In response to COVID-19, Barnacles & Bees has cancelled our Free Family Nature Play Classes for the remainder of 2020. Our Nature Immersion Program is currently in session with reduced capacity.
Hello dear families,
I hope that all of you are continuing to adapt to this crazy world that we are living in and that you are finding a new rhythm in which to thrive. There are some definite silver linings in this time when we are driven from being with our communities in person--much like a theme for this week.
Garden Snails. Your delightful slime trails, spirally shells, and slow cautious approach out of your shell are all so intriguing. Although garden snails are able to climb up plants and eat your beautiful blooms, they also will eat all the dead and decaying plants, and as an added bonus their poop is a nitrogen rich fertilizer that will enhance your plant's nutrition!
This period of being contained more at my house has allowed me to strengthen my skills in art projects. It really has NEVER been my thing. But actually it is very much my daughter's thing. When I have invited her to come participate she has been like , "what?! really?! YES! Wait, is there glitter? No glitter?....Yes still."
1- Snails Fun Facts:
- When a snail is born, it is born WITH its shell and it grows with that shell. So when we hurt the shell, we also send pain to the snail as a whole.
- They love to come out in the rain because it is easier for them to move about on their muscular foot.
- When it is dry, they take refuge under rocks and logs and sometimes even seal themselves inside their shells
- These creatures are nocturnal and can eat several times their weight a day with thousands of replaceable teeth! Eek.
- Even though people usually group them with "bugs" they are not! they are mollusks (yes, yes...clams, oysters and muscles).
Resources that I gleaned from this week:
- Curious Kids Nature Guide by Fiona Cohen
- Woodlark Blog
- Eye to Eye by Steve Jenkins
2- Activities for beginning the day, winding down, resting, and reflecting:
- Night Walk:
This activity might not be for everyone, but it is fun to do once in a while. Since snails are most active at night, go and take a night walk to search for snails in your yard with flashlights. During the day search for them under old pieces of bark, rocks, and skirting the dark unlaying parts of plants :) The ones that I have found in my yard have been clustered in units: it has been cool to compare patterns and sizes!
- Observation of the Slow Snail:
Here is a link to an excellent tutorial on how to make a snail habitat.It is from the most excellent blogger named "Woodlark", she has some amazing ideas! Snails are really cool to watch and see what they might do. It's a chill way to spend your sit spot time, or just to be relaxing. The snail could even lead your child in a game of copycat where they do what the snail does, lol. How to Make a Snail Habitat.
3- Activities to inspire, foster focus, and allow for motion:
- Swirly Snail Patterns:
Again this is from the Woodlark Instagram, because it is so fun! When using dry ingredients from your house to make the snail pattern, Paisley discovered that if you use a small twig with clear glue on the end, it was excellent at re-positioning things!
All you need is: cardboard cutout of snail, clear glue, whatever dry foods or plants you have : beans, lentils, rice... We used pussy willows too :)
- Slime Strength Experiment:
This at home experiment tests the strength of slime!
All you need is : a willing snail, a piece of plastic, a dime, some sand/dirt, a leaf
- Painting Weather Rocks:
With the coming of snails in this season, the weather is liable to doing crazy things. One minute it's raining, the next storming, later hailing. The snails are very aware of the weather changing, and even in old folklore they were said to have been able to predict weather!
So, the idea is to paint rocks with a weather scene on each one. Your kiddo can be in charge of picking out the weather rock that matches what they see outside. It's possible they might not move it all day, maybe 10 times a day. It's all a surprise.
Have fun this week, stay healthy AND happy
I miss “our in person learning community” more than my trips to Trader Joe's!
Robin (Mrs. Moss)