Natural Childhood Newsletter for the Week of June 9

*reposted from my mailing list, found here

A Note from Me to You
Oh, it feels so good to be writing to this list again! Looking at the archives, I realize that I’ve been writing this ever since my first little guy, Michael, was a baby. He’s a big eight-year-old guy now! It’s hard to believe. I haven’t always been faithful in writing to this list, but I do notice than when I write, it helps to center and ground our routine. Thanks for sticking with me! And remember, when the list has dry spells, there’s always the archives, found here:

I’m going to start off slow this week!

Circle Time Fun
We’ve planted our garden, but we seem to be plagued with cabbage-eating bunnies. Katie Grace, however, is fearless, and we often hear her out in the yard yelling at the rabbits to move on. In honor of her, we’ve been having a summer garden/bunny munching story time. Some elements of this circle include:

Oh, John the Rabbit–a call and response song
Oh, John the Rabbit! (Oh yes!)
Oh, John the Rabbit! (Oh yes!)
You have a mighty bad habbit (Oh yes!)
Of jumping in my garden (Oh yes!)
And eating all my cabbage. (Oh yes!)
You ate my potatoes (Oh yes!)
And sweet potatoes (Oh yes!)
And if I live (Oh yes!)
To see next fall (Oh yes!)
I won’t plant (Oh yes!)
A garden at all. (Oh yes!)

Bunny, Bunny
Bunny, white bunny
With ears so tall.
Place pointer fingers beside head.
And your two pink eyes
And a mouth so small.
Make a small O with mouth.
Wiggle goes one ear,
Wiggle one finger.
Wiggle goes the other.
Wiggle the other finger.
Hop, hop, hop, hop
Home to your mother!
Hop away in four hops.

Sing a song of sunny hours,
Dreaming with the bees and flowers.
Sing a song of babbling brooks
Dancing on by shady nooks.
Sing a song of softest breeze,
Blowing gently through the trees.
Sing a song of joyous light,
Making all the world so bright.
Sing a song of happy praise,
Thanking God for sunny days!
from the Wynstone Press Summer book

Also some of the gardening songs found in Mary Thienes-Schunemann’s This Is the Way We Wash-a-Day.

What Can You Do with a Fairy Tale?
Not exactly a fairy tale, but we’ve been keeping with the summer bunny theme by reading the Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit stories. You can see some of her earlier sketches here:

Make a pom pom rabbit with directions here (just add bigger ears and a different tail):

Make felt bunny ears for dress-up play.

Learning Together
Since we finally have beautiful weather, we’ve been going on lots of neighborhood walks. This has led both Katie Grace and Nicholas to try to re-create our neighborhood in various ways–through dramatic play and dress-ups, by drawing “maps,” creating various landmarks with blocks and other building materials. We take the time to stop and visit and chat with the various community helpers. Visiting with the corner store owner led to several days of playing “shopkeeper;” chatting with the mail carrier has caused the children to write or draw letters for one another and deliver them to each other’s bedrooms, always a great surprise.

We might try a TREASURE HUNT!
On index cards, draw freehand, glue pictures from a magazine, or print computer-generated pictures of things in your home. Make about a half a dozen for youngest players and a dozen for kids ages five or older. Draw on each clue a directional arrow to indicate on top of, under, beside, etc. Wrap up the first card to give to your child as the first clue. Hide the second clue near the item pictured on the first card. Hide the third clue near the item pictured on the second card, and so on, until all the clues are hidden. Make sure to hide a treasure (a gift, a coin, small toy, food treat, etc.) near the final item. Send your child on the hunt with the first clue! You may need to help a young or first-time hunter “read” the clues and follow the directions, but soon, she or he will become an expert.

Arts, Crafts, and Handwork

Stir Up Some Sidewalk Chalk

It’s easy to make your own sidewalk chalk in a rainbow of colors.

Ages: 3-10

Time Required: Less than 1 hour to make; overnight to dry.

You’ll need:

· Several empty toilet paper rolls

· Aluminum foil

· Plaster of Paris mix

· Dry tempera paint

· A small disposable container that will hold about a pint (such as an empty plastic margarine tub)

Making the Chalk

1. First, take several empty toilet paper rolls and tightly cover one end of each roll with aluminum foil.

2. In a small disposable container (such as an empty tub of margarine) mix one cup Plaster of Paris with one cup of water and several spoonfuls of dry tempera paint.

3. Carefully pour the mixture into the open end of the toilet paper roll. Let the mixture sit undisturbed overnight.

4. When the mixture is completely dry, peel off the cardboard and use as sidewalk chalk.

TIP: Save clean up time (as well as eliminating the risk of a clogged drain) by just throwing away the container used to mix the chalk.

Cooking Up Some Fun
Make a summer salad!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 5 ears)
1 1/2 cups diced avocado (1/2-inch pieces)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

2. Add the corn, avocado, tomatoes, and onion and toss to mix. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6. Tips: Choose ears of corn with bright green husks that are tightly closed. The ends of the corn silk should be golden brown, not pale — an indication that the corn was picked too early.

To easily remove corn silk from the kernels, hold the ear in one hand and rub downward with a wet paper towel.

To remove corn kernels for a salad or salsa, stand an uncooked ear in a shallow bowl and use a sharp, thin-bladed knife. For chowder, add another step: reverse the knife and run the dull side down the ear to press out the rest of the corn and its milk.

1 Comment

  1. //

    Can’t wait for updates on your blog. I enjoy it muchly! I know about the new baby thing, I’m just now emerging from my baby-bubble 6 month postpartum.

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