Based in San Francisco, iteachkids.org is an early childhood education blog by Tiva Lee Samaru. HER posts explore; through videos and other resources - original early childhood education curricula and ideas for enrichment classes, as well as, tips and tricks for classroom management and general childcare.

Birds come. Birds go.

Birds come. Birds go.

Life is full of movement and change.

Trees swaying when the wind blows, birds flying around, and even the sky changes based on the time of day.

Earth is such a magical place. Often times I am humbled by the opportunity to live and experience all of this magic.

As the spring season approaches, its warmth beckons the birds to their favorite trees in my neighborhood. They are constantly flying around and whistling harmonious melodies. It always makes me smile. Those deep, soul smiles that fill me up with happiness and essential reminders why life is such a precious little gift. So too are the animals we have the privilege of sharing this wonderful planet with. Subsequently, the thought that these animals have their time and place comes with reminders that those who have the opportunity to leave or hibernate, do so during the colder seasons. That’s just their cycle of life. Like humans, they are also responsible for sustaining Earth. So, although one may feel sadness when the birds fly away during Fall and Winter, there’s that deep understanding that it is only for a little while. It is what they must do and they will be back when Spring whistles melodies to them.

Even so, on a normal Spring day, these birds also have their time and place. Most of their movement and activity are seen during the day. Flying around, searching for food, interacting with their peers and sitting in the sunshine. When night time comes, like humans, most birds retreat into dreamland. Rest is essential, even for birds. But, that’s also the beauty of holding space for that belief of seeing them again tomorrow, when we are both awake and proceeding with our day.

Within this truth, there are so many lessons about coming and going and all the reasons why this is a constant part of life.

For many of us, when something or someone leaves, dealing with the change that comes after that is almost always challenging, even if one is equipped with the necessary understanding and knowledge about why this happens and how little control you may have over the outcome. However, I think, the belief that balance returns - even after something or someone leaves - is where the highest level of understanding, acceptance, and appreciation lives. Granted, sometimes when something or someone goes, it or they never return. However, living still has to happen and believing that life will continue to sing beautiful melodies is how one can truly commit to embracing all the lessons in each stage of coming and going.

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After pondering upon old and new patterns of dealing with all the coming and going that existed in my life up until this point and the knowledge that there is more of that to encounter, I felt like this was a significant lesson to share with my students, in the best way I know how - an activity that enlightens them in a subtle but obvious way.

Using my Clothespin Birds, I put together a calming activity which highlights the birds “coming and going” and why.

The activity takes them through the movement of the birds based on the time of day. Flying around, sitting on a tree branch during the day and retreating to their nests to sleep through the night.

HOW DID IT GO?

I’ve received a significant amount of compliments with this one. Every time I do this activity, it’s always wonderful to hear everyone in class singing along. The children always get so excited to see the birds and eagerly follow all the hand movements. As for its deeper meaning, they get it! They understand why the birds come and go, and always say very kind words when the birds say goodbye and fly away to their nests for the rest of the night. All of my students love this one so much, they often ask for an encore or repeat of the activity and on a few occasions asked how the birds were doing.

To reinforce the deeper meaning of the inspiration behind this activity, feel free to take your time with it so that your students can really appreciate the birds when they are all sitting on the branch. This may evoke some feelings of sadness when it is time for the birds to go, but it is also a great moment to remind them about the cycles of life and the fact that when something or someone leaves, focusing on the moments spent or appreciating it more in the moment is a wonderful thing to nurture. Additionally, talk to them about how they can instill that sense of knowing that some things in life leave for fleeting moments. For instance, when their parents go out for dinner and they are at home with the babysitter.


Take a look!

Come sit with me for a while, as I share this activity with you. Then go forth into your classroom and share it with your students.

Come and Go,

Tiva

The Bush Life

The Bush Life

Take care

Take care