Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Doing it themselves!

During circle time today, I asked the kids to think of a favorite place to explore and play in the woods. Then, using the "maps in our heads" to tell everyone where that place was. This idea of the "maps in our heads" is one which I am particularily fond of. As adults, we all do this everyday-but the TOP kids are putting this resource to use before many children their age do. When we drive around town, we know where to turn and where to go-but kids are just passengers. At TOP the children get the opportunity to lead the group to a special spot. Many of their favorite nature places have names like "where the blue group's pumpkin was" or "the tree stump I sat in" or "the big mud puddle". This isn't any different then Avondale or Redmond Way. It is a place they want to know how to get to.
When we are hiking at TOP, it doesn't take long before one kid or another gets the idea to go off road. Pretty soon the group is headed into uncharted territory. Some times when we go off the path we are surprised where our travels take us. From the unknown to a spot the kids know very well. Some of these off path trails are the kids favorites. 
We had a lot of kids needing help getting over a huge log today. We rarely pick up kids but instead help them to find a spot to put their feet or we show them how to sit on their bottoms to make it a shorter way down. Their thrill at "doing it themselves" is evident once they accomplish their task. And when you take into consideration how tall they are and how big the climb was-well! It is quite impressive what these kids can do!
Our back road travels led us to a favorite stream wading spot and the kids were so glad to see it! They ran up and down the stream-splashing water into their boots- with me knowing that it wasn't too long before their families came to collect them.

The kids were especially hungry for lunch and the fellowship of eating lunch together brought lots of talk about the day. The kids were very curious about some of the old tools on the wall in their picnic shelter. We had a lively discussion about the history of Farrel-McWhirter Park and Farm.

FYI This winter session is over on March 14th. The new session begins directly afterwards on March 19th.
There are 2 weeks off for spring break this year.
There will be no school on: April 9/11/16/18
(Since Teacher Jen and I have children in different school districts)

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