Tag Archive for: Palo Alto Wednesday 2013-2014

Waxing Moon
Thornwood Open Space Preserve

What an incredible and full day.  We have not gone here in a while and since the year is coming to a close it is time to revisit all of our generous and wonderful places that we have spent time with.
As is always the case here, the children listen to the “song line”/land mark descriptions/story and run to find them. After a need to make sure we all stayed close enough by for safety,comfort and coming back when called, the rest of the day went exceptionally! well.   They loved hearing the descriptions and then runnninggg to find the next spot.  They were amazing with how they got it each time.  They needed to watch and hear how the trail went, the story that went with the description and looking for clues that would help them find each spot.  Zac was quite skilled at this and loved finding them straight away.  When we went to Rabbit Run, the place where, if you are very quiet you might see a Cotton tail, they all were silent… silent.  We found many of the rabbit escape routes off the trail and had fun finding so many of them.
We ate fresh bright green Doug Fir tips  and we even ate young spring Thistle, after the thorns got scrapped off.
When we finally made it to our destination they quietly went down the trail to our spot. There they found the beginning of a shelter and that was fun to behold.   I scampered up a tree and, as desired, they followed suite.  Each one of them figuring out how to climb up the Redwood Tree and then slide down by holding onto a branch above, down down until they reached the forest floor.
Zac discovered some GREAT mud and we heard him call to Finn. Then Cole called to Finn to come and walked over to get him. They all know that Finn is the “Mud King” and can really make the best and most round and smooth mud balls ever!  It was so delightful to hear them call him because they knew he would love the mud.  And, he did.
Eden, Ridham and Zara were still climbing the tree while Jill was with the other children in the mud.  The rest of us finally went over to the mud and we all made beautiful mud balls, birds nests and “snow men.”
The rest of the day was filled with different groupings. I believe Zac started the group with Cole and Juliette and Julian going up a big hill and then coming down to get their lunches to eat up top.
The rest were down below eating or climbing.  One by one they all made it to the top, which is no small feat.
Cole found a fluffing out Cat Tail. Juliette wanted to find one. It is a bit out of season but I said, let’s go and I will take you to where some might be.  I also wanted to take them on a great and fun adventure.
At first it was just Juliette and Cole then everyone, accept Zara and Eden, went  on this adventure.   We wound up, climbing down hills on small trails, finding Cattails that were too deep in water, feeling the sprinkling of the gentle rain drops on us, finding the other side of the pond and then having to climb down, over, under and through trees, logs, branches, bushes until they, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?, find Jill, Zara and Eden!
They were thrilled.
Meanwhile, Eden and Zara were having a GRAND time climbing up and up the Redwood Tree with Jill.
When it was time to go there were definetly words of” NO, why do we have to go?”  However, they got it all together and we made our way up the trail.  Now their task was to find the land marks, Backwards!!!
With help and story reminders they found them all and whoosh away they all went at their own paces.
We actually got back in plenty of time to really be with our gratitudes of the day, and they were abundant and carried on for the first part of the drive back.

Waning Moon
Stevens Creek Open Space Preserve

What a fun and beautiful day.  We went straight to this place and began gathering materials to make a fire in order to make natural dyes from tea bags and onion skins.  They all helped gather and then sing the fire awake.
The pots were put on to boil, onion skins and black tea bags put in and as we watched it on and off we also went off to play right where we were.  There is  a creek there and great different ways to get down to it.
Nareya and Jasper fell in much to their surprise and Bosch spent a lot of time with them sitting in the sun on the picnic table.  Nareya ran to me later and said “Wendolyn, Wendolyn, the Sun will get you dry when you are wet!!!!   This was a great difference from when she feel in and cried with tears of being startled from going from fun to WET AND SLIPPEY!!
For me I would say that this day was a day of great confidence building.  Natalie was the leader as she found and then crossed a log that was from one side of the creek to the other.    None of the others went very far with trying it for a long time and then, one by one, after I gave Dahlia two sticks to use to walk across, they each made it over.  Great cheering went on for each and every one.  It was the biggest delight to see fears turn in to radiant smiles of self confidence.
The dye material was finally ready and all but Dahlia and Nareya came over.  They were busy “stealing” the apple chips that we had for snack.   They came later but someone had already put their eggs in.  They didn’t seem to mind when they pulled out their eggs and began to eat them though.
The others had fun putting their eggs in and they were fine with the bland color that came out with them all but me. I knew what they had looked like  last week and I,with some frustration and sadness spoken to Bosch :(, kept wondering why this didn’t work this week and it was so amazing last week!
Again, the children were delighted with the whole day so all was well. They really wanted to eat some of them and yet it was time to scurry off. So some of the eggs went into the backpacks and well, I think they never looked quite the same after that!!
On the ride back and actually there as well, Bosch was being very silly in a way that just gets them laughing so.  He did weird things with his hair and made funny hats with their stuffed animals and  “blankets.”

Full Moon
Foothills Park

What an absolutely beautiful, beautiful day!  Everyone was here as well as Nareya’s Mom and a Teacher in Training.  4 adults to 8 children, YEAH and What Fun!!!
We took our time getting stuffies, books and blankets for their stuffed animals and then made our way to the park.   When we got there they jumped out and began to play and find the Dandelion seed babies to make wishes on and off we went making wishes!  Natalie gave me a lot of them to makes wishes on. Thank you Natalie!   We made it to circle time and it was fun. They ate Bunny crackers and after we had new songs with two of them being all about Bunnies. When they ate their bunnies they felt them wiggle, jiggle and jump down inside their bellies.    Then I read them a wonderful story with such sweet and gentle pictures. The book is  called Rabbits Wedding. As we read it we saw that the bunnies were playing in a place just like we were with Dandelions, daisies and all sorts of beautiful plants that surrounded us. After snack we began to gather and eat the Dandelions, miners lettuce, chickeweed and then they discovered, well Bosch found, the big cones that were right above our heads and at our feet.
For quite some time we moved gently into time and space with ease and grace.   There were games here and there.  We discovered that Anissa is REALLY great at hitting with a bat.  We found these sticks that were great for batting, Japser found a cork that was a really good substitute for a ball and off we went.  Nareya and Natalie had their hand at it but really, wow, Anissa hit it with focused and joyful attention.   We found string on some of these sticks and Dahlia, Nareya, Aurora and Jasper used them to make buildings and stick things.   Bosch was with Nareyas Mom, and eventually all of us ,as they unearthed the Dandelions roots and then grubs and worms.
We had some rousing Hide and Seek games and then I saw a huge nest in a tree above us.  Could it have been a squirrels nest that got squished? Can it be some birds nest?  But wait, Eagles make nests that big but they do not live around here and wouldn’t make it this low.  So Bosch climbed up a tree to get as close as he could to see.  And, all he saw is that it looked like a nest. We were left with more questions then answers and,  as one of my Tracking teachers always shared, it is great to have more questions then answers.  Ones passion can get ignited by seeking  and searching  for the answer.
Dahlia, Nareya and Natalie were having fun playing together. Emme wanted to play with them but they wanted to just be with the three of them for a time so another and happy alternative came about;playing  with me and Aurora.  So, off we went.
Lunch time came. They were all very ready and we all sat together in a circle and ate with joy and jokes.  Anissa took out her rasberries and I began to call them little hats.  Jasper loved this and made hats out of all his food.  Aurora, Dahlia, Nareya and Natalie had a GRAND time sneeking up on Bosch while he “slept” next to the tree. Then there were HAT STEALERS!!!  How could this be. They took Bosch’s, Mine and our teacher friends hats.  Oh dear. They were very excited about this game and Eric joined in. Anissa and Natalie at times switched sides and decided to aid us in capturing back our hats!  All ended right, good and FUN!!
Then pack up and off to the slippey sliddey.   Our two visiting friends had never been there so it was fun for the children to lead them.  They didn’t have a lot of time but with what they had, great triumphs ensued.  Dhalia, though very scared, made it all the way to the top, figure out how to get to where she wanted to be and slippey sliddey all the way down. Her thank you at the end of the day was being so happy for being ABLE TO DO IT!   Anissa made it across a very big branch about 6 ft high that Bosch spotted her on and then wiggle jiggled her all the way back.   Aurora wanted to go but we had to leave so she will be the first next time.    Nareya and Eric and sometimes Emme had a grand time piling leaves over their feet and everyone was just happy and filled with life.   We made our way back to the bus and off we went with joy in our hearts.  Nareya’s Mommy read and then told some stories all the way back.