Monday, April 29, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Movable Forest

We are starting to get a hint of spring around here. The sun has been shining for the past couple of days. It is clear that even though we woke up to a couple of inches of fresh snow this morning- spring could really be on the way!

Rediscovering the Mud Pie Kitchen

In addition to discovering all of our spaces that have been hidden under the snow for months- we have started to assess what needs to be repaired, reworked, and make plans for new components in our outdoor classroom.

One of the things we started (and I what I mean by started is- we bought the trees) last fall is our movable forest.  A movable forest? Yes- a movable forest. Last year at the U.P. Early Childhood Conference I had the opportunity to meet and hear Rusty Keeler speak. (If you are not familiar with Rusty's work, I encourage you to hop on over to his website and check it out!) Rusty does a lot of work with natural playspaces and he reminded - me that young children have a very different perspective. They do not need huge tall trees to have a forest- planting dwarf trees and shrubs would suffice as a forest! 

So, when the trees were marked down last fall- I started our soon to be movable forest. At a couple of dollars per tree, I thought- why not?  Rather than planting the trees in the ground, I found a couple of pots and our forest will remain a movable creation that the children can manipulate. I know that eventually- the pots will need to be bigger and the weight will be too much for any one child to manage on their own. However, that will be the perfect opportunity for team work and encourage social skills.

For now, our trees are quite small, and make the perfect mini forest! We haven't had them in the play area for long, but the children are already moving them around as they see fit.

As the weather continues to get warmer and the snow continues to melt- stay tuned! I am so EXCITED about our plans for the outdoor classroom this year :). 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My 3rd Blogiversary!

Can you believe that this blog has 
been existence for over 3 years now! 
(That means that people have been reading about this lady with crazy hair for almost 1000 days!)

I know I haven't always been super consistent, but I keep plugging along!

To help celebrate 3 years of sharing- 
I thought I would share 3 TOP POSTS- 
based upon various characteristics! 

what are your 3 favorite blog posts?
I'm taking a poll on our Facebook Page
- and I'll post your results next week!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

2013 UP Early Childhood Conference

I'm home- recouping from another AMAZING weekend at the UP Early Childhood Conference. I spent the entire day yesterday with Lisa Murphy aka The Ooey Gooey Lady! (I know you're jealous!) Great conference sessions- great conversations- and she even took some amazing photos of my "Sense"ational Learning Fun workshop session! Most of the time- I am so busy with presenting that I forget to take photos or ask someone else to.  (You can see all of the photos on her Facebook Page)

This is one of my favorites- We put slime/goop/gak/putty/flubber (whatever name you give the substance made with water, borax, and glue) on top of my pvc pipe and peg board contraption (inspired by Tom of Sand and Water Tables).... We let it sit and TA DA! 

Here is a video of our turkey baster and plastic shot glass projectile!

I also realized today that those of you hoping to recreate our sand and water table- that the plans in the handout are for a previous version..... 

So, watch the blog this week for more detailed explanations on 
the dimensions and how we put the latest version of 
our pvc pipe and cement mixing tub table together! 

You can read more about our hydraulics station in an older post here.
(That was also inspired by Tom over at Sand and Water Tables)

I was also privileged to spend most of Friday with Georgean Johnson Coffey (and James Coffey too!) We were so busy with our workshops and chatting that we forgot to get any photos taken together- we'll have to make that happen next time! 

I'm super excited to have some new music to share this week!

I'm off to enjoy the rest of the weekend! 

Don't forget- you can find more photos when you follow me on Facebook too!

My friend died

 I learned a hell of a lot from Dan Hodgins.  He was mentor, a friend, and a "bone shaker" for many of us in the field of Early Ch...