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  • Melanie Patric

Discovering Uncharted Territory...

During one of our recent trips to the park, another adult told me about a larger park that was just a little further away, and today we set off for uncharted territory to look for the new park.

After changing our calendar over to June and doing our calendar and weather routine, we packed up our snack, lots of water, and some surprises and set off on an an adventure! We spotted so many interesting things on our way to the new park- big, showy iris flowers, a colorful birdhouse in a tree, a house with tons of pink flowers all around, dogs, and many birds and insects. Suddenly, we spotted a glimpse of a basketball court through the leaves of trees, we turned the corner, and there it was- A NEW PARK!!!!!

The children and I walked around the park together and inspected all the elements. Some were familiar- slides, a sandbox, swings, and monkey bars. Others were strange- a merry-go-round, twisting ladders, and little island-like suspended stepping stones that were like a bridge between two sections of jungle gym. We talked about using the new equipment safely, especially the merry-go round, then we sat down to eat our snack before we got our hands dirty. Our snack was especially delicious because we ate it somewhere new.

Once the children finished eating, they set off on their own adventures. One child was especially drawn to a giant green dinosaur (dragon!) ride-on, while another wanted to use the suspended stepping stones. A third wanted to go down all the new slides.

Once the children had settled down and were engaged in their favorite park activities, I buried some "treasure" in the sandbox. I added a mix of glass jewels, seashells, and shiny silver necklaces for the children to dig up.

It didn't take long before the children wandered over to the sandbox and asked me what I was doing. Just then, the gleam of something shining in the sun caught the eye of one child. I encouraged her to grab a shovel and dig, and before long she had unearthed a beautiful necklace to wear.

After that, all the children worked hard digging so they could find the rest of the treasures.

In the end, we counted five pointy shells, five clam-type shells, ten jewels, and three necklaces.

Each child took a turn counting and categorizing the treasures, and each child got to have one necklace.

All too soon it was time to return home for lunch. It was a tough hike back home (one child said it was 50 miles!), but we made it in good time. Long walks and hard play make big appetites and deep rest.

In the afternoon we read several books. The children's favorite was Dr. Seuss' ABC book, and they loved the silly Zizzer Zazzer Zuzz that illustrates letter Z.

See you tomorrow!

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