All posts by website@magic-garden.org

Starlight

The Starlight students gleefully proclaim that spring has, at last, arrived! This reflects in their ongoing adventures. Using magnifying glasses, the afternoon friends have been scouring the campus, observing all wonders of our natural world. This includes insects, birds and sprouting daffodils. The children plan to gather an array of outdoor materials to construct their own open-ended art collages. Very cool! Since Magic Garden’s campus is surrounded by trees, the students continue to comment on the developing colors and the blooming buds. To capitalize on this, we have begun taking a series of photographs to document the progression. The Starlight shutterbugs are certainly having a blast!

With Earth Day ahead, Starlight has been having fun, singing a collection of “green” songs. This includes ‘We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands.” Numerous fiction and non-fiction themes books have also been afternoon favorites.  Coming up: More Spring fun!

Twilight

The Twilight children have (finally!) begun to hear some tweet, tweet, tweeting on campus. Could it be? Teacher Olivia led each of our afternoon students in crafting wonderfully, repurposed and eco-friendly bird feeders. Using Popsicle sticks (for the roof), upcycled milk cartons (for the frame) and numerous colors of paint (for fun!), the kiddos created feasting grounds for our fine feathered friends. Very cool! Thanks, Ms. Olivia!

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In anticipation of Magic Garden’s annual butterfly hatch, the Twilight students have also been creating gorgeous art versions. Any material will do! The girls and boys utilized watercolor paints, doilies, foam scraps and more to fashion their own fluttering creature.

Up next: Learning about volcanoes and outdoor adventures!

Sunshine Scoop

The Sunshine Classroom has transformed into a gallery! Our kiddos continue to engage in the endless possibilities of open-ended art experiences. In this, our children are provided with a variety of tools and then, set free to create! Their expressions are unfiltered, unaltered and 100% independent. There are no limitations, instructions or samples. For instance, recently the boys and girls painted with helmets! You may ask, “How is this possible?” Well, we simply taped paintbrushes to hats salvaged from the Dramatic Play area. Very fun! Do visit our display. Later, they utilized texture paints (just mix paint with sand or oats or rice or…whatever!), as well as pendulum painting. The Sunshiners have surely created timeless masterpieces!

Continuing with this exploration, the children continue to enjoy listening to a new classroom favorite, The Boy Who Just Couldn’t Stop Drawing by Kay Harring. This biography details the life and work of artist, Keith Haring. Inspired by sidewalk break dancers, Mr. Keith’s work could be seen all over New York City. During Choice Time, the Sunshiners created their own colorful, symbol-covered dancing bodies. Each is so unique and stunning. Be sure to check out our Magic Garden Subway installation in the front entranceway!

Coming up: Planting and outdoor team games!

Starburst Happenings

What do the Starburst friends see? What do our kiddos hear? And what is that smell? Lately, the Starburst Classroom has embarked on a new learning venture: The five senses!

Kicking things off, the girls and boys began to explore the world of hearing. Examining diagrams and nonfiction books, the children learned about the different parts and functions of our ears. For instance, the outer ear is the portion we can see, functioning as a cup to capture travelling sound. The inner ear, a spiral-shaped tube, translates vibrations into sound and sends this information to the auditory nerve and then, the brain. Very cool! Building on this information, the students crafted cup telephones, engaging in silly conversations with their classmates. Also, they had a blast playing several rounds of sound bingo.

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Now, the friends are focused on the topic of sight! Blindfolded drawing workshops and sightless walking tours are certainly classroom hits. The Starburst children are also learning about individuals who cannot decipher between different colors (color blindness). In addition, the pupils have begun to investigate the braille alphabet! Investigating this system of raised dots, each child continues to attempt to spell his or her own name. Amazing!

Coming up: The worlds of touch, taste and smell!

The Moonbeam Classroom has gone prehistoric! Thunderous stomping and screeches can be heard throughout the halls of Magic Garden! Recently, the Moonbeam super kids launched a new unit of discovery on dinosaurs! Inspired by selections of literature and hands-on manipulatives, the children continue to learn about creatures like the triceratops, the brontosaurus and the T-Rex. Visit the Dramatic Play area and you will find a massive dinosaur egg nest! Complete with grass (shredded paper) and hanging vines (crepe paper), the students love pretending to be baby dinos, roars and all! Head over to the sensory table and you will find many multi-colored dinosaur eggs. The children love counting them, hatching them and comparing them! Circle Time has been packed with an array of dinosaur-themed songs. We are sure you’ve heard a few at home.

In conjunction with dinosaurs, the Moonbeam kiddos have been exploring volcanoes. Using vinegar and baking soda, they erupted their own classroom volcano. How fun! Also, they painted lava rocks. By mixing numerous shades of paint they created a “fire color” for the project. One student exclaimed, “It’s changing color!” Another said, “That is a biiiig fire!” On boy said, “I think there’s a magic crack in the volcano.” Magic, indeed!

Coming up next: Rhyming and phonetics, as well as continued work on our letter wall. We are on letter P!