Mary Sweeney | May 3 | Cougar Chronicle

Art! Art! Art! The children in ECE love to create masterpiece after masterpiece. From the small little butterflies they draw, to the individual works of art they each created for last week’s art show. Creative art is everywhere we turn in our school and so important to each child’s own identity. Creative art includes activities that actively engage children’s imagination through art, dance, theater, puppetry, and music. The creative arts engage children across all domains of learning...cognitive, language, social, emotional, and physical. These activities are deliberately open-ended, foster the imagination, and support the process with no attention to the end product. Although art is identified in many aspects of our program, this last week we highlighted the individual pieces of artwork each child created in the Studio for our virtual art show. The mini art gallery can be seen right past our lobby for a few more weeks before we send them home. 

Each class completed a guided drawing with Ms. Christina and was able to make it their own. Our one-year-old class completed handprint art, our two-year-old classes completed silhouette pictures that represent them perfectly. The three-year-old classes used different types of paint to complete the most priceless owls, penguins, and flamingos. The PreK classes were able to do a representation of themselves through beautiful self-portraits. Ms. Christina shared that it was amazing to see the children render their own drawings by observing the teacher drawing an image of an animal on the dry erase board. I remember turning around and being speechless by their paintings. What they painted was truly magical and each one seemed to envelop their personalities. The same was observed when older PreK children rendered their self portraits on paper. Ms. Natalie and I gave them individual mirrors so they could look at themselves, they were able to generate an image on paper of themselves with watercolors and colored pencils

It was truly remarkable to see that they had captured their personalities and style and in addition to putting a landscape or some type of environment in the background.

This week we are spotlighting our spring backyard production of Farnahan’s Circus for all our PreK families. This play has been performed in many different ways over the last 34 years and this year we are excited to be able to hold it as “Backyard Productions'' in our Outdoor Classroom. This is our first in-person event in Early Childhood and will be held outside for small groups of families at set times. Although this will look different than it does on the big stage with all classes together, it will still be special in that the children are performing all the songs they have worked hard on over the last month. It will be a night to remember and will be live-streamed on the TNS YouTube page for all family members who are unable to attend. Mr. Troy has a quote hanging outside his office that embraces everything I feel about the Farnahan’s Circus play. 

The quote states, “I loved music hour! The teacher would put on a record and we’d listen and then she’d teach us the song and we’d sing it at the top of our lungs, the gifted and the tone deaf all cheerfully together. It makes a particular kind of sound if you ever noticed, that mix of unequal voices, no doubt unpleasant to many ears, but all my life it’s given me goose bumps to hear the sound of children singing, especially when they do it badly. When they do it well, when it’s a serious performance, something they’ve rehearsed, they sound like angels, she said, but they don’t sound as free or as happy to me. They’re not having as much fun.” -Sigrid Nunez, “What Are You Going Through”

The last month has felt free and happy around in the hallways with children singing circus songs, hissing like cats, and belting out at the top of their lungs. The sound of children singing is joyful and they are having so much fun. Please join us streaming LIVE on May 4th and May 6th at 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm. All performances of “Farnahan’s Circus” presented by our PreK students will be available to watch LIVE on the TNS YouTube page at

You don’t want to miss these fun performances full of singing, dancing, tricks and creative art at its best! 

TNS Strong, 

Mary Sweeney

Head of Early Childhood

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