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Notes from Nakayoshi Preschool
2nd term 2022-2023
There are still cold days although it is the first day of spring according to the calendar. We adults wear jackets to endure the cold. However, the children are playing energetically to warm the cold.
Time flies. It’s been more than a month since the second term started. The children are growing every day, and I think they are very reliable. I can see the growth of children even as I look through the window of the classroom. For example, in the Penguin and Risu classes, they sit on the carpet and listen intently to their teacher during circle time. During lunchtime, the helpers in the Banana and Melon classes are class leaders by standing at the front of the classroom, singing the lunch song and saying, “Itadakimasu” (Let’s eat). The children of the Bara and Sumire classes study hard to learn the Hiragana letters and numbers.
Continuing the Performance Day in the first semester, we held the Setsubun Mamemaki on February 3rd. The children appeared wearing masks that they made themselves, and threw beanbags (instead of beans) to drive out ‘Grumpy Demon’, ‘Crybaby Demon’, and ‘Picky Demon’ from their hearts. Thank you very much for attending this event. I am glad that many family members came. We are planning to hold Undokai (Sports Event) on March 26th. I am grateful that many events that were cancelled due to COVID-19 have resumed little by little. We have devised various ways to make the Undokai fun for children and their families. Please look forward to attending.
Lastly, I would like to talk about the earthquake evacuation drill that was held in January. In advance, the teachers read Kamishibai (storytelling using picture cards) about the earthquake or told them what to do when it happens. During the drill, all the children pretended to be roly-polies by protecting their heads using their hands and going to under their desks. Then they quietly evacuated outside with a signal to stay calm.
In the second term, I hope everyone stays healthy while paying attention to preventive measures against coronavirus, colds, and influenza. Thank you.
Director Keiko Damiata
Let’s ask the teachers how the children are doing in the preschool.
Penguin and Risu Class
The children came back to preschool full of energy after the New Year. They seemed to be happy and a bit embarrassed to reacquaint with their friends after the long vacation.
In January, we talked about New Year’s games while showing them to the children and incorporated “Fukuwarai” (a game similar to pin the tail on the donkey). They played this game
after making the game pieces. They blindfolded themselves and put their face parts on paper, looking at the finished face and saying “It’s funny” and “It’s fun” and everyone had fun. Our intention is for the children to familiarize themselves with Japanese culture through play.
Recently, they have become interested in their friends, and they are learning how fun it is to play together, such as driving a toy car or building blocks together. They enjoy playing while interacting with their friends. When they sometimes fight over toys, they say “Kashite (Lend me)”, “Issho ni Asobo (Let’s play together)” and “Junban (Take turns)”. The children are maturing and show consideration to their friends.
We welcomed some new friends. Oliver has joined the Penguin class, and Kai the Risu class. It looks like these classes are going to be more livelier in the coming months.
Banana and Melon Class
After the New Year, a new friend, Siyyon, joined the Melon class. It was very heartwarming to see the children teaching and helping him out in various ways, such as how to put away their toys, how to play with them, and how to line up with their friends. It was a great opportunity for the whole class to abide by the rules.
After the holidays, the children were happy to see their friends and teachers again after the long absence, and it didn’t take long for them to enjoy laughing and playing together again. We think that the children are gradually becoming able to communicate with each other as they play with their friends and have a lively conversation.
At the Setsubun Mamemaki event on the other day, there were some children who bravely faced the red demon and the blue demon by shouting, “Demon out!”, and other children who were scared and ran away. At the last parent-child dance, there were smiles all around.
It’s a season where the temperature fluctuates a lot and it’s easy to get sick. After the Setsubun Mamemaki there are many upcoming events such as Valentine’s Day, Hinamatsuri
(Girls’ Day), and Undokai. We would like you to review your child’s lifestyle habits such as sleep and meals so that he/she can fully enjoy these planned events.
Bara and Sumire Class
The Bara and Sumire children, who had spent time with their families during the winter break, were full of excitement and wanted to tell everyone about the events of their vacation. In the class, each child presented a story about Christmas, a trip they went on, or a story about meeting their grandpa and grandma. They were able to talk to their friends who don’t speak Japanese at home without forgetting what they had learned before the two weeks off.
In January, we played Karuta (traditional Japanese playing cards) and made Fukuwarai with friends as a New Year’s game. Karuta, in particular, was very exciting for the children who had learned Hiragana letters, and they played it almost every day. We are also planning Undokai in the second term, therefore, we plan to move our bodies a lot to ward off the cold. During outside time, they enjoy playing a relay and Korokoro Ball (rolling dodgeball). Korokoro Ball is a game where they have to run away from the ball rolled by the teachers, but if they get hit, they are eliminated and have to get out of the circle. Everyone tries hard to be the last one; however, sometimes, they get frustrated when the ball hits them at an unexpected time. We are happy that they can enjoy games that can be played with a large number of children, and we feel that they are caring for their friends and growing.
We plan to perform Paraballon at the Undokai. We started practicing it little by little. The children remind each other that we can’t do well unless we all work together. Please look forward to our performance.
Please take care to hold your child’s hand and promptly leave the preschool. With the constant flow of vehicles, it is unsafe for the children to run around in the parking lot or on the asphalt in front of the temple.
We are planning a birthday party on Friday, March 17th. Family members of children born in March and April are welcome to participate.
Thank you for your Oseibo donation
Please let the office know if your name is missing or if there are any corrections.
Anna & Tim Grauerholz
Aya Gerpheide and Micah Silver
Chris & Beverley Date
Dong Kirk Family
Jake and Kacy Turelli
Marcello & Julia Cavallo
Mayu Matsuda & Jason Terry
Nao & Evan Morgan
Nate Yun & Kristyn Lum
Scott & Christina Tsurudome
The Schubert Family