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 Learning Community,
I hope that you are doing great and enjoying the mix of rain and sun that we are having. It is my favorite kind of weather hands down. If you didn't get a glimpse of that beauty of a northern flicker last week, there is one in my neighborhood who, true to form, as his favorite spot...atop a metal light post snuggled in some trees beside a parking lot on high and 12th st. Check it out if you are around! Enough about birds, this week is all about the grass. Grass is EVERYWHERE on this planet (well I'm not certain about Antarctica) but the point it is that it is bountiful, grows in extreme conditions, comes back to life when killed off, AND it is the fifth largest Family in the Plant Kingdom.
Are you impressed? I am. I found out this week that it is SUPER strong. I casually tried taking some samples of long grass on my nature walk this week, and it turned into a tug-o-war in which I had to give up cause I was afraid of people becoming even more concerned about me, LOL. It's a plant that doesn't have a traditional flower but it DOES flower it just looks more like grain.
1- Grass weaving
This is super fun, and this tutorial is helpful, great fine motor skill practice if you need to be inside. Also, there are SO many of this kind of tutorials on youtube, check them out :)
2- Lay down and listen to a poem: The Grass by Emily Dickerson
The grass has so little to do
A sphere of simple green,
With only butterflies to brood,
And bees to entertain
And stir all day to pretty tunes
The breezes fetch along
and hold the sunshine in its lap
and bow to everything
And thread the dews all night, like pearls,
And make itself so fine-
A Dutchess were too common
For such a noticing
1- Clay Pots with Grass Wick: (from Forest School Adventure: Outdoor Skills and Play for Children by Walmsey and Westall)
You need some air dry clay, so hopefully you have some lying around, if not it is worth purchasing..
*before you begin, make a wick out of things you find: grass is a great option, and goes with our theme, moss, string, bark, cotton, wool. twist it together until it look like a wick (or like cigar shape)
1. Get a clay ball the size of a lemon
2. Work it into a nice ball, then take your thumb and make a indent
3. From where you put your thumb in, work it around in a circle, pressing into the edges
4. Now take thumb and forefinger and pinch a spot on the rim to create a spout (to lay the wick to rest)
5. Choose your oil: sunflower, coconut, lard
6. Lay the wick you made, half in the oil, the tip resting on the spout.
7. Dab the oil on the tip of the wick a bit, now the wick should be able to draw up the oil as it goes
8. Light her up!
2- Dew Drops on Grass
Eye-dropper in hand, a jar of water goes forth and tries to land a dew drop on a blade of grass. It is excellent for patience building, and a steady hand.
3- Bottle Filter: from Forest School Adventure: Outdoor Skills and Play for Children by Naomi Walmsley and Dan Westall
This filter works well with many layers taking out the big chunks of dirt..but WON"T remove bacteria and chemicals...you must boil the water after if you want to drink it.
1- make muddy water, or go find some in a pond (your activity might end here if you just have fun making muddy water and that's okay
2- Gather natural materials
- crushed charcoal
- wood shavings
- pine cones
You don't need all these materials, you just want a combination of small and big pieces to make some nice layers for the water to trickle through
3- Put everything together
- You need to grab a plastic bottle, piece of cloth
- cut the bottom off the plastic bottle and wedge the cloth into the neck of the bottle
- Then fill it with layers in this order as best you can: charcoal, gravel, grass, leaves, wood shavings, pine cones
- make sure that everything compacted down nice and tight. The larger particle of dirt will be snagged in the top chunkier layers, and then the smaller particles will be caught by the charcoal
That's it from me, can't wait to see what you guys are up to this week.
Survive but also thrive!