It’s a common occurrence to walk into a preschool and be met by dozens of little smiling faces, ready to embark on a day of learning and play. An uncommon occurrence is to walk into a preschool environment and be greeted by dozens of four year olds dressed in their finest clothes, bubbling with excitement.
Polished shoes, (clip on) ties, pretty hair berets, shimmering dresses and of course, ear to ear grins was the scene last Friday at All Superstars Preschool. What occasion brought out such dazzling attire you ask? Well it was a VPK field trip to see The Nutcracker at Broadway Palm Dinner Theater.
At the beginning of each VPK school year, every VPK student is given a piggy bank. Throughout the year, the children and parents are asked to bring in loose change to fill their bank. To reinforce learning at home, the parents are encouraged to count the change out at home with their children and place it in a zip-lock bag labelled with the amount in it. Upon arrival at the school, the VPK children will then re-count the change together as a class. Over time, the children are able to learn the differences between the coin values.
Of course, they receive a bit of help when it comes to the addition of the amounts, however this process lays a great foundation for basic math skills.
The purpose of this activity is three-fold. Not only are the children learning to count; but they’re also saving for their Broadway Palm Dinner Theater ticket, teaching the children the value of money and importance of saving. As the year progresses, the excitement builds as the date approaches and the piggy banks fill. Parents can suggest to children that they can save faster if they help out with simple household chores. Clearing the table could be worth 50 cents, for example!
Fast forward to the day of the show – all 44 VPK students loaded into The All Superstars field trip vans, their behavior matching their attire. Upon arrival, the students exited the van and stood in orderly lines singing their favorite Christmas songs as their teachers and parent volunteers marked attendance.
It was a true reflection on the discipline of the children as they marched, single file and quiet as church mice into the theater. Onlookers could be seen marveling at the impressive nature of the behavior of such young children in such a stimulating and exciting environment.
The polished behavior didn’t stop there, however. Once seats were taken and lemonade had been served, it was time to embark and the adventure that is The Broadway Palm buffet line! The children formed, yet again, orderly lines and entered the buffet, eyes wide with the assortment of delicious foods ahead of them. It is at this point where some clever classroom training kicked into play. In the weeks leading up to the field trip, The VPK teachers at All Superstars Preschool set-up buffet training routines which got the children familiar with serving themselves food from a buffet. For the smaller children who couldn’t reach the food, their manners shone as they yes pleased and no thank you-ed their way through the line as the adults aided in their serving.
After eating politely with their friends and teachers, it was time for the show to begin. This part was the best. It was what we had all been waiting for. As the lights dimmed and the hush spread across the theater, one could feel the excitement in the children – many of them had never been to a real life play before! The look of marvel on the children’s faces as the production began was a sight to behold. They were hypnotized, transfixed on the actors and actresses on stage.
The team at Broadway Palm Dinner Theater consistently do such a fantastic job catering to young audiences. The performers frequently interact with the audience, brining the entire performance to life. The cast are always available after the show to meet with the children.
It truly is a magnificent experience that the children can’t stop talking about and will never forget. Thank you to great people at Broadway Palm Dinner Theater for accommodating our preschool and to all our parent volunteers!
You can watch a video recap of our day below: