Now that the Elm House children are all a bit older and have more endurance, we will be taking small groups on walks around the neighborhood. Our intentions here are to notice the natural worlds wonders, gather natural materials to enhance our curriculum, to chart the growth of new gardens and to connect with the people in our neighborhood. In the past stroller rides have been our primary way to explore, and we will still ride for longer adventures, but we see real value in the exercise that they will get in even walking a few blocks and the change in perspective.
We took our first walk today! Hope you enjoy these photos.
Do you have a favorite house in the neighborhood that has a great yard? Or do you know of a secret garden? Let us know the location in the comments section.
This week we have been talking about pumpkins, making predictions about what will be inside, and then opening them up and inspecting them. Today we opened a second pumpkin in our backyard.
Mage: Do you remember when we opened the first pumpkin? What did we find inside that pumpkin?
Isaac: We saw seeds.
Mage: And what do you think will be inside of this pumpkin?
Isaac: It will have more seeds in it.
Mage: I’m looking inside the first pumpkin. What color are the insides? (Holds pumpkin out toward children)
Isaac: It’s yellow.
Mage: Yellow. And what color do you think this new pumpkin will be inside?
Mage: Your prediction is that the inside will be orange and have seeds. Let’s find out what’s inside!
One new ritual we have started with the Elm children this school year is singing a blessing song. We start all meal times with this sweet song. It’s a way to say we are thankful for our food as well as a fun and effective way to transition the toddlers into meal times. Eating is such a joy for children this age and such a special time for us to gather and be social. It’s also a part of how we sing our way through our day!
The nasturtium seeds have sprouted, and all of the toddlers are becoming very curious about our new plants! Recently, I have seen the children wanting to interact with the plants, as they bring toys over to the planter box, and reach down into the wire to touch the plants with their fingers.
The other day, I saw Emil and Luca D. standing side by side at the planter.
Luca: I’m touching the plants.
Mage: Plants need gentleness, just like the worms need gentleness.
Emil and Luca walked to the other half of the planter.
Emil: I see lots of plants.
Luca: I see ants. Ants.
Sen walked up to the planter and pointed at the plants.
Sen: Baby. Baby.
Sen stuck a finger in the wire and poked a plant.
Mage: That plant is a baby?
Sen nodded his head.
Emil: Lots of plants! 1, 2, 3, 11, 13
He pointed successively at the plants.
This morning in the yard the children were examining the worms and the slugs underneath the stumps. After we had exhumed all the creatures from under one of the stumps, Emil had a thought about the stump he was standing on.