In the land of our preschool, a common phrase is, "Show me your gentle hands." Thus begins the road well travelled toward kindness, compassion, caring and peace. So my last project of the school year with the children were Peace Flags. It began nearly 6 weeks ago when I tacked a large piece of muslin up on the stage. Over several weeks the children painted this fabric with Stockmar water color paint, using only the three primary colors, red, blue, yellow.
This step took quite a long time. Every child was welcomed to paint during outside time each day. It was our goal to fill in the entire cloth! Such a lesson in delayed gratification as well as the endless possibilities of color!
And while we painted, BEHIND the canvas became a favorite rainbow hidout.
Then we flipped the cloth and the top became the bottom for little artists. When we were done, the canvas was hung in the hot summer air to bake for a couple of days.
Next we rinsed it well in a big tub, then prepared a white vinegar bath for a good, long soak (to set the colors).
It was hung to dry, and then sewn into little flags. As a final step, each child was given a flag while we spoke about gentle hands that cared for our friends and animals and plants and trees, they dipped their hands in paint and left prints with the very essence of peace as a preschool child knows it, on their flag.
And finally, our flags were strung and hung, surrounding the place where our oldest children walked the rainbow bridge into kindergarten land.
Sarah, Christie and I also did prints of the hands that loved the children well, and hung them on the fairy arch though which they entered.
And finally, the flags were cut apart, separated, and sent home with each child to spread their peace and gentleness further in the world.
And this morning I am off to the airport and my trip to Chicago. Peaceful summer days to all of you.