A Magical Evening at School

Every year we have a party for families at school.  It begins with a pizza supper on the playground, followed by carving jack-o-lanterns.  It is wonderful.  Families meet and greet, eat pizza, and then roll up their sleeves to carve a jack-o-lantern.  Today, the tools are pretty fancy and sophisticated.  But carving a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern is as exciting as it was in the ‘olden days’.

Every year this is THE event.  And, it is always wonderful.

After we admired our jack-o-lanterns, we gathered in a circle, sitting close together.  How cool to be at school, at night, and in the dark, with a glowing jack-o-lantern!

We sang our ever-popular jack-o-lantern song.  Older siblings joined in.

This is what I sent to families.  It still makes my heart beat:

Our Aqua Room Host Party

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, and thank you to the many families who contributed items and gave us a helping hand.


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.
This entry was posted in Halloween, Imagination, jack-o-lanterns, preschool, Teaching young children, The Arts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to A Magical Evening at School

  1. srbottch says:

    Just a wonderful family event, Jennie. And you know, for the kids and their families, this will be one of those, ‘remember when we …’ moments. Nice job, Jennie.

  2. beth says:

    what a wonderful event, tying home to school )

  3. Ritu says:

    Truly magical 🥰

  4. beetleypete says:

    What a lovely thing to do, Jennie. You could hear the joy in the voices of the kids. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  5. GP Cox says:

    You not only teach the children, but entertain them (and their parents!!)

  6. quiall says:

    You help to build memories that will last a lifetime!

  7. What a special night for the children and their parents! (I didn’t know there was a pumpkin song.)

  8. Opher says:

    Great stuff Jennie!!

  9. Oh, how fun! The children’s singing was magical and gave me a fright and goosebumps with that big BOO! LOL!

  10. This has got to be the cutest video ever, Jennie. Thanks for making it and sharing it here. Such good times.

  11. Dan Antion says:

    This is a great tradition, Jennie. I love the way you find different activities to engage with the children and their families.

  12. Norah says:

    Memories like that last forever, Jennie. That touch hearts and help them expand. Beautiful.

  13. Annika Perry says:

    Jennie, what a special celebration, the video is lovely and the carvings of the pumpkin incredible! You are all so blessed to have each other … the warmth and joy are contagious. Showing more than ever that ‘it is the little moments that are the most important’.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, the little moments are the most important. Thank you, Annika. This event is warmth and joy, and I’m glad you felt it. It’s a memory builder for families.

  14. What a lovely way to bring the families together. Loved their little song and it sounds like everyone is having a good time. I have a link I thought you would be interested in and the second link is to a Youtube channel she mentioned in her post.

    • Jennie says:

      I love Thundercake! My copy is well-worn with love and having read it aloud a zillion times. When a thunderstorm approaches, it’s Thundercake to the rescue. Thank you, Marlene. Carving a jack-o-lantern is a perfect event for families and children, just when they have settled into school. Starting the carving in the light and finishing in the dark is thrilling. Then, lighting them and singing together is what makes memories.

  15. dgkaye says:

    Oh how I wish I had a teach like you Jennie. Who would ever want to grow up. ❤

  16. You have created such a lot important traditions, forcing creativity and community building too. I am ashamed cant remember this from my own preschool and earlier school time. This makes the difference in making pupils loving school. With our two Catholic days of remembrance only, there is more grief than fun. But dont we think on these days on the resurrection too? 😉 Thank you, Jennie! Best wishes, Michael

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