Archives for posts with tag: Spring

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I am grateful for every moment I spend with these kids.  They are excited by a fallen tree, collected branches from a broken down lean-to, the adventure of being high up above the ground.  It is as magical  as this photograph, this image that was a single moment, a collective group of breaths and laughs.  Gone forever but always here.  

You can have this feeling as a child or as an adult.  Just stand back or participate.  Leave the worries at the beginning of the path… for those moments you will feel joy, fear, excitement, curiosity.  “What was it like when that tree fell?” the kids wondered. That tree which has given us a place to live for the moment.

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And the moment when Lola sees this thing up in the tree?  That moment when we can explore and wonder.  

When we can touch and feel life crawling upon our hands.  

Thank you dear children for making moments so important.  Our bills, our headaches, our worries can be left as we enter the woods to experience these moments.  

Take the time to make a moment or allow a child to show you how to live a moment. 

Lovingly,

Sue 

 

  

 

 

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Couldn’t help but write about something that occurred last week while I was teaching my class.  Image

I was working with my Kindergarten gang in the garden and field.  When we finished, the moms, dads and siblings hung around as they sometimes do.  Today it was extra special because Emma, who is in my older Natural Patterns class, chose to create this amazing structure from the recently cut wildflower fields.    

She was busy as a bee creating what looked like a teepee shaped shelter complete with an entrance.  

All of this came from within her!   How amazing to take the initiative and focus on creating a piece of natural art!  She was so proud and  protective of it.  I was in awe.

It reminded me of the work of Patrick Dougherty, an artist who creates amazing sculptures by bending sticks.  Sounds simple, but when you look at his work you can’t help but want to climb inside and take it all in.  I did have opportunity to see one of his pieces in California years ago along with my daughter.  There is something so primitive and earthly about them.  

Check it out!

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When it is was finally time to go she reluctantly walked away knowing that it would never look the same but she hoped that the next time she returned it would still be there. 

Being outside gives us all the opportunity to look at what is around us.  For some it inspires art, poetry or just peace.  Whatever it is take some time to BE out there and perhaps you’ll walk away with more than you came with.  I know that Emma did!

Thank you Emma for making my day! 

 

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Check out :  http://www.stickwork.net/featured/  for more about Patrick Dougherty   

Peace

 

What a perfect day to begin Seedlings first all Kindergarten class!  You might  see snow on the ground in the pictures but these kids were treated to a simply lovely day with temperatures that warranted no winter coat…. heavenly!!!!!!!!

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This Spring I decided to try something new with the kids.  It’s kind of reminiscent of tour guides in NYC, but I think it just might work!  I want to teach them about staying together as a group and how that is important when hiking.   With two flags, that I made with felt and a dowel (thanks to my husband for cutting them so precisely), one labeled with “L” for leader and “S” for sweep ( a term we used when riding with the bike club for the person who makes sure no one is left behind)  Each time we meet I will look for great listeners and select a leader and a sweep.  (obviously every kid will get a turn over the course of classes) .

My goal is to get them used to working together, not an easy thing for eager kindergartners out on the trail.  BUT, I must say this group rose to the occasion and they really went along with the whole idea.  I was so impressed.  It also enabled us to stop and explore together instead of me worrying about someone running up ahead without the group. I’l keep you updated ………

 

Exploring, we found some bird nest remnants and a dog foot print…  

Okay Imageso 

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Back a the barn awaited their beautifully painted twig and bud creations.  That was the topic for today …. all the life that is getting ready to burst open when the warmth graces Avalon consistently.  We all can’t wait!

 

 

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Today’s fun thing to do is:  Go into your yard and look at the buds on trees with your kids.  If possible touch them and talk about what is going to happen.  Choose one  tree that you will follow for a whole year and take a picture of it.   Each time it changes take another picture.  Do it for a year… it’s  a fun way to  teach observation and also makes a nice framed collage for next year!  

Keep on hiking families.

Peace,

Sue 

 

ImageBooks are always fun to share with children.  It is an opportunity to express ideas in a gentle and interesting way.  I shared this book, “The Curious Garden” written by Peter Brown with my K- 3rd grade class before our hike.  The story is a about Liam, who lives in a dreary city.  He explores and finds a tiny little patch of nature on the old abandoned railway tracks (reminds me of the Highline in NYC)*  and the story just blossoms from there.  While today’s children might not produce the same outcome as Liam, they can have an impact on their own surroundings.  Whether they plant a garden with their family, scouts, at school or just have a pot with herbs growing in it for mom or dad to use in the kitchen.  It all can make a difference in their lives and yours!  

ImageA simpler book for the preschool /Kindergarten age-group is a fun book about, “Growing Vegetable Soup”, by Lois Ehlert.  How silly is the idea of growing soup.?  But is it really?  This book shows the planting process simply and leads up to harvesting, washing and chopping veggies for yummy soup.  There is even a recipe on the inside back cover.  Garden to table all right there in a children’s book.  How apropos! 

 Now is a great time to start a very small crop of one vegetable inside (if you live in the Northeast)  Inexpensive seeds are just waiting to be planted by little hands in a small recycled bottle or jar.  Replant outside after the last frost (usually by Mother’s Day)

This week we planted sugar snap peas and basil seeds in class.  They are settling in at the greenhouse at Avalon and hopefully next time our class gets together we’ll see something happen!  Happy Spring!

Go visit:

* http://www.thehighline.org/about/park-information

 

 

ImageNature hungry, is what comes to mind when I step back and watch these children explore. The earth is slowly waking up and warming.  The bugs are on the move and how thrilling and refreshing it is to see these children get so excited at the site of something moving around in the wildflower fields of Avalon.  The ground was alive with milkweed bugs with their brilliant orange stripes and worms coming up to peek at the world.  One step after another something to be discovered.  

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 Baby worms wiggling, everyone crowding to see it squirming.  How cool to hold this wet, cold slimy creature.  Think of how many worms we walk past as adults.  We are so far above the ground and the kids are grounded noticing the tiniest movement.  

Richare Louv writes, “In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy and privacy; a place distant from the adult world, a separate place.”  He reminds us again and again in his book, “Last Child in the Woods, Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder”,  of the importance of children’s need to connect with nature and how it helps them to make sense of the world around them.  

Today is a great day to take your child outside.  Shut off the TV, video games, and spend 20 minutes outside whether you are in your backyard, a park, a rooftop garden it will feed your child’s mind.  They will thank you for it one day!

Tired Hikers…. delighted!

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