Dear Bears Families,

The Bears have been enjoying both their winter curriculum and a new curriculum on feelings, which ties in nicely with their celebration of Love Week this week.

Winter: Some recent winter art activities include making “snow” by mixing borax, glue, and warm water together then kneading and spreading the mixture on the art table top (a wonderful tactile experience) and adding iridescent glitter; making winter pictures by using white powdered paint on black paper; and making pictures of snow people by gluing yarn, buttons, googly eyes, and black construction paper onto blue paper (see the display on the back wall). As a recent visitor exclaimed, “These snow people have such personality!” Another day the Bears read “Stone Soup” by Ann McGovern with pictures by Winslow Pinney Pels, then proceeded to make stone soup in their small groups: putting a stone in a pot of water, then cutting up carrots, potatoes, squash, onions, and parsley, and adding these vegetables plus barley to the pot and cooking it altogether. It was a tasty – and warm – afternoon treat. The Bears also read the delightful”Winter is for Snow” by Robert Neubecker and discussed together their ideas of what winter is for. Finally, they also read “The Mitten” by Jan Brett, then acted out the story by using tape to make the outline of a mitten in the circle area and taking on the roles of the boy, his grandma, and the assorted animals that crawl into the mitten to stay warm – lots of fun!

Feelings: The Bears have been exploring feelings the past week through books and discussions. They read “When I Care About Others” by Cornelia Spelman and followed it with a discussion of how they show they care – lots of hugs and kisses! They also read “Sometimes I’m Bombaloo” by Rachel Vail with pictures by Yumi Heo, about a little girl who becomes very angry, then discussed together what being angry is like and what makes them feel angry.

Valentine’s Day: the Bears have so enjoyed making heart-shaped rubbings and cutting out hearts from their homemade red, white, and blue marble-painted paper. On Friday they will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with treats and cards.

IMPORTANT: If your child would like to bring in valentines from home, please be sure to have a card for ALL of the Bears. (Please remember our newer Bears, too: Cece, Charlotte, and Isaac.) Also, we are going to have a pizza lunch on Friday, so no lunches from home that day. If your child does not attend the Collective on Fridays, they are welcome to come in and join their Bear friends for lunch from 12:30-1:00.

Stay warm and dry!