Monday, October 8, 2018
(I think October is all of our favorite month of the year :) )
He wanted to do this stuffed paper bag pumpkin (we've done this one MANY times before)... pretty easy~ just stuff the paper bag with torn crumpled paper bags, tie at the top with raffia or jute, and paint! You can add construction paper leaves / pumpkin vines after that.
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Summer had almost officially ended, and we thought we could catch a bit of Fall color in the higher altitude. It was a bright blue day, unusual, since we had so many fires this season. We didn't see any aspens turning, but there was color in the brush; bright red poison ivy and assorted tree shrubs.
Thursday, September 27, 2018
This summer Fynn got rid of his training wheels AND got a bigger bike...
Rico has been taking the kids all over town and their favorite thing is to ride up & down "Taft Hill", which Fynn says is 13 degrees.
Another steep hill in town is Trilby Hill, about 16 degrees. Bingham Hill is probaby about 15 degrees, Fynn says. Overland hill is only 9 degrees, and West Vine Hill: 6 degrees.
Lombard Hill (in San Fransisco) is about 21 degrees. "That's pretty steep, right?" says Fynn. We drove down that one a couple years ago.
Baxter Hill (in Los Angeles) is about 35 degrees! We got excited about watching The Little Rascals again, because they roll their "fire truck" down it...
Baldwin Hill (in New Zealand) is the steepest residential street in the WORLD and it's about 45 degrees! Fynn's new goal is to ride his bike up Baldwin Hill, and to practice, he has been riding up Taft Hill on the highest gear!
The kids have been building all levels of hills with the train tracks, all over the yard and in the house.
I had been tackling the enormous project of trying to sort through the mountains of old toys in the closet~ they were all mixed up, dirty and buried...
I finally got some of them sorted into these nice lidded bins...
They slid nicely underneath their *new* bunk bed...
...And it was like Christmas!
To the kids, it was like having brand new toys around!
And that is why they went right ahead building hills with the train tracks...
Rowan was very excited about the Legos, also in their new box, and began building special and fun "places". He was so happy. It was very sweet.
It's hard to see in the picture, but this track is filled with a succession of hills in different sizes~ all modeled after the different hills we have been talking about.
All in all, I'm very glad I didn't throw away those old toys after all! You know, everyone says, if you don't use it in a year, throw it away, but our family tends to do things in cycles. When they're bored with one thing, we can always find something new, or even better than new! All it takes is a little organization.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
2. There will always be those doldrum days throughout the year when no one is motivated or inspired - especially the month of January. So it makes sense to just keep going when we're excited and there are still fun things in front of us!
3. With child-led-learning, the whole wide world is school. So we follow wherever our curiosity takes us...
4. ...And our curiosity has so many places to take us in summer!
Summer is a grand time to explore the auspicious forest fires and floods and their effects on different habitats...
To observe a family of robins until the babies leave the nest...
What happens in the compost pile???
Exploring rivers and currents... What happens when you skip a rock across the water?
Collecting rock samples...
Storms. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, rainbows. Observing weather & cloud formations...
Picking delicious wild & traditional foods...
|painting a picture of the garden|
|pipe cleaner bee|
|"pollinating" the flowers|
Friday, June 10, 2016
I am always looking for ways to introduce new subjects to the kids, so when I saw one particularly beautiful and mysterious cloud, I said, "Wow. I wonder what kind of cloud that is." Immediately Fynn came to see what it was and Rowan followed close behind. "What is it?" they asked. They were now curious about clouds. So we went in and researched clouds on the internet together. It turns out that cloud was a cumulonimbus.
We found a cloud identification game online that Fynn liked to play for a while, and I made us a cloud chart to hang on the wall, or to take with us in the car. Now we could identify any cloud in the sky. Fynn memorized them pretty well and made his own chart using a blue table cloth and pillow stuffing. We made cloud experiments with water, stuffing, bubbles, shaving cream and so on.
As the kids' interests turned to other things, I went on in my pondering of clouds. We had learned that clouds are formed by water evaporating, and that it takes particles for the molecules to cling to, but there seems to be so much we don't know. For instance I can make a "cloud in a jar" but I'm really only creating steam or mist. I can't re- create those billowy white beings. I suspect the charges of ions must have something to do with their swirling billowing patterns. Water and wind seem to also have these patterns. And in a rigid, less flowing way, so do continents and land formations! Also, there seem to be so many more kinds of clouds in reality than we learn about in books. I'm still looking for answers to these questions, while the clouds themselves continue to inspire me, reminding me of the past and making promises of future adventures.
I will leave you with this verse from Joni Mitchell:
Flows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
Feathered canyons everywhere
I looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's clouds' illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all