February 19, 2018

Harvest Party Memories

Our Harvest Party

Did you know that our Harvest Party was child-led and child-designed?  At Corbett Preschool, we believe that the child is a crucial team member in deciding the course of their day, and their education!  The Harvest Party was a great example of this learning – and my favorite day of school so far!

The first step in the planning process started during the first week of October, when Alba’s family graciously donated 30 beautiful pumpkins to our class.  The kids were immediately fascinated, and came up with several different way to incorporate the pumpkins into their learning.  Some asked to cover them with clay, others asked to sketch them, others washed them at the water table, and others asked to paint them.  By far, the most frequently asked question was, “are we going to make pumpkin pie?!”

Which posed a unique challenge.

Enter 1 convection oven, 30 mini pie crusts, and an excellent article by Peter Kellock called The Case for Play.  Kellock is a play advocate, and in his article he encourages baking and cooking as an excellent way to integrate literacy and math.  Boy was he right!  Between the math language while mixing and descriptive vocabulary to describe the finished product, baking is my new favorite class activity.  Send us your favorite healthy snack recipes, and we’ll add it to the repertoire!  For the record, I have never seen so many kids devour pumpkin pie before.  They helped make the pies, and their personal investment and pride in their work really showed.

The second step in the planning process was determining what special activities we could do for our party that we don’t do every day!  I like to use party times for things that the kids are interested in and curious about, but maybe require more prep or more work on the teachers’ part to make sure everyone has what they need.  The preschoolers have been very into using their hands and arms to paint, and somewhere around the middle of October a few brave ones wanted to paint their own faces!  I love the sensory and spatial development that accompanies body painting, but it isn’t something we can do every day (although what fun THAT would be!).  Part of being a responsive preschool teacher is deciding what part you CAN say yes to, so we went with face painting as a special treat at our Harvest Party.  We ordered the face paint and set up the mirrors so the children could experiment with painting their OWN faces, and truly have a child-led art experience unlike any other they’d had before!

The moment of the face-painting revelation. Or should I say revolution?

The moment of the face-painting revelation. Or should I say revolution?

The third step was stepping back and letting the children have a wonderful, learning-through-play filled day!

Thank you to everyone who brought in treats, helped paint faces, and all the grown-ups who were there to laugh with me as kids painted their eyebrows, lips, arms, and the inside of their noses.

But most of all, thank you to the preschoolers for the best day ever.  Our room smelled amazing, and was full of laughter and love.


Your friends,

Miss Tiffany and Miss Nikki

Tiffany Pearsall About Tiffany Pearsall

Hello, I'm the preschool teacher at Corbett Grade School! I've been teaching preschool since 2010, and at Corbett since 2012. Ask me anything about early childhood education, play-based learning, knitting, irish setters, or nuclear reactors.