As the festive season comes round we start to think about all the wonderful things we are grateful for (among all the Christmas rush and chaos). We have been busy at kindergarten engaging in different festive rituals. This has included making many decorations for our Christmas Tree which is on display at the St. John Church on Kamo Road. This is a lovely community event that we have been involved in for the past three years. The children spend time making different decorations and then the teachers take them to the church, decorate the tree and plan a walk so that our children can see their lovely Christmas tree amongst many others. Being a part of this special event brings with it so many lovely warm feelings of gratitude and joy. As we plan our walk to the local church and count down the days in anticipation, the children also practice singing Christmas carols. They practice so that they can respond and thank our hosts at the church. It is always beautiful and heart-warming hearing our children sing and we love that they want to share their passion for singing with others.
Organising the excursion and being out in community is another area that is so special. We have such wonderful family support and this walk was once again proof of how awesome our families are. We needed 6 helpers to make this trip viable, instead we had 22 helpers come along! It is so good for the soul to see everyone come together and make our kindergarten events so special. Because of this our walk was very successful (and so it should be with nearly 70 of us walking the streets of Kensington!) We were very proud of how the children behaved and represented our kindergarten out in community and very pleased that everyone had such a lovely morning.
One of our other rituals we have started to celebrate our festive season has been creating a gratitude tree. This started last year and I wrote blog post about it which you can read here. We invite families to write something that they are grateful for in regards to having their child in their lives and then this is hung on our special kindergarten Christmas tree for all to see. The gratitude tree becomes a beautiful addition to our kindergarten environment and it is so lovely to stop at and have a read of all the lovely words that are written about our children. One of the most special happening that take place around the gratitude tree is when children have their cards read to them and they just beam with happiness.
"Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress." (Marelisa Fabrega)
Lastly, another ritual we have is our end of year celebration at Mair Park where our families are invited to join us for a picnic dinner followed by a visit from a special guest (this year it was Santa himself) and a fun treasure hunt for chocolate money. Once again this year it was so lovely to see so many families relaxing and getting to know one another a little better. The children were all having such a great time playing games with one another and enjoying each other’s company outside of kindergarten. This is a great example of why we love to foster and celebrate creating meaningful relationships amongst everyone who is a part of our kindergarten community. The benefits from these relationships are so special and help make Mairtown Kindergarten what it is.
I would also like to take this opportunity to share how I am so grateful for everything that Mairtown Kindergarten brings to my life. After being a part of the Mairtown Kindergarten community for the past six years I have been lucky enough to work with so many wonderful families and an amazing team of teachers. When reflecting on this it makes me realise that Mairtown Kindergarten is not just a place that I go and work at, it is a place that brings me so much joy and delight and it is a place that makes me incredibly happy and fulfilled. I am so thankful that I am a part of this special place and all that it brings to my life.
On behalf of the Mairtown team I would like to say a huge thank you to our incredible families at kindergarten and all that you do and bring to our community, you make it a beautiful place. Have a safe and happy summer break. For those how are heading off to school next year we wish you well on your next journey and for those who are returning, we look forward to seeing you refreshed in term 1 2017.
“Each day brings new opportunities, allowing you to constantly live with love—be there for others—bring a little light into someone's day. Be grateful and live each day to the fullest.” (Roy T. Bennett)