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Happy News & Musings on Music

I am very pleased to open this week’s blog with happy news!

Another member has joined our Friends Corner community…Sarah I. has given birth to a baby girl!  Her name is Ophelia. She and Yiannis are thrilled, and savoring this time with their precious new daughter. I’m sure Leonidas will be a protective and sweet older brother to his new sister.

It’s been lovely to be in Sarah’s company throughout her pregnancy. We were able to share in her joys, excitement, and feelings throughout the journey; hopefully we also offered some support.  We can’t wait until our new member is ready to join us at FC.

Coincidentally, it is actually Sarah who gave me the idea for this week’s musings. This past Tuesday while Ms. Lily started setting up for the music class, she nudged my attention towards the kids. We observed the children preparing for the performance by arranging their seats close to one another, then choosing, and passing out instruments. We appreciated and took pride in their initiative and cooperative spirit.

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Research confirms the many benefits of music participation for children. Our little ones improve their large and small motor skills, balance, sense of rhythm, language ability, and express emotions through musical experiences. Neuroscientists assert that children involved in music actually use more of their brain long term.

We witness these sort of physical and mental exercises each week in Ms. Lily’s class. The children explore movement through dance, discover cause and effect while using instruments, and enhance their vocabulary and sense of concepts through song lyrics.

I could go through a laundry list of how children’s brains are amplified through music education.

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But I find it more special to note that in that moment, we simply celebrated the joy and tender collaboration of the kids. As we all know (sigh), toddler behavior takes much patience and understanding as children learn how to navigate their big emotions and social skills. This sustained sense of peace between the children was notable and a moment to cherish.

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We will continue to admire the way our children mature and learn. Staying mindful and grateful of these sweet reprieves make the more difficult moments worth it!

Before bidding you all adieu, I must give a proper tribute to all the fathers out there. Happy Father’s Day to the Dads who shower their kids with love and are true partners in parenting. We appreciate and value you!

Comment below and share with us how you spent Father’s Day, or tell us your thoughts about music education for children.

 

 

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Welcoming Summer!

 “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon;

to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

-Henry James

 

This week, we spent five lovely summer afternoons at Friends Corner welcoming the new season and enjoying the shaded outdoor space.

The summer program is in full swing, which means we have replaced the daily scheduled activity with free play. The children naturally gravitate outdoors, and we provide sensory activities that correspond with the season.

Ms. Lily’s captivated her audience outside. The kiddos danced…

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ran with mischief…

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energetically rocked, side by side…

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reached new heights…

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and explored shaving foam paint. The kids created their very own sea waves!

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The warmer weather opens so may opportunities for our kids to connect with nature. In the coming weeks, we will encourage water play and learn about herb plants and gardening.

Join us in the sunshine.

 

 

 

 

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Farewells and Introductions

Last week, Cat bid us farewell in her last blog post as Vice President of Friends Corner.

It is with a heavy heart that we all say goodbye to our dear friend, along with her partner George and darling children Maisie and Marlon.

Cat brought the same vitality, positivity, and generosity of spirit to the blog as she did to our playgroup. We’re all going to miss her booming voice, kinetic energy, and homemade bread and sweets.

On a personal note, Cat brought much to my life through our time together at Friends Corner. She helped me feel a sense of peace and hope in moments when I struggled with self-doubt as a mother. Her kind words and assuring smiles gave me confidence. Cat continues to teach me that love is the opposite of fear. That has been a great gift to me, as well as to my daughter.

She also happened to cut me the hugest piece of pavlova dessert at my first Friends Corner bazaar! That alone won Cat a huge place in my heart.

We wish her family much joy in this new exciting chapter in their lives.

 

For those who don’t know me, my name is Evie. I am the new Vice President of Friends Corner, and I will write the weekly blog for our community.

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I first brought my daughter Fay to FC when she was 6 months old. My only expectation was to offer Fay a few fun sensory experiences with other children.

Each Tuesday I cradled Fay in my arms as we listened to Ms. Lily sing and play the guitar. Sensing my shyness, a few Moms offered warm, encouraging smiles as my eyes trailed the room. I didn’t know the songs, but Fay and I moved to the rhythm. We eventually learned the melodies together, week after week.

My tepid expectations were exceeded by leaps and bounds.

I was welcomed into a community of families who take the time to listen because they care, families who understand both the bliss and anxiety of raising children, and families who can have a laugh and help you unwind.

I’m simply grateful.

I look forward to sharing the unique personalities of our group, along with all the moments of wonder, enthusiasm, laughter, and cheerful chaos during our time at Friends Corner.

Thanks for humoring the sentimentality in this first post of mine! It couldn’t be helped.

We have lots of changes coming up with older members leaving and a general changing of the guard. Our new president Vicky has some fantastic plans up her sleeve for the next year. I promise to get into all of that soon.

Now I’m off to help set up for today’s Tea Party Boot Sale! I hope to see you and your kiddos there.

 

 

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Boot Sale And Bye Byes

So.. Over at Friends Corner we’re wrapping up the school year with a happy summer fair.

And, the most amazing thing of all is that we are giving you the chance to relieve yourselves of a little hoarding.

Essentially, we’ll be hosting a Boot Sale, giving our members and friends the opportunity to not only come along for a browse and a buy, but also the chance to sell.

The only thing you have to do is get in touch with us as soon as you can to tell us if you’d like to hire a table for your Boot Sale. Table hire is just €15.

Our Vintage Tea stand will host a Bake Sale, while also offering tea (hot and cold) and other beverages.

A Craft Table will keep our little ones occupied once they’ve had enough of whizzing about.

Don’t miss out. Come along and let’s all hang out in our cosy Corner.

The Friends Corner Vintage Tea Boot Sale will take place on Sunday 5 June, from 11am. Please contact us for table hire or any other queries.

Now that we’ve got the Boot Sale bit out of the way, it’s time for the second part of this blog; the Bye Byes.

I shan’t keep you long, and I shall try to find the right words..

So, here I am, on behalf of myself and the present-ish Friends Corner Team, saying farewell.

It’s time to move on to pastures new and that, sadly, means leaving our precious club. I know that I speak for all of us when I say that we have been blessed with the best of times, the most beautiful memories made, and friendships that we know will not be extinguished either by miles nor time.

For some of us, “big school” beckons, for others (well, just me), London’s calling. But, whatever the destination, our journey has been magnificent. Oh, my. What a ride!

We are handing over the reins to a wonderful, strong, competent group of ladies who will take Friends Corner further than we ever thought possible. They will achieve this by adhering to the legacy of this magical place that began all those years ago.

On behalf of the Friends Corner Team – Class of 2016, I’d like to say thank you for supporting us over the last few years; thank you to the beautiful children who made, and continue to make, this place what it is; thank you to all the brilliant mummies, daddies, grannies, nannies, activity teachers, sponsors and all round good souls for – well – everything. And, finally, thank you to everyone that believes that Teamwork is Dreamwork. We are testament to that.

On a more personal note.. to the team I’ve worked alongside with for so long (I’m looking at you Asseel and Ania!), I’d just like to say thanks for always laughing at my jokes, and rolling your eyes when you had to. It’s been a blast!

And, as for you guys.. Join us at our clubhouse for the usual weekly fun and frolics; and come along to our Boot Sale for some fun times, fond farewells and fresh beginnings.

So, one final time from me..

All the love.

Peace Out.

“Make things happen..”

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A Mish Mash Of Fun

We’ve been having quite a nice time at our clubhouse over the last few days. So nice that we thought it was only right to share it with you.

Sharing is caring!

Here are some snippets of what we’ve been up to..

As always, we kneaded and shaped some play dough. ‘X’ marks the spot.

  
To stay with the ‘X’ theme, we made X-ray’s of our hands; with great precision, might I add..

  
Ta-dah!

  
Giggles.

  
We snacked together.

  
And then Angelo painted himself yellow. As you do..

  
Ioli showed us that she’s ambidextrous..

  
..and Kyriakos enjoyed controlling the crane.

  
Yep! We did this too.

  
And, when we weren’t playing dress-up, we made eggs with chicks.

  
And Easter baskets..

  
Then we thought it’d be fun to have an Easter party.

  
Where we had an Egg & Spoon race. Well, Phoebe had an Egg & Sieve race.

  
We ate cupcakes!

  
And we began a new week by making zebras. Uh-huh.

  
Erm..

  
Hello!

  
You’ve got to see it to believe it.

  
Until next time..

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.. I hope you dance.

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Painting A Picture

So.. Here’s the full picture..

We made dinosaurs.  A big one..  ..and some little ones..   Then we thought we’d make some volcanoes.

Some mini scientific experiment ones.. And that was loads of fun. So we made rainbows. Because rainbows take us all to our happy place.  We added water over the felt-tip markings we made. Our rainbows were as authentic as could be (on a coffee filter). We enjoyed Story Time outside..  

 
..and we made walruses in the sun.  Yeah. Some of us ate avocado. (Looking at you, Sophie!) And Phoebe made sheep trendy.. Active Yoga gave us our dose of zen, and got the energy flowing. And, we looked out for one another..  Come and join the magic. There’s no place like it!

Until next time..

“Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you..”

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Carnival Capers


So, Carnival made its way to Friends Corner. And, although you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d booked a day trip to the Circus, no one was harmed in the process.

We had fun! Big people, little people and our surroundings were decorated for the event. Our kids costumes ranged from fairies and princesses to storm troopers and lions. We had superheroes and pirates – our sweet Fay was the cutest pirate you ever did see; still wouldn’t mess with her on the high seas, mind.

We don’t often like to give ‘best’ prizes but, we can exclusively reveal that mum of two, Elpida, wins hands down for her costume; something between a chicken, a clown and a 1960s Woodstock reveller. It was so eclectic, no one is still *really* sure what it is.

Anyhoo.. Well done, Elpida! Your prize is infinite coolness in Friends Corner history.

Our Carnival Party had music, food, face-painting, banter and good, good vibes.

As always, people big and small came together and enjoyed each other’s company within the surroundings of this precious place.

Keep your eyes peeled for our next rendezvous; the Friends Corner Easter Party in about a month’s time. Bunnies, bunting and Hot Cross Buns will be the order of the day.

Carnival season closed but Friends Corner’s days have continued to be filled with fun and games.

And, as a new week awaits, our little ones will be hanging out, painting, playing, making, learning and laughing.. While us bigger folk will continue bonding over cups of tea.

I’ll put the kettle on.

Until next time..

Buy the ticket, take the ride..