Making Magic

Each year I host a party for children and their families, and every year it creates magic– not the storybook or pretend magic, but something very real.


Families gather with their children when school closes and have a pizza party on the playground.  That event alone is incredibly exciting for young children.  This year the weather was warm for New England, approaching 70 degrees.  It was also foggy.  Perfect for what was about to happen!


We carved pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns.  That took quite a while; plenty of time for families to get to know each other, and plenty of time for each child and family to spend time together, doing something really fun.  Yet, it was far more than fun.

Darkness descended and transformed carving pumpkins into another world of wonder and splendor.  Imagine what it must be like for a child to be at school in the dark.  When we stopped to look at all the Jack-O-Lanterns, everyone felt a great shift to something magical.  This is what I wrote to families:

Tonight was a magical evening.  Pizza dinner at school is pretty cool; yet carving a pumpkin with your family is a memory builder.  We so enjoyed all the activity and excitement with each family.  As the sun was setting, arranging all the jack-o-lanterns on the stone wall was filled with anticipation.  Sitting together in a circle with our jack-o-lanterns and singing songs, as it became dark, was… perfect.  Truly, it was a moment in time, the kind that leaves you with a feeling deep in your chest, yet you cannot find words to explain it.  You just know that it is special.  Often it is the little moments that are the most important and the best of all.  Thank you for being there.

We gathered all together in a big circle.  Jack-O-Lanterns were lit.  Children were snuggled with their families.  We sang the Jack-O-Lantern song, twice.  The excitement of the singing the song in the dark was magical, indeed.


Yes, it was a moment that leaves you with a feeling deep in your chest, one that is difficult to explain, yet you know is special.  It is magic!


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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39 Responses to Making Magic

  1. Strycenkay says:

    Hello Jennie! I love this post. It is great to see that a great sense of community is still in fashion. I have subscribed to your blog. Keep up the great work.

  2. This is wonderful. Just looking at the pictures makes me remember with awe and the magic it brought to all of us. These children will always remember it too. Thank you for bringing be back to a time that was magical! 🙂

  3. what an excellent description – not exaggerated, not superficial, just right. it must have been difficult to do so, but you nailed it. I will remember this “feeling deep in our chest..”.. very enigmatic yet so true 🙂

  4. davidprosser says:

    Every moment like this is magical and carries magic through the child outwards to generate more awe in the adults at the party. The feeling is palpable.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  5. jonna ellis holston says:


  6. crazykatya says:

    This reminds me of a Halloween Carnival I used to go to as a child. The memories are still fresh, even though it was so long ago. It makes my heart melt to read how much effort and care you put forth for the children and community around you. You are creating a wonderful atmosphere for those families to make those memories, and I’m sure you’ll be included in those memories as well. 🙂

  7. maureenrose7 says:

    Yes! that is exactly what it is! Magic! What a nice time you all look to be having! Super nice post Jennie! ❤ 🎃 ❤

  8. magarisa says:

    It sounds magical indeed!

  9. Sounds and looks so fun, Jennie. Those types of memories are my favorites from childhood and I remember them over 50 years later! Even better, we tend to recreate the magical experiences of our youth with our kids. So, you aren’t only enriching the lives of the children and families of today, but of the future 🙂 YOUR magic is an amazing gift to the world.

  10. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    Jennie, You did capture something very important, very special, and very magical!

  11. This is so wonderful. Looks like such fun!

  12. srbottch says:

    Wonderful! They will always remember this time and when I ‘come back’, I want you to be my teacher.🤓

  13. What a wonderful gathering. I can just see all the kids bustling around with excitement. We all have special memories of being out at night, and to be at school, too, wow!

  14. Nina says:

    Hi Jennie!
    This is such a wonderful post. Can I share it for my “A Happy Story Post” this Saturday? This is clearly a perfect picture of geniune yet magical happiness- a good time spent with people we care about!

  15. Norah says:

    Yes, a truly magical community and relationship-building evening, making memories to last for years and years. Love it!

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