Setsubun Fun and Happy Birthday Maki

DSCF3153On the main table today we saw the big Montessori puzzle map of the world with the compass and paper for drawing circles. With a little teachers help we used the compass to draw our own planet earth. Looking at the puzzle map we then used a pencil to copy the continents onto our paper. We then used colored pencils or markers to add some color for the ocean and the land. Next to the drawing work we had some new pink play-dough to play with. It was still warm from the oven which DSCF3156was good and Jennifer, Olivia and Lucinda made a beautiful pink valentines cake for the teachers. Thank you girls it looked delicious. On the second table the animal stencils were very popular this morning with many of us using the DSCF3157sparkly pens and colored markers to draw our own free art pictures. There is a new map on the wall in the class library which we enjoyed using today. From the big box of toy animals we were able to choose an animal and then look on the map to see if we could find it. We found the lion and gorilla in Africa, the elephant in India and the koala in Australia. Jennifer, Eito and Kosei enjoyed using the dress up corner this DSCF3162morning with the Chinese hat and sparkly wigs being passed around. They looked really funny and cute I the cowboy hats too. After we had packed away all the toys we sat in a circle ready to visit buds class to celebrate the teacher Maki’s birthday. Before we went down we asked the children how old we DSCF3163thought Maki will be today and had guesses from 3 years old through to 65 years old. Sorry Maki San! We joined our friends from buds class and petals class and had a great time singing songs and dancing to music. We gave Maki a crown to wear and also a card from each of us in flowers class. We then switched off the lights and sang happy birthday.DSCF3176 Maki blew out the candle and we all cheered. It was a great birthday party. We soon headed for the park ant it was nice and warm in the sunshine. Tokutaro, Adam, Olivia, Lucinda, Marc and Jennifer all DSCF3180joined in a game of soccer in the netted area too. After coming back to the classroom Ayaka introduced ‘Setsubun’ to us. We started with the calendar and saw that today is the 3rd of February. Ayaka asked us why we celebrate Setsubun, and where it came from. We were not sure but we knew the word ‘Oni’ and the phrase ‘Oni wa Soto’. On the old calendar the 3rd of February was considered the end of the winter DSCF3181season and the start of the spring (haru). The idea is that we all have an Oni inside us and we want to get the Oni out and the good luck in so we say “Oni wa soto, fuku DSCF3185ga Uchi”. To stop the Oni coming inside our house we out out some holly (Hiragi) on the door which has sharp points which would prick the Oni and a sardine (Ewashi) on a short stick. The sardine’s smell is supposed to push the Oni away. Next we divided into 2 groups and put the Oni masks we have been making over the last week or so over our heads. The second group got a few beans and then we all said “Oni wa Soto, Fuku ga Uchi” while throwing the beans at them. We then DSCF3186swapped around and threw the beans again. Finally Ayaka was the Oni and we all threw beans at her too. With lunch Ayaka told us it is traditional for us the eat the same number of beans as our age plus 1 more to bring good luck. Have a great afternoon.

All our love, Darren, Ayaka and Sharee