Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summertime!

It has been a wonderful summer for our ICP family and friends!
Our open Play dates on our playground have been very busy. There has been water play, and digging for gold, many mud delicacies in the mud kitchen, pirates and fairies galore, and even some impromptu art activities.
Twice we picked warm, juicy blackberries to take home.
Some of them did not make it home!

Families have even gathered at local beaches to enjoy the hot summer sun and cool water.
We have practiced our climbing,
and our splashing, swimming, and rock throwing.
These times have not just been for the children, they have been opportunities for parents to connect and share ideas and stories.
One thing that is so great about these summer gatherings is that they are open ended. There is no agenda or schedule. Children can be children, and adults can relax while connecting with each other. They provide opportunities for growing together as a community as we work together to facilitate the children's play.
All ages have been exploring and trying new things.
Happy, happy summertime!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer Work at Farm School


Each season on the farm has it's own tasks. In the fall, it's harvesting and putting the farm to bed for the winter. In the winter, the farm sleeps, and we dream of the warm days of spring. In the spring, our Farm School days are very busy with planting. And in summer our task is to care for the growing plants and provide for them what they need to grow big and strong.
These pumpkin plants we started from seed in the greenhouse, Now we tenderly pull the weeds away from the growing vines, and makes sure they have water.
The potatoes need a little more work, as we help mound the soil around the bases of the growing plants so that the baby potatoes are covered by dirt.
In the summer we work together with the families from the elementary school, as well as with the folks from Educluture and some farm interns. It's a new community coming together to help produce food to feed our individual communities, as well as the larger Island community. It's hard work in the hot summer sun, but it connects us to the land and to each other in a way that helps us all grow.

Summer Play Dates

Every summer we open up our amazing playground to our friends and community for play dates. All ages of children come and enjoy the beautiful and fun play spaces our co-op community has built. Last week I got out our fairy and pirate outside dress up box. It was interesting to see how a group of children of varied ages and in different stages of development shared their imaginations and joined in the play.
An older boy, age 6, played he was a monster, and he played it very respectfully with the younger children. He was not aggressive or too scary. Nonetheless, the younger children, while thrilled with the play, also did some processing about how it was just pretend. There's just something about being chased, or hiding, or sneaking up on someone that is so age old and so much fun!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Death... and life

Our preschool pet rats, Flower and Pink, died recently. We respectfully examined their dead bodies in class.
First, we read a book that helped us understand that everything has a beginning and an end, and in-between is living. We learned that it is often true that smaller animals live shorter lives. Rats usually live about 2 years. It was an interesting discussion, as we looked at and touched the rats.
"We live almost 100 years!"
"They feel cold." We talked about being warm blooded animals.
"When we take off our shirts and go in a cold bath, we'll be cold."
"Let's cut them up and eat them."
"We should bury them."
"Bury them, cause Dad buried a dead chicken."
"And my brother buried a dead bird."
"We buried a dog when I wasn't born."
"Um, remember that time we buried a dead bird?" 
We talked about what we could say to the rats when we buried them:
"Have a nice time."
"Your burying burrow is gone..."
"We love you forever, rats."
"I love you!"
"You're the best rats, ever!"
"I will love you forever and ever!"
We chose a spot to bury the rats in the Wildlife Sanctuary. We placed some stones on top, and we all touched the stones as we said our final goodbye.
"Have a nice time in your dead life!"

Farm School

There is something fascinating to young children about tall grass. Here some has been made into a crown for the Queen of the Farm.

Farmer Betsey showed us how her potatoes were growing.

We planted pumpkin seeds.

These will be put in the greenhouse to grow, and when they are ready we will plant them in the field.

The last Farm School day we brought the Dolphin class. The Orcas were the teachers.


We tasted some sugar snap peas in the field.

Yum!

Time for a little free play in the tall grassy field,

and some rough housing!

The Orcas all had Dolphin partners to help on the farm.

After the Dolphins left, the Orcas planted some flower seeds.

These flowers will bring the pollinators to the farm and help our plants grow.

We made sure to give them some water. All living things need water.

We couldn't resist taking off our shirts to play in the sun. Skin feels so good!


Our skin felt good against Lucy Dog, who came to pick up her girl from the farm.

Father and son, skin to skin.

Visiting the Beach

We always go to the beach when the tide is out.

The beach we visit has many different habitats, from sandy, to kelp forest, to muscle beds, to rocky. We can find lots of different sea creatures.

We also have time to pretend. Land ho!

Here the Orcas stand on the high tide line.

It was a minus 2.5 tide the day this class went. Many creatures were underneath or tucked up beside the big rocks.



Lots of room for imagination!

And for some old fashioned sun bathing!

Mother's Day

It's a tradition at ICP to put on a special tea party for our mothers.

All ages do something special for their moms. 

The Penguin class baked a treat for their snack.

Heart shaped scones with butter and jam.

Yum!

We made tea party hats, and presents for our moms. We wrote about our moms:
"I think I might love her to the planets, and moon, and starts, and sun!"
"She likes me so much, I want to kiss her in the eyeball!"
"I would buy my mom a purse. She would carry me around in her purse."
"I would buy my mom a magic jar. She would turn into a princess."
"My mom is 100 big. Here eyes are beautiful!"
"My mom works in heaven."
"She looks like a big blob of paint because she has a big tummy with a baby inside."
"Mommy's not going to get me ice cream because I pulled all her tulips out."
"I love her infinity- it never stops. It just keeps going, and going, and going..."
"My mom works on the computer because she's texting. She works on her phone."
"She 'Sharks' the bathroom."
"I love her twice as more as my dolls in my room!"
"My mom told me she was gonna have a nap after she dropped me off at school."
""One time my mom also put a microscope up to what we thought were tadpoles, but they turned out to be mosquito larvae."
"For fun my mom sleeps with me."

Cheers, Mom!

This girl's mama was working, so her Nana came.

We love our moms!