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Happy new year! Its Winter time in LA and in many countries around the world. Its the time to go inward and reflect, keep warm and safe what is growing inside of you and mother earth is doing the same. King Winter brings rain and snow and the cold Northwind is blowing even in LA. The nights are colder and the days a crisp and we are awating the cool rain to drop on out thirsty land. Be patient with your self and enjoy the quiet that the long nights are bringing, for springtime will be much different.


Tivoli moved! We relocated our beautiful school from our Los Angeles location to Santa Monica. The children and the community were hands-on helping the process. As a goodbye ritual each child picked one special item to bring to our new location. Once there, they each found a place for their item to welcome the new site.

Now it’s time to explore the new location!!!


We started off the season of light and warmth with our Lanternwalk celebration. The children acted out the St. Martin’s play, a story of empathy and selfless giving. Afterward we lit up our self-crafted lanterns and went for a walk through the neighborhood to bring our light into the darkness. The evening finished with us all enjoying some yummy Weckmänner.

We now look forward to starting the magical time of Advent, lighting the four candles of the advent wreath in anticipation of Christmas, and celebrating all the beautiful festivals of light presented in our community.


It was a magical night, once again, when the Queen of Fairies came to visit the children and enchanted us with her magic, sparkle, and story. Thank you for letting Ilka guide you into the enchanted story land and for keeping the magic and wonder alive for the children.

It is a big event to get ready for but all worth it when we see the glow in the children’s eyes. Thank you to all the helpers who made the magic happen, we could not have done it without your support! Special thanks to our volunteers who helped decorate and for the orchestra’s beautiful accompaniment.

Also, a giant thank you to our Room Mom for organizing the potluck and to all of you for cooking and baking. The food was so delicious with all the wonderful fall dishes!!!
Yummy, Yummy……Lecker, lecker……..


With the first cloudy mornings rolling into LA, October is upon us!! Time has been flying by and we are happy to say that we had a fun, exciting first month of the year at Tivoli!!!

Transition is a challenging time for everyone. Whether families are joining school for the very first time or are returning after summer, there is a lot to figure out and get used to. Over the last couple of weeks we have introduced the children to our daily rhythm that structures the day and lets the children know what comes next. Being familiar with the schedule and having a sense of predictability is key in feeling comfortable and at ease.

There have been tears and moments of sadness when the parent is leaving for the first time. Sometimes it is the parent who needs a hug, to acknowledge that we understand that it is hard to leave your child for the first time. We have little rituals in place that the parents and the child can do when they come in the mornings – ritual is a supportive way to make the moment of good bye a little lighter. Giving a kiss into each hand mommy to child and child to mommy and to keep the kiss with you so you can find it when you might need it during the day, for example. Or sticking your finger from both sides through the little hole in the gate makes letting go a much easier transition.

We believe that forming trust through sensible activities is the foundation of any successful relationship. Giving the children the time to process their feelings is one of the most important values we practice here at Tivoli. AND we want the children to feel supported, from establishing soothing diaper change routines to helping setting the lunch tables.


… And that’s a wrap! The first week of school is over and we couldn’t be happier!!! It was lovely welcoming old and new families back into our Tivoli community and we are excited to continue meeting everyone over the course of the next couple of weeks!! Our “Back to School Night“ at the end of the month will be a fun opportunity for everyone to mix and mingle over some snacks! Details will follow in our next newsletter.

The children had a fun first week too!! The Bibabutzemann came to meet them all in circle time and everyone made a flower necklace to gift to a new Tivoli friend. Those moments of exchange were truly precious!! We also started to paint the symbol-stones, which we will use for setting the lunch table for the rest of the year now. Some of them still need to dry, but we are excited to see them all once they are done!


Thank you all for coming to our Abschluss Zeremonie / Moving-on celebration! It was a beautiful afternoon with beautiful weather and the children and parents had a great time sitting and enjoying each other. The performances from the children were very special and heart-warming. They loved to dance and sing for everyone!

The soon to be Kindergarteners enjoyed the movement story ”Ich bin ein Kind im Tivoli …” and sang it all alone without Ilka’s help!!  And the “Oh lalala, Oh lalala, ksksks……” snake fingerplay was simply precious. It was great to see some of the younger children join in to support too. Everyone loves this hand movement game!

And then there were of course the Schultüten /school cones! The stories and images they showed were amazing and the children were proud to show them off!!! Now let’s hope that everyone’s really stays closed until the first day of school …

Thank you, too, for everyone’s potluck contributions! There was a truly relaxed and caring energy in the air.

We send everyone off into a wonderful summer with special fairy rocks … for the fairy is always around. And for the Kindergarteners and their families we would like to add an extra dose of love and care and a breeze of good luck to begin a new phase of their lives!


As the school year is slowly coming to a close, we hosted our last parenting workshop before the summer break: “Feelings and mindful limit-setting“. Uff- that‘s quite a big one!

Chrys Masey Rhodes, our in-house consultant, was there to help guide us through the topic. As typically her style, Chrys made room for everyone to chip in with their own questions, comments, and experiences. Jumping from one situation to the next, we covered quite a bit: the importance of validating feelings, setting boundaries within the perimeters of what we are comfortable with, and honoring the children’s focus on their play are just a couple of examples. The parents were very involved and happy to receive information on how to handle challenging interactions with their children.

Thank you so much to everyone who came! It is invaluable to have such an open and supportive community here at Tivoli! And of course thank you to Chrys for breaking down such a complex topic in such a relatable way!


We kicked things off with our 10-year anniversary party. When ​Tivoli Rainbow Garden P​reschool first started we had 6 children in Ilka’s program. We have since grown to over 20 families and relocated to a site in Mar Vista. It was a wonderful evening of sharing memories over live entertainment and catered food. The night finished with a fire dancing performance by one of our very own Tivoli Dads – what a treat!

Two weeks later, on June 15th, we celebrated Father’s Day at Mar Vista Park. To say thank you for all their love and care the children learned a little dance to invite their Dads to. They also made sandwiches for a picnic in the park. Pretzels, ball games, and a tug of war with a rope and the Dads was sooo much fun.  And to top things off the firemen from station 62 swung by! The children got to explore the firetruck and together with a fireman they could spray water out of the hose! What more could one ask for on a Friday afternoon?

Looking ahead we have the projects from our 4- and 5-year olds coming up. The projects are chances for the children to pursue an area of interest and to share their excitement with the rest of the children. So far we have seen wonderful experiments ranging from color mixing to homemade aquariums and play with textures and density. We are excited to see what else the children have in store for us!

10-Year Anniversary Party:

Father’s Day Celebration: