide great nutrients for the soil under the chestnut tree, helping it to grow food for other squirrels.

So much more on this topic and all the curriculum we’ve been working on with the kids at our PARENT NIGHT!! Thursday, February 20th!!

]]> https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/traces-of-wildlife/feed/ 1 Check-ins https://tuliptreepreschool.com/elm-house-blog/check-ins/ https://tuliptreepreschool.com/elm-house-blog/check-ins/#respond Mon, 10 Feb 2020 23:35:04 +0000 https://tuliptreepreschool.com/?p=22876 Read More]]> At Elm House check ins are happening all day everyday among peers.

A check in happens after an altercation, an accidental bump, etc.

The children will ask their friend if they’re ok and/or would like a hug.

Here we see WS throwing Benny down the slide.

Benny hits the rug with a big oof!

“Oh! I feel worried about Benny…”

WS walks down the slide.

WS touches Bennys back gently..”You ok?” He asks (checking in).

[He’s] “Ok!!!”

We love to see our friends taking care of their friends..even Benny!

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Color changing Playdough https://tuliptreepreschool.com/elm-house-blog/color-changing-playdough/ https://tuliptreepreschool.com/elm-house-blog/color-changing-playdough/#respond Fri, 07 Feb 2020 17:57:08 +0000 https://tuliptreepreschool.com/?p=22885 Read More]]> -Amber

When I first placed the round balls of tan playdough in front of the children they seemed hesitant. We had just had a conversation about how the dough is made for your hands to use and not for eating. WB, who had originally sat down excitedly at the table now looked at me confused with his arms upwards in a shrugging motion.

“You can poke it, or squeeze it, smush it, smash it” I said to the group.

WB shook his head no and seemed displeased. I poked a hole in the top of the smooth dough ball in front of him to show the soft texture. He looked into the hole and then at my finger and frowned.

“If you smash it or rip it, there is a surprise in the middle.” I said, trying to encourage them.

ZC tore hers in half and yelled “It’s orange!”

“I want purple” said LR. 

“Well you can open yours to see what color you got” I replied then watched her pull apart her ball to reveal a green spot of food coloring in the center. 

“I want a purple one” she repeated.

“I don’t have purple playdough for you today.” I said, ” Maybe next time we can make it purple.”

“ZC has yellow and I have green. I wanted purple” LR reflected

AB echoed “I want purple playdough!”

JS immediately began pinching off little pieces and piling them back on top. “It’s a toy chest!” he exclaimed.

WS took the ball into his hands and ripped it into halves, then half again and again until it was scattered across the table.

AB and FB flattened the ball with their palms and carefully poked many little holes in it with their finger tips.

Several friends were still not interested in the sensory experience of digging their fingers into the playdough so we passed out plastic scissors. With tools, the playdough seemed much more approachable to our more cautious friends.

After some kneading, the dough began to change color. The children noticed their friends had different colors and began negotiating trades. 

“Green!” said WS while pointing at FB’s playdough.

WS and FB started passing different colored shreds up playdough back and forth to create a new color. LR and ZC traded yellow and green playdough and mixed theirs together as well. Soon everyone had a little bit of every color.

Everyone began with a plain tan ball of dough and we ended with a swirling colorful combination of blues, greens, turquiose and yellow scattered across the tables.

All of our friends came to the table with something different and they chose to share and collaborate with their peers to make something new.

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Flowers, snow, clay and cuddles https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/flowers-snow-clay-and-cuddles/ https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/flowers-snow-clay-and-cuddles/#comments Tue, 04 Feb 2020 23:34:58 +0000 https://tuliptreepreschool.com/?p=22860 Read More]]> by Alisha

Most of the time we use our big school camera to take photos. All of these photos are from the past month or so on my phone, taken in quick moments when I didn’t have time to grab the school camera. So many small and sweet moments happen throughout our days at school– here are a few of them!

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The Perfect Hair Do https://tuliptreepreschool.com/elm-house-blog/the-perfect-hair-do/ https://tuliptreepreschool.com/elm-house-blog/the-perfect-hair-do/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2020 00:14:34 +0000 https://tuliptreepreschool.com/?p=22819 Read More]]> By Bee

Here at Elm House, we try to honor the children’s wishes to the best of our abilities. Part of this comes down to consent. We don’t touch the children without their permission, we don’t put their name on their art without them first showing us where, and participation isn’t a requirement in any of our activities. Another part of this is that we see and the children as whole people. If I saw an adult wearing a messy shirt, I certainly wouldn’t dream of just walking over and attempting to change it without saying anything. I wouldn’t tell an adult that they had to finish their food on their plate, and I wouldn’t tell an adult that if they just listened to me, things would go more smoothly. Thus, we don’t do these things with the children. As much as possible, we treat the children the same way we treat adults that we respect and care for. I was able to watch this play out this morning in our studio.


Amber was sitting on the floor, hair dressing materials all around her. She was smiling softly as she observed the children, her body at ease. WS approached her holding a comb and a bow. “Bow please!?” he asked.

“You would like me to put a bow in your hair, WS?” she reflected back.

“Bow!” he confirmed, with an enthusiastic nod and a big grin.

Amber opened her arms slightly, giving nonverbal consent for WS to sit in her lap. He stepped forward, turned around thoughtfully, and then gleefully PLOPPED down. The children love having their hair done.

Amber handed WS a mirror so that he could observe what she was doing as it was happening.

She gently combed out his hair as he watched intently.

They made eye contact in the mirror and smiled.

LR approached, hand outstretched with a comb.

“I want to comb WS’s hair!”

“You want to comb WS’s hair?” Amber echoed back.

“Yeah!” LR confirmed her understanding.

“WS, LR would like your consent to comb your hair. Is that okay with you?”

“No.” he replied.

“LR, it sounds like WS doesn’t want you to comb his hair, he said no, but you could comb mine!” Amber offered.

“Nooo! I want to comb WS’s!” she exclaimed with a stomp and a brisk hand gesture.

“I hear that you want to comb WS’s hair. But he said no. You can comb my hair, your hair, or someone elses.”

LR considered this briefly, and promptly sat down. “I will comb my foot!” she compromised.

Amber went back to fixing WS’s hair. After she was finished combing it, she held out her hand,  a silent ask for the bow that he was holding. WS immediately turn it over to her and looked back into the mirror to watch as she put it in his hair.

“All done!” Amber exclaimed. “What do you think WS? I think it looks great!”

WS looked into the mirror, and his brow furrowed slightly.

A feeling that happens for me all too often in the salon chair washed across his face. Something was not quite right.


With full trust in both Amber and her intentions, WS gestured to a point further back on his head. Amber leaned over, looking directly at him, offering up her full attention.

“You don’t like that bow there. You had something different in mind. Were you wanting a pony with a bow? The way that Bee does it?”

“Bee does it.” WS nodded and echoed back.

“Okay, thanks for letting me know. Let’s fix that.”

Amber removed the clip, gathered the comb and a hair tie (pony, as we call both the ties, and the hair style themselves) and got back to work.

“Hows that?” Amber asked, after she was finished.

WS gazed into the mirror again, and his face lit up.

He pulled the mirror closer, the better to see himself with, and he beamed at his reflection. This was it! This was precisely how he wanted his hair done.


As WS smiled at himself, Amber looked down and smiled at him as well.

This moment seems so simple from the outside, but to me it is the perfect example of what we try to do here at Elm House. When WS saw his hair the first time, and reached up for it, Amber could have dismissed his nonverbal cue that he wasn’t satisfied. Instead she was actively searching for confirmation that what was being done with his hair was exactly what he wanted. Upon noticing his dismay, Amber could have brushed by it. “WS, if you don’t like your hair, you can take it out. There are other friends waiting.” She didn’t. She supported WS through his attempt to get what he was truly after, and in doing so she modeled to the other children that we value their opinions, their needs, and that we are here to help them, no matter how little the issue may seem from the outside. Taking her time and honoring WS’s wishes was more important than everyone getting a turn as quickly as possible. Our community values patience because it allows us to make sure that everyone’s needs are met with our full attention and presence. Often the children let us know verbally, “I can wait!” or “I’m waiting right here.” Waiting isn’t passive at Elm House. It is an active offering that we gift one another. The children observing this interaction walked away with the knowledge that Amber would care for and support them to the same degree that she did WS. To see Amber’s obvious enjoyment of WS’s happiness with his hair, was the cherry on the cake. Taking care of one another, respecting one another, and helping one another feels good. And thats what we are all about. Connection, care, and love. Here’s to hoping that your next hair do goes as well as WS’s. 😉


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Paint Paint Paint! https://tuliptreepreschool.com/elm-house-blog/paint-paint-paint/ https://tuliptreepreschool.com/elm-house-blog/paint-paint-paint/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2020 17:21:59 +0000 https://tuliptreepreschool.com/?p=22794 Read More]]> By I

Bee and I wonder what we can do this afternoon with the children. We think perhaps a walk? Her and I look outside…No…it’s too cold! Bee says “How about painting? We haven’t done that in awhile.” “Yes!” I say. We are so excited to see the children’s thoughts and creativity on paper!

First we tape a giant piece of paper to the table.

The children wait so patiently while we gather enough water color pallets for each child.


Now each child has a pallet. Lets see what they paint!

“I’m making clouds.” -LR

“I’m making clouds!” -FB

“I made circle!!!” -WS

“I made a circle!” -OS

“I made circle!” -WS repeats.

Some of the children are quieter, focused on their work of art.

LR & FB share their pallets and their paintings.

OS feels like he actually needs TWO paint brushes for his work of art.


“Let’s do acrylic paint! What color should we do?” Bee asks the group.

“Blue!” A few of the children reply ecstatically.

We add blue acrylic paint to each child’s painting area.

“I’m rubbing it. . . I’m making home”- DG

“I’m making a circle Hadas.” -LR

“I’m making a circle Hadas. . .I’m made fire!” -WS

Some friends explore the feeling of the acrylic paint on their fingers.

“I’m making trees. . . I made fire trucks. It’s so big!” -OS

“I’m painting home” -FB

The children are starting to feel done…let’s see the finished product!

Our friends worked so hard to make this beautiful art for the Elm Room. Thank you!

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Glimpse of Our Morning https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/glimpse-of-our-morning/ https://tuliptreepreschool.com/tuliptree/glimpse-of-our-morning/#respond Tue, 10 Dec 2019 00:10:52 +0000 https://tuliptreepreschool.com/?p=22781

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