May 10, 2019
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!