Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Tour

One of my favourite days of the year is when we visit Shamrock Farm’s
                                     Pumpkin Patch. 
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Last night we had a really bad wind and rain storm and I thought this morning would be the same.  But we woke to clear skies and the sun shone for us, yay!
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   As the families arrived they had an opportunity to do a scavenger hunt.
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Searching and tallying how many pumpkins, witches, scarecrows, jack o’lanterns and
             spiders they could find.  They didn’t see any scarecrows.
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Shannon, the farm owner shared a variety of pumpkins; batwing, little boo,
                               porcelain and fairytale.
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She also showed us a piece of pumpkin vine with the blossom still attached
              which led us to learning where our pumpkin comes from.
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I set up a story walk for the families to read explaining how a pumpkin grows.
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  The families read each picture as they walked the lane leading to the field.
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                  We each found our pumpkin.  Then we found more.
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A little pumpkin like Shannon showed us and a rotting pumpkin with lots of seeds.
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                  Love the pumpkin patch.  Thanks Shannon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Lesson from Slow Slime

This morning we made slime (the kind with borax) and coloured it purple.
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I set out a tray of materials for the children to use with the slime.  Over the summer I collected silver containers for display. I like that they are different heights and sizes.
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     But the lesson came when one child joined the table.
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The boy on the left joined the table and proceeded to take the slime out of the container.  I suggested he pull it out with his fingers but he continued his way and this is what I discovered.
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I started taking pictures of him as he began to shake the container.  After I made my suggestion I was going to leave but something in his expression made me stick around and continue to take photos. 
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Watching I thought he didn’t want to touch the slime but then I realized he was taking his time and exploring the slime in a different way then the other children. 
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He was patient and curious, noticing how the slime changed from a solid to a dripping form.  How, as he continued to hold the container upside down, the slime started to stretch and become thinner until it finally plopped on to the table.
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From him, I learned to slow down and take my time.  I remembered this lesson shortly after as we were cleaning up.  Sometimes I can rush through activities and be careless but I slowed down and focused on each task rather than bustling through each one.  I felt much calmer after and ready to move into our next activity.

Monday, October 20, 2014

This Week’s Baking

I really enjoy baking with the children.  They have the choice to help so the ones that get involved really want to be there.
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This morning we made Pumpkin Buckle from Taste of Home
It is delicious and tastes like pumpkin pie.
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I chose this recipe for the pumpkin but also because it has a lot of ingredients which means each child had a lot of turns of scooping, pouring and stirring the ingredients.
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This child had her first experience cracking an egg open.  She was nervous about trying so I offered to help.  She was surprised to have egg on her hands after the cracking.
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I’m sure I mentioned before how beneficial it is to have all the parents and grandparents involved in this program.  They know their child the best and are able to step in and help or to stand back and allow their little one to try on their own.
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The pumpkin smelled good and was a bright orange colour until we whisked it
with the eggs.
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The recipe is made in three levels.  The first is melted butter, the second is the cake batter and the third is the pumpkin.
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As I was pouring the pumpkin mix into the pan, the little boy asked if he could taste it.  Since the bowl wasn’t going to be used again I said sure.  I felt pleased that he was adventurous to try and it encouraged the other children to try too.
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The recipes take about 50 minutes to cook so I came prepared with a baked Pumpkin Buckle so the children could try it right away.
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           As I said, it is delicious.  Finger licking delicious.