What a gorgeous, sunny day to gather for stories and songs on the cushiony carpet in the Luscher farm house. And a full house it was with 15 preschoolers, their moms and grandmas!! What fun to see some of the regulars from last summer and fall. My, how they have grown!! Sort of like the weeds in your garden in spring when you turn your back!!
The rooster was crowing loudly as the children arrived so we began with When the Rooster Crowed by Patricia Lillie. A favorite from last season, we call the farmer and his wife in the story Rudy and Esther Luscher. Poor Rudy is really sleepy and doesn't want to get out of bed to feed the animals. The animals complain, the rooster crows and Mrs. Luscher scolds until finally Rudy gets the message. He hops out of bed, feeds the animals and is rewarded with a big stack of pancakes for breakfast. Guess who else was sleepy this morning and couldn't get herself out of bed in time for Barnyard Tales? That hen, Henrietta!! Maybe I can bribe her with pancakes next week! Or maybe she needs a rooster????
With Earth Day just around the corner--April 22--and Luscher Farms bursting with new life--this seemed the perfect day to celebrate our big life-giving home with the poem "Earth Day" by Jane Yolen from The Three Bears Holiday Rhyme Book. "I am the Earth and the Earth is me," it begins and ends. Another poem, Our Big Home, An Earth Poem by Linda Glaser, beautifully illustrated by Elisa Kleven, reminds us that the air, the water, the soil, and other elements that affect and sustain all of us--people, plants and animals--are shared by all who live on Earth. A beautiful poem. But by then we needed to move a bit so we sang "We're All A Family Under One Sky" from the Ruth Pelham CD by the same title.
How can we take good care of our Earth home? We learned one way from a delightful book, Compost! by Linda Glaser. It was fun to learn how one little girl's family turns garbage (even the lima beans her mom wishes she'd eat and her moldy Halloween pumpkin!!) into compost that grows beautiful flowers and vegetables. It's called "recycling."
With all that sunshine, the new tractor was calling. So we sang our tractor song and headed out to the Children's Garden after a quick stop to feed the hens some oatmeal. I don't know which was the more popular, the tractor or the new digging corner. Those diggers truly became one with the earth and no doubt carried some home with them on their hands and clothes!! I agree with Dawn's suggestion to expand the digging corner!! There were some "sharing" lessons going on at the tractor, but all in all, things went smoothly. What fun to pretend you are a farmer, pushing the peddles, steering the wheel, and working the fields!!
As we checked out Oregon Tilth's apple trees, one of our younger ones from last season, a quiet, serious boy, said, "Remember that snake we saw?" I didn't really, but nodded. His mother insisted we'd never seen a snake. He kept quietly repeating his question. I kept nodding, thinking he'd soon forget it. As we entered the Children's Garden he pointed at the worm bin. Once again, he repeated, "Remember that snake we saw?" Suddenly a light bulb went on!!
"In that black bin?" I asked. He nodded. Of course, the worms!! Tiny snake-like creatures!! We'd also seen worms at Tilth's compost bin last summer. We opened the worm bin and held the tiny "snakes." He was satisfied. I told him we call them "worms," but I know I will always see them now through his eyes--as little, tiny snakes!!
See you next week!