Traditions and Celebrations - The Children's House

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Traditions and Celebrations

by Michele Shane
Friday, May 27, 2022

The Children’s House was founded in 1984 in a small farmhouse in Sutton’s Bay. In the early years, the school consisted of one Toddler community and one Primary classroom. When the children completed their Kindergarten year, they moved on to different schools for elementary. During this time, traditions were created that have continued to be celebrated throughout these past 38 years.  


As our school has grown to include elementary and junior high, our final weeks of school now include day trips, overnights at Leelanau Outdoor Center, and camping and backpacking trips. Endings are celebrated with moving-up ceremonies and graduation. But the signature all-school event that has remained the same at its core is Dance of the Cosmos.


In the beginning, kindergartners assumed the role of the planets in our solar system. An extension of the birthday celebrations in Primary, children have a tangible experience of walking around “the sun” as they begin to learn about the universe and their important place in it.  Sometimes, parents would fill in to play roles in the solar system to supplement the single group of kindergarteners. 

As the school make-up expanded to include elementary and junior high, distant galaxies, black holes, and a supernova were included, all choreographed to the music of Gustav Holst. The current iteration of this beautiful year-end celebration is a symbolic homage to our past and present.

Our year-end celebrations have expanded and changed to reflect the evolution of this incredible school. They are an honoring of our beginnings and ground us in our past, while demonstrating the growth of our present. Over the inevitable changes of time, these traditions root us all back to our origins that reflect the roots of this community.  And every year, we are reminded that the universe is a wonderful place.  It goes on, and on, and on…