Friday, December 14, 2012

Outside Again!

off we go
A very muddy boots club today; we spent our time outside exploring the trees, finding pine needles, and slipping a bit in the mud. The children walked and climbed along, tried some jumping, and sat together banging on the rocks with sticks. The sun shined sometimes, the clouds blew through, and we walked along and stopped sometimes to play.  

Until Next Time,
(sending peaceful thoughts to all of our children and families)

trying a rock climb

moving right along

very muddy boots!

a favorite cluster of ironwood trees

gathering pine needles

look, a squirrel's nest!

remember the yarn?

somebody's legs were tired!

a glittery bottle of pine needles

Friday, November 30, 2012

Brightly Colored Yarn!

falling down a hill!

bridge number one

a pretty mushroom under the leaves

I have two copies of this leaf!

bridge number two

winding the yarn around the trees
bridge number three to get to the yarn place!

we made a wall at the yarn place.

it was really cold today!! We went out for a little while and wound some yarn around some trees, after walking a bit.  The children heard the birds chirping and felt that cold wind blowing. AND we knew that warm chocolate was waiting for us when we got back. It was just really cold!
Until Next Time,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fall is Here, We Love it!!

Fall is Here, We Love it!!

We had a workshop and I created a video, thought you'd like to see!
Until Next Time,

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sticks and More Sticks

We were so happy as a group to have beautiful temperate weather today that we walked and walked and played and played outside for a very long time. We had a special snack of hot chocolate and popcorn rice cakes at the end of our muddy boots adventures, so that made the long walk back seem a little shorter. Sticks seemed to be the name of the game today, handfuls of sticks, or just one stick, to be used as a tool, a stump or log drumstick, a broom, or just to hang onto for the walk. Our walk started with a very messy roll down a short hill.

making all sorts of different sounds

threading a leaf  back onto a stick

happiness is.....

sticks as tools

telling knock knock jokes

there are all different places in our muddy boots pack...the leaders....

and the leaders who like to look around while they walk

all aboard the log train!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Ice in the stomach" !

I couldn't help but share this article with you, from Jenny Kable at Let the Children Play. She is an early childhood blogger/teacher from Australia, and it seems she's on the cutting edge of early childhood education. What do you think? I like the idea of being "risk aware" vs. "risk adverse". Children love to move and explore, and in our "planet parker" experience, when given a bit of free range they watch their feet more and take care of themselves, as opposed to challenging the rules of "don't try that!". When we're outside we point out things to be aware of; "that tree has some really poky branches...let's look for one that will hold you up better" and "look before you leap!" child said to me yesterday "I'm not going to jump from this side because it's very rocky. Watch me!" and she jumped successfully to a soft landing on the leaves.
Risk taking should be part of childhood. We learn through the point where we feel challenged. The feeling of having a knot in your stomach is the place where you feel out of your comfort zone. - Rattler Magazine

We all know that feeling that you get when you see your child just about to do something risky.

Your stomach does a little lurch, and you hold your breath without even realising it.   The part of your brain where common sense lives has a little holiday as thoughts of calling out a useless "be careful" or stopping the play altogether take over.  You may already be mentally dialling 000.

Have you ever thought of what the child is thinking at that exact same moment?

Anticipation?  Determination?  Nervousness?  Exhilaration? Excitement?  Fear?  Wonder?  Abandon?  Joy? All of the above?

At the Unwrapping Risk Conference last weekend, Claire Warden shared that in Denmark they actually have a name for this knot in the stomach feeling.  

'Is i maven' translates as 'ice in the stomach' and is seen as a positive emotion and one that both children and adults seek and benefit from.

Wouldn't it be sad, if through our well intentioned desire to keep our children safe, we denied them the chance of experiencing challenges that bought on that incredibly important feeling of 'ice in the stomach'?  

Let's - as parents and as educators - strive to be risk aware and not risk adverse so that children can fulfil their right to a childhood of adventure, challenge, exploration, freedom and risk taking.