October has been a busy month at Grace Preschool! We have been studying oceans in preparation for our school’s trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The children had great fun making ocean-themed paintings, building hermit crab collages out of found objects, and studying all sorts of different sea life — from kelp to starfish to sharks and whales. In music, in keeping with the ocean theme, they sang along to such classics as “Slippery Fish” and “Baby Beluga.” The aquarium trip itself was great fun — the children were so excited to see their school friends in a different context! The interactive exhibits were amazing, and of course no trip to the aquarium would be complete without standing under the wave wall and watching the waves crash down around you!

October also brought Pumpkin Day, an annual Grace tradition where families spend a Saturday ┬ámorning at school carving pumpkins, decorating cookies, and enjoying time together on the playground. The morning culminates with an “awards” ceremony of sorts — each child is given a ribbon recognizing some distinctive feature of his/her pumpkin (in the past, our family has “won” for having a pumpkin with the “toothiest grin,” and this year it was for the “smallest nose”!). Pumpkin Day is a fun way to connect with other Grace families outside the typical school day (and it’s a great opportunity for interaction with families who have children in other classes).

We ended October with another Grace tradition — the Halloween parade. Children brought their costumes to school and, during the last 30 minutes of class, donned costumes and paraded through the school courtyard. The children enjoyed seeing their friends and family members cheering and waving as they marched by. The younger classes ended their day singing fall-themed songs with Ms. Lavenia (“Roll Those Pumpkins Down to Town” is a perennial favorite), while the M-Th class enjoyed classroom crafts.

As we move into November, the children will be studying woodland homes. In the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, they’ll also be discussing gratitude and participating in a canned food drive benefiting a local food shelter. November concludes with our family feasts, where families and friends are invited to the school to share a potluck meal and enjoy the Grace community. It’ll be another exciting month at Grace Preschool!