There is something so special about sitting around the fire on a cold winter’s day, cooking delicious food. That is exactly what we do at Mairtown kindergarten; during our cool winter months we hold our greatly anticipated ‘Fire Thursday’.
This is our fourth year of holding weekly fires every Thursday morning throughout our winter weather months. Now at kindergarten our children know Thursday as ‘Fire Thursday’.
The creation of fire is an essential factor of a Nature programme. It is one of the four elements and provides opportunities for children to experience success and self-accomplishment when starting a fire from scratch that will ultimately cook food.
Well before the first fire is lit, we engage with our kindergarten community to discuss our plans to minimise risks associated with having fire. During the build up to the first fire we engage with our children to share and discuss thoughts of how to keep safe around fire. It so lovely to see our children who have experienced ‘Fire Thursday’, take on the role of leadership in sharing the rules and reflecting about what they enjoy.
Whānau time provides an excellent opportunity to have discussions and share ideas about how to be safe around the fire. Keeping everyone safe is our key priority, to do that we have a safety bubble that is drawn around our fire.
Important rules that our children shared; “No going in the safety bubble, only the teachers are allowed to go in there.” “Walking around the fire, cause if you run you might get burnt.” “No scarfs or capes by the fire cause if it’s windy it might blow them in the fire.” “If you be silly near the fire, you’ll be sent away.”
Our children are involved throughout the process of preparing the fire, and all have great expertise and knowledge of what is required to get the fire going. There are always keen helpers to scrunch the newspaper, and lay the kindling ready for the teachers to light. Like with any fire we need different sizes of wood to burn, our children also help to chop the firewood with a small tomahawk.
The key purpose of our fire is to cook kai; so far this season we have had yummy pikelets, a particular favourite is the homemade garlic and rosemary bread (including gluten-free) and delicious little sausages.
One thing I love about winter is having a fire and I know Fire Thursday is very much looked forward to by many. It’s so wonderful to sit around the lovely warm fire on a cool winter’s day, to sit and chat or sing with each other and cook delicious kai.
Ngā mihi, Susie