This week we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and played, painted, and even ate snack outside. We also made some interesting nature observations. Even in the middle of the city, we are surrounded by nature. Every day we watch the squirrels chase each other up and down the pine trees, across power lines, and along the top of the fence. We hear the thud of pinecones falling onto the shed, the songs of blue jays, cardinals, and robins, and the tap-tap-tap of a nearby woodpecker. Some children love to move stones and look for earthworms to pick up and show to the other kids. Today we even saw a hawk take flight from a neighbor's tree! Below are some observations
Drew saw something from across the yard and ran over and squatted down to investigate. "What's this about? I like it. It smells good."
"Watch this!" Drew picked the mushroom out of the ground. "Pretty."
Some other children became interested and ran over to see what Drew had found.
One afternoon last week, the woodpecker that we often hear made an appearance, very low on one of the pine trees.
Miles ran over to get a closer look but scared it away. His attention shifted to a squirrel eating a pinecone in the tree.
Parker and Virginia came over to see why Miles was looking up in the tree. They watched the squirrel nibble on the pinecone and throw some pieces onto the ground.
Virginia found a pinecone on the ground that a squirrel hadn't chewed up yet and wondered if one would come down from the tree to have it for a snack later.
The past two weeks we have had new friends join us and old friends are getting to know each other, showing their personalities and playing together more than ever before. Despite some seriously hot days, we have continued to spend most of our time outdoors. The kids keep cool by playing in the shade, splashing in the water table, and running around in the sprinkler.
This week during an afternoon session, the children tried to use the PVC pipes to create a "fountain." They had to experiment with the many theories and ideas they had to find the perfect way to fill up the bucket at the bottom.
The initial design worked very well but the water soon filled up the bowl. The kids chose a larger container for the water to flow into but the size changed the angle of the pipes so more problem solving had to be done! They decided to put an upside down pot under the curve in the pipes and the water flowed again!
Rhythm and Routine
This week was our first week with morning and afternoon sessions as well as full day students. We knew how important it would be for the children to set up our rhythm of the day. It is through rhythm that children begin to understand there is order and security in the world.
Once we all take our shoes off and wash our hands, we have story time. The children have enjoyed the simple songs and movements as well as the books we have been reading.
Depending on the needs of the children, we either stay indoors or move outside for the remainder of the morning session.
We say "goodbye" to our mornings friends, eat lunch, and rest our bodies and minds before our afternoon session friends arrive. Then we repeat the cycle. The children seem to feel comforted by the knowledge of what is to come next.