And you, which animal are you?

“There is a snake!” The voices of the children sound excited and curious. The encounter with the animal in the forest reveals a trusting and awake attitude the children have towards this being, which is usually a rather shy one. Animals, wild ones and domesticated, were a theme in the kindergarten in these last months. For example, we went observing some more exotic ones in a Safari Park tour, or getting in contact with newborn chicken, holding it in the hand, feeling the heart beat. We embodied animals in games, explored their sounds, and their aliveness.

Our kindergarten group grew bigger with four new children in the age of three. All together we are forming a group of nine children now. And our three oldest ones transition more and more into the next learning group. These new steps in life of each child are accompanied by rites of passage.
One morning we performed a simple and yet strong rite of passage with the children and their parents, where new ‘caterpillars’ and ‘butterflies’ were born. Those animals correspond to developmental steps and make it playfully accessible for the children.

In the “learning space” the older ones discover numbers and letters. Chalk and board, little wood pieces and glue reveal at times artistic pieces. Another one is our regular storytelling morning. A community member has invented a character based on her Palestinian background, who visits the kindergarten from a faraway land. Dressed in the traditional Palestinian outfit, she tells her stories, sometimes very magical ones, sometimes from her own life in the Middle East. Such spaces inspires the fantasy, supports focus and concentration and also gets the children in touch with another culture and it´s tradition.

Our kindergarten teachers´ team also had in the last months the pleasure to have an intern amongst us. Anita, now 14 years old and who grew up in Tamera, stepped into an experience of what it means to be a teacher, giving orientation to the small children, and researching the developments she saw over time in the children. She weaved wonderfully her own experience of being a community child into the intern position. For example by playfully bringing her performing skills into a Portuguese speaking character complementing our trilingual approach in the kindergarten.