Archives for the month of: March, 2013

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RUN!!! What could be more fun than running down a path without anybody yelling at you to stop doing what occurs naturally.  As adults we’ve learned to temper this behavior but I must say I do enjoy running with the kids making noises and laughing.

Best job ever!

Today we read a story about a personified mud puddle that kept jumping on this little girl, we made mud and painted with it and then took a hike!  What made me laugh the most was when we were all done with our day the kids came back into the barn with their rosy cheeks and runny noses and asked, “What to we do next?”  Image

There is no time for boredom when you have your senses alive, when the sunshine warms your face and the breeze is just right!  These kids are learning outside… not in the traditional way.  They are fearless or the things they fear may not be one day because of what they are  doing in the woods!  They are developing an attachment to this place and my hope is that one they will ask their parents if they can take a hike sometime or play in the backyard with dirt.

Here are some more pictures of our time outside……   Peace…

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“This is the life!” Max yelled as he ran down the trail with the other kids….   I can only smile and feel my heart warm to hear a child experience the joy of being in the great

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outdoors.   It was a simply beautiful day for our first class of Natural Patterns.  An opportunity for K-3rd graders to discover patterns that are always around us.  On this day we talked about trees and the patterns they make against the sky.  There is a wonderful book Sky Tree by Thomas Locker, which shows the same tree throughout the year and the surrounding sky.  The illustrations are so peaceful and done with such loving care.

 Our hike was full of laughter and running and stopping to spin below the trees, which frankly made me dizzy as ever!!!  The kids seemed to have no problem .

It is always so thrilling to see how excited the kids get before our hike.  You would think I was offering them candy!  Nope, no candy just time to be free and learn about respecting our time with Mother Nature.  Yes it is  “the life”.Image

One final word… Juliana said to me, “sometimes when I get up in the morning and I look out the window I see the sky looks pink and purple.”  Way to go Juliana!!!  Keep those eyes open.

When was the last time you saw a beautiful purple morning sky?  I saw one today and thought of Juliana.

Here are some pictures of their inspired tree art!  Until next week…… happy trails!

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Today is a snowy day and each time I look around I can’t help but wonder how many of my new students will spend time out in the snow today when they arrive home from school?

Will their parents give them the gift of standing out in the snow while it falls upon their faces or the gift of running around and making tracks?  It is a cumbersome undertaking to get them ready to go out but so worth the effort.

If your day is just too crazy an alternative solution might be to scoop up a bunch of snow and bring it inside (yes live on the wild side) and let them explore the frozen water in the sink or tub (not while bathing of course!!)

As adults we sometimes equate snow with negative feelings but try to think back to when you were 6 years old and you played and experimented in the snow (if you grew up in snowy places).  I know my memories were always so magical.

Loving the snow at Avalon …….. Sue Image

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Yesterday I began my new journey working at a local park and preserve.  Finally, an opportunity for me to use my creative talents and apply them to children and nature.   I have arrived.  Teaching and exploring all of the natural world around us with children who are so ready to embrace nature.  There are no limits to the ideas and experiences they will enjoy in these upcoming classes.

My first day was spent with parents and their children ages 2 1/2 to 4.  We hopped and walked in straight lines like bunnies and dogs.  Then painted our feet and walked on paper to look at the marks humans leave!  Then we set out on a hike to look for some animal tracks.  We found some dog tracks, bird tracks, deer tracks in the snow and of course human tracks too!  It was exciting for all of us to be out in the bright sun, with the blue clouds surrounding us in the wildflower fields that lay dormant!  One boy thought he found a dinosaur track!!  How fun!

My next class was with 9 and 10 year olds.  We talked about what inspires us in life and learned of  someone who was truly inspired by nature, John Muir.  We began our journals, created tree sculptures out of wire and set out on our hike through the rolling hills of the preserve.  There was lively conversation about their ideas and time for exploring buds and holes in trees.  No stress just us and the woods.  How wonderful.  Every child should know what it is to walk in the woods.

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks”    ~John Muir

More classes next week………