Leaving winter behind

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By Beth Pinyerd

Classroom Observer

As I walked into a preschool building, the front bulletin board caught my eye. Four bunnies with their bundled-up cotton ball tails facing the blue sky and clouds on the board with the appropriate title “Leaving Winter Behind and Welcome Spring!
The preschool teachers who created this board knows the sentiments of their students as well as we teachers. It’s time to go out and enjoy spring!
March blows in with a lot of wind but with also a gust of neat ideas for young children as they take advantage of the seasonal characteristics of this month. One is reminded of Mary Poppins singing “let’s go fly a kite up to the highest heights” and the looks of joy and glee on the children’s faces as they dashed outside to the fun and freedom and amazement of watching their kites fly and dance in the wind. I witness that same joy and smiles in children’s eyes today as they join family or their friends on an afternoon kite adventure.
Where did kites come from? Kites have been around for 2,000 to 3,000 thousand years in celebrating special events and occasions. According to records and legends, China was the country that invented the kite. Other Asian countries including Thailand and Japan have used kites in their celebrations.
We especially notice that brightly colored kites are used in The Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan and Children’s Day in Japan as well. Too, it has been used for scientific purposes as we remember. Benjamin Franklin discovered there was electricity present during a storm.
Our environment in the Auburn-Opelika area provides wonderful places and parks to go fly kites! I love the lakes and streams in our area where families can catch winds off the water.
There are so many websites to show parents how to make simple newspaper kites, box kites and other forms of kites with their children. It’s so much fun to work together on a project like this.
Sometimes, it is better to purchase a kite if you don’t have time to make. This spring entertainment object is not expensive and well worth the investment for memorable family fun!
I’d like to remind my readers of just some common sense safety rules:
(1) Remember Benjamin Franklin’s discovery, in the rain, kite string can carry electricity. So don’t fly kites in a thunderstorm, electricity has already been discovered!
(2) Never fly a kite near electric lines or poles.
(3) With kite materials don’t use metal parts or lines which will attract electricity. Fishing line or wire can cut a young child’s hands.
(4) Fly the kite in a safe location, not near trees, ditches or steep hills.
(5) If a kite gets caught up in a tree or pole, just leave it alone.
As I look at my March teacher calendar and my lesson plan book, there are other neat events that happen during March. Here are some events that you might want to jot down for you and your child to celebrate. This month is American Red Cross Month. Take time to explain to your child how important the American Red Cross is to our community in helping to take care of us after a crisis hits. Explain that they provide needed items and take care of us like after bad weather or other times we need help.
It’s also Music in Schools Month, a time for making easy homemade music instruments out of empty boxes, paper plates, rattles, etc. March celebrates “National Nutrition Month.” Take time to explain what are good foods to eat versus foods that are not good to eat. During this month, I love to bring in my classes the vegetable and fruit trays to guide them on what good nutrition is.
“Newspaper in Education Week” was at the beginning of March, but we can still emphasize the importance of our local newspapers. Our newspapers are such valuable tools in teaching children about our community and world. Sit down with your child, show them the newspapers and what is happening all around them. This is a good way to teach some reading and comprehension skills from the newspapers.
Not only do we think of flying kites during this month but National Bubble Week is celebrated in March too! What fun it is to blow bubbles or wave that wand through the air and see your little ones chase the bubbles all around. I love to have my students do this at recess.
With your new kite whether made or bought, have a grand old afternoon with the family. Don’t forget the picnic! Let’s go fly a kite!
Pinyerd has taught young children in the early childhood classroom for 34 years as well as outreaching to the elderly in intergenerational settings. She has taught and outreached in the schools in Opelika and Baldwin County. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education as well as a bachelor’s degree in family and child development both from Auburn University. Her husband is the late Carl Pinyerd and she has one son, Gus Pinyerd who has taught her so much about learning. Classroom Observer is here to serve the community in sharing the wonderful teaching programs in our local public schools, private schools, and homeschools. The column is provided to enrich the education of our children, youth, and families. Classroom Observer welcomes educational news, school news, pictures, and events by e-mailing her at donnapinyerd@att.net.

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