Palo Alto Tender Tracks Thurs. Oct.17, 2013 Day 14

Huddart Park
Last day before full Moon and Lunar Eclipse

Today we went to the upper part of Huddart Park where there is a sand bar, for a volley ball court, and a great lawn with a wonderful Redwood forest near by.  Jill and I focused a lot on getting plaster casts of their foot prints for the first part of the day ready for them while they dove right into playing in the sand with all kinds of fun that happy four year olds do.
When it came time to make prints of their feet, at first some did not want to do it but, by the end, they all took off their shoes and put a print in the sand. We then poured the plaster of paris on it and let them harden for the rest of the day.   In  order to make the casts work half of them went to get a bucket of water.  They had to do a lot of team work and they came back and described to me all the troubles that they encountered, how they had to fill the bucket up again and how they made it back. Phew, they did it though!!
I got very, very curious about some men that kept coming on the lawn and doing, something!?  They were  putting up flags and measuring ?  They had different instruments too for all of this.  I encouraged the children to just track them: notice what they have in their hands, what do you see them actually doing, where are they going. Can we hear anything they are saying? Can we make any guesses as to what they might be doing? and on and on went the questioning.  After quite some time we went over to ask them what they were in deed doing.   The one man we spoke with was very, very nice and shared with us what their plans were to make the lawns grow well and why the flags were placed the  way they were.   A great tracking expedition we had here for a time. You can play these games too, any where, any time.  Just get curious and notice as much as you can about a situation, whether it be a bird flying near you or the person shopping at your favorite grocery store.   As you might imagine, this expands their brain capacity for learning greatly and, it is a lot of fun to notice and notice and put pieces together like a puzzle all the while just having fun, and under neath it all,  learning so much!
We then went into the Redwood forest because I am really trying to find Redwood cones that are green for dying material.  This year I have not found any!   When we got into the forest the bare feet were not so comfortable so, I taught them how to be like a chicken so their feet wouldn’t hurt: scuff the ground like a chicken in order to find the soft soil underneath.  The children then figured out how to walk in each others footsteps to make it easier and we  walked like this for quite some time.  It was WONDERFUL!  They were so focused, present and intent.
After that fun we played in the area for awhile exploring.  There were three groups. Jill was with some over in the trees searching for cones, Ridham, Liam, and Zac in a special kind of boys club that involved some kind of barrier? that Ridham made and Liam had a hard time getting over it? Ok the story isn’t quite right here but I can see their play in my minds eye!  Zara, Eden and sometimes Zac and Juliet were with me in an area across from the boys. Then all groups switched, mixed and matched and then, it was time to clean up and go. But I am forgetting, I made some more bows and arrows and m ore wanted them but, we needed to go.

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