Friday, June 10, 2011

Our "Sand-Pie Kitchen"! :)

I realized the other day that I have fallen hopelessly behind on writing anything at all on our outdoor learning!  This isn't because we haven't added new items to our space.  It isn't because we haven't gone outside!  It's simply a matter of managing a camera and numerous small hands holding on to mine...a clipboard, keys and a first aide backpack!
Well, I did it people!  I balanced all of those things and am here to tell about it!  Today was the first day we added our "Sand-Pie kitchen" :)  We decided since it has been raining a great deal of the time here, we would take advantage of the wonderful wet, packed sand in the sand pit!  
 We simply added a few small frying pans, a few cake and pie tins, some wooden bowls,  some tree cookies as the burners and baskets filled with rocks and other natural objects!  We have a bench that sits next to our sand pit, so this became the stove top!
 The children didn't need any prompting to begin scooping and filling the tins and pans with wet sand, packing it down and then adding "toppings" like stones to the top of the pies and cakes!
While some of us were busy cooking and baking in the kitchen, several children were busy looking for bugs in the wood chips.  The children love overturning the tree stumps and digging through the wood chips and dirt to see what is beneath! 
Of course, they were successful!  Here is the poor "pet" caterpillar (really an inchworm, I think) that was lovingly carried around for a good 20 minutes before he was "lost" in the wood chips again!  (I'm sure he was thankful for this!)
Another exciting discovery today was the children's discovery that our bean plants that we thought had died, have not died at all!  The children called us all over to show us that they found full size BEANS on the plants!  We were as surprised as the children were over this discovery!

(Thanks to Meaghan L. for the photos used in this post, as mine seem to be lost forever on my camera phone!)

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