Tag Archive for: Palo Alto Tues/Thurs 2012-2013

Waning Moon
Foothills Park: The Island

A cold, cool, dark skied, warming, changing Fall day.
Jill has been bringing in some wonderful books to read on the bus and they have soaked them in, well all but Liam who wonders why she keeps reading stories. I think Zara likes it the most or rather she is the most vocal and interactive with the tales and the rest just say that they want to hear.  When we got to Foothills Park Cole, Liam and Zac jumped out of the bus and ran up the hill in front of us just because they wanted to goooooooo.  I gave them a cap as to how far they could go and they plopped down way up the side of a hill and began to play.  Serena and I down below began checking out the Toyon Berry tree and the rest went to the bathroom with Jill.
All but the boys on the hill came to circle.  The rest of us began to play with the Maple tree’s whirly swirly seeds that have wings!
Then we sat down for circle but oh yes, first we sang our directional song.   The boys were more up for playing and they had a choice to join the circle with snack or go play. They chose circle. The rest of our songs were sung, snack was eaten and then a story about Peter and a Pumpkin that he made into a house for his wife.
We took them on a long journey to get to the Island.  Cole, Liam and Zac found great big sticks to play with and there was some discussion about how to walk with and how to use them.  They all agreed to this and off we went up a trail.  Along the way as we looked down we could see the water and the pond and the dock that once we had played on and put our feet in the water.  The trail kept meandering and then around and down and they had to find their way to the Island along this unknown path.  With some noticing, remembering and figuring out they finally figured out how to get to the Island.  They found the right trail and off we went to see if we really were on the right track.  Sure enough, they found the water, went on to the Island and happy we were.
Zac, Liam and Cole were really into getting wet and each in their own way wound up doing that. Zac really got wet so Jill walked back to the bus with him to get him some warm clothes.  They went the short way back.  While they were gone Julian needed to poop so he, I and Juliet went to go do that.  As soon as we went off the rest of them all got together and ran off to play Hide and Go seek.  They counted and counted with each other and finally some did the running away part while the others did the finding.  They all created great games on the hiding rocks there and had their usual families.
During lunch I pulled out my walking map maker book.   Juliet, Julian, Ridham and Zara all made maps and told me what to write with each drawing they made.    The children also found wondeful Toyon berries to play with and they had fun watching the Coots swiming on the water.  Liam feel in the water, I was told, and got his pants wet so Jill and he went to go get changed just there on the Island. He had extra clothes with him.   Cole decided to just step into the water so only got his feet and a part of his pants wet, so we changed his pants.  Jill was doing all the clothes changing today!
The Sun finally started to peek out by days end and give some warmth.
I read a Halloween story that I forgot that I had in my pack all month and Serena and Juliet wanted to hear it over and over.  The other children would come in and out and listen.
Cole and Julian found a great worm that they loved to play with and wanted to take it home but, we did need to leave it in it’s homeland so Julian made sure that happened.   Zac saw some great Deers and Bucks while coming back from getting changed.  Ridham had a fine time fishing with a wonderful fishing pole he found/made.   Eden did extremely well today considering Zara only wanted to play with Juliet.  They made some friendly agreements and she knew that she was going to play with her afterschool so, in Eden’s typical kind hearted and easy going way, she moved on and Serena asked if she wanted to play with her. So the two of them did that.
A sweet, Fall day.

Day 4, 2013
Waxing Mon
Rancho San Antonio

Zac was absent today and we sent him thoughts of Health and Happiness.
We had a peaceful and joyful departure as we made our way to a new adventure.  When we got to Rancho San Antonio we had our circle.  They seem to do very well, and it is more in flow with them, to adhere less to a true circle and more to the movement that the childrens bodies wish for.  So, circle time is more like, movement time.  Half way through singing, it has been that I play the occarina at least three times.  Each time they are a different type of animal: slow, fast, their favorite….Then they come back in to a circle or just come back together to sing the rest of our songs.  Right from the first circle song what they love to do  is  to go into the middle and be sung around.  One will go in then another then another until only maybe two are holding Jill and my hands.  But then, one by one they come back out again to be in the circle. Then sitting down to eat snack and hear story is easy and they are all present.
When some of us went to the bathroom at the beginning, Jill and the rest found a dead mole.   When my group got back we joined their questionings.  Ridham noticed the holes in the ground and said it must have come from one of them.  We did not see any puncture holes in the body and wondered why it died at all.  Zara wondered what the word puncture meant.  I explained.
After circle the other children realized that they had to go pee so off they went with Jill.  Liam, Cole, Julian, Zara, Eden and I went to the bridge to see if there was any water under there.  NO WATER!  We waited and waited and then, Liam needed to move his body and Julian said, “Can we go play under that tree?” pointing to a wonderful Oak not far down the trail.  They went to explore there and when the others came back,  “Oh dear, Where are the other children?” I said. “They were just here and now they are gone. Can you help me find them?”  And so we went down the trail and…..THERE THEY WERE, UNDER THE TREE!!!!   As I looked up I saw an old nest. Was it a birds nest that was large or a squirrels  nest?  Though there were small and bunched branches everywhere I hoisted my self up to see.  It was a large and old/lot’s of spider webs in there, birds nest.  I came down and this opened the way for Cole to scamper up the tree that we were under.  Others really wanted to do the same and spent the next hour or so working at getting up it and taking turns.  Liam LOVED being up in the tree with Cole and Cole LOVED just laying and sitting on this tree with, what looked like, deep contentment. Julian really really wanted to get up there as well as Zara and Eden.  After quite a bit of time I requested that Liam and Cole make their way down so the others could find their way up.   As much as they didn’t want to they were very congenial about getting down for the others.  Julian went up first with help and LOVED it as well.  When it was the girls turn they took turns finding their way up and enjoying it.  All the while Ridham and I played down below and Serena and Juliet were with Jill eating, playing, laughing and exploring.
It seemed, after a while, a good time to carry on so I gave them a rhyme in order to find our next destination. A rhyme which I can not recite for you as I make them up on the spot. However, it lead them to the Great Grandma Bay tree with the fence that surrounded her.   When we got there “Why does she have a fence around her?” and “What does she drink up?”   I gave them a story, true it was, about why the fence was there. You see the Guardians of the Open Space there know that Grandmother Bay’s roots go deep and spread wide.   This is how she gets her food. She DRRRRRRIIIIINNNNNKKKKKKKSSSSSS up all that she needs that goes right into her branches and leaves all the way to the top.  She has been getting older and her roots wider. When people step on them she cannot drink as well and she may die if her roots get stepped on too much so, a nice fence was put around her to protect her.  “Oh, they said,” with quizzical minds fast at work putting this story in the proper order.
I then jumped up the fence to see if I could walk and balance along.  Cole loved this, and in the same way he took my lead with climbing the tree, so he did with the fence.  From there on out he spent the entire rest of the day working on walking as far as he could around the fence without falling.  Each time he would fall he went right back to his starting place to begin again.
Liam did this with him for awhile but was not gaining anywhere near the pleasure nor did he have the focus that Cole did so he abandoned this and went to play with the other children.  However, now and again he would come back and want to play something else with Cole. Cole was not interested and some unpleasantries happened within their friendship.  So, an “I dont’ like you party” ensued with pretend cakes, appropriate frowns but alas, how long can one keep that up for??!!!!  I did a retelling of a great story my Maurice Sendak that is perfect for this age called “Let’s be Enemies.”  All the children were wrapped up in it.  Well, because they can RELATE!!!
While Cole was busy with the fence, Serena, Juliet, Ridham and I were coloring in the nature book that I have and Ridham was making himself like a Houdini Gymnast on the fence!!! The other children were off exploring the creek with Jill. They climbed and scaled trees, went over to the other side of the dry creek bed and were happily exploring.  Ridham and Liam were back and forth between both places and Julian was the one who instigated this exploration.
We all made our way back and happily rode on to Eleanor Pardee park to be picked up.
Another beautiful day.

Day 69
Waning Moon
Hand Car Wash & Stevens Creek County Park

Miu was back and Kaden was gone.  It was a GREAT delight to see Miu and she was in wonder filled spirit!!!  She was very happy and loving being with her friends.   We all got in the bus and took our time with getting just the right stuffy and then off we went.  There were songs and games played coming and going.
We were all excited to wash Ganesha/ the bus clean and discover how white it really is.   They got all their towels for washing, I put my card in and then  WWWWHHHOOOOSSSHHHHHH out came the water and peels of laughter and giggles came about.   Some wanted to get wet and others not so much but fun they had as I wet the whole bus and then got the soapy brush and began the true washing.  They all followed behind me and some sang the washing song “washing, washing all the dirt away, washing washing all the dirt away….”   Jill scrubbed the other side as it is very vigorous work to do this!! and we continued to scrub and scrub until it was time to RINSE again.  Rinsing, drying, blow drying and the like took place and then came, the inspection!  They looked at every side of the bus and gave it a thumbs up for a job well done. And it was!
Then into the bus and off to the park we went.  When they got there they were so happy just going right to the creek. I brought out the shovels, pails and hammers and away they went.  Paul and Taz got really into digging a big hole and by days end they all were involved with digging, putting water in and MAKING MUD BALLS!!!! Giselle, Taz, myself, and Paul really had a good time with this yet everyone else were all playing in different ways with the mud.
We watched what happened when we threw our mud balls into the water.  We felt many different textures and compared what it feels like depending on how much water and dirt we put together.
Taz was delighted when he made it across the creek with Paul and Alice.  He was very scared at first but then, he made it!!  The three of them went back at the end of the day to get Paul’s shoes and they walked across again with such ease and delight.
The big part of the day was when Emme’s Mom came to visit for lunch.  Emme was so delighted. She ate and played with us all for about an hour and then had to go but Emme was not keen on that.  It’s a good thing Mom knows her daughter so well because she set her up in a sweet little bed on a hill and there Emme stayed content.  Aoife came to visit her later on and then she stayed there for the very last part of the day oh well, she left for a little bit of mud play.
A very peaceful, easy, joyful last day.