Director's Note: November 2012

Happy Fall!

It is truly my favorite time of the year! The smells, sounds and sights of Autumn are even more memorable when experienced alongside a child.

Once the storm has passed, this is the time of year to take nature walks around the neighborhood (now free of mosquitos and humidity!) and to encourage children to use their observation skills and memory.

What did the leaves look like last time we passed this tree? 
Who has built a nest there? 
What animals did we see? 
What birds do we hear? 

Ralph White, our guide when we visit Belle Isle each year, made a great point when I asked him about late-Autumn talks with children. Rather than focus on hibernation, he said, parents and teachers can highlight what children see and notice most — the shortening days and the shifting colors of the leaves.

You might ask if they have noticed that they are still out playing when it is getting dark. Point out that the trees get their “food” from the light, and there is less light as we move toward winter. The trees, working to get the last bit of food they can for the season, suck the food from the leaves. The leaves change color, dry out, and are then shed so the tree can use its energy to get through the time when there is less light. In the first days of Spring, it will be the trees, with their new buds and bits of green, that let us know that the days are once again growing longer.

In the spirit of the season, I’m happy to share this amazing short film with you, too. Many thanks to the TMS parent who shared it with me!. It was created by filmmaker and painter Jeff Scher, who described the process of making the film here.

Wishing you all a safe next couple of days and a wonderful November!

— Ms. Amanda

tmsDirector's Note: November 2012