Gobble gobble everyone!
Last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada, and in true Canadian style, Maple Bear Burj students marked the occasion with turkey craft (made with recycled materials, of course!) and autumn activities in the preschool garden right here in downtown Dubai.
Thanksgiving is celebrated annually in Canada. The October holiday revolves around appreciating good things and connecting with the people that make each day possible and each day great. In classrooms, students often work together to create art and crafts that relate to the season but also incorporate mindfulness in the way of recognizing the importance of gratitude.
At Maple Bear, the teachers and students talked about about being thankful. Our very self-aware preschoolers were not shy to share what they held dear to their heart. We talked about friendship and the things and behaviours that make us good friends, and of course reminded each other about the joy in sharing. From toddler to nursery to kindergarten, all classrooms also listed their school as something they are thankful for - delighting the teachers who in turn are thankful for their students.
As in the true spirit of thanksgiving, giving and sharing of food was an essential part of the day's activities. We learned where food comes from, the importance of being thankful for animals that provide us with nourishment in so many forms. The students were taken on a journey of butter making - they got to milk a cow, take turns 'churning' the butter, and then share their freshly made product with their friends!
As we mentioned in our previous post, building emotional intelligence is a crucial function of an early years education program. In the early years, cognitive functions are rapidly developing and as self awareness begins to take shape, so do social and relational cues become internalized. Developing empathy as an essential principle to guide interpersonal interactions should be the key aim of socialization activities that are incorporated in early years curricula.
Thanksgiving is truly a holiday that builds empathy and brings families and communities together. It also drives self-awareness and self-positivity, not to mention positive thinking and gratitude. With so much to be thankful for, it only makes sense to make a holiday of it!