Friday, May 25, 2018

Sci Fri: Hornets & Prince Harry

Sci Fri was completely self-directed today and seemed to be focused on getting up close and personal with local creatures; hornets and frogs. Both of which are in abundance in this neck of the county.

While Mr. M was keen on magnifying dead hornets...

..Miss C was canoodling with 'Prince Harry'.

And demonstrating how he dances before reluctantly releasing him to real-life pond wife.

Peppa & Poppy Portraits: Three Months

Poppy & Peppa 

The piggies in the pen turned three months on the 20th and had their Royal Portraits taken today.
It is not easy to get a good shot of their cute little faces, particularly their expressive eyes. You have to wait until the evening light is just right....

There are only two definite ways to tell these sisters apart.
Peppa is a little longer and Poppy has a pink spot on her snout.
We managed one, decent shot of each.


They are particularly reluctant to harness train and I am personally petrified to pick them up.
There are no better pets than these, but they scream like a small child when their hooves are in mid air.
Here, they are awaiting food treats so we can slip the Figure 8 over their heads!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Lilac Sugar & Simple Syrup

 Lilac Sugar

Lilac Syrup

As a seasonal twist, we are using both of these concoctions to flavour our Kombucha batches.
Lilacs are such a fleeting flower, we thought we should make the most of them while they last.


Lilac Sensory Playdough

Lilac Watercolour

"I love her so much
I never can tell
If she's sweeter to look at
Or sweeter to smell"
~Song of the Lilac Fairy, CM Barker

Sound Map with 'Deer Ears'

Following our Mindful Blindfold, we talked about noises we might hear outdoors and created symbols (Sound Legend) to represent six common noises; birds, wind, tractors, frogs, swaying grass and dogs.
Last week we worked on a View Finder exercise that encouraged us to focus on a specific spot.
This exercise was quite the opposite; we had to use 'splatter hearing' to allow the sounds around us to be located on a Sound Map.
We also spoke about how animals ears are designed for hearing and created 'Deer Ears' by cupping our hands behind our ears to funnel sounds clearly.

Everyone chose a spot outdoors with their Sound Legend.
They marked an 'x' in the center of their map to represent their location.
Then I asked that they draw two or three large items in the area (the yurt, pond, house etc.) to help them map sounds location more accurately.

Mindful Blindfold involved attentive touch, but a Sound Map involves attentive listening.
Tuning in to the sounds of nature, also brings a sense of peace and blocks all the jargon normally racing through our brains.

Once the maps were quite full we noted which noises were heard the most and which regions they were located (birds near the tree's, frogs near the pond)

Basement Windows/Hunker Down. In Big Book of Nature Activities, by Monkman and Rodenburg, they suggest allowing children to wander before calling 'Hunker Down'. At that point, they can focus on nature activity in their direct vicinity or play 'Basement Windows' and flip a log/stone in their area to discover what lays beneath. You can further expand this game by adding Direction Dice, or allowing children to draw/map their findings.

Mindful Blindfold

A little blindfold goes a long way in making us pay closer attention to our senses.
We've been listening to the mindful exercises of Eline Snel with 'Sitting Still Like a Frog'.
Along with the CD, she has written various clever exercises  to bring awareness inwards.
One of them included a blindfold and a Mystery Item.

I asked that even if they knew what the object was, they focus on describing it without giving it a name.

"It's the colour of a raisin."

It was totally a raisin.
Try to find an object they don't eat on a daily basis!