March 5, 2012

(Repeated by request.)

Maybe I should title this article "Preschoolers in Pajamas eating Pancakes Producing Pandemonium." Too long? Too much alliteration? I like alliteration.

For as long as I can remember Lady Laura and I have ejoyed working with kids ... kids of all ages. Maybe that's because we never had any kids of our own. Every other Friday our church has what they call Mom's Morning Out. Moms drop their babies and toddlers off at the nursery in our church and they get to spend a few hours with having to mind the kids.

Sometimes I feel good enough to help out and for a few hours Lady Laura and I (and a few other ladies from our church) get to play games and other activities with the kids.

Last Friday was Pancakes and Pajama Day at the nursery. The reason is that it is just plain fun, and breaks up the winter doldrums. It was pajama day, so yes, I wore pajamas. Would you expect anything else from me? Guess what kind they were.

Give up already?

I wore Frosty the Snowman PJs that I bought on clearance at Goodwill for $4! I love a bargain. Besides, you try finding PJs in my size that are anything but plain and boring. I also love getting a reaction from the children.

"You're wearing pajamas?!?"

"Hey, you're wearing pajamas!"

Which I responded to with a shocked "I am? Oh, my goodness, I forgot to get dressed!"

"You're silly Mr. Joe. I like your pajamas."

Yes, I'm a sucker for adoration from 4 and 5 year olds. I do not deny this fact at all. It is yet another reason I loved playing Santa Claus.

The children wore pajamas too. I had a parent comment how our classroom looked like a giant pajama/sleepover party. It did! We were all warm and fuzzy, and the children even suggested a sleepover. Bless their little hearts.

I may be crazy, but I am not insane!

At group time I asked my star helper (I'll call the child Princess), "Princess do you know what day it is?"

Princess replies, "Pancake Day!!!"

Then I tell the class we're going to figure out what number our day is so I start to count, "3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ..." Since I was expecting to hear "8", I was a little startled when Princess shouted, "Pancake Day!!!" (Again!) Of course the whole class was excited because they too forgot all about the number 8.

We read "Pancakes, Pancakes" by Eric Carle. It's a great story, especially in the big book size. We played a pancake counting game, twice. They wanted to play it some more, but time always seems to run out on our very busy day.

I told the story "The Runaway Pancake", and I did this using plastic people and animals and a pancake stick puppet. It doesn't sound like much, but my little pajama-clad friends were enthralled by the story. "And the Pancake Man rolled on!" I must be a good story teller, because they really got caught up in the story. Overheard at the end of the story "It's not real!!!" When I ended with a "snip, snap, snup, he ate the pancake man up!" Oops! I must've gotten a little excited myself.

Wonderful volunteers came in and helped make and serve the pancakes. So I did not have to do any cooking. I love it when people are able to come in and help with a special event like this. What a difference it makes in our day.

Before we have a snack, we do a little poem and the children clap their hands or roll their hands or do both. The star helper, Princess again, gets to make that choice. So I asked "Princess, what would you like - rolls, claps or both?"

Princess replies "Pancakes!" Pancake fever had set in completely by that time, judging from the reaction from the entire class.

The children used real plates and silverware to eat their pancakes. They "washed" the dishes after they were finished eating their piles of pancakes. This is also our little way of washing off those sticky hands. Of course, the amazing volunteers thankfully rewashed and sanitized the dishes.

The whole room smelled of imitation maple syrup. I love it when a day goes as planned. We finally got a measurable snow this winter so then we put on our snowpants and coats and went out to play in the snow in our pajamas.