Friday, June 18, 2010

Tykes Run Around Like Crazy

It's been a busy few weeks in tyke-land. Last week was Sports Day! There were a variety of races and then a picnic complete with "ice lollies." The parents have to stay behind a barrier and the kids run around in a somewhat organized fashion while their photographs are taken. It's kind of silly and a bunch of fun.

The tykes were divided up into a groups of yellow, blue, red, and green and then led around to various events by their teachers, classroom assistants, or very responsible year 4s. I was in charge of Circle Ball and Leader Ball, both of which were played with bean bags... Circle ball is essentially a relay race around a giant circle, and leader ball is the same thing but in a line and with the added difficulty of throwing and "catching" the bean bag. (I don't think any of the tykes caught any of the bean bags ever.)

My station was supposed to take 15 minutes with another 15 minutes for a snack and water break. Unfortunately a round of circle and/or leader ball takes about 30 we did it four times in a row! With much jumping and hollering of encouragement.

Can I just take a moment here to tell you about P? P is a lovely little nursery girl who bears an uncanny resemblance to a basset hound. Huge, beautiful brown eyes and the largest jowls you've ever seen on a three year old girl. She spent the first half of the year consistently confused and bewildered looking, but over the last term and a half or so has brightened up considerably. It turns out that jowly three year old cheeks when they smile? Are the Best. Thing. Ever. And P was having a grand old time at sports day, racing around the circle in her hilarious torso swivelling run with the biggest grin ever on her face. I freaking love P.

So that was sports day. The week before we had had International Day! International day is a trip. The school is almost absurdly multicultural, and in addition the parents can sometimes get absurdly competitive. This is all to the good on international day when everyone shows up in their own traditional costumes and two of the nursery rooms get given over to FOOD. Piles and piles of delicious, amazing, fabulous food. The two rooms are divided up amongst countries or regions and then decorated by the various families, each trying to out do the others. Mmmm. Korean sushi, home made hummus, fried plantains, empanadas, crepes filled with nutella, delicious piles of things from the Indian and Middle Eastern tables, and I don't even know what I was eating from the Austrian table but it was cheesy and awesome. (Man, now I'm hungry again.) The poor kids are given hot dogs in the cafeteria while the teachers and parents get scrumptious food...

It's not ALL about the food, it's also about the costumes! And because the parents need a chance to photograph their babies- we had a parade. The parade also included a short musical performance which was my responsibility. It was really rainy that week and usually International Day spills out into the garden, but because of the mud we planned to have the parade and performance in the library. Except that someone then made the decision that it was bright enough and dry enough to do the parade and performance outside even if the eating still had to take place inside. This meant that it was totally unorganized and the tykes ended up streaming out through a filter of their parents which meant that I had to figure out how to A: collect all the tykes and B: distract them from "Mummy!" so that they would sing their songs.

A few minutes and some very over exaggerated warm up exercises later I pushed the encroaching crowd of parents back and we got along to singing. Whew. They were delightful, and if their are now some videos floating around of me jumping up and down and looking ridiculous- well, that just goes with the territory.

Do you remember my little Italian Boy? His family is moving back home after this week so he won't be around for Open Music Day on the 30th. On sports day his mom apologized to me that she was taking him away early (I encouraged her to come see our class this week) and explaining to me how much her son loves my class. He has apparently taken to singing our songs to himself as he wanders around their home. He also gets disappointed whenever we fail to sing his favourite song ever "copy cats" so she asked me for the lyrics so that they could sing it together.

I love stories like that. Just love them. And the lyrics were put in his box that afternoon.

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