Sunflower Garden – In the Classroom

Sunflower Garden – Sandbox is Open Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sandbox is Open!

Sunflower Garden – “Akimba and the Magic Cow” Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunflower Garden “playing” the African story “Akimba and the Magic Cow” as Miss Donna narrated it.

Sunflower Garden – Hike Day Friday, March 16, 2018

We wind, crawl, balance, roll, climb, and hike on EC hike day!


Sunflower Garden – Imagination at Play Friday, March 16, 2018

The Sunflower Garden children have enjoyed acting out and “playing” the story Miss Donna has shared – an African tale “Akimba and the Magic Cow.” After listening to the story several times, they were ready to “play” this imagination that is living inside of them.

Extended Day – Lunch is (almost) served. Thursday, March 15, 2018

Some smiling faces from the hallway this week just before lunch time.

Play is the Work of Early Childhood Saturday, March 10, 2018

Whether we are chipping at ice, grinding grain, churning cream into butter, or using an orange cone and stick to pretend to churn cream into butter… it’s all work in early childhood!

Sunflower Garden – Hike Day Saturday, March 10, 2018

Hike day on what we hope is the last snow of the season! Lots of animal tracks to be found… coyote, raccoon, rabbit, and deer!

Sunflower Garden – Watercolor Painting Saturday, March 10, 2018

Watercolor painting—with three colors—in the Sunflower Garden.


Sunflower Garden: Butter Churning Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sunflower Garden and friends churning cream into butter on bread day!

“Come, butter, come!
Come, butter, come!
Buddy’s waiting at the gate
For his little butter plate!
Come, butter, come!”

Sunflower Garden: A Word from Miss Donna Saturday, March 3, 2018

Dear Sunflower Garden Families,

Thanks to all of you for supporting these first two weeks of me back in the classroom. All is going well, and I thank you. Keep reinforcing good manners at home… “I want…” is an expression I would love to banish from our garden. “May I please…” is so much finer. I have come to say, “There is no ‘I want’ crying in the Sunflower Garden.”  Please reinforce this at home by listening for and expecting words like please, thank you, no thank you, I’m sorry, and you’re welcome. Thanks!

This week we did an outdoor obstacle course on Monday, which will be our Monday tradition. It involves hanging from a high bar and dropping (holding up and catching one’s own weight), going across monkey bars, balancing on stumps, climbing, sliding and skipping. Some Might Oaks need to work on monkey bars and skipping, so have some fun at home!

These past eight days of school have been all about our work and daily rhythm. We’ve had lots of reverent moments and joyful, giggly ones as we painted, hiked, grinded grain, modeled beeswax, churned cream into butter, and made bread and soup. The children have been great about pitching in to clean up the room after play time and transitioning to the next activity. The 3 R’s of early childhood: rhythm, repetition, and reverence! The children have very much enjoyed the African tale I’ve been telling “Akimba and the Magic Cow.”

Mighty Oak 6 year old activities for home: jumping rope, using scissors to cut, tying bows/shoes, finger-knitting, monkey bars, skipping, and playing rhyming games, and doing CHORES. Please get your Mighty Oak at least one pair of shoes that must be tied and work on this skill. There are YouTube videos for you to reference for ideas to teach shoe tying (note that the videos are for you, not for your child).  Any imagination of butterfly wings or bunny ears will do. These are all skills that show a readiness in fine motor and gross motor activity…ability and command of one’s movements.

Donation~ I am seeking a few simple, small, stackable tea cups with no handles that can be used in the classroom for sip and sup in the event a water bottle is left at home. Thanks.

Miss Donna

Sunflower Garden: Magical Woods Saturday, March 3, 2018

Magical woods, fairy houses, fire tending, and butter churning….snippets from our week in the Sunflower Garden and our early childhood community.

Sunflower Garden – Welcome Back, Miss Donna! Thursday, February 22, 2018

Day one of Miss Donna back at DVWS and in the Sunflower Garden found everyone tending to classroom repairs and grinding grain for bread.

Early Childhood – Merry Mudmas! Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thank you for sending appropriate rain gear – it has been put to fun use!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Early Childhood! Friday, February 16, 2018

Our students enjoyed Valentine’s Day tremendously, sharing their love with beautiful, handmade hearts and gifts for their classmates, teachers and others. It was a very sweet day in our classrooms and hallways as little hands delivered their gifts with excitement and smiles!

Early Childhood – Icicle Castles Friday, February 16, 2018

Early Childhood students making icicle castles.

Sunflower Garden – A Word From Ms. Kelly Sunday, February 11, 2018

Happy Snow Weekend, dear families!

Trees are bare
snow is deep and skies are grey,
but one bird
can be heard
on the coldest day.
Ask his name and he’ll reply,
cocking up a roguish eye:
“Chickadee, chickadee, chick-a-dee,
The children have been enjoying our outside play times at school so much with all the wonderful snow! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend with your dear ones, and that the inconvenience of school cancellation and transportation slow-downs and extra snow removal duties are more than compensated for by this special opportunity for family play 🙂
On Thursday we had a special visitor to our classroom. Mrs. Ro Hart is a long-experienced Waldorf kindergarten teacher who is now retired. She will return on Monday and Thursday of this coming week. Please greet her warmly if you meet her in the hallway or play yard.
Just a little clarification about our Valentine’s Day celebration (which will happen on Wednesday the 14th, along with our celebration for our lucky birthday girl): I had asked that if you and your child want to send valentine cards for classmates, they should be “all identical”– silly me! Of course if you are making these at home, they don’t have to all be truly identical—what I really meant is that they should each have only your own child’s name on them, and that there should be one for each classmate (15 in all) without specifically addressing particular cards for particular classmates. We want the children to be able to distribute the cards to their classmates very simply in an enjoyable way without fuss or confusion. Again, please no candy with these cards; we will be having a special birthday snack and will have no need of extra sweets! Simple is best, so that we can focus on our warm feelings of affection for each other.
If your child does not attend school on Wednesdays (or if your child should be ill on that day), we will still collect cards for them, which they can see and bring home when they return to school, and if you want to, you may bring cards on Tuesday and we will distribute them on behalf of your child on Wednesday, Valentine’s day.
We have been enjoying using needle and yarn for the project of making our heart pockets which will serve as “mailboxes” for the Valentine cards.
Last Monday we painted with yellow in honor of the strengthening sun and the lengthening days.
Blessings and joy,
Ms. Kelly
Extended Day is Extending to Five Days Per Week Friday, February 9, 2018

Due to increased enrollment our Early Childhood teachers will now be hosting Extended Day five days per week!

Extended Day begins after our regular early childhood classes end and takes place from 12:30-3:30p.m., now Monday – Friday in both Apple Blossom Garden and Sunflower Garden classrooms. Wonder Garden children will be will be divided between these two classrooms if they stay for Extended Day.

Extended Day families are welcome to order hot lunch from our lunch program or send your own healthy and balanced lunch from home. During Extended Day the children have lunch, hear a story, enjoy a relaxing lavender foot bath, and take a nice rest. Children should bring two small blankets and a small pillow. A cot is provided.

Please contact the office or your child’s teacher for more information or to sign up!

Sunflower Garden – Vegetable Preparation Monday, February 5, 2018

The children enjoy cutting up vegetables for classroom snack.

Sunflower Garden – Puppet Show Monday, February 5, 2018

Ms. Kelly, telling a story with puppets for our Sunflower Garden class.



Sunflower Garden – A Word From Ms. Kelly Monday, January 29, 2018

Greetings, dear parents,

The Sunflower children have enjoyed their outdoor play this past week, from snow to thaw. It was a joy to watch them sledding down our little hill until the snow had turned to slippery ice, and then– to MUD! It was a nice warmish day Friday for our hike, and we had a lovely time in the woods.

In indoor play there have been many Kings and Queens, and little mommies too, taking care of the babies. We continued with the story of Mother Holle. There have been lots of good helpers with setting the table and preparing snacks. We painted with red last week and will do so again this week– we are getting ready for Valentine’s day in a couple of weeks.

Valentine’s day (Feb 14th) is on a Wednesday and it happens that this will also be a birthday celebration, so it will be a very special day indeed. We will be making “heart pockets” the week before, to collect each child’s valentines, and, dear parents, you are asked to make at home with your child a very simple (and not too large either) valentine for each classmate. Please bring 15 all identical to avoid hurt feelings and to ease the distribution. No candy, please!

Also please keep in mind the upcoming parent night on Tuesday Feb 6th!

Peace and blessings,
Ms. Kelly

Sunflower Garden – Snow Hike Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Sunflower Garden enjoyed a winter walk in the woods last Friday. Waldorf children experience nature during all seasons!


Sunflower Garden – A Word From Ms. Kelly Saturday, January 20, 2018

Greetings, dear Sunflower Garden Parents,

Old King Winter came out to play,
and he said ‘I’m gonna make it a very cold day’
So, he blew to the South (whooooo)
to the East (whooooo)
to the West (whooooo)
but when he blew to the North (WHOOOO)
he said ‘that’s the best!
cause the old North Wind is my very best friend,
and when we play I’m gonna make it a very very very
Cold Day!’ (Brrrrrr!)

The Sunflower children have been having such a good time with our wonderful snow this week! Some of our friends have been out sick and we are wishing them speedy recoveries. We are getting to know our new assistant teacher, Ms. Tuly. We have been hearing the story of “Mother Hulda” from the Brothers Grimm. She lives in a land at the bottom of a well, but when she shakes up her featherbed– the snow flies on the Earth.

Today it warmed up so beautifully for our hike! Tromping through the snow is great fun, but more strenuous than un-snowy hiking for sure. The children did lots of climbing in the woods, and it was interesting to have a campfire in the snow.

We will have a parent night on Feb 6th at 7pm. We’ll spend an hour together in our classroom, then we’ll join the Apple Blossom parents for a presentation by Ms. Fiskum, the first grade teacher, about Da Vinci’s grades program.

Ms. Kelly

Early Childhood – Fun in the Snow! Friday, January 19, 2018
Sunflower Garden – A Word from Miss Kelly Sunday, January 14, 2018

Greetings, dear parents,

King Winter now is in the land…
Look out! Look out!
Jack Frost is about.
He’s after our fingers and toes!
And all through the night
the dear little sprite
is working where nobody knows.
He’ll climb each tree,
so nimble is he, his silvery powder he’ll shake;
and then while we’re asleep
to the window he’ll creep,
and such wonderful pictures he’ll make.
Around the town, with a leap and a bound,
he’ll change every color to white!
And then home he will go, and he’ll laugh “Ho, ho, ho!–
Such fun I have had in the night!”
We also had a visit from Mrs. Thaw…
The children have had a good week back at school. Their play has been mostly harmonious, going back to old favorite themes of fishing (now ice-fishing of course), puppet shows, pixies’ tree-house adventures; and some new ones too (ordering food in a fancy restaurant). Our classroom has some lovely new dress-up silks, and a few other new items that the children have been enjoying, and they have been enjoying their outside play time very much, as well. Yesterday, since the wind-chill was predicted to be extreme, we stayed by school instead of going to the woods—but we did take extra outside time in the morning and had a lovely campfire in our fire circle. It turned out to be a sunny, lovely day in spite of the cold.
We had our first birthday celebration of the year, and will continue with a birthday nearly every week for the next while…the children are certainly growing up!.
Wishing you a happy long weekend (don’t forget there is no school on Monday the 15th for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day).
Ms. Kelly
Sunflower Garden – Eating “Out” Saturday, January 13, 2018

Eating “out” in the Sunflower Garden classroom.

Sunflower Garden – Puppet Show Saturday, January 13, 2018

Puppet show in the Sunflower Garden class.

Sunflower Garden – A Word from Miss Kelly Friday, December 15, 2017

Greetings of the season, dear Parents!

“Once upon a time, there was a mother who was waiting for the birth of her child. It was Midwinter time, and all around the earth was dark and hard and cold…”

The children have been enjoying the puppet play of “the Midwinter Garden”.

And during circle time they are working with the gnomes, and finding out what the gnomes underground have to do with the sun, the moon, and the stars. This is a fun circle with lots of movement, and big contrasts of loud and soft, and big and small.

We painted with blue last week, and this (past) week, with blue and yellow. Our friends, the little ones of the forest (an ongoing story for us often on painting day) met a new character, Belinda the momma bear, in her cave home up among the evergreens, and RoseMarie and her friends decorated their Grannie’s cabin with evergreen boughs…

We have had super good luck with the weather on our hike days! And thank-you all so much again for dressing your children in appropriate warm gear. The children are really enjoying the vigorous time outdoors, and the smell and the warmth of our little campfire…

Time is flying by! Soon we will be at the turning point of the year’s cycle, and the days will start lengthening again. At school we are busy with all the preparations and special celebrations of the season. The children are getting excited as they anticipate the holidays to come.

Last week the children met our good Saint Nicholas, who gave them sweets while reminding them to use their kind words and kind deeds with each other. Six-year-olds especially need this reminder! They love each other, but they are also finding their own strength, and have been a bit quarrelsome with each other in indoor play… this is quite normal– I remind myself of the words of a favorite teacher of mine (Kim John Payne), that we mustn’t become “addicted to harmony”, since the children have opportunities to learn compromise, compassion, and resilience as they “bump up against each other” in their play. If they were good as gold at all times, we would worry, right? 🙂 They need these lessons many times throughout their school years as they grow.

Sweet Lucia , harbinger of the Light, will be visiting our classroom this coming week, and, dear parents, please remember our all-school festival of “Light, Love, and Hope” on Tuesday Dec. 19th after school (3:45). All are welcome! Please stay or return to school if you can, to see our grade-schoolers perform and bedeck our recently planted living Christmas Tree. More details will be forthcoming in the Da Vinci school newsletter.

Our last day of school on Dec. 20th will be a half day– no extended day care that day.

Sunflower Garden – Nature Table Friday, December 15, 2017
Our Advent nature table.
Sunflower Garden – Outdoor Play Friday, December 15, 2017
Our cheetahs climbing trees, playing in our magic woods, and warming by the fire.
Early Childhood Lantern Walk – Glimpses Friday, November 17, 2017
Early Childhood – Lanterns Friday, November 10, 2017

Early Childhood Lanterns – getting ready for lantern walk.

Sunflower Garden – Dear Parents Friday, November 3, 2017

Greetings, dear parents; Happy Halloween!

“Grow, grow, grow for me;
grow as big as big can be
so I may make for Halloween
the finest lantern ever seen
… … …
Gnome, gnome, good root gnome
May I take your turnip home
so I may make for Halloween
the finest lantern ever seen”
The children have enjoyed this story, with interactive singing, about a boy who wants to put a candle in his turnip. Family and friends try and try to help him pull it up from the ground… a favorite seasonal story about teamwork and permission.
We also enjoyed a little singing/movement story in circle time about a witch who doesn’t want to share her soup with anyone! Aside from the obvious moral about sharing, musically this story-song is an exploration of soft(spooky!) and LOUD! “…and the wind blew all around the house: ooo-OOO-ooo”.
We have welcomed a new student to our class; he is now our youngest “Mighty Oak” Kindergartner. Please greet him and his parents warmly when you see them!
Elizabeth Kelly
Sunflower Garden – Hike Friday, October 27, 2017

Sunflower Garden hiked to the magic woods this Friday!

Early Childhood – Outdoor Play Thursday, October 19, 2017

Enjoying the fall season!

Sunflower Garden – Theatrical Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The children creating their theatrical company during our indoor play time.

Sunflower Garden – A Note from Miss Kelly Sunday, October 8, 2017

Dear Sunflower Garden Parents,

“Oh, I wish me a galloping horse for to ride,
With a helmet of gold, and a sword at my side.
To the mountain I ride with a hey and a ho;
Against the old giant to battle I go;
Then I draw out my sword for a blow,
And I drive the old giant below!
Now, my pony, my pony, a-galloping go
Back to my home with a hey and a ho,
Where my Mother awaits me and smiles with delight,
For I bring her a basket of red apples bright.”

Themes of courage and heroism mingle with themes of homely comfort and nourishment in our circle plays, stories, and in playtime too. As the exciting Autumn winds stir us to new adventures, Mother Earth is calling her seed-children home to rest…

It was lovely to see so many of you enjoying our Harvest Festival last weekend. What glorious weather it was! We also had perfect weather for our apple-processing day on Tuesday– plenty of breeze to shoo the bees, lovely sunshine, and seasonable temperature… We peeled, cored, and chopped SO MANY apples! We will continue to enjoy our delicious applesauce with our porridge and with our granola for at least a couple more weeks.

This week in playtime the children have made so many “puppet plays” with our beautiful toys. It is delightful to see the children working together in groups to create these completely child-initiated story experiences. Yesterday, we actually had three different theater companies creating three different scenarios on three different “stages”—quite naturally it came about that the audience sat in the middle and turned around to view each play at the right time; and the players shifted into and out of audience mode so smoothly and attended so politely to each others’ stories– and the final curtain was just in time for clean-up time with perfect agreement. (Clean-ups are going pretty smoothly, too, as we are all becoming accustomed to how our room has a place for everything.) Your children are so full of imagination!

Very Warmly,
Elizabeth Kelly

Sunflower Garden – Autumn Winds Thursday, October 5, 2017

“…then there was a whistling around the wall, and a singing around the house, and with a hey and a ho, the Autumn Winds blew into the garden: ‘Arise, arise, Mother Earth’s children! Arise and dance!’ The winds were whistling and singing in branches and in bushes, and one by one, Mother Earth’s children flew into the air…”

Early Childhood – Apple Processing Day Wednesday, October 4, 2017
What a perfect day it was Tuesday for apple washing, polishing, peeling, and chopping in our Early Childhood classrooms!

Keeping little hands busy!

Early Childhood – Helping Friday, September 29, 2017

Early Childhood children are helping to sand new cutting boards for Wonder Garden.

Sunflower Garden – Autumn Nature Table Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Early Childhood – On the Playground Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Children from Apple Blossom Garden, Sunflower Garden, and Wonder Garden have enjoyed playing and exploring outside during these last hot days of the season!

Sunflower Garden – Birthdays, Ponies, Apples & Oaks Sunday, September 24, 2017

Happy Sunday, Dear Parents;

Thanks so much to our latest birthday boy’s family for attending his school birthday celebration last week. It was lovely to have you at school with us. The Sunflowers now have two six-year olds, and we have several more birthdays to come in the near future.

In our circle time, we have left the bees and have been riding our ponies out to the orchard—there are many things to see along the way! And, we are enjoying gathering apples into our (imaginary) baskets and bringing them home (of course pony gets one to munch in thanks for our day’s ride…)

Trot, trot, trot;
Go and never stop!
Trot along my little pony,
Where it’s steep and where it’s stony;
Trot trot trot trot trot;
Now it’s time to stop! (whoa, ponies!)
Our Early Childhood team has decided to put off our annual apple processing day (when we’ll peel, core, and cut as many apples as we have on hand, outdoors in the morning—and make delicious applesauce inside in our classroom). We will wait a few more days for more autumnal weather (please?). We are hoping to do our apple processing on Tuesday Oct 3rd.


I know a gnome who has his home
Right in the middle of an oak tree.
He wears a hat
And breeches that
Are all of the color of the oak tree.
Two squirrels live above his head
A family of rabbits beneath his bed
I keep them warm and safe, he said
All in the shelter of my oak tree.
It is a delight to work and play with these little and big Sunflowers!
Elizabeth Kelly
Sunflower Garden – Welcome Sunday, September 10, 2017

“The earth is firm beneath my feet,
the sun shines bright above;
And here stand I so straight and strong,
all things to know and love.

Kind hearts are gardens>
Kind thoughts are roots
Kind words are flowers
Kind deeds are fruits”

What a sweet class of children! They have made a very good start to our school year. Thank-you all so much for your patience with misplaced jackets (we found them both!), helping us get used to picking up children from the bus, bringing food for our bounteous school picnic, and for all your parental care and guidance this past week!

The children are getting to know a new classroom, and are falling easily into new and old routines. They are also getting to know new classmates, and greeting old classmates anew. I can see the beginnings of some firm friendships as the children feel what they share in common, and what excites them about each other. They are wonderful story-listeners, and such quick, agile and musical circle-time learners!

Our circle time imagination has been a story of Honey-bee, who visits three very different flowers, and tells each one a secret — which fruit each will become, with help from the bee, and the sun’s magic power.

“Inside the hive a treasure is made
Inside the honeycomb, honey is laid.
Inside the hive it is dark as night
Where bees make honey
From sun’s golden light.”

The children are playing with great verve and enthusiasm, both indoors and out. We had our first beeswax modeling and woodworking days, and this coming week we will begin painting, baking, and more… They seem to be enjoying their snacks (I only heard one “I don’t like it”!), and our transition times are very smooth considering it’s our first week.

Elizabeth Kelly

In the Classroom Monday, September 4, 2017

In the Classroom

Follow each class through the school year. Visit often to enjoy photos and information about curriculum, field trips, exciting happenings, special moments, celebrations and more.

Stay tuned—this year’s  journey begins September 5th!