After a prolonged winter holiday enjoying the long nights, cooler temperatures and seasonal celebrations, the children are back at school. It has been wonderful watching them immerse themselves in their work with the fervor of a fresh return. The first week was somewhat curtailed by a late start. I spent the remaining days in the Toddler classroom standing in for Rose, who is enjoying the salty spray of a Hawaiian seashore.
I brought the studio easel into the classroom and put out tempera paints (diluted with a teaspoon of dishsoap to make clean-up more manageable) and on the classroom easel I put three shades of liquid watercolor (similarly diluted). It is truly beautiful to witness the mesmeric effect that paint has on toddlers. They are so concentrated on the brush strokes, the color, the blending and the movement. It is akin to watching a zen calligrapher, except while a zen calligrapher imploys economy of movement in concentrated, single focused effort, the toddler employs maximal movement with concentrated intent.The morning class had an abundance of bananas leftover from morning snack and so we gathered up some leftover apple juice from the holidays, strawberry yogurt and blackberries for a delicious winter smoothie.