One of the wonderful things about Pacific Sage (there are so many!) is all the life that surrounds the children daily…and as the wheel turns, there is eventual death. When we come across plants, lizards, or bugs that have passed on, it gives us a chance to explore and help the children try to understand…what is living and what is not. The children and staff acknowledge the life lost, sing “Happy Trails” and return what remains to the ‘Earth’.
As part of the cultural festivals of the season, I love sharing my family favorite ---“The Day of the Dead”. “El Dia de los Muertos” is a public as well as a personal holiday in Latin America. It is celebrated November 2nd, but displays and ofrendas often stay up until the middle of the month. Skeletons for Halloween give us an opportunity to explore the bones in our body, so it seemed natural to build our ‘ofrenda’ (altar) to remember our family and friends (and pets) that are no longer with us in our science room. We talked about the different items that we could choose to include on our altar, read books and painted boxes to represent the different levels of the afterlife. We also made paper sugar skulls as tokens of love and gentle reminders of where all “Happy Trails” lead.
The children and families that play at Pacific Sage Preschool are very diverse culturally and it has been interesting learning about the different customs and rituals to honor and remember those that have died.
Take a peek, add a photo of a loved one if you like, or paint a sugar skull for our wall.
Director, Pacific Sage Preschool