May 14, 2019
Waxing Moon
Deer Park

Josie was absent today.

Well, the day had a small twist in it. We were going to go to Sorich Park.  Last week we were planning on going but when I was planning the week I discovered that the road to it was completely full of construction. This week, I did not check and assumed it would be finished enough to go. So, in the bus and off we went but….when we got to the road it was blocked/closed at the end of the road and therefore we could not pass.

So, we pulled over and looked at our options with Ruby and I deciding.  But first, we wanted to discover places that they would like to visit before school ended as there are only 7 regular days left.  I took out our book and made a list and from there, we went to Deer Park. This is a place that they have always enjoyed and we have gone very rarily this year.

When we got there it was indeed delightful.  The boys went instantly back to spots they remembered and Ellie and Luna played, all day, so sweetly and cooperatively together.  Very warming.  Ellie went to play with the boys after awhile and Luna joined but for only a bit. She discovered many Bay nuts on the ground and engrossed herself with deep curiosity about them.

We had circle, snack, we played our Rabbit fingerplay songs, came back to circle, had Eamon share with us about the weather and watch it radically change within a five minute span.  Then, off they went again with DEEP explorations and discoveries.

Eamon was in 7th heaven when he found a tool/two sticks, that aided him going up and down the hill. He said “I am a Mt. Climber!” with extreme pride and delight.   As we began our adventure away from this hill he said ‘Will we be able to climb more Mt’s?’  He very much wanted to make sure that the hill he was climbing would just keep following us.

As we walked down this trail Theo and Holden were up ahead with me.  I heard a Spotted Towhee alarming, quite a bit, and really wanted to see it and have them see it.  We started to get quiet and to slow down. This still doesn’t make a lot of sense to Theo, the slowing down part, yet Holden encouraged him.  We started to see the Towhee flit through the ground brush when Eamon came by and wanted to play with Holden. Holden asked him to be still three times and then, I am not exactly sure what happened but then Eamon cried and cried.  When simply validating each one of their feelings and desires Eamon’s response was so precious, he just wanted to Holden to do what HE was doing and, Holden just wanted the same from his perspective.  I smile here as the children’s brains still have not activated the part where they can have two feelings at a time so, when what they want gets thwarted such BIG tears arise for the loss of what they wanted. This happened for all of them throughout the day today as they played and worked with what they wanted with and from each other.  Oh growing up takes such courage and is a valiant endeavor!!!

As that got resolved we kept walking. It then became Holden, Theo and I again. All of a sudden Holden said “when are we going to be there?”  and right then, he said, “There it is!”  His body knew where the place to leave this trail was and how to get to the next place was. For me this was exciting as we have been, quietly as teachers, working with Body Radar or trusting your body to help you find places and things.  Here it was in full action, our inherent  and organic ability to feel and sense things!

Earlier on the trail, when we first started out, Ruby found a Ca. Hazelnut tree. It had some nuts from last years crop.  I opened one and we all got to eat it. WOW so YUMMY! The new spring flowers are just showing and the nuts are in their very young stage. We can’t wait to come back to harvest some of them come the right time!

We finally made it to our intended destination, the Old worn out fort. But first, it was lunch time so, we sat down and ate lunch and then, went to the “fort.”  Truly run down it was and they got to pay close attention to what was safe and what was not.  There was a bouncy part that they thought was so fun to jump off of “like a diving board” from this great ship!  Ellie had to poop so Ruby took her to go do that while I stayed with the rest of them.  Fun games we had and then, by the time Ellie came back it was indeed time to go.

Going back I found a feather. They all wanted it, accept Ellie, so a challenge came upon them: stalk all the way back in total silence and win the feather. But alas, NO ONE could fully do it, though they DID give great effort to do so!  And, what does that mean??? We get to practice again and again and again!!

We drew our picture of the day and remembered the things that warmed our hearts so from the day and then took our short drive back to Peri Park.

May 10, 2019
Waxing Crescent
Lake Lagunitas

 

We started our day in the sunny meadow near the climbing tree and jumped right into some big stick play. Miles turned his stick into a baseball bat after he found a wiffle ball in the tall plants. Blake, Miles and Rohan took turns throwing the ball and hitting it and running makeshift bases. Later, I pitched to Miles as he hit many line drives and home runs!

The children all had time climbing in and out of the big Redwood tree and running back and forth from the Raccoon Home. Charlie used some of the newly mown grass to create a soft nest for a woodland animal.

At snack time, we celebrated Rohan’s birthday with a special treat and the story of his many adventures so far, with lots of wishes for future fun and friendship. Many bugs joined our snack circle, including Spider and Beetle. There is so much life buzzing and crawling in the springtime!

The children each closed their eyes and reached into the bag on animal symbols to pull the one that chose them. Violet and Charlie were Raccoon Earth Guardians, collecting litter in their Earth Bags. Margot and Miles were Rabbit Guardians of Safety, carrying first aid kits to help friends that get hurt. Rohan and Blake were Banana Slug Snack Helpers, distributing hand sanitizer and folding snack mats. Siena was the Raven Weather Watcher, using the feather stick to report the movement of the wind and her sharp eyes for tracking clouds in the sky and the location of Grandpa Sun.

We went adventuring up the spillway steps and Charlie’s ever keen eyes spotted a small banana slug on the steps that everyone else had somehow missed! Up at the Lake we spotted large tadpoles in the water, small fish swimming in the shallows, and turtles were sunning themselves farther out.

We headed across the dam and up the stone steps, passed Baby Tree and onward to our Pirate Ship fallen tree. Lots of turtles were in the upper branches that dip into the water and the children immediately shucked their packs and scrambled up the trunk into the roots that serve as the Pirate Ship’s main deck. Siena, Violet and Ruby went on an herb walk to find some Yerba Buena and Fir Tips for tea, and as they followed the trail to a another spot near the lake, they did a coyote howl and wave, and all the Pirates gave a coyote howl and waved back!

Later we looked for sticks to make our own Weather Sticks and whittled on them with sharp rocks. After practicing for a bit with a rock, Violet practiced with Ruby’s knife (and close instruction.) Many children are practicing the whittling skill with rocks, hoping to graduate to a real knife.

At lunch we played “I Spy” and afterwards we played the game; Animals Anonymous with a blindfold and friends making animals noises to guess. The children got excited to share this, and other games, with family members that might visit program soon!

On our walk back to Juniper Rose, we looked for more herbs for tea and sticks for whittling. Many children tried climbing the steep trail up the hillside, some even with bare feet! Siena spotted a large lizard, too!

Back on Juniper Rose, I spritzed the children with water and fanned them with feathers to cool off and when all friends were buckled, we shared our gratitudes for our picture of the day. There was much to appreciate, including; the sun and sky, a lizard, a pirate ship tree, baseball, a slug, and plants!

May 9, 2019
Waxing Moon
Roys Redwood

Josie absent.

Today was a bit of a funny day in that we had “visitors” all day.
When we got to Roy’s they immediately jumped out and went to play.  The bouncy tree was so much fun, the hiding spots in the Redwoods, climbing over logs, making grand homes and running throughout the area.  There are many trees that fell this winter and some right near our beloved bouncy tree yet, not ON the tree so no hinderance there. Poison Oak was formidable so throughout the day there was a lot of REALLY looking at the leaves and knowing them as well as the difference between Poison Oak leaves and Berry Leaves.

During circle the teenagers from the near by school came through.  Luna was her usual friendly and welcoming self to them. She thought it would be so fun if she could be with them and play with them. Alas, they were near us only for a bit and then when their teacher arrived off they went. 🙁

After circle we stayed in the area just for a bit and then gathered our belongings and up the big hill to get to our usual path. Our old path was covered by fallen trees.  So, as I said, up the hill above the bouncy tree, over and around and down and then, where do we go???  They found their way and different ways.  We played many Hide and Go seek games, finding puddles, Banana Slugs, wet ground, dry ground and lot’s of scat of bird, worm and other.

And oh yes, before we left for this adventure Will, who has substituted at Tender Tracks, was on his way somewhere else but saw the bus so stopped and stayed with us until right after lunch!  He was VERY welcomed.  And, this time, the boys got to play with him.  I heard last time Luna REALLY liked playing with him and the boys did not get as much time with him.  This time however, he divided himself a bit and all the children were happy for this.

We finally made it to our usual place and began to explore the other bouncy tree and inside the big Cathedral.   There were also lot’s of trees that were down over here too with yellow tape keeping us out.

When we were eating lunch there was a Mother, her daughter, who seemed about 4 years old and their little baby.  The little girl really wanted to play with the children and finally joined us. Theo was exceptionally welcoming and thought it would be grand if her whole family joined us on the bus when we were to go home!

While they were all playing together there was a big buzzing sound. It turned out that the woman’s husband was playing with a drone.  The boys were extremely interested in that so I went with them as we searched the sky and land for this loud wonder.  We found it and then  the man showed them how he made them.

We then went back to the others and then went on a long adventure back home taking breaks playing Hide and go Seek and discovery.  The family came with us all the way back to the bus and there we parted ways.
In the bus we shared our thank you’s and oh yes, I plum forgot, when they got on the bus first thing in the morning they got to pick out a stuffed animal that would be their friend for the day. A friend that they could take with them, outside!  The story of the day was one that some of them really know from my CD called  How stories came to be.   When we got back on the bus they whispered their stories of the day to their friends that they took with them.

Theo had by chance brought his own stuffed animal that day so he brought that. At one point he thought he lost it and was so very alarmed by this. We were about to go on a big search when, he PULLED it out of his pocket!  Oh how happy he was.  Ellie didn’t want to have a stuffed animal friend and Luna and Eamon had two; one for the bus and one with them for the day.   Also, at circle time we all whispered what we wanted for the day into a very special felt ball and then put it in the dreaming box of Trilly Trully and Trippy Troopy.

Another fine day indeed.