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  • Melanie Patric

A Day of Outdoor Play (and Some Music)...

Spring is in full swing, and though the foggy morning had us believing we'd be stuck indoors, the sun soon appeared and invited us to play.

We did our usual morning routine and worked a bit more on our "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "I Know an Old Woman" fingerplays, then we sang "Old MacDonald" and "There's a Cow In Our School" to practice our animal noises and names.

Soon after, we headed outside, curious about what would unfold. Our play began in the mud kitchen and sandbox.

The littles practiced scooping and dumping sand and lugging heavy, full buckets of sand from one place to another. Te older kids worked on operating a pretend kitchen and used the potato masher, whisk, and several pans to make "spaghetti," "pancakes," and "hamburgers and hot dogs." Pancakes any time of the day? It sounded like a good restaurant to me!

After that, we spent some time checking out the gardens. There are eight different types of herbs for the children to smell, so we took turns using "nice touches" on the plants and smelling them. The hands-down favorite of all the children was lemon thyme, while lavender and rosemary were well-liked, too. The children's least favorite was sage.

We observed changes in the flower garden beds. The stems of many of the gladiolus bulbs we planted have begun to peek through the soil, and there are rows of hollyhocks growing ever larger in the beds. We spotted some bachelor's buttons seedlings appearing next to the tough marigolds that survived the cold weather from a few weeks ago.

Soon the children spotted the baseball bat and balls, and we had lots of fun tossing and chasing balls and taking turns batting at them. We talked about checking around our bodies before swinging the baseball bat so we wouldn't hurt our friends.

Suddenly a butterfly appeared and the children were off like a shot trying to catch it!

The sound of their giggles as the butterfly eluded them was wonderful.

We settled down to play more pitch and catch when another butterfly swept through the yard... needless to say, running after a butterfly is much more fun than running after a ball.

After a little time spent winding down after all the butterfly chasing, the children settled down in separate areas and spent their time doing what was most interesting to them as an individual. Two of the children thought picking flowers was fascinating; another enjoyed more play in the mud kitchen.

Yet another thought that testing out how far away I would let her get was most interesting... we practiced stopping and turning around at the boundaries of my property a lot!

Some of the children just enjoyed the nice weather.

Later in the day we had a nice time reading Margaret Wise Brown's Wait Till the Moon Is Full, a story about a precocious little raccoon who wants to be independent. We talked about how his mother loves him and keeps him safe. She knows when he will be ready to go outside on his own. We talked about how our own mommies help us learn what is safe for us and what is dangerous.

See you tomorrow!

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