Connected by the river

This week we’ve been creating a map of our area from Leavenworth to Wenatchee. We built felt houses to add to the map along with mountains, trees, rocks, and even a moon! You can find it displayed in the hallway outside our classroom. Even though we don’t all live in the same town, we learned this week that we’re all connected by a river. By studying the map, we discovered that even our friends in Plain are connected; Chumstick Creek flows in to the Wenatchee River! We could (theoretically) get in the river here in Leavenworth and ride it past everyone’s houses all the way to our friends in Wenatchee. Wouldn’t that be fun?!

During outside time, we created a river in Barn Canyon. We started a flow of water at the top of the hill and watched it work it’s way down to the parking lot. In some areas it spread out and flowed slowly and in other areas it carved deep, narrow canyons. On Monday, the rain bolstered the flow. The class noticed that on Tuesday, without rain, the river took longer to make it down the hill. Aside from tracking the flow as it made it’s way down the path, discovering that it made a lake at the bottom was the favorite part. Again aided by the rain, the kids discovered some excellent puddles for jumping in. Check out the photos below!

We Built This City

During our summer break I gathered as much recycled material as I could and brought it back to school with me. With this material, we created a city! I started the kids off with a cardboard box base and a few simple structures. After that, it was all them! I couldn’t believe how many ideas they came up with as individuals and as a group. This was a true collaborative project. After it dried, we were able to use it as a play structure for our people and animal toys.

It’s going to stay in our classroom a little while longer so be sure to check it out next time you’re here! I’m sure the kids will want to tell you all about it.

Garden Exploration: Salad

As our garden starts to fill out, we’ve been exploring what can be done with fruit, veggies, and herbs! This past week, we asked parents to bring in produce from their own gardens to share with us. What a bounty we had! On Wednesday, we had a garden party with the junior class. The kids had the opportunity to try a variety of foods fresh from your gardens.

On Friday, we used the leftovers to make salad in the preschool class. Each child got to make their own salad. They cut beans, ripped kale leaves, mixed balsamic vinegar in, and feasted on their final creations. Some were so pleased with their work that they packaged up their salad to take home to share (hopefully those didn’t get forgotten in their backpacks…). Thank you to everyone who contributed to our garden exploration this week. If you ever have excess produce, we’ll happily accept it!

Bike Day

One of our favorite new traditions in the preschool class is bike day! We’ve been doing it at least once a month and the kids are always super excited to bring their bikes to school. For bike days, we take our bikes up Barn Canyon and ride the dirt road back and forth between the shed and the end of the canyon. Many of the kids bring their bikes from home and we have our school bikes available as well. It’s been wonderful to see the kindness and generosity of the kids as they practice sharing, trading, and taking turns. Some of our kids have been practicing their peddle bikes and hand-break bikes at home and can’t wait to share their new skills.

This week in conjunction with talking about herbs and flowers, we had lavender lemonade to sip on while we rode! The kids were very proud of the hard work they put in to make the lemonade and it was the perfect treat for our morning.

Herbs for Days!

Last week we took an entire five days to explore herbs and what we can do with them. Even with a week’s worth of activities, we barely scratched the surface on these wonderful plants. The herbs in our garden and the backyard were supplemented by a beautiful herb bouquet brought in by one of our students. We harvested, smelled, and tasted basil, mint, oregano, lavender, dill, thyme, and more! Throughout the week the kids kept an herb journal to practice writing herb names and contribute their own artist renditions of the plants with watercolor. Some of them even taped a bit of lemon balm inside, a definite class favorite.

Our most popular herb activity was by far the herb popsicles we made early in the week. Kids got to choose which herbs they wanted to include in their popsicles molds and then we filled them up with either almond milk or coconut milk. By the afternoon they had frozen solid and we enjoyed our refreshing snack outside in the backyard.

Sugar Scrub Project

We took advantage of teacher Katie’s expertise knowledge of natural body care this month and did a group project to make a sugar scrub. She guided the kids in making a large batch so that each could take home a small jar for a Father’s Day gift. With the remaining portion, the kids got to have some sensory fun in the garden. They explored scrubbing and washing their hands and arms with the scrub and water. The simple scrub was made out of sugar, oil, charcoal, and orange essential oils.