Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Outdoor Learning

Sorry we didn't get a post up yesterday, it was my Dad's last day here and we were busy spending nap time finishing up the different projects we have started. The sink in the playroom is done. The kids love it. We (my Dad) bought them the touchless soap dispenser and they think that is really neat!! He installed the touchless paper towel dispenser and attached a beautiful mirror above the sink. I think they love to look at themselves as much as they love washing their hands!! I am glad we did it, it really helps cut down on the traffic to the bathroom and with all the runny noses we have here it is getting a lot of use!!!

Yesterday we spent some time reviewing the letter Oo. We went on an O hunt around the playroom, we then took what we found and made O prints on O's I had cut out before hand. Then, today we glued our O's onto the colored paper of our choice. They came out nice.

The girls took out our dress up teddy bear and tried to change his clothes so he could go on a "dinner date" with them... very cute. But that darn Teddy Bear was not cooperating and proved to be mighty hard to dress up in his duds. Princess helped Little Miss M and there was a lot of discussion on why he was so hard to dress. They decided that he needed to go to the bear hospital and get his arms and legs to be not so stiff :) To cute.
Sometimes I really enjoy sitting in the room, pretending to do something else, and just listen. The dialogue between the kids is so funny and interesting. When they don't think your listening they are so much freer in what they talk about, I am lucky enough sometimes to hear them talking about me... which always proves to be interesting.


I know I have mentioned our neighborhood nature area before, here and here, but I just really love that we have it. It is close enough that we can make it there rather quickly, and it has so much to explore. We probably go at least once a week or so, sometimes more, sometimes less, but every time we go there is something new to see and investigate.

We found "cat tails" today. They don't grow at the nature park, so we had to try and guess who bought them, why, and what did they do with them. The kids loved running with them and of course eventually trying to "get" each other with them.

Running down the hill is always an adventure!! The neighborhood children made a ramp at the end of the hill for their bikes, and the kids enjoyed running and pretending they were doing to "do" a jump over the hill!!

We found these boards nailed to a tree... "Wow, where do you think that goes Shell??" They stop right above where Princess is, but their imagination went wild. They thought maybe they became invisible and went to the sky, or maybe it was for a troll that lived in the tree. They went up those 3 boards 50 times, at least.
The kids are so observant, they found tire tracks, "That definitely were not there last time, Shell." They bent down and looked at them, poked at them, and discussed what kind of bike it could be from. Maybe a motorcycle, a BMX bike, or maybe a dirt bike. When they couldn't come up with a concrete answer, they moved on.

Ants are waking up and we are finding there "houses" all around us. They poked at this little ant hill, until I said, "It could be red ants guys." They know to leave those hills alone.

I think our favorite find was this little puddle of water, caught in the base of a young tree. It became the giants drinking well and the soup for the kids to eat while on their tire track exploration. They kept coming and going from it, amazed that it was still there and didn't "melt" into the ground.

D-Man and Princess found this big branch and wanted to move it into the trees to make a fort. It was very dead and dried out and kept breaking, so they just took the pieces and piled them up near the ramp. They were all about team work today.

We can't forget Little Man. He always has fun on our adventures, but he definitely can't wait to walk... That dirt hill is just calling his name!!

We brought umbrella's with us, hoping for the rain to come. We haven't been on a rain walk in a long time. Maybe tomorrow.
Outdoor learning is so much fun. We counted, estimated, worked together, communicated, sounded out words, climbed, imagined, and had fun (just to name a few). I enjoy the time we have outside together a lot. I need to create an outdoor adventure bag with a blanket, books, and maybe a snack, so we can just grab it and go. Now that would be fun!!!

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