m is for dr. martin luther king jr

this year there seemed to be great interest in how long his name is. five parts to his name: dr. martin. luther. king. jr.

maybe the magnitude of his work is reflected in the magnitude of his name.


the story remains the same, with delivery varying based on the state of the world, nation, state, town, school. this year in our conversation of “sticking up for people who are made fun of,” the president of the united states was mentioned as someone who makes fun of people. in the same circle there is the typical look of confusion as we discuss laws and practices of the 60s. then further confusion when a child of color speaks up and says, there are still people who don’t like black people.

these are the times we live in.

so we heal the world by empowering them with action. they know how to love, they know how to feel, they know what is just.

our project this week involves blending colors and stating the invitation for each color to each child:

red reminds to stand tall
orange reminds to stay curious
yellow reminds to stick up for others
green reminds to love
blue reminds to speak up
purple reminds to have hope
black and white remind to listen
beautiful brown can be found when all colors are mixed

they know how to do these things:

be proud of who you are, remember you are loved, you have friends
ask questions, keep learning, don’t just believe things
tell people to stop being mean, smile at kids who are alone
love someone or something or do something you like to do
tell someone if someone or something is being hurt
think that things are going to get better no matter what
when you mix all those good things it’s good

in listening to the news, it’s easy to feel that our work has just begun, that we’ve taken steps backwards, that our progress was a sham.

in listening to the children, it’s easy to feel the world is in good hands.

s is for st. patrick’s day

st.  patrick’s day also known as “the underwear song day.” want to watch us singing the song? scroll to the end or click here.

we’re on spring break for the days before and after st. patrick’s day this year, but don’t worry: we made traps to take home and we left our preschool trap up at preschool.  since the leprechaun we sing about is named tom tom and next week the letter of the week is t, it makes me think we might see evidence that he’d been at our school…we’ll see!

we are so fortunate to have our grandma friends doing what grandmas can do best: “sit with me,” “hold me,” “watch me,” “play with me”…

now take a trip back in time for more leprechaun goodness:

st patrick's day
st patrick's day

it seems fitting to honor all our st patrick’s day fun on the day, a week and a half later, when i swept up more glitter from that sneaky leprechaun!  i tell you, he was something else!  we dressed in green all week to encourage a sighting!

st patrick's day

(and when i saw this picture of myself, i realize even more how silly i looked…especially when i ran into the grocery store)

:: :: :: ::

by the way, since it was u week we also made the u->st patrick’s day connection again:

st patrick's day

the leprechaun wants the pot of gold, the pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow, the rainbow comes after it rains, if it is rainy you might want an umbrella.

st pat

:: :: :: ::

st patrick's day

we tried our best to catch him by working on one big trap.  we used an old tree house toy and added a lot of green, gold and rainbows to try to lure him in.

st patrick's day
st patrick's day
st patrick's day

:: :: :: ::

wouldn’t you know it?  he snuck in everyday when we were outside!  we knew he had been there by the little piles of gold glitter (that he must of dropped from his bag).  he also pooped in our room.  but fear not:  leprechaun poop is small, round, sweet and you can eat it!  (green m&ms…though this nicely sorted pile was eaten by my dog before i could take them to school!)

:: :: :: ::

he left us notes and tricky clues to find a little fake leprechaun hidden around the room.

st patrick's day

he got braver and braver and by thursday i accidentally sat on him (though when i shook out the rainbow cloth he must have been hiding under, all that fell out was gold glitter and a note). 

st patrick's day

:: :: :: ::

we made leprechaun lures early in the week to encourage him to come out at preschool and then at home.

st patrick's day

these were simple and fun.

st patrick's day
st patrick's day
st patrick's day

there were a few friends who were SURE they saw him on the playground.  i totally believed them.

:: :: :: ::

st patrick's day

another thing the leprechaun does to us is pee in the water…it turns it green but doesn’t change the flavor at all.

st patrick's day

(and lest you fear that someone will think it is safe or appropriate to drink pee, offer pee, be asked to drink pee, etc, we break out of the make believe long enough to have a serious talk about the topic…which inevitably leads to other conversations about safe touch, bathroom parts, etc.  there are so many learning moments!)

st patrick's day
st patrick's day
st patrick's day

:: :: :: ::

finally, on the final days before st patrick’s day, we made individual traps.  it didn’t seem like we would catch him at school, so we thought it would be best to try on our own.

st patrick's day

i put mine up high on a window sill during story time at the end of the day and all of a sudden we heard a funny little laugh.  following the sound, we realized it must be in the trap!!!!  but again, when i grabbed the trap, all that fell out was glitter!  and his laugh stopped.  he must have snuck out of the window.

(i downloaded a sound effect laugh on itunes and started playing it during clean up time.  we’re so loud then that no one heard it until we quieted down for story time.  oh the rush.  it was fantastic.)

:: :: :: ::

st patrick's day

so, with trails of glitter, sweet treats, enough green to see it for a long time, and singing our song many, many times, we celebrated for a week!

st patrick's day
st patrick's day

bring it on in 2013, leprechaun!

(if i could have turned the light green this week i would have…instead i just did it to these photos)

st pats preschool style - 01

well, way back when it was st patrick’s day it was also u week…and i was determined to make a connection:


a leprechaun likes gold, the pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow, rainbows come after rain, in rainy weather you use umbrellas!  yeah!  st patrick’s day –> u week connection!


we had a leprechaun around and he was tricky all week.  he left us magic cups that turned our water green.  he left droppings that we could eat (green tic tacs and m&ms)!  he would mess move our shoes around!

st pats preschool style - 02
st pats preschool style - 03
st pats preschool style - 04

(really it was a drop of green food coloring hiding in the bottom of the cup, but wow, we tricked them good!)

st pats preschool style - 05
st pats preschool style - 10

the glue turned green which was perfect for covering our little wooden pots.

st pats preschool style - 09

after getting covered with glue the pots went in a brown bag of green glitter.

st pats preschool style - 06
st pats preschool style - 07
st pats preschool style - 08

after a few shakes the glittery green pot was ready!  now we just needed gold!


so we built a leprechaun trap.

st pats preschool style - 13
st pats preschool style - 11

i’m happy to announce we DID trap him a couple of times, but he snuck out before we saw him.  he did leave some droppings and a clue about where the gold was.

st pats preschool style - 12
st pats preschool style - 14

yes!  we found it outside!

st pats preschool style - 15

some of us kept looking for him…he could have been ANYWHERE you know!

st pats preschool style - 16

look who showed up at preschool today…and there will be more tomorrow!  after quite a bit of beard trimming, our leprechauns were born!


my son and daughter were helpful in turning stones to gold.


oh, what a leprechaun treasure!


we have our own little glitter pots to collect the treasure in…


just the right size for a little leprechaun.  happy st. patrick’s day, all!

and finally, the song. over the years it’s evolved a bit. one change that makes singing along a bit easier is that all adjectives for the clothing items have been replaced by “little.”

click here to watch us way back when singing together.