A long time away….again!
What have we been up to?
So much really, but mostly the everyday stuff that doesn’t really make for interesting blogger reading
But, Little Saplings is up and running. We had a five week session which ended this week. It was lovely to meet with like-minded parents and to watch the children become familiar with the outdoor space. It is a lovely spot, down a little wooded trail where we stamp over a bridge (plank of wood really), climb under fallen trees and squelch through mud.
Once we are there, and the blanket is laid out, the children run off to explore. The spot is a riverside covered in sand, pebbles, driftwood and a few shells. Sometimes the rain has made the water level rise which is very exciting. Sometimes we share the space with a fly-fisher which is even more exiting. Sometimes our circle time was ‘interrupted’ by a flock of geese flying overhead.
We are working out a rhythm that works for us as a group. My time spent teaching in a classroom is useful, but I am also learning how to ‘be’ in this outside space. It is challenging, but also freeing. No-one is forced into joining in with anything. Sometimes a child would prefer to play in the sand then join in with our songs. That is just fine. I can often see them sneaking a peak at us when they think I can’t see. They are taking it all in and joining in in their own way.
Our rhythm is fluid, but we start with a time spent in a circle, once most people have arrived. Songs and rhymes that are seasonal and that the children and parents are becoming familiar with. We then go and explore. Somedays the children choose to build castles in the sand. Other days they may want to look into the water to search for tadpoles.
As the morning progresses, and people show signs of wanting snack, I call the group back together with a song. We wash our hands in lavender water (naturally anti-bacterial) and each choose a piece of fruit from the fruit bowl. As we eat snack I tell a short story about Hans and Gretchen. These stories are simple, with repetitive elements, and related to what we see happening in the environment around us. Hans and Gretchen have found fairies in the snow, built boats to float on large puddles, put out wool for birds who are building nests, and planted seeds in the garden.
We then sing a farewell song and draw the morning to a close. Generally everyone stays a bit longer to chat and play!
It is nice and I am seeing how the rhythm of the morning, and the time spent outside, is really benefiting my children. I almost wish we could do it everyday!
Anyway, the new session is starting April 12th. Same place, same time!
***Thank you Zoe for the lovely photographs!***