One element of life on a Caribbean island that I miss is the change of seasons—autumn and early spring, in particular. We have plenty of summer here, and I doubt I’ll ever miss the winter cold.

For nearly eight years, I lived in the forests of the Netherlands, in a small chalet situated in a park near the village of Wageningen (known for Hotel de Wereld, where peace was signed following World War II). My connection to this location is personal; it was my father’s birthplace and my grandparents lived there throughout their lives. As a child, I relished our visits. My grandmother often guided me through the forest, pointing out birds, seasonal changes in trees, fruits, squirrels, mushrooms, and the elusive gnomes that always seemed to escape my sight.

My fondness for nature stems from these experiences with my grandmother, a passion I’ve passed down to JaNee.

Throughout each season, we would explore the forest, each outing a quest for new discoveries. Sometimes it was the sunlight filtering through the leaves; other times, it was a vivid orange coral fungus, a boar or a deer crossing our path, or the growth rings on a freshly cut tree.

JaNee would then recount her observations, captivating listeners with phrases like, “Do you know what I saw?” or “Did you know…?”

With autumn in full swing, I encourage you to venture outdoors with your puppet for some photography. Themed photos not only make your puppet’s stories more convincing, but also deepen children’s engagement.

The Netherlands:

Bonaire:

Meanwhile, autumn in Bonaire is warm, so JaNee is already donning her swimsuit. Our favorite fall activity here? Cooling off in the sea.

Till the next blog

Author

I am a former teacher, passionate trainer, and author of the book 'The Hand Puppet as an Educational Tool'. As an expert in using hand puppets to strengthen relationships, challenge language development, and increase children's engagement, I work with parents, educators, childcare professionals, counselors, therapists and others who want to use a puppet as a bridgebuilder. I teach you how to bring a hand puppet to life, make it recognizable, and effectively integrate it into your conversations and activities. My playful and relationship-oriented approach helps you see more from children, communicate with them in different ways, and enhance their participation.

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