We’re back!

A few heartfelt words as we begin a new daycare season…

Children climbing onto and jumping off rock.

We’re back!!  Yesterday, after being on holiday for two long, glorious months, my boys headed back to school, and the Hooligans returned!

As much as it was absolutely wonderful to have those lazy, hazy summer days with my boys, I was ready to get back to work, and so excited to see my little people yesterday!children running in a field

Several of last year’s hooligans have headed off to Kindergarten, so there are slightly fewer children here as we start up our season, and, and so far they’re all girls!  We’ll likely have a few more hooligans hop on board throughout the season, but for now, it’s lovely to transition back into the swing of things with a smaller group.

We took things nice and slow yesterday.  I didn’t have any structured activities set out, although I have some planned for later in the week.  On our first day back, I simply wanted to allow the hooligans to re-familiarize themselves with their surroundings and with each other.

It was a beautiful day, so we spent most of it outdoors, visiting all of our old haunts around the yard and neighbourhood.hooligans looking into pond

We started off in our yard, spending some time around the pond, observing how the fish and plants had changed and grown over the summer, and of course the kids explored our playhouse & sandbox, the play logs and tire-swing.

Then we set off on our adventure, heading first to our neighbour’s pond and garden where we found her herbs in abundance.  We plucked basil and mint leaves and crushed them in our hands to release their wonderful fragrances.child picking basil


children crushing and smelling basil leavesNext we wandered down to the street to the Jumpy Rock.  This is a favourite, little spot for us.  We’ve spent countless hours at this rock over the years, jumping, climbing, sitting, chatting, pretending, or simply resting and relaxing.  We never miss an opportunity to stop here when we’re out trekking around.hooligans sitting on rock

Then we headed into “the meadow”, a span of green-space behind some of the houses on our street.  Another neighbour has offered us an open-invitation to visit her cow, and enjoy a ride on her garden swing whenever we’re out and about.

children petting a cow structure in the garden

hooligans climbing onto garden swing

Her lawn slopes off to the back, which is fun for running and rolling down, and we generally spend a good half hour or so here.child rolling down hill

children running down hill

And then we move on through the meadow, stopping to investigate the plants, leaves and trees that surround us,children examining leaves on a tree

hooligans playing under a treeuntil the children find the “secret sidewalk” that leads us back to our street.children running down sidewalk

It was an absolutely delicious way to spend our first morning back together, and a profound reminder of how much I enjoy this job of mine.  I truly consider myself blessed to be spending my days with these amazing little people.  They force me to slow down, and live in the moment, to experience life at a child’s pace, and see the world through a fresh set of eyes.  There is wonder all around us; something new and magical in everything we discover, and it’s right there in front of us every day.  I am so grateful that I have these little people to remind me of that.toddler walking on sidewalk

Welcome back followers, and welcome back HOOLIGANS!  I’m so looking forward to our year ahead together!

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  1. Gina says

    doh, they are so little and so cute. I was a nanny before I was a homeschooling mummy and I know exactly what you mean, it is a blessed career. There was a bit of me that was astonished that you could be paid actual money for playing. Have a lovely year.

  2. says

    What lucky little girls to have such a wonderful place to play! I love your open spaces and generous neighbours. Here in the city in Catalonia we have MUCH less space and the first thing we do with it is put a fence around it QUIIIIICK! Welcome back to the new school year. Enjoy it!

  3. Susan Rosenberg says

    Dear Jackie,
    Any child that comes to spend time with you is beyond lucky! I follow your posts all year long, and as a preschool teacher, I aspire to provide my hooligans with as many of the wonderful experiences that you share as I possibly can. I am so excited to start off a new year next week. Thank you for reminding me that starting off slowly and taking time to get to know each other and our wonderful fun places, is even more valuable than starting to learn those ABCs. You are an amazing inspiration and I look forward to a new year spent with you too!

    • happyhooligans says

      Your comment got me a little teary-eyed, Susan. It means so much to know that our simple activities here in my little home daycare can serve as such an inspiration for others. Thank you, and best wishes to you for a wonderful season!

  4. Carol Ross says

    I am so glad your littlest hooligan has the opportunity again to experience the wonderful world of the Happy Hooligans!!

    • happyhooligans says

      Aw, thanks, Suja, but I think it’s actually the “bunch of kids” who make it so easy. :) So glad you’ll be following along with us again this year. :)

  5. says

    Hi, it’s my first visit here and I think I’m going to come back often, your website is great. My job: taking care of the spare time of my county’s kids (when they’re not in school or with their family) up to 3 to 18 years old. This year, I’m back with the little ones, I forgot how wonderful it is to look at them discovering the world. I really love my job too.
    Excuse me if there is mistakes, in my message, I’m french and I don’t have a lot of opportunities to practice my english…
    Have a great year with your Hooligans!

    • happyhooligans says

      Hi, Ortisse! Welcome!! I’m so glad you found us. I think you’ll have lots of fun gathering ideas here for the kids you look after! Isn’t it wonderful to have a job that you truly love? So happy for you. (And your english is very good considering you don’t practice it often!)

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