We have been spending a lot of time outside lately... I love it. I am an outdoorsy kind of person, so when we get to be out there I love it. I sometimes worry that the kids aren't bringing home any art work, but that's not because they aren't doing any. They are just creating masterpieces in the mud (and I am sure that parents don't want to bring home anymore mud than is already on their child clothing).
Today it was still a little wet and drizzly from last nights rain. So we took the opportunity to work on our Planet Earth craft, utilize our centers (they are getting a little dusty, I think we need a Spring clean) and practice some of our Spring Program songs.
Here is a little piece of our day:
We haven't used this number board/calendar in a long time... and today it got a lot of traffic.
Working together to make a Better Earth: is the message we tried to teach today. We learned that the Earth was made up of mostly water. We talked about ways to help the Earth... recycle, reuse, pick up trash, and put our toys away, were some of our ideas. We also talked about ways we could celebrate the Earth... wash our cars, be nice, don't yell (all great ideas, but not exactly what I was looking for).
Me: "Ok guys... what is something nice we could do that would make the Earth happy?"
Kids: "Um, play outside"
Me: "I am sure that would be nice, anything else??"
***I am not sure I am phrasing my questions quite right... I am off today***
Kids: "I know, rain"
Me: "Yes, that makes the Earth happy, but what can WE do?"
Kids: "Grow Grass!!"
Me: "YES!! Grow things!!! What could we grow?"
Kids: "Flowers, trees, bushes, flowers. Like we are doing outside!!"
***Aha!! Sometimes things are worth the wait***
I took some photos of the yard today... we are working on creating some play stations for the kids. Little areas where the kids can play together, play alone, move freely, move in a more confined space. I have been watching others transform their environments, like here and here and here. I realize what a great opportunity I have with our yard. It has playground space, open space and "woodsy" space.
If you can imagine your on my patio (out my sun room door) and looking straight ahead, then just turn to your right and keep turning... that is the view. (No, we can't seem to grow grass. I'm not sure, but I think the dogs and kids have something to do with it)
We are in the process of turning our sand area into more of a dramatic play space. We moved a house up there, a couple kitchen sets, and a table and chair set. We need to add some play food, dress up clothes, and baby doll accessories... I am just not sure how to keep them from getting ruined. We tend to leave things outside, even when it rains. So, I am not sure how I will handle that hurtle. Maybe getting a trunk to store things in, or have something in the sun room to store things in and have the kids bring them in before the end of the day.
One of our families brought us some stumps last summer. We need more. Ok, I want more!! I want them in all different sizes!! I want to make a dry creek bed with a water source to use with it on hot days (or not so hot days). I want to add an over hang or roof to the patio so I can bring more of our classroom learning outside on a daily basis. So many things... so for right now I will just keep my focus on the sandpit and then move on the something else. One baby step at a time. That's how things get done (especially in a small Family Child Care Home)