On February 4th the Toronto Ethnographic Society visited the Estonian Nursery School for the third year in a row. Definitely an annual tradition in the making!
So what did the senior estophiles teach the junior estophiles this year? The older children learned that in the days of yore there were no toy stores around every corner with a never-ending supply of plastic doodads and playthings with which to clutter up every possible corner of the house. They learned that with something as simple as a hank of yarn, a little finger dexterity, imagination and concentration and a tiny bit of adult guidance, toys that are both fun and environmentally friendly toys can be hand-fashioned at home….
And the children in the younger classes learned the Estonian version of “Simon says” which translates into “Mari ütleb” and “Juku ütleb”. When Mari or Juku said hop on one foot, crawl on hands and knees, pat your tummy while walking backwards, you can bet your bottom dollar there was a lot of hopping, crawling and patting going on. And what better way to learn that the Estonian words for mitten, fish, pinecone, stone and candle start with that most popular of all letters in the Estonian alphabet, the ”K” letter, than whilst you’re hopping, patting, running, twisting and turning!
Next year the tradition continues - the “ethnographers” are apparently invited back to
Lasteaed to provide those lovable little “estos” with another dose of “estography”.
Fotod Maaja Matsoo, Helle Arro
The Ethnographic Society’s annual visit to TES Lasteaed (1)