Sabot has a lovely tradition called "Pencil Night," when parents come and decorate a pencil for their child(ren) - a gold pencil for each child who will be moving on to another school the following year, and a silver pencil for each child who will be returning to the school next year. When Griff was a Garden Room child (his first year), parents actually decorated the pencils themselves, creating ornate tags connected to the pencils or incorporating the pencils into a piece of paper sculpture. One parent created a pencil ballerina and another surrounded her son's pencil with a folded-paper fire truck. Apparently the creativity had become a little competitive/stressful, so the following year, the teachers introduced a new tradition: the parents would work together to create a display for the children on one of the play tables, then each would write a note to his or her child on a card provided by the teachers, to which a photo of the parents' collaborative creation would be attached. The pencils would be attached to the card later.
One common theme that has emerged in the parents' displays is creating representations of the school grounds using the materials provided by the teachers. This year, Reese's class in the Rainbow Room has been going out into the forest every day and each child has chosen one part of the forest as "their spot". They have been drawing, photographing, painting, and embroidering representations of their spots. We parents created a diorama of the school and forest, making sure to incorporate our children's favorite spots.
The morning after pencil night, the children discover the work their parents have done. Here is Reese showing Xander a tiny stop sign on a popsicle-stick playground fence.
Trees along the creek, represented with a blue playsilk. The picnic shelter featured tiny tables and a ceiling fan. Black rubber stood in for the parking lot. Not seen here: tiny liriope plants made from grass and clay, arranged in the spiral of the labyrinth.
Fairies inside the culvert; a stick wound with twine, used by the children to measure distances in the forest.