Dear Rainbow Families,

The Senses continue as a curriculum focus in the Rainbow Room, with Touch taking the lead recently. Some recent books include “The Five Senses – Touch” by Maria Ruis, JM Parramon, and JJ Puig; the beautifully-illustrated “Touch” by Rachel Isadora; and “Touching” by Shawn Gordon. The Rainbow teachers also put together a “touching” chart with a feather, sponge, bottle cap, plastic tube, pom pom, and gummie bear, then had the Rainbow children touch each item and describe how it felt, with the teachers writing down their descriptive words. They also made bread this past week and delighted in the tactile experience of mixing and kneading with their hands the flour, milk, yeast, water, salt, and sugar (and then eating the finished product). Similarly, the Rainbows have reveled in exploring clay this past week – pounding, rolling, and shaping with their hands as they have made everything from dinosaur bones to the Statue of Liberty. The Rainbows have also been learning a new song “We Have Senses,” sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques.” And on one of the warmer days last week the Rainbows were able to go outside and enjoy a “smelling” walk during which they announced they smelled pine trees, chicken, “my old school,” and spring.

The shoebox homes have all been completed, and the Rainbows last week had great fun using them for dramatic play with little wooden people as stand-ins for themselves. It became quite the bustling neighborhood as the Rainbows took the little people and went about visiting one another’s homes to play. They even took out some little cars to go driving! Such dramatic play with symbolic objects is so important in a child’s growing understanding – and use of – symbolic representation, which is foundational in understanding written language and learning how to read.

Have you noticed the new chandelier hanging in the Rainbow Room? The Rainbows made this by squeezing mixtures of different colored paint with glue onto clear plastic strips, letting them dry, and then having their teachers cover the strips with laminating paper. The teachers hung each strip to an old cupcake container, which the children painted, and hung it up in the classroom. The Rainbows call it a jelly fish, as it truly resembles one and is also in the spirit of the upcoming “Under The Sea” Day in the Rainbows. (I will send you the actual date ASAP.) In getting ready for this special day, does anyone have a blow-up kiddie pool that the Rainbows could use that day in the classroom? (Not for your children to enter, of course, but to put in some of their sea-life creatures.)

May we soon experience more and more spring smells!