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What is happening at Raphael's Garden?

In a blink of an eye, the autumn season is almost behind us! Raphael’s Garden happily opened our doors to greet the first children on Tuesday, September 7th. Our small group of six children has quickly embraced each other; their play has been harmonious, industrious, joyful, and lively.

Motor and sensory systems are in full gear, and we have been relishing the many late Indian

summer days; we have spent our days hammering, sawing, climbing, digging, and running. Building fairy houses out of pine cones, sticks, and moss; bows and arrows out of branches, and many sandcastles have also kept us busy.

We look forward to our morning visits from our friend Socks, the neighborhood cat.

In the classroom, the indoor slide has been an incredible vestibular and proprioceptive connection, as well as a place for great imaginative play.

Our hands have been engaged with painting, making our lanterns, kneading bread for snacks, chopping vegetables for soup, and peeling/coring apples for pancakes. In recent days we have been stringing Indian corn as well as popcorn and cranberries for our furry and feathered outdoor friends. Circle time has been full of learning songs, verses, and movement for the autumn and winter seasons.

After much preparation scrubbing potatoes and carrots, dying golden silks, and making apple crisps, we enjoyed a wonderful Fall Festival (Michaelmas) celebration with the larger community. Children collected many apples at home, which we used to press fresh cider;

we roasted potatoes over the fire, enjoyed apple crisp, dragon bread, and a sweet story. The children each brought a treasure from nature which they presented to Michael, who in return gave them a bulb to plant together on the school property. As the days grow dark, we will look forward to seeing the first bulbs emerge in spring!

In November, the children and their

parents gathered for our lantern walk through our magical wooded garden. The light of their handmade lanterns, decorated with colorful autumn leaves, guided our way as we sang songs and heard a story of a selfless beggar girl.

The parents have also been building a community amongst themselves, including a weekly book study and discussions on the festivals.

With the days growing shorter and the nights colder, we begin to prepare for the coming holiday season; we have many things to be thankful for:

  • A growing supportive community

  • Days filled with the laughter of happy, healthy children

  • Three grants and other generous monetary donations have helped pay for start-up costs and scholarship opportunities.

And now we have come to December, a month to connect with our inner light and love. Sending warm wishes for a happy holiday season; we will be sure to update you in the new year!

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Ronald Bearman
Ronald Bearman
Dec 02, 2021

Remarkable opportunity to learn for young children. Would love to be 4 again to go to your school.


Suzanne Down
Suzanne Down
Dec 02, 2021

Thank you for this beautiful and warm hearted view of your program. where are you located?

sending love, Suzanne Down

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