Dear Bears Families,

It has been an exciting day in the Bears Room – making sugar cookies together, singing “Jingle Bells” and reading “Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here” (by Jean Craighead George) at our winter assembly, and enjoying a pizza party for lunch. This theme of winter has permeated the room throughout the week. On Tuesday the Bears read “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats and on Thursday they took a winter walk in the neighborhood and spotted wreaths and decorated trees. As they walked, the Bears spontaneously broke into song, singing such favorites as “Frosty the Snowman” and “Jingle Bells” to the delight of many a passer-by.

Picking up on the children’s interests in bodies and body parts (have you heard them singing about body parts to the tune of “Bingo”?), Olive’s daughter Amanda, a third-year medical student, visited the Bears Room and led a circle time on bodies and health. She read the book “Your Body” by Stephanie Turnbull, let the children use her stethoscope to listen to their hearts, and discussed with them ways to keep their bodies strong and healthy. It was wonderful to have her join us. Another book the Bears read this week was “Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman. They especially enjoyed the part where the baby bird declares to the bulldozer, “You are not my mother, you are a snort.”

A wonderful example of the richness of play was seen in the Bears Room yesterday afternoon. The Bears decided to make a train out of chairs, which they set up in the dramatic play area. They then “rode” the train to different destinations: the Bronx Zoo, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Transit Museum. While the children were riding, a few Bear helpers created these places in the circle area by setting up the plastic animals (for the zoo), the plastic dinosaurs (for the AMNH), and the trains and tracks (for the Transit museum). The train would then stop, the children would visit their destination, and then they would hop back on their train till they reached the next stop. It was not only delightful to watch, but fascinating to see how the children cooperated together to re-create their knowledge of their NYC world.

That’s it for now. Have a lovely vacation and we’ll see you in the new year.