Our Elementary children are about to attend the annual Elementary Sleep over. Like the trip to Newcastle Island, the sleep over is an important bonding experience as well as another step toward independence. Sleeping over at a friend's house is an experience that many children have had by the time they reach the elementary levels. A few may even had the experience of sleeping over with a group in a camp setting. However, few children have had a sleepover with their classmates and their teachers in their own classroom. The sleep over also fills in a few of those imaginative gaps that many elementary children have. Gaps like wondering if teachers live at school or what the school look like at night. In addition, there is lots of planning involved in such an event and our elementary teacher guides the children through the planning process.
The afternoon and evening are filled with all sorts of things to do. Some children choose to go swimming and others choose to go on a bike ride. Then we all sit down to a pizza dinner. After dinner, the crafts begin. We have several parents who volunteer to share a craft with 4 or 5 of the children.
When the crafts are all finished, out come the flashlights because it is dark enough for our night walk! In the old school, we walked around the neighbourhood and the children had a great time. This year, we have our new playground to explore! I've already heard excited conversations about this in the elementary classroom.
Eventually, it is time for bed. The children set up their mats or bedrolls in the classroom and then all get ready for bed (notice I didn't say sleep).
Once everyone is almost settled in, the lights are turned off and the best event of the evening commences! Diana tells a story! (I have attended several of these sleepovers and Diana's stories are always eagerly anticipated.) By the end of the story...........most of the children are fast asleep.
And before we know it, morning arrives. The children have breakfast in their pyjamas, right in the classroom!
By the time breakfast is all cleaned up and the children are almost packed, the parents arrive.
To the sound of joyful farewells and "You know what else we did?" and "Bye, Diana! Thank you!!" We will lock the doors and heave big, happy, sighs.
What a great job we have!