The children were eager to jump back into explorations after returning from April break. On a rainy Wednesday, the group made a new batch of play dough for the classroom using many dry and wet ingredients. When shown a bag of flour, children guessed what might be inside. One child said: "Sugar!" After a teacher gave the hint that it was white like sugar, but not sweet, another child said: "Flour!" Children passed ingredients around the table to add to a large cooking pot. When we added vanilla to the play dough, children shared: "Smells so yummy!" and "I want to eat it!"
If you would like to make our play dough recipe, please check out the ingredients and steps below:
-2 cups of flour
-2 cups of water
-2 teaspoons cream of tartar
-2 tablespoons oil
-1/4 cup salt
-Several teaspoons of vanilla, or other scent, if desired
Add dry ingredients to a cooking pot. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until well-mixed, then cook on stovetop, stirring constantly, for about five minutes or until solid.
Outside, we explored our playground in many different types of weather. On Monday, everyone played in the dirt and enjoyed running on our dry, dusty playground. On Tuesday, the temperature dropped but no one was deterred from climbing, eating outdoor snacks, or even celebrating birthdays! One child began a birthday game by pretending a cup filled with dirt was a "strawberry cake." She asked a teacher to sing "Happy Birthday" to her. As more children joined, the teacher added more names until she and the group sang to everyone at school! The picnic tables made a great spot for a birthday party.
During our visit to Broadturn Farm, children fell in love with the mud, tractors, and chickens. Stacy showed us how a huge, green tractor lifts its bucket, and one of the toddlers later discovered they were just small enough to fit inside the large tractor wheel. In the barn, we met Clementine, a large brown cow who is pregnant with a calf. Children asked: "Where is her baby?" and many children chose to pet Clementine. Perhaps the biggest hit of the farm was the chicken coop, where one child pulled a fresh egg from beneath a chicken, and where many children ran among the chickens to say hello.
Back at school, one child walked to put his food in the compost. A teacher asked: "Do you think our compost goes into a place like what we saw today?" He replied: "I think a big truck comes, drives it, and drops it at the farm, where we were today, and worms eat it." Another child remembered the pregnant cow and shared: "Mama cow with a baby in its belly!" A child added: "Her name was Clementine!" Another child said, "I saw one baby chick with her mama. She climbed out from underneath." Another child said, "Was a mama chicken and 1, 2, 3, baby chicks. Saw them by the cow's barn." We look forward to hearing what else children remember about this exciting day. We hope families who joined us for this trip enjoyed the discoveries as much as we did!
Please join us on Tuesday, May 2nd at our community meeting to see a slideshow of our day at Broadturn Farm.
Beginning next Monday, we will be starting our days on the playground every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, weather permitting. Please have your child ready to enjoy the outdoors with sunscreen, bug repellent if desired, and outdoor shoes.
As we spend more time outside in the warm and sunny weather, please remember to apply sunscreen before your child arrives at school. Teachers will reapply sunscreen if we go outside after rest time. Please check in our sunscreen basket to make sure your sunscreen has not expired.
Our woods walks in the Fore River Sanctuary resume next week on Wednesday, May 3rd! We still need volunteers for our first Spring walk. If you are interested, please sign up on the Toddler Volunteer Sign-Up page in Google Docs.
Please also be mindful of insects by applying bug spray, if desired, before the school day and packing clothing items such as long pants for woods walks. Other helpful tick prevention tips include spritzing peppermint oil on clothing, tucking long pants into socks, and dressing children in bright colored clothing.
Please check your child's basket of extra clothing for the following items:
We love spending time outside! Because we try to go out as much as possible, we will go out in a drizzle or light rain. Please send your child to school with a rain jacket and boots on drizzly or rainy days, as well as a change of shoes.
We saw, felt, and heard many different things at Broadturn Farm. You could ask your child which animals they saw, what sounds they heard, and what they smelled in the field, in the greenhouses, in the woods, in the chicken coop, and in the barn.
Making Play Dough
Outside: Wet and Dry
Exploring in the Classroom