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BMS Providing Child Care at Floyd Fest

Kid-friendly programming and activities have always been a unique part of the festival, but this year Blue Mountain School will also be offering childcare services at Floydfest!

With BMS childcare in the Children's Universe, kids can be in skilled, caring hands while parents are free to participate in other parts of the festival. Creating flower fairies, playing with big bubbles, playing games, watching movies, taking part in kids' concerts and open mic, telling stories, reading books, painting fairy doors and constructing fairy houses...these are just some of the things that kids can do while in the care of BMS staff.

Registering your kids in BMS Childcare is a fun and safe way for the whole family to enjoy the festival!

    •    Children 2 to 12 years
    •    Children must be potty trained

    •    Wednesday: 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm
    •    Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm
    •    Sunday: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm

    •    $10 an hour
    •    1 hour minimum

    •    Reservations and check in at the Children's Universe info booth.
    •    For advance reservations, send us email.



Receive 65% VA tax credit for donations with the Neighborhood Assistance Program

As taxpayers, we don't usually have an opportunity to choose how our tax dollars are spent, but donating to Blue Mountain School through the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) is one way to chose!

What is NAP?
Blue Mountain School is a participant in the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP). Established in 1981, the NAP encourages individuals and businesses to donate to NAP-approved non-profit institutions which benefit low-income individuals or families.

How does it work?
If you pay Virginia State income taxes as an individual or as a business, you can make a minimum $500 donation for individuals and $616 as a business to Blue Mountain School, and you'll receive a 65% Virginia State Tax Credit for your donation. The total contribution may ALSO be claimed in full as a charitable deduction on your federal income tax return.

How do I participate?
To donate, contact Blue Mountain School at 540.745.4234 or by email, or donate online. If you donate online, be sure to put "NAP Donation" in the memo in order to receive the credit. Once you make a NAP donation, BMS will contact you to complete the paperwork to receive your credit.






What We Learned - Hatching Playful Dragons

From the Hatching Playful Dragons (Early Learning Class)

This year we learned how to ...

  • Read
  • Add numbers
  • Use periods and commas
  • Use pluses and minuses
  • Do math
  • Be nice
  • Use manners

  • Tell time
  • Make sub-irrigated planters
  • Count syllables
  • Be still in circle
  • Make teaching toolboxes
  • Make clay sculptures
  • Be an actor
  • Read to littler kids

  • Pantomime
  • Sound out words
  • Communicate with sign language
  • Count by 2s
  • Count by 5s
  • Count by 10s
  • Count by 1s
  • Make art
  • Go across monkey bars
  • Count by 20s

  • Hold the pencil the right way
  • Build forts in the woods
  • Use an exclamation point
  • Use talking marks (quotation marks)
  • Identify and draw shapes
  • Recognize and make patterns
  • Recognize sight words
  • Use the peace corner
  • Put on a play

  • Clean up the blocks
  • Make a store
  • Help our neighbors through Plenty!
  • Write numbers
  • Make a calendar
  • Use scissors without cutting myself
  • Cut shapes
  • Roll a monster
  • Add big numbers
  • Use word detective strategies (eagle eye, stretchy snake, chunky monkey, tryin’ lion, hop-it frog, flippy dolphin)

  • Clean the classroom
  • Pack my stuff up to go home
  • Take turns playing games
  • Share about books we've read

We also learned about ...

  • Compromise
  • Puffins
  • How you can’t do art wrong
  • The months of the year
  • The days of the week
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Vowels (the superheroes)
  • Handwriting
  • Adjectives
  • The seven continents
  • Mantras
  • Tai Chi
  • The value of coins
  • Pebble meditation
  • Place value



What We Learned - Invisible Magic Horses

From the Invisible Magic Horses (Early Childhood Class)

This year we learned how to…

  • Say good bye to our grownups and be ok
  • Trust our teachers and ask them for help
  • Sing the "Friends" song using the names of our friends
  • Sign the first letter of our friends' names using ASL
  • Read the names on our job chart, baskets & coat hooks, name rocks and journals
  • Do "Show ‘n Share" where everyone shared an item that started with the same letter as our names

  • Recognize each others last names
  • Decide when to use Mr. or Ms.
  • Write our own name and the names of some of our friends
  • Sit criss-cross-applesauce, listen to and look at the person that is talking, and raise your hand if you want to have a turn to speak
  • Greet someone and respond when spoken to
  • Take deep breaths to calm our bodies and minds
  • Read and refer to the job chart and how to do each job
  • Understand the calendar; seasons, equinox and solstice, month of the year, days of the week, stay home days, birthdays, special days such as holidays or school functions, and how to refer to the calendar about events in the past and future.
  • Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and Earth Day
  • Keep records of things like the daily weather report on our calendar
  • Use symbols to represent data in record keeping 
  • Do a variety of finger plays and songs
  • Follow our daily schedule and go from one activity to the next comfortably
  • Count the number of friends and teachers that are here and absent
  • Add and subtract from the total number of classroom members
  • Understand that a dozen is the same as 12

  • Understand what globes and maps are and why and how we use them.
  • Find our city, state, and country on the map and globe and to find where all of our friends live on the Floyd map
  • Stay healthy by washing our hands, covering our sneezes and coughs, and wiping
  • Prepare applesauce, mac n cheese, banana milk, hummus, popcorn, play-dough, slime and gack
  • Measure ingredients and start to become familiar with fractions
  • Use polite table manners
  • Try new foods on Try it Tuesday
  • Offer and serve food to our friends
  • Graciously accept or decline when offered something
  • Set up and clean up our snacks and lunches
  • Put trash, compost, and recyclables in the right container
  • Take care of and respect our classroom environment and materials, including moving furniture as a team, cleaning, and organizing
  • Use walking feet and calm voices inside
  • Comfort friends whose bodies or feelings are hurt
  • “Make things right again” if we have hurt our friends
  • Help littler friends and accept help from bigger friends

  • Be patient when friends are having their turn and to communicate: “I would like a turn next.”
  • Follow and create patterns with various manipulatives
  • Sort and compare items by various attributes, such as little to big
  • Use a Venn diagram for categorization
  • Play board games with dice and with counting and adding
  • Identify different shapes with the tangrams and blocks
  • Make new shapes with the tangrams
  • Listen to directions for games and activities
  • Listen to a story, ask and answer questions about it, and predict what happens next
  • Share ideas about a certain topic
  • Tell stories with our story-cards using characters and actions
  • Construct a plotline that has dilemmas and that come to a resolution in the end
  • Play pretend and negotiate roles and plots

  • Copy letters and words from a model
  • Balance and jump off “high” places
  • Not be scared going high on the swing or even pump ourselves
  • Hang upside down on the parallel bars
  • Climb our apple tree and the rock wall
  • Be a sandwich when we go on a walk
  • Gallop and skip
  • Use scissors
  • Hold a pencil
  • Make play-dough balls and snakes
  • String beads and use a needle and yarn
  • Use new words: metamorphosis, chrysalis, proboscis, frass, tadpole, polliwog, migrate, symmetry, antennae
  • Be a meteorologist and observe the weather,
  • Give plants what they need to grow (sun, water, and soil)

  • Use a magnifying glass to help see small things and binoculars to help see things that are far away
  • Identify birds at our feeder
  • Use a field guide to identify animals and plants you don’t know
  • Know what plants are safe to eat and which ones to stay away from

We also learned that..

  • Letters have names and their own sound and can make words
  • The written word has meaning
  • There is a difference between drawing and writing

  • Plants start off as seeds before getting roots and leaves
  • Things like jack o lanterns will rot over time
  • All things die, even fire belly toads, and then you bury them
  • Butterflies and frogs have an interesting life cycle
  • Some animals sleep all winter (hibernation) and others leave for warmer places (migration)
  • Some birds don’t migrate in winter, and come to our window when we put food out
  • Babies grow in their moms’ tummies (thank you Jenni and Rissy)
  • All the colors are in the rainbow, and that there is a definite order to it
  • School is a place to make new friends and learn new things




Blue Mountain School Celebrates Festival of Colors

This article originally appeared in the Floyd Press on July 2, 2015.

As a part of the Mountains of Music Homecoming, Blue Mountain School recently hosted a Festival of Colors. Known as Holi in India, where the celebration originates, the festival traditionally marks the start of spring and celebrates love and friendship and the putting aside of differences. Holi is also where the now well-known activity of color-throwing originated.

During the week leading up to the festival, nearly forty kids from as far away as Tennessee came to Blue Mountain School for Big, Messy Art Camp. The camp guarantee stated, “If you go home clean, you’ll get your money back!” Big, messy activities included splatter painting, paint Twister, and a paint-covered slip ‘n’ slid. Other activities focused on preparing for the festival at the week’s end. The students created decorations, signs, and market booths to be used at the festival.

Friday afternoon, BMS family and friends donned old clothing and gathered on the playground for the biggest and messiest event of the week. The celebration began with a traditional gathering circle and then a fantastical parade complete with a rainbow dragon and drum accompaniment. While the market began to hand out small cups of powdered color, other festival attendees painted themselves and their friends with the last bits of paint left over from camp. Then it was time for the colors to fly!

The festival also hosted a community art project called “Dancing with Color,” where revelers painted their hands and feet and then danced and frolicked on a long piece of paper. For the less adventurous, there were seats in the shade to watch the festivities as well as visits to the student-run market.

For more pictures from the Festival of Colors and Big, Messy Art Camp, visit the Blue Mountain School Family Facebook group.

Blue Mountain School is a contemplative progressive educational community for children in preschool through seventh grade. For more information about BMS, please visit or contact us at 540-745-4234 or

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