Strawberry Fields Forever

We ended our school year together picking strawberries in bright sun and sweet fields on Sauvie Island.

IMG_3163  IMG_3164 DSC_5925  DSC_5852

We visit the farm twice a year, in the fall and in the spring to witness the changes in the seasons. One of the main components of the HFP curriculum is cultivating our connection to the earth. Visiting the farm lets children see the source of our food. Their curiosity is fed by seeing, touching, smelling and tasting the bounty of the land.  This is hands-on, sensory learning at its finest.

DSC_5857

IMG_3151

We gathered for circle time and then headed out on the tractor for a hayride to the strawberry fields. Each child picked their own basket of delicious, ripe berries and then we took a tour of the farm.

IMG_3118   IMG_3127DSC_5829   DSC_5887

IMG_3136

IMG_3138

IMG_3133

IMG_3152

DSC_5929

DSC_5914

DSC_5849

We returned happily to the cool shade beneath the cherry trees for snack, songs, and stories. Each child had a special moment with Teacher Susan as she handed out completion certificates. The certificates were specially designed by HFP alumni parent, Scott Ramsey, an amazing tattoo artist, featuring northwest critters painting at the easel. We said bittersweet farewells to each other, but look forward to seeing our friends at our HFP park playdates throughout the summer.  (See home page for summer get together dates).

Cake Walk

Despite unusually scorching temperatures, our community gathered Friday to celebrate another fantastic year of learning and playing together with a Cake Walk party. Families gathered in the shady, grassy area with picnic dinners to enjoy friendships cultivated during our year together.

IMG_1969  IMG_1982

IMG_2435 IMG_2358

IMG_2402  IMG_2383

IMG_2368  IMG_2366

IMG_2362  IMG_2339

IMG_2344  IMG_2357

IMG_2337 IMG_2325

Children ignored the heat and ran excitedly from one play station to the next. They had face painting fairies help transform them and many activities to keep them (mostly) distracted from the line-up of cakes.

IMG_2379 IMG_2370

IMG_1928  IMG_1927

IMG_1955 DSC_5377

DSC_5387 DSC_5425

DSC_5361 DSC_5373

DSC_5401 IMG_1950

DSC_5396 IMG_2373

DSC_5410 IMG_1938 IMG_1944 IMG_2375

The ever-tempting gallery of cakes:

IMG_1975 IMG_1974

IMG_1973 IMG_1976Thanks to Charles and Brailey for providing live music for the cake walk. Each child won their very own cake to bring home, but first we enjoyed a slice (or three) and many traded and sampled friend’s cakes.

IMG_1966 IMG_1981

IMG_1999 IMG_2436

 

 

 

 

Sneaky Raccoon Pizza Party!

This week children made a special snack– Pizza!  We have been getting a big kick out of  the book Secret Pizza Party* by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri.  In this silly story, raccoon longs for the cheesy goodness of pizza, but is denied access to it because raccoon is an animal.  Children can relate to wishing for something they can’t have and they enjoy the outlandishness of a raccoon munching on one of their favorite “people” foods.

The more we read together, the more children talked about their shared enjoyment of pizza.  So we decided to have a pizza party– raccoon-style. The easel was set up for painting pizzas, and there were felt raccoon tails and face paints available for anyone who wanted to get into character.

IMG_2783  IMG_2770

IMG_2819  IMG_2820

Parents provided all the fixings and the dough for everyone to make a masterpiece good enough to eat!

IMG_2816  IMG_2815

IMG_2814  IMG_2784

At circle, Susan and Matt appeared as singing slices of pizza while singing “I Am A Pizza” by Charlotte Diamond.

IMG_2779  IMG_2812

Making pizza  was AWESOME! And so was eating together.

IMG_2789   IMG_2787 IMG_2788  IMG_2768

* When reading Rubin’s book together, we opted to shift the focus slightly, replacing “Secret” with”Sneaky Raccoon,” as we intentionally teach children not to keep secrets in an effort to support safety.

*Giant Pizza Slices created by local artists Drew Laughery and Elisabeth Tschalaer.

Intern Student Values Her Experience at HFP

By Yijia Li, Chinese International Student at Lewis and Clark College

I had a wonderful time interning at Hawthorne Family Playschool! When I first walked into the classroom, everyone seemed really nice and welcoming, which helped me to ease my worriedness. I had no experience with kids previously, and I was nervous about making mistakes. However, the atmosphere at HFP was supportive and lovely that I’m so glad I had the opportunity to participate. Teacher Susan helped and instructed me about what I could do to help with the class, and that made me feel like I was doing something useful and really being part of the school.

IMG_2791

I learned and grew from my time at HFP. At first I was shyer about supervising kids with activities and I was even nervous about my English skill in terms of reading books to them. But I gradually became more confident and could read books to a small group of children and supervise them doing activities. I was really happy I could use my art skill to help out the class too, which was fun for me to do some drawing that I had been too busy to do.

I’m going to miss everyone from HFP. It has been a precious experience, and I’m thankful for the time I played with the kids. I really think HFP serves as a great example of how essential play is in terms of children’s growth, which I didn’t realize before this experience. Because from where I’m from, academic takes the lead in children’s lives and people do not prove the importance of play. I feel lucky to find out it by now so that I could be a better parent in the future and have a better influence with kids

IMG_2790

Hoopla! 2016

On April 9th HFP celebrated another year of learning, play and community at Hoopla!, our annual Costume Party/Benefit at Oaks Park Dance Pavilion. We were blessed with delicious food, playful entertainers and exciting auction items.

IMG_2489

IMG_2484

IMG_2476

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2429  IMG_2405IMG_2414  IMG_2431

Many parents and teacher Susan arrived in whimsical costumes along with a host of thrilled children in their own make believe personas.

IMG_2475  IMG_2408

IMG_2469 IMG_2466 IMG_2457

IMG_2440   IMG_2436

IMG_2418  IMG_2409 IMG_2417  IMG_2442

Friends old and new delighted in home-cooked meals and one another’s company. Children occupied themselves with a charming craft and theater playland, one-on-one time with acrobats and jugglers, and music just for them.

IMG_2448

IMG_2445 IMG_2438

IMG_2488

IMG_2486  IMG_2421

IMG_2420  IMG_2492

IMG_2470 IMG_2471

While many schools hold “adults only” auctions and fundraisers, HFP rocks the party family-style!

IMG_2455 IMG_2437

IMG_2458  IMG_2485IMG_2490 IMG_2487Raising funds to support such a special community driven school couldn’t be more fun!