Needs and Wants

Tis the season to be jolly…..cozy jackets, hot chocolate, crisp air and the sun shining bright.

We arrive this morning with a lot of things set up. This morning we set up three tables full of activities. We had our art table as always, out big table with button puzzles and the third table with Zingo.

As much as they love playing by themselves at times, they enjoy more sitting with their teachers and talking and playing. We noticed that our button puzzle table was empty and children choose to sit with their teachers and play today. This is very interesting as it shows you how comfortable they are getting conversing with each other and teachers in a group. A great life skill they will carry as they grow up.

At the art table we have a secret project going. As parents, you will have to be patient until the Christmas party to see what it is. Children are thinking hard and wide about how to make it look beautiful for you. During circle time we discussed the importance of giving back to parents, as they are grown ups and Santa doesn’t visit them, like he does for children. We also explained that as you grow up you have money, therefore can buy things you want, but as children, you still need help, therefore Santa Clause or your parents (in some countries) will step in to help you and make you happy.

At our third table, a lot of friends waited their turn to play Zingo. We were happy to see them waiting patiently and even helping their friends they got stuck with a name. Sayaka helped guide them through the game, as they had wonderful conversations with each other.


At the carpet area, we had the biggest mission of the week. Completing a giant wooden puzzle. It was new to the Petals class, and they didn’t know how the finished puzzle looked, therefore they had to problem solve their way through it. Pauline guided them, as they all worked together to complete. When they finally did...oh my...the joyful scream that came out of everyone was a sight to behold. The children really felt a sense of accomplishment, along with Pauline, as they all had to communicate and work together to finish it.



After our morning fun, we had snacks and got ready for the park. Before we headed to the park, we had a wonderful circle time with Kiki. As the children were getting ready Kiki read a special book called, “Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boelths. It is a witty and wise picture book illustrating the hottest fad can also be the most expensive and out of reach for children in limited financial circumstances. Jeremy, living with his Grandma, dreams of wearing the latest cool black high-tops with two white stripes. But as Grandma points out, “There’s no room for ‘want’ around here—just ‘need’ ” and what Jeremy needs and gets is a new pair of winter boots. At the end, Jeremy makes a heartfelt decision to put them to a more practical and generous use, by sharing it with a friend who has a broken and taped up shoes.  The author blends themes of teasing, embarrassment and disappointment with kindness and generosity in a realistic interracial school scenario bringing affecting closure to a little boy’s effort to cope in a world filled with materialistic attractions and distractions. 

At the end, the children took a big sigh of relief as they all could empathies with Jeremy's character. They didn’t say much, but their face had a smile and all took satisfaction.

The book tied up well into the topic of giving, which led Kiki to talk about their donations for Cambodia.  On our walls we put “Help Cambodia” and two questions, “How can we help them?” and How do you feel?”. All day children have been coming up and looking carefully at all the pictures and commenting on it.

Kiki brought out the rest of the donation, and asked children to come up and share who helped them pick it out or why they chose it. Most them said it was to help the children and give them a gift.

Kiki: did you choose these?
J: Yes
Kiki: Why?
J: I wanted to gift this to them.
Kiki: Did you choose this book?
L: Yes
Kiki: Do you like these books?
L: Yes
Kiki: Can you tell what this is?
R: Blocks.
Kiki: Is it same like ours?
R: Different. Mine is (Squeezy action). I choose this one.
Kiki: Oh squishy!
R: This is a book. Mommy help me.
Kiki: What kind of book is it?
R: Soft one...for playing.
Kiki: What did you bring?
S: An airplane...I don’t know this one.
Kiki: Oh, a cash register!
S: Yes, and a playbook!
Kiki: And what language is this?
S: Spanish!
Kiki: So children in Cambodia can learn Spanish?
S: Yes, I think so!
Kiki: Is it easy to learn Spanish?
S: Yes!
Kiki: Did you choose this?
S: My mommy helps me.

After our wonderful discussions we once again recapped on a winter celebrations around the world and chose our Christmas, Hanukkah and Diwali songs to sing. They had so much fun dancing and slowly are understanding cultures and beliefs around them, as many countries don’t have Santa Claus.

After all that talking and all that dancing we headed to the park to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. At the Park, we focused a lot on the monkey bars. Kiki helped children with their hanging skills, “sloth” hangs and hip somersaults. At first they were a little scared, but after reassurance and trust from Kiki, children had so much fun!


Our ‘”needs” and “wants” were questioned today with a thoughtful outcome.

Have a lovely day and see you tomorrow!

Culturally aware Petals class.




Ohana International School