Monday, July 23, 2012

Barnyard Tales 7-18-12

It was a quiet start this week; only three children plus one baby brother. But not for long. Families continued to arrive in a steady stream over the next ten minutes or so until the group numbered 11 or 12 children. 
Some regulars from earlier in the summer returned after being away for a few weeks, these kids were eager to reconnect again after being away--both with the stroyteller and each other. Lots of interruptions to tell me about band aids, owies, and trips to Idaho!!  Even a little kicking episode at one point, firmly nipped in the bud. Thank goodness for the "no shoes in the farm house" rule. 

Read One Bean, a story about a little boy planting a bean seed, and Ten Seeds, a story about the disasters that befell nine of the ten sunflower seeds another little boy planted. The previous week we came face to face with tons of honey bees in the Children's Garden so I shared Jam & Honey, the story of a little girl and a bee who fear each other, but learn they can share the same garden space. Sang "Rudy Luscher Had a Farm" w/animals, but I think the song has run its course. Finally, because children have twice this season reported seeing a dead bird on the farm, I felt we needed to talk about the natural life cycle of all living things. I brought a dead crane fly to show them and read Lifetimes, a beautiful book about how all living things have "beginnings and endings with living in between".  I questioned whether to try that book with this young and restless group, but they settled down and were very attentive as we read the story about all living things dying. One boy said, when I finished, "I stepped on a whole lot of bugs when we were camping and killed them!" That prompted lots of sharing. Maybe I've been underestimating them!! Bagged the story about a grandmother's flower garden with this restless crowd even though I'd gathered most of the flowers in the story. This group needed to move outside!

Henrietta Hen did tell the story of the Golden Worm as promised, but mid-story a little boy interrupted. "What are we going to do now?" he asked. I think that's a 4-year-old's way of saying, "You are boring me to death!!" I'm going to have to work with Henrietta about her story choices as well as her delivery.

We were a beehive of activity in the Children's Garden. Fairy house plants to water; treasures to be dug; creepy, crawly creatures to be discovered under the straw bale and a rotting log; mole hills to be explored; weeds to be dug and pulled; edible flowers to be picked for salad; checking our height compared to a sunflower, and so much more!! Some stayed a good hour or more and that little group found a wasps nest complete with wasps and larvae in a cold frame. Yikes! While we marveled at this nest from a safe distance, we're not eager to share garden space with these guys and suggest an end to their lifetime!

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