Since school began, every Wednesday the Marigold Preschool children have felted orange balls to make the foundation of pumpkin decorations. Then, for two weeks, they sewed the ribs onto the felted orange balls to add depth and character to the fruit. (An early botany lesson!) All along, Teacher Martha told them that the pumpkins would be gifts for neighbors of the school. This plan brought up a lot of discussion about who should receive the gifts. Of course, Bruce and his dogs, whom they saw every day, was everyone’s first suggestion. Bit by bit, the children included all of the people whose yard edges they walked over on their daily walks, whose rocks  they jumped from, whose decorations they stopped to admire, and whose yard has a little ledge on a rock wall humorously named the “daily toilet seat.” (It even has a little rock in the exact place for a flushing handle.)

Preschool child holds a hand-felted pumpkin


The children carefully wrapped their handmade pumpkin gifts. On the day of giving, they stopped at each house and Teacher Martha slowly and solemnly read a note like this one:

Dear Neighbor,
We made this for you.
We like walking on the wooden edge of your yard.
Happy autumn.
The Marigold Class

At all ten houses, you could have heard a pin drop as Teacher Martha read. The children were very proud! There were two extra gifts that they had hoped to give to the construction crew they saw regularly. Those workmen weren’t around, but the two electricians who were present were surprised and touched by the gifts.

Each child got a turn to deliver either the note or the gift right up to the door. Some went alone, some went in pairs, and some went with a teacher escort. They were so pleased to share what they made!

Of course, each child also made a pumpkin to bring home as a gift.

–Martha Swain, Marigold Preschool Teacher

Imbued in this small thing
Is the joy that you bring
To me, when I think of you
And my love is in there too
Trina Graves

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