Children’s Day – August 6, 2023
Merigar’s nature, fields and small woods, grass and its buildings, the Gönpa and the Yellow House welcomed around 35 children on a fresh, sunny Sunday. There were 22 older children (6 to 12 years) ready to explore the green surroundings, and 10 little ones from 2 to 5 years. But babies also rolled in, in their strollers, and a couple of one and two year old toddlers joined the day’s activities with their parents.
The younger children stayed and played on the Yellow House terrace where low tables were full of materials to explore. Kapla and colored wood blocks with which to build, orange and blue pongo to roll and cut out, pasta to string, and a collage box with scraps of paper, pens, scissors and glue was delved into and used. A book corner drew the interest of a couple of the children, one small boy in particular, who entered the magic of looking at picture book after picture book.
A large white paper was taped on the glass windows for painting and coloring. It soon became a meadow – a line of grass was first painted, the sun above and flower after flower were added along with a stream of water. Meanwhile the youngest children in the group used large, soft crayons to make their mark with full circles and lines. The mural is now hanging up in Merigar’s dining hall, mensa, if you want to have a look.
As the day rolled along, there was time for water play, yoga poses on the grass, and a bit of dancing, too.
The older children started their day at the Gönpa with a Kumar Kumari yantra yoga session for children. The session was preceded by a short, joyful warm-up phase of singing and dancing. And there was no way to miss the narration of the story ‘The Adventures of Niyma, Dawa and the Little Yak’ to support learning the sounds used in kumar kumari.
The activities then moved outside where, thanks to Cristina Conticelli’s creativity, the children managed to print the 10 syllables used in Kumar Kumari on paper, using simple tetrapak sheets as a matrix and a pasta machine as a press. The children put all their enthusiasm, skill and creativity into play. After lunch, the children took part in a fascinating nature walk led by Maria Erica Morganti (environmental guide) to discover animal tracks and the secrets they leave behind. The children were immersed in a hidden world of clues that tell the stories of the creatures that inhabit Merigar.
The younger and older children ended the day, enjoying cookies and big bowls of ice cream, along with their parents.
A wonderful day for all! For the Merigar team that guided and provided all the fun, it gave us joy to be with these children and also brought out new ideas for the next year.
Constance Soehnlen and Letizia Pizzetti
Children’s Day is an important event for Merigar and we are really happy to have made it special for children once again this year (including children speaking other languages and also with different abilities)!
I wish to thank my colleagues Michele Corrado, Letizia Pizzetti and Constance Soehlen for a playful Kumar Kumari Yoga session, Cristina Conticelli for a beautiful children’s manual lab, Erika Morganti for the amazing workshop-discovery of the forest inhabitants and their habitat, and all those who helped for the organization of this marvelous event!