When you are four – everything seems to take forever to come around. There is never a time more prominent than when waiting for your birthday, which only comes around once a year.
Christmas is another significant annual event – on the back of the 2016 Adelaide Christmas Pageant – this week in the Preschool room we have opened discussions about the ways in which we will know it is Christmas Day.
There have been so many ideas and understandings expressed;
“when the snow comes”
“Christmas tree is up and lights on”
“Father Christmas puts presents under the tree”
“we can get a Christmas chocolate thing – I had a Frozen one but now its gone”
“when Father Christmas drops the presents and you see them in the morning”
“the stars (Advent Stars)”
“when ice falls down from the sky”
“when its Christmas and we drive past and lights are outside”
“you go 4 wheel driving in the snow and don’t get stuck”
“when Santa goes in your house”
“I have a Christmas dress up thing and sometimes I put it outside”
“the sleigh that Santa drops his presents in…. it flies”
“I have an idea, my daddy can drive here and put some Christmas stuff up”
“Santa will come in his sleigh and go in the chimney”
“cause I have a Christmas hat we put outside”
“I put my Christmas dress ups on”
“sometimes when Santa comes there is Avengers inside and I close my eyes and take it outside”
We loved hearing our Buddies recall not only their current understandings of the timing of Christmas but also memories from Preschool in our beloved song, Christmas where the Gum Trees Grow, with the magnificent blooms of the Jacaranda tree signifying Christmas time is near.
The Preschool children have each created their own Advent calendar to record the passing of time in anticipation of Christmas. This very visual tool that steadily becomes shorter and shorter as Christmas Day approaches allows the children to see just how close this special day is. How wonderful to involve both our Buddy programs with the Year 3 and Year 7 classes, who spending time assisting and encouraging the Preschoolers in stapling their 24 rings to complete these ‘Advent Stars’. This is no easy feat with the diverse range of strength, coordination, fine motor skills, levels of persistence and commitment to task let alone problem solving skills of jammed tools!
With Christmas fast approaching what a wonderful opportunity to practice the skills and temperament for delayed gratification that an activity such as this helps to teach. A simple Advent star has the potential to teach the understanding of measuring time until a significant event arrives; it can provide a concrete visual indicator as well as encouraging dispositions such as patience and resilience.
Now that so many stars and rings are completed thanks to a mammoth collaborative effort with all parties, there is still yet more waiting before we can take these home ready for 1 December.
Sue Cullen, Fiona Richter and Kate Burns