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.

A Day at the Pond

On Tuesday morning we took a trip to the pond! The kids carried their own lunch and water in their backpacks as we trekked across Tierra. It was surprisingly sunny so we stopped for a water break in the shade on the far side of the lavender field. Last time we went to the pond, we found hundred of tadpoles in the puddly stream on the final section of the path. This time we didn’t see any; we decided they must’ve finally grown into frogs and hopped away (“just like in our lifecycle!” Holden exclaimed.)

Once at the pond we enjoyed bug watching (we found a yellow-spotted millipede!), “fishing” with sticks, and relaxing in the shade. The flowering plants and fresh greenery smelled so good. We also discovered some deer prints in the mud nearby.

As wonderful as it is to be at the pond, we inevitably had to leave. We packed up our bags and hiked back across the property. We stopped at a pic-nic table near the lavender field for lunch before finishing our walk back to school. On the way back we stopped to greet the donkeys and offer a few handfuls of hay. It was a wonderful morning.