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Archive for the ‘Eat it!’ Category

As summer gives way to autumn, seeds and fruits abound. The children searched for seeds in all shapes and sizes, and examined how animals use seeds to prepare for winter. We also discovered the many ways seeds travel.

What's inside the pumpkin? 033 042 045 ???????????????????????????????

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We visited a favorite local farm at the Pearlstone Retreat Center to learn about life on a farm in spring. We harvested chicken eggs, planted lettuce seeds, explored worms in vermi-compost bins, met baby chicks, and had a wonderful time!

did you pet a chicken today?

did you pet a chicken today?

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staring contest

staring contest!

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From seed to vine we examined pumpkins and other fall fruits. We visited a pumpkin patch, too! Children loved pumpkin bowling, dissecting gourds, floating the fruits in water, and experimenting with pumpkin seeds.

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As we discover cycles and seasons in wild habitats at Irvine Nature Center, we are also thrilled to partner with Pearlstone Center farm to learn about agricultural cycles. This week the children searched for signs of fall both in the woods and down on the farm. See how we milked goats, harvested potatoes and sorted seeds during our first quarterly visit!

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This Week’s Adventures: We defined the difference between gardens and natura spaces througha  series of outdoor activities, games, songs and art projects.

Favorite Activities: We planted our food garden! Students planted onions, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, snap peas – even a blackberry bush! Students also discovered how insects help pollinate plants and rely on them. We met some beautiful painted lady butterflies along with bees from Irvine’s hives. We planted sunflowers to take home and painted flowers made from upcycled plastic water bottles. It was a busy week in the garden!

Next’s Week’s Theme: All a-Flutter (“Bb”)

Try this at home: Count the number of different flowers you can spy blooming right now. How many different spiders or insects can you find among the flowers?

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This Week’s Adventures: We discoverd the miracle of maple sugarin’ as we hiked through the forest in search of maple trees.

Favorite Activities: We compared twigs to learn about opposite and alternate branching to identify maple trees. We gathered sap from tapped trees to add to the evaporator (the special oven where sap turns into syrup). We discovered animals that also enjoy sap, like the yellow-bellied sap sucker, and sang song of its praises. We even painted twig bouquets to celebrate winter trees!

Next’s Week’s Theme: What’s Hatching? (“Hh”)

Try this at home: Search for the horizontal holes drilled in the side maple trees.

a maple sugaring adventure sap-suckers have toothbrush tongues! how do sap-suckers slurp bugs with their toothbrush tongues? measuring holes after drilling into log checking the sap buckets at the maple tree testing out the hand drill hand drill used for tapping a maple tree kids practice using the hand drill friends on a winter hike more friends on a winter hike enjoying the winter sunshine a berry discovery! a sugar cube house! painting twigs for a bouquet building with loose parts in the Outdoor Classroom maple leaf rubbing in nature journal mud, heh heh visiting the sap bucket yep - it's sap! crazy teacher love! looking for "M" lending a hand checking the sap bucket collecting sap from tapped trees pouring sap into the evaporator

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This Week’s Adventures:Fall is full of healthy foods, many of which we tasted this week. We learned the importance of eating healthy foods to keep our bodies strong!

Favorite Activities: The children cut vegetables and added them to our pot as we made vegetable soup. Yum! We made a huge mural by painting ears of corn, peppers, beets, carrots, potatoes and more! We also enjoyed outdoor yoga time with Miss Jen and playing the dinner plate game. We watched the effect of milk, juice and soda on eggs shells to see what effect they might have on our bones during our science experiment. On the trails we searched for foods that animals might eat and left a few treats behind for them!

Next’s Week’s Theme: Autumn Trees (letter “Tt”)

Try this at home: With a grown-up’s help, use the computer to learn about the healthy food groups at choosemyplate.gov.

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