During school term we have special celebration days. Traditions are important to us and they frame some of our activities too. It is special to prepare for them and enjoy the day too, especially that some of them are open for parents and other family members too.
School year opening party
Every year at 4 o’clock on the last Friday of August we have a party to celebrate both Plum Pudding’s birthday and the commencement of the new term. We are happy to greet newbies and returning children and former students with their parents. We welcome them with fruits and refreshments. While parents enjoy having conversations, their children occupy themselves with funny games led by our teachers. At 4:30 pm the games begin, in which parents can join their children and try their luck. Every year an artist comes to entertain us and heighten the excitement of the afternoon. After the performance, food is served and a huge cake to crown the evening.
According to the Hungarian traditions, Santa Claus comes on the 6th of December. Everybody awaits him with excitement, counting down the days and practicing the songs, which they hope he will hear when he pays his visit. On the big day Santa arrives at Plum Pudding and starts to call the children one by one. Naturally, he knows everybody's name and he even has a few personal words of advice to say to each one of them. Then he gives them presents: a tangerine, sweets, peanuts and a small toy. After talking to every one of them, he picks up his – by now empty - bag and walks out of the room leaving the cheerful children playing happily with their new toys.
We like to celebrate the most intimate and familiar feast of the year here at the kindergarten, too. Preparations start several weeks before to make sure everything is ready for the big day. The huge Christmas tree is decorated with the works of our children. The parents arrive in the afternoon, welcomed by the neatly dressed, excited children. We start the party with singing together; and after this children play their role in the show. Then a little performance is given by the teachers. We light up the candles on the tree and the big sparklers too. After this, children happily hand their handcrafted presents over to their parents. Then, of course, as a surprise, they also get a present from the kindergarten. Nothing else is left but to enjoy the rest of the evening with snacks and cookies.
It is, no doubt, the funniest and happiest day of the year. Teachers are also dressed up, that's how they welcome children - pirates, ballerinas, cowboys, fairies – who would be able to give a full list of them? Breakfast takes place at the usual time, but not at all in the usual manner. Just imagine that unexpected situation when Bob the Builder is having breakfast with a crocodile or Batman bib is put on by a real fairy! The morning snack is not the usual fruit or vegetable, but traditional Hungarian carnival doughnuts. In the afternoon, besides funny games, comes the most awaited happening, face painting.
This is the first festival of the spring, so we like to celebrate part of it in the garden, if the weather permits. After breakfast, we start playing funny games, but around 11 o’clock news sweeps around the kindy that something has happened in the garden. We all go out together and an enthusiastic treasure hunt begins. Under trees, behind logs, on the branches of the trees and in other places small presents are waiting for the sharp-eyed treasure hunters, and soon everybody plays happily with the new toys.
For this event, children prepare a little show of songs, music and dances, performed by different age groups. Even the smallest ones sing a few songs, and enjoy their performance while their mothers and grandmothers are watching them eagerly. After the performance they thank their mothers and grandmothers for coming to see them with a flower and a hand-made present.
We would like to make this a really memorable day every year. Therefore, we hold an 'surprise day' when the children have to compete; - sometimes using their brains - sometimes theirs skills. At the end of the games the number of golden pebbles they collected is counted, and the winner is announced - but the most important thing for everybody is that they enjoy the day.
The course of the day goes pretty much like the one on Mother's day. Fathers and grandfathers are invited for this show. After the show, children also thank their fathers and grandfathers for coming to see them with a bar of chocolate and a hand-made present.
On this day we say farewell to the oldest children. They get a small bag containing a little present and a home-made cookie. They walk singing along the school and the garden and say good bye to the small ones and their teachers.