Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Community Building, Our Annual Daycare Pool Party

Let me start by saying, that while I am indeed all kinds of crazy (taking 6 kids to the zoo at a time, wallowing in mud with them, dancing the Tooty-Ta, etc.), I am not crazy enough to take a group of preschoolers swimming.  That's a level of responsibility that is beyond my comfort zone, which is actually how our pool party came to be.

Eight years ago, when my family put in a pool, the daycare kiddos watched the process of pool building, and, of course, anticipated getting in.  They drooled at the fence, wanting that cool blue water, while I, meanly, provided only an occasional sprinkler or water table.  Cruel woman!
Eventually, I realized that the kiddos weren't going to be able to let it go until they had a chance to take a dip.  My family and I talked about it, and decided we'd invite the daycare families that were here at the time to come to a pool party one weekend.  Parents would be responsible for their own children, and we'd serve some burgers and hotdogs.  Easy-peasy.  Once and done.  Right?

It was a huge hit!  The children got to swim, which they loved!  The parents had a chance to see all the children playing together, and to visit with each other.  I got to visit with the families for much longer than we could at drop off or pick up time, and of course, we all got to eat together.
The parents asked me to make it annual tradition, and it has been now, for 8 years - so far.  We'll keep doing this for as long as there are children in our lives.
 Each year I invite the families that are enrolled, and the families who are planning to join us the following fall, so we can begin the process of building community, getting to know each other as more than just client and teacher.

 These kiddos, these families - these friends, play such a big role in our lives!  Sometimes the kiddos call Ms. Julie and I "mom" - not because they are confused about who their mom is, but because that word, mom, also means "caregiver," or "woman who loves me as her child."  It's only appropriate that we take some time to know each other as the surrogate family that we are.
 Some families come back for many years.  This year we had 56 people attend the party!  The oldest of my preschoolers who returned this year is now 12 - and taller than me!!!! (I actually told her she might not get invited next year if she keeps growing!  Truth be told, that family will be here with us when they're grown and bringing me their own children.  Just think how cool that would be, 3 generations of a family here!)
 And really, that's where I'm going with this post.  Some of the parents have kiddos who are about to head off to kindergarten, or who have recently left because they're about to move on to the next stage of their learning adventures.


 The parents were talking about how neat it is to have some of our "old" families come back each year, and hoping that they would be invited to come back next year, and in the future.

 Oh, silly parents!  You have it completely backwards!  You are hoping that I will want you to come back.

It is, in fact the other way around.  I am honored that you still, after moving on to other schools and new stages in your life, want me in your lives.  I love you all!


2 comments:

  1. It was such a great party! Thanks, Paula!

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  2. That’s good work you are doing. Children love fun and especially if it involves playing in the swimming pool. Just from the way they drooled from the fence, it is so obvious that they were waiting for the pool to be completed so that they could have a feel of the blue water. Excellent job, keep it up!

    Bernice Cunningham @ Guardian Industries

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