Hi Bears Families,

How lovely to see spring finally arrive!  The Bears have jumped on the spring bandwagon with lots of observations, discussions, books, and art activities.  The children are carefully observing the changes of spring during their walks outside.  They have been listening to the birds and noticing the different blooming flowers (daffodils, hyacinth, tulips), bushes (forsythia), and trees (the early cherries, willow cherries, magnolia), as well as leaves beginning to erupt.  The children also discussed what they like about spring, with responses including “I like the birds because they chirp” and “I like the flowers because they are beautiful.”  And it’s been wonderful to see the Bears engaged in various spring art activities.  They made a spring garden (displayed on the closet doors) by painting and using markers and oil pastels on butcher paper as a background, then making flowers out of tissue paper and cupcake liners and applying them to the butcher paper.  They made a communal cherry blossom painting by painting a blue background and a brown tree, then tearing and gluing green and yellow paper to the base of the tree, and finally daubing pink paint onto the brown tree branches with their fingers.  They also made tulip paintings by dipping forks into red, orange, and purple paint, then pressing the forks onto a piece of paper.  They then dipped their index fingers in green paint to spread across the paper and make the stems.  The Bears also made monoprints by using paint rollers to spread paint across the bottom of a brownie pan, making a design in the paint with Q-tips, pressing a piece of paper on top of the design, and carefully peeling off the paper.  Spring planting is on the horizon with classroom plantings of lima beans and seeds.  Did you see the Sprout House?  We also hope to take a trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the next few weeks – stay tuned!
The Bears have been devouring wonderful children’s books this month.  One book, “Feel the Wind” by Arthur Dorros, led the children to discuss where they would like the wind to blow them (see their responses on the experience chart in the book area).  Another, “I Want to Learn to Fly” by Maureen McGovern and Judy Barron, spurred the children to think about what they want to learn to do, with responses ranging from learning how “to wash the dishes” to learning how “to button my own dress.”  Please check out their drawings by the block area.  And the Bears have had great fun with the book “I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More,” delighting with the rhymes and word play.
And it wouldn’t be the Bears Room without music and dancing.  A new favorite is “Funga Alafia,” a traditional song of welcome from western Africa.  The Bears often sing the song together in the morning, and one day recently they formed a drum circle in the classroom, drumming and dancing to the song.  They also have learned “The Green Grass Grows All Around,” which was particularly meaningful on Earth Day this past Monday.  It is such a pleasure to see the Bears singing and dancing with such joy.
Enjoy these beautiful spring days!