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outside ideas – Page 2

outside ideas

Nature is an Important Playground!

Yesterday we headed out to a garden type park near our house! It was a really beautiful day! The sun was shining, the weather was pleasant in the trees, and there was so much for the kids to do. There were giant musical instruments, a natural inspired obstacle course, a bridge over a bubbling brook, a cave to crawl through, and a little play hut! All of this was surrounded by community gardens and a small wooded area! As my friend and I sat there I realized that the kids were SO happy and peaceful. This area seemed to calm them, excite them, and allow them to play without us having to get involved too much. In fact, with my girls, I could have sat there and read a book while they were happily involved in their own explorations. It really made me think alot about the natural playground┬ámovement. There is a group of people out there who have found that playground who use natural materials provide kids with a better chance to use their imagination, and move at the same time. I really do think that there is something to that. If you give a child a stick, it is amazing to see what they do with it. They make it a sword, a spoon, a walking stick…pretty much anything! Just as Maria Montessori discovered, children are draw to a respond to natural products! Nature speaks to their souls and feed their minds. It calms their bodies and inspires creativity. So much from something so simple. In fact I think that most kids need time outside. My girls need me to get them outside several days a week at least (even it there is rain or snow). What do they do? The play, they sit and think, then make things, they find peace. Have you found similar things with your kids? Does going outside seem to make them feel better?

Happy Natural Play Everyone!
I am linking up over at Imagination Tree for It’s Playtime linky party! Stop by and see all the cool things that people are playing!

Bunny’s Garden Update!

Well today we were watering our garden, and on a hunch, I pulled up one of the carrots Bunny grew a while back. They were ready! I called Bunny right over and she was super excited! She pulled out the ones that were big enough and was working so fast she had a whole pile before I could even get the camera! After we got them into the house she washed them all by herself and cut off the tops so she could serve them for dinner! When daddy got home, she was so excited to show off what she made for dinner! They were pretty good and everyone ate them! Even the small people who dont like them!

It is amazing to me how things grow! We just put them in the ground and water them and they grow! Everything in the world just grows! What a beautiful, amazing gift from God! I hope you are having a bountiful harvest if you have a garden, and if not, I hope you are enjoying all the yummy things of summer! ­čÖé

Summer Smiles!

We are in full summer swing here and it has just been wonderful! Both the girls are out having fun in the yard, and I am getting things done around the house! But even though I have been working alot, and we have been home alot, we have still made time for some fun! Here are a few fun pictures of what we have been doing!

So lots of fun here! The summer is a lovely time to spend together and I am blessed with so much together right now! What could be better? I hope that you are blessed with lots of together and fun too! Stop back soon! By Monday┬áI hope to have some pictures of Pup’s Montessori styled bedroom! Happy Summer!

Fraction Action and Oceans of Fun!

Well last night Bunny asked me something about fractions and I offered to pull out my fraction circles if she wanted me to. Well she was SUPER excited about this and begged me to pull them out and leave them on the table for her! So after she went to bed, I pulled them out a brushed up on my fraction presentation! By morning she was downstairs and ready have a presentation before we even got dressed! I was happy that after my initial presentation of the names, she worked with the circles for about a half hour! First she built them all, then she stacked them all up. I guess we are going to be doing a little work this summer after all! ­čśë

Later on this afternoon I let the girls play with their ocean animals in some water! We had a wonderful time filling the bottom of the buckets with sand and adding blue water and ocean animals! They had a blast! Bunny had the Ocean Toob that she bought with her own money! I bought the Coral Reef Toob for the kids since we had no fish for our continent boxes! These are what we used for our fun! After the sand fun, I filled up the kiddo pool and the kids played ocean there too! Learning with play is awesome!

So our day was fun filled and simple, yet it was a great learning day! Summer has been great! I hope your summer is going great too! Happy Learning with Play!

Garden Take Two!

Well as many of you saw, we had a lovey garden all planted and growing beautifully! Bunny and Dad planted it and we were all so excited for when we finally got some fresh veggies. However, sometime in the past couple of days, a strange bug decided to kill our plants!!!!! ­čÖü┬áSo….today we replanted and added a some bug control stuff. What else can you do? Not a fan of all the chemicals, but there is nothing else we could do! So with alot of water, sunshine, and time, I hope we can have some fresh veggies (after we wash them like crazy of course)! Thanks to my Hubbie who worked hard to get it in tonight!

Bunny took this picture for me! ­čÖé

Another really exciting thing that happened this week is the Pup figured out how to pump on her swing! I cant tell you how excited I am for this! I love her, but she will swing all day long, and pushing her got to be a little much! I knew that she was going to figure it out, but I was so happy she figured it out at the beginning of summer! She is over the moon proud of herself and all I need to do is push once! Hooray for her!
Can you see the pride all over her face?

I hope you are all enjoying the outside too (and that your gardens are growing well)! Oh and dont forget to pop by and vote over at Circle of Moms! Thanks to all of your for your support and love! You are the best!

Oceans of Fun!

Today I suggested a project idea to the girls and Bunny thought it was a must! I suggested that they use crayon to draw ocean animals and then we could use blue water color over it to make the water! Bunny loved the whole idea, Pup really wanted to paint! ­čśë So, this afternoon, I pulled out all the materials! Both girls worked really hard on their oceans and they turned out really well! Bunny really drew so many great animals. It was a fun way to see what she had learned from all the┬áthings that we read about! Pup drew a fish all by herself and colored in some that I drew for her. They had a great time!

Here is Bunny;s painting. She included a crab, starfish, sea turtle, fish, sea dragon, and dolphin.

Here is Pup’s. She made a rainbow fish and the orange fish all by herself!
This art inspired more art and they needed to make another one too! ­čÖé After that they just painted! I guess its been a while since did a project!

Bunny’s other art!

Pup’s Art work!

This is the painting Pup made after all the other painting! She did it completely on her own!

Here is Bunny’s free art! This is another ocean scene. Seaweed, octopus, crab, seahorse, etc!
After all of this, Pup got interested in doing some school work! Hmmm…who knew? So I pulled out the shell matching work from a while ago. She really wasnt interested, but both girls loved looking at my shell collection! They each wanted a shell to “keep”.┬á I let them and the next thing I knew, they were getting all the materials out for scrubbing a shell! Bunny helped Pup and showed her how to do it right! They scrubbed shells for a while and then cleaned up all by themselves! I am rediscovering how Montessori isnt about the materials, but about real learning from the child!

So that was our day! Despite all that we did today, it was relaxed and happy! Both girls learned and I was peaceful! Learning at its best! I hope you are all having a GREAT weekend! Happy Schooling!

Plants~ For Big Kids!!!!

*** Dont forget to enter my giveaway here! The more you enter, the better chance to win!***

Today we got right into out plant work this morning! Breakfast was a little earlier today and I really needed to make material for my presentation today (yes you hear me right, I made the material right before I presented)! Our presentation today was about flowering and non flowering plants. I was panicking because I really had no idea what was a non flowering plant (I learned alot as I research this morning)! I thought I needed to find pictures, but then I looked in the waseca masters and I realized that they were all there! I just needed to color them! Whew! I was so happy about that! So while I colored, the girls popped by and wanted to color too! So I printed off the parts of the flower cards for them to color! Pup just colored hers in, Bunny made a book with all the┬áparts! The parts of┬áa flower are something we have gone over a million times, so she knew what she needed. I did add Stomata though, so she learned something! ­čÖé After she made her┬ábook, we┬áwrote out┬áthe work plan for┬áthe day. Like I┬ásaid before, this is working REALLY well for her. We sit down each morning for a meeting and talk through what she needs to do, then off she goes!┬áShe started with handwriting and then I gave her the plant presentation! Finally we did┬áthe stamp game and she read a book. Pup worked on a little bit of this and that.┬áHere are some pictures!



Later this afternoon I took the kids outside and Bunny┬áfound some maple seeds she planted and grew. I was surprised to know┬áthat for the past couple of weeks, she has been planting maple seed in the┬ágarden, watching them grow, then pulling them out since we don’t want to grow trees! She knew so much about the seeds and how they have a seed coat, they start┬áwith a root and two leaves. She knew that they leaves start out looking like the┬ábig ones┬áand when we talked about the dicot and monocot leaves, she knew exactly what I was talking about! I was SHOCKED! She knew so much and it was all self led in the backyard by herself! I guess letting her dig in the garden was a good idea! It was┬áMontessori all the way! She she was telling me this, I was thinking about the Montessori Theory album I┬áhave been reading. The elementary┬áchild is┬ácapable of great intellectual feats and as a Montessori teacher, you need to make sure that they have BIG projects to work on. They need it, they want it, and this looked just like a perfect way to help her have a project! So I told her where we had some┬ácarrot seeds if she wanted to try and plant┬ásomething for real! She thought it was a great idea and after helping read┬áthe package direction, she planted some of the carrot seeds. She was very proud of them and I hope to do some more talking about plant┬áneeds as we go! The planting let to making some seed makers for the plant we have growing! Bunny thought of the design and she made all the pictures herself! I helped her do some of the spelling after she sounded them out! She did her best work she told me! I think she is right!

While Bunny was making her garden markers, Pup wanted to do something too. I gave her a butterfly and some markers and she got to work too! What surprised me wasn’t that she liked doing this, but how long she concentrated on this! For about 30 minutes, she colored with so much focus. Each part of this butterfly, both sides, even the edges were all colored! She even outlined the butterfly shape! It was really awesome to watch her┬áconcentration !!!

So that is what we were up to today!!! ­čÖé Lots of fun and I think that we are getting to a place where the learning is happening naturally! It is such a beautiful thing to witness. Bunny is really starting to think more like an elementary kid and reading my albums has helped me to change how I think and teach! This has made her feel better and this is good for everyone! Don’t forget to enter my giveaway with Montessori at Home! You can enter here. Happy Schooling!!!!!

Soil Exploration!

As promised, I have pictures of our amazing soil exploration today! It turned out to be such a beautiful, very windy day! So after a bit of work time in the basement, we headed out to my husband’s construction yard. We have a bit of property that we use for our business and there is a ton of overgrown land. I thought that it would be the perfect place to dig a hole or two! So we loaded buckets, shovels, and containers in the car and off we went! On the way there, we talked about the different layers of the soil and about the different kinds of soil. We also talked about what makes up the soil. Bunny seemed to retain a great deal of the information! When we got there we looked around at all the different kinds of dirt that was around. There was topsoil, and lot of clay (which is the main type of soil here). After digging around a bit, we got to work making our own representation of the layers of the soil. We started with bedrock, then smaller stones, then subsoil (clay here), next we added some topsoil, and finally we added some organic matter (dead leaves that will add nutrients to the soil). It was pretty cool! Bunny made a small one in a cup.┬áAfter we talked a bit about each layer and how the organic material turns into soil, we dumped out the big one and I offered to let Bunny make the big one again on her own! She did and she got all the layers just right! It was great fun! While we did this, Pup played in the dirt! She was SO dirty and so happy! She was running and grinning and scooping dirt the whole time! Here are a few pictures of our day! ­čÖé

Here we are looking at the different grains of the dirt and the clay.

Here is our layer of the soil container. The second one Bunny made was better, but my camera battery died before I could get a picture!

Bunny really love the clay we dug up! This is what a majority of the soil in our area looks like!

As you can see it was a good morning! All of these explorations came out of the waseca biome study! We learned alot and it has been so cool to see how what we learned about rocks in the fall ties in here! I wish you all Happy Schooling!

Happy Spring!!!!!

Today is the very first day of spring, but it feels alot more like summer here! The temperatures have been in the 80s all week! I had to pull out shorts!!!!! Shorts….in MARCH!!!! Crazy! So to celebrate this very crazy first day of summer, we headed out to the beach for some relaxing fun! That’s right, we went to the beach! It was warm, sunny, and so beautiful out! I was so thankful for this time to sit in the sand, to watch the girls play, and soak up some sun (too be honest, too much sun!!!!! I am lobster red!!!). They had SO much fun playing in the sand! Bunny made a bakery with the sand toys and Pup literally dug in the sand like a dog! She was really into the sensory experience of the sand on her feet and hands! Here are a few pictures of our spring day!

Ahhhh!!!!!  It was a wonderful day and we ended it wet, sandy, and very happy! I hope you all had a wonderful day welcoming spring!!!!!