Mamma's School

Home Education Adventure

Category: Education (Page 1 of 27)

Springtime and Seeds.

springtime and seeds gardening children gardening www.mammasschool.co.ukThe snow has melted, (it’s forecast again for tomorrow night, but we will ignore that!!), the first few spring flowers are peppering our lawn, (although the snowdrops are still hiding!), and the temperature has risen to +2 degrees…..springtime is coming!  Or I am trying to pretend it is, and search out the signs that soon we may be able to leave home with gloves and hats in our bags, rather than permanently on our hands and heads!  Being the start of March I felt it was about time I got my skates on and set about planting some seeds.

Back in the UK I have left a very small garden, but one that is literally bursting full of colour for three seasons of the year.  We currently have a very unsuspecting tenant in there, unaware of what is about to happen, as before we left I had trimmed everything back for winter.  When we moved in over 6 years ago, there was not one flowering plant in the garden, so I was fairly proud of my colourful riot of a jungle 🙂  In Sweden now, I have a huge garden and I need to be careful I don’t go for the jam packed look again, or else I will not be able to manage it at all (I already need a goat for the grass!).

I plan to have similar things in the garden here.  We need some fruit trees (we had apple and plum in the UK), we need to start a herb garden, we always grow some fruit and veg, and then I need flower colour to brighten our days.  Some pips/seeds we have saved from what we have eaten, and others I bought in the shops.  The wild seed mixes I am leaving until I can put them straight outside.  Today we have planted chives, rosemary, tomatoes, french beans, peas, carrots, rhubarb, small poppies, large poppies, chillies, pumpkins, melons, peppers, pear, and ….there’s one other but I can’t remember what it is so that’ll be a nice surprise when it appears!  This will hopefully keep my costs down a bit when I head to the garden centre a bit later in spring, having started a lot from seed.  I want to get some roses, blueberries, lavender, and a few more herbs from plant for starters.  A few weeks ago we planted some of our apple pips, and we have got six sturdy looking seedlings sprouting, so I am crossing my fingers about those working out.

Springtime seed planting is a bit of a ritual in this home, very much centred around the children being able to let their inner mud loving gardener free!!  Our little lady has been diligently planting seeds for years, and has enjoyed it.  Our mad twinnies though have always planted one seed and pottered off in search of more wild adventures.  However, today, they seem to have decided this was fun, and for the first time ever, they will be able to see the results of growing from seed (fingers crossed).  They even helped to delicately transfer the apple seedling into larger pots.  I was really pleased with the help and interest.

So with our springtime seeds planted, our house now resembles a garden centre until the weather warms up!!  Lets hope they survive with three children dashing around…I wonder how many times they will be knocked over?!  Each pot has more than one seed in too, so plenty of gardening to keep us busy in the next few months!

Springtime and seeds gardening with children www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

Cool Candle Experiments.

I’ve never had a table looking so pretty, all set up for an afternoon of science experiments!!  We added a few (well, 10!) other candles as well to make it extra cosy 🙂 So this week is all about Candlemas, and the knowledge that with reaching the midpoint of winter, we are now on the way to Spring.  I will write more about this theme in our subject overview in a post later in the week, but for now, lets get talking about the cool candle experiments!

 

The first experiment, was to look at using heat as a source of power.  There are multiple DIY ways of setting this up along the same principles, but why bother when you have a very pretty, tinkly noise making angel construction that does the same job?!  We set it up and lit the candles.  Then we sat back and waited for the spinning angels above to gather momentum, and spin faster and faster.  We discussed the heat’s role in the result, and the fact it was providing energy.  We also took candles away to see what would happen, having tried to predict it first (it slowed down), and then put them back again, for it to get faster once more.

We then moved on to an experiment to look at what fire needs to burn.  We used 6 candles and 6 jars/glasses of varying size.  You can use as many or as few as you want  (I have three children, meaning they could do 2 each….need to think these things through to prevent even more arguments in the day!!).  We chatted about what fire needs to burn (fuel and oxygen), and what they thought would happen if we put the jars over the candle.  We then put one jar over one candle to demonstrate it going out after it had used the oxygen up in the jar.  Next, we lined the jars up, and decided which ones would allow the candle to burn for the least amount of time, through to the one that would allow it to burn for the longest.  This, in itself, was interesting for them to do, as it made them think about the capacity inside the jar, not just how tall or short it was.  I’d deliberately chosen tall thin jars, and short wide ones 🙂 I’m amazed to say, with much diplomatic discussion (that’s amazing in itself!) they came to the right conclusion, as we used a stop watch to time how long each candle took to go out.  They were very chuffed with themselves!

Next up was the thirsty candle experiment.  I placed a candle on a dish of water (we put food colouring in too, so it was more easy to see…..oh, and prettier!).  We then lit the candle.  Next we discussed what would happen if we placed a glass over the top, and could we get the candle to drink the water 😉  At this point all three thought I’d gone more than a little mad, so I showed them.  While the candle was alight, the warmer air in the jar took up more room.  However, once it had used the oxygen up and gone out, the candle sucked the water up into the inside of the jar…..well the science of the situation did!  As the air cooled, the air took up less space in the jar, so the air pressure inside the jar dropped, and drew in water from outside trying to equalise the pressure.  The children didn’t quite believe it the first attempt, so we repeated it quite a few times!

The last experiment certainly had the wow factor for them.  We lit a candle stood in a bowl of cold water, and held up by a lump of blue tac in the base.  We then left it to its own devices for a few hours.  On returning, what we found remaining, was a hollow tube of wax.  The water had absorbed the heat energy from the candle, so once that had dissipated into the water, it didn’t affect the outside of the candle anymore, which was then kept cool.

They loved today and we had lots of fun.  We hope you will give some of these a go, and enjoy trying them 🙂

cool candle experiments candle science www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

 

The Nature Curriculum we use is, “Exploring Nature with Children. A complete, year-long curriculum”. It is a beautifully written framework, written by Raising Little Shoots, and can be found over at https://raisinglittleshoots.com/ It suggests a topic for the week, and then provides some background information and suggestions for nature journaling and outdoor exploring. It also provides a comprehensive suggested reading list (fiction and non-fiction) for each week, plus a poem and a piece of art to study. There are extensions activity ideas too. We use the topic as the theme for our week, and follow the ideas for our journaling, and one fiction book. What we have been doing from the curriculum can be found on our curriculum overview post. The craft, science, maths, and English ideas we have researched ourselves to fit in with the theme 🙂 This makes a learning a lot more nature based.

 

Winter Pond Science Experiments.

Pond Melt:  We found this idea in our “Nature in a Nutshell” book.  We collected a sample of pond ice in a jam jar (that in itself was quite an achievement as it was very thick and hard to break a chunk off), then we brought it back home to melt.  It was then ready to examine for life, to see if anything lived in it during the winter.  All we could find in our ice was algae under the microscope (we were using a pond life identification kit page from www.microscopy-uk.org.uk).  It was still interesting for them to see though.

Examining pond water:  The next exhibit was a sample of pond water collected in a jar.  In here we saw lots of tiny little brown organisms swimming around madly.  The children used their magnifying glasses to get a closer look and loved watching them.

Purifying water:  I gave the children some soil to mix into a jug of water.  I then gave them a plastic bottle with the top cut off and inserted as a funnel.  I lay next to that small stones, cotton wool pads, and coffee filters.  I then gave them the task of making the water clear.  With big sister’s advice and instruction they put the coffee filter in first, then the cotton wool pads, then the small stones.  This meant that she’d chosen to filter substances out in quite a logical order  We did get much clearer water out the other end, so I wasn’t brave enough to recommend drinking it!

The story of our pond:  We laid out various items to use in our story: flour to act as waste from a factory, soil to resemble a result of deforestation, food colouring for chemicals we put onto crops, shampoo for the soaps we use to clean ourselves, oil for vehicle and cooking waste, and raisins for human and pet waste).  We then made up a story of a pond in an uninhabited area, which then gradually became a built up area, and all these waste products ended up in the water.  As we told the story we put them into our clean bowl of water.  The children were horrified with the result, and it really made them think of man’s impact on the environment.

Microscope work:  Our little lady whiled away an hour, happily making up slides and looking at pond water and pond water plants.  She also digressed which is always good with any learning!!  She started pipetting water onto the stems, revisiting the concept of surface tension.  She then decided to slice the reeds apart length ways, discovering the various tubes inside.  We then had a brief conversation about xylems and phloems.

 

Why don’t frogs freeze?:  The last experiment was to do with finding out why frogs can survive the freezing temperatures of a pond in winter.  We took 2 containers, and put water in one and syrup in the other.  We also marked the level at which the fluid was at.  We then put them into the freezer overnight.  On removing them in the morning, the water was frozen, and had expanded (to a higher level in the cup), but the syrup was still a liquid.  Our blood is represented by the water.  Ice crystals form, making the fluid expand, which would then damage any cells and they would die (so would we).  The syrup represents the frog’s blood.  Some animals like frogs make glucose in the liver and then send it via their blood to their body’s tissues.  This doesn’t freeze, and the frogs are fine 🙂

 

Winter pond science experiments pond science www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

The Nature Curriculum we use is, “Exploring Nature with Children. A complete, year-long curriculum”. It is a beautifully written framework, written by Raising Little Shoots, and can be found over at https://raisinglittleshoots.com/ It suggests a topic for the week, and then provides some background information and suggestions for nature journaling and outdoor exploring. It also provides a comprehensive suggested reading list (fiction and non-fiction) for each week, plus a poem and a piece of art to study. There are extensions activity ideas too. We use the topic as the theme for our week, and follow the ideas for our journaling, and one fiction book. What we have been doing from the curriculum can be found on our curriculum overview post. The craft, science, maths, and English ideas we have researched ourselves to fit in with the theme 🙂 This makes a learning a lot more nature based.

 

Nature Curriculum Week 19 – Winter Ponds.

This week’s theme is Winter Ponds.  Having visited our pond area the other day, today we settled down to draw what we had seen.  We kicked off with a bit of face painting .  I’m not sure they fully grasped the idea though 🙂  We had a dragonfly (possible but later in the year), a fish (a slightly too tropical species, but at least we do get fish in ponds), and a shark…eeeerrrrrmmm…..

We decided to have a little change of idea with our nature journals this week.  We thought we would sketch in charcoal and pastel chalks to change style a bit.  Mini man no.2 wasn’t up for this at all today, so we left him happily immersed in play people.  We made swatches of colour that the area seemed to be in the winter (greys, dark greens, and browns), and drawings of our reeds (2 types, marginal plants and emergent plants).  We did also draw a swan.  Now, we don’t have any wild fowl on our pond, but lots do, and our coastal waters surrounding the island are home to many, many swans.  We thought it would be nice to include one in our drawings as we see them every day.

Our book for the week is “By Pond and River” by Arabella Buckley.  In this book children are introduced to the plant and animal life around ponds and rivers.  We are reading a chapter a day; frogs, dragonflies, fish, waterbugs, waterbirds, otters, and voles are included.  Our poem was a rather jolly one called “A Sledding Song” by Norman C Schlichter, and the piece of art we looked at was “Pond Pass” by Neil Welliver.

 

We enjoyed experimenting with our charcoal and blending our pastels together.  We find that both of them are a lot more forgiving to draw with (the result looks better than it actually is!).  Make sure you keep an eye on the blog to see what winter pond maths, English, science, and craft we have been up to 🙂

 

The Nature Curriculum we use is, “Exploring Nature with Children. A complete, year-long curriculum”. It is a beautifully written framework, written by Raising Little Shoots, and can be found over at https://raisinglittleshoots.com/ It suggests a topic for the week, and then provides some background information and suggestions for nature journaling and outdoor exploring. It also provides a comprehensive suggested reading list (fiction and non-fiction) for each week, plus a poem and a piece of art to study. There are extensions activity ideas too. We use the topic as the theme for our week, and follow the ideas for our journaling, and one fiction book. What we have been doing from the curriculum can be found on our curriculum overview post. The craft, science, maths, and English ideas we have researched ourselves to fit in with the theme 🙂 This makes a learning a lot more nature based.

Winter Pond Maths and English.

I will start with an apology….an apology for the state of my learning aids!!  I am definitely no artist, but the fact my twins could actually name them was a bonus!!!  We had a right old giggle with this week’s tasks (and that is what makes all the effort worth the while!).  So, each maths or English task is based on the winter pond theme of the week…..some rather loosely to give us a little more variety (imagination is not one of my best qualities!).

First up, numbers on ducks and frogs’ bottoms!!!  These were used with add and subtract signs to try and come up with the answer (they did have their beads too on a pipe cleaner to help them).  We are learning basic addition and subtraction that uses no number higher then 10 at the moment (either in the sum or in the answer).  They loved the secrecy of the number being hidden.  I let them choose two numbers at random, and then they had to work our the answer and find it 🙂  Just in case you didn’t get the link…ducks and frogs can be found in ponds 😉

We are trying to get more familiar with our numbers between 10-20, both counting them correctly and recognising them.  This next idea was to get them counting them and practising (although there is a cheeky no.3 in there to give them some security!).  The idea was, they had to pop the right amount of ice crystals on each snowman (our pond has a LOT of ice in it!).

Continuing with the theme of recognising numbers 10-20, the boys then had to match a number written on a frog, to the right amount of dots (they had counted) on a lily pad.

 

 

The last maths task was to peg the right number of pegs onto a duck with a number written on it…again 10-20 number recognition and counting (although you can substitute for other numbers of course).  All the time we are doing any number tasks, I am saying it in English, and then repeating it in Swedish, so at some point they magically become numerically fluent in Swedish 🙂

The first writing task was painting onto a chalk board with our imaginary pond water (tap water in a glass!).  The boys thought it was very funny I was using the chalk board all wrong, but were happy to go along with it.  We are still learning letters, so I would say a letter, and they would paint it.

 

My mini men have quite short attention spans when it comes to learning, so changing props for the same idea/practice can work really well for us.  We made our own pond (blue paint in a sandwich bag), and then they drew letters that I asked them to (with a cotton bud).  They thought this was magic, and loved squeezing the paint around the bag!

This last idea kicked off with the comment from mini man no.2 “you are very silly Mamma”!!!!!  I laid fridge magnet numbers and letters around the floor (hooray I found a use for them after moving to a house where they won’t stick to the fridge!), made them a fishing boat and a rod (with a magnet on the end, but you can use a paperclip), and asked them to fish for letters and numbers I asked for.  We are working on recognising that each letter has both an upper and lower case, and this task served that idea well.  Funnily enough, both little men had such a blast, they then didn’t mind tidying them up fishing style after we’d finished, and all thoughts of a “silly Mamma” were forgotten (thank goodness!!).

As an aside, the bowls of biscuits and cartons of juice you see next to them, are a bribe to get them to stay out of big sister’s way as she had a play date (and 8 year old girls always win in the fun factor when up against maths and English, but not in 2 eight year old’s eyes!!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these ideas and can use some for your little people.  Let me know and leave me any comments.  I’d love to hear your “winter pond” ideas too 🙂

 

 

Pond Crafts

Our nature curriculum theme for this week is ponds.  I have been on a mission today, and managed to locate the only pond on the island, so feeling quite pleased with myself that we now don’t have to go far to study this topic!  We kicked the topic off today with craft ideas.

The first idea was to make a pond on a paper plate.  My trio painted their plates blue, and then mini no.2 left it at that as he wanted some sea for his play people to surf on!!  The other 2 then used craft tissue paper to make lily pads and flowers on their ponds.  You could add other things, but they were quite happy fiddling around with tissue paper.  It can be used for small world play, which mini man no.1 did later, adding small plastic frogs and fish to, and using his imagination to play.

We then moved onto the famous pond resident the frog, and making these was quite a giggle.  The children painted a loo roll green, and stapled one end shut, leaving the other end open for the mouth.  They made some legs, and fixed comically huge googly eyes, and were very happy with their funny frogs!  A simple but very effective idea.

The third idea is something we have done a few times before in the past, but something that they all love doing, which is a pond collage with tissue paper.  They rip the tissue paper and shred it (the most fun part), and use it for the water and the plants.  They can then add other items made from tin foil….the little lady’s pond does seem to have an octopus living in it though!!

The last idea for the day was a pond viewer.  This is then something we are going to take out with us to our pond, to use to see under the water (if there is a gap in the ice). We cut the top and bottom off a plastic drinks bottle.  We then put 2 layers of clingfilm over the top of it and secured them with elastic bands.  The viewer will then be inserted into the pond, clingfilm end first and looked through from the other end.  Hopefully no one will end up with a wet nose 🙂

The following day we set off to our pond, and we did our final piece of craft work there.  It was nice to be back in the outdoors doing the craft, something I am looking forward to in the warmer months (more fresh air and a less messy house!).  Here the trio were to build little boats/rafts out of materials (natural or otherwise) that they found lying around the pond.  Being careful not to disturb any nature that was firmly rooted.  The boys were a bit reluctant at first as they were too busy trying to smash the pond ice (that never happened as was a couple of inches thick, but kept them very busy and out of mischief!).  However, once they saw our little lady trying to sail hers they suddenly changed their minds.  No one was disappointed either, as none of them sank.  This wasn’t due so much to the marvellous engineering skills that my three possess at such a young age, but more to do with the fact that there could only have been a cm of water on the surface of the pond with thick ice holding the boats up under that!!  Anyway, they had fun making and sailing them 🙂

 

Pond Dipping

The Nature Curriculum theme for the week is Winter Ponds.  It is suggested we revisit our autumn pond, but as we’d just emigrated and so didn’t have one, I’ve found us a new pond.  This is quite an exciting find.  We live on a small island, and I originally didn’t think there were any ponds nearby.  However, I found one small one hidden in the woods, and I think we are going to enjoy investigating this one.

We had to work round the edges of the thick ice to manage any scooping into the water, but we did get some scoops done.  Our pond dipping tray shows hundreds of tiny light brown, almost transparent, tadpole shaped (but much much smaller) organisms buzzing around in there.  The trio were very excited as they didn’t expect to get anything.  They thought there might be life under the ice, but it was too solid to get through it.  We chatted about the plants around a pond.  The marginal plants (around the edge and in the marshy areas), the emergent plants (growing in the shallower areas), the submerged plants (with floating leaves), and the totally submerged plants.  We managed to get samples of marginal and emergent plants to study more closely at home, but no luck getting anything from the actual pond today.

We also got a water sample in a jam jar to study at home.  It is a good sample, with hundreds of the little brown tadpole shaped organisms swimming in there.  Once the three children learnt to stare at a spot of water and be patient and keep staring there, then they could see them all moving, otherwise it appears there is nothing in there as they are so small.  We also got samples of the pond ice to bring home for a science experiment later in the week.

The children also trialled their view finders which they made in the pond craft session (post out later in the week).  They were not very effective as there was only 1 cm of water and then thick ice under that.  They had fun though, and understood the principle of them, and maybe we will have more luck when the ice melts.

 

 

 

We were so pleased that we had found a local pond that we could now watch as the seasons change.  The mini men enjoyed trying to smash the pond ice (which they didn’t succeed at, but it kept them busy while our lady was busy retrieving organisms to examine!)  They did some crafting there too (have a read of the pond craft blog, out later in the week, to see what they did by the pond), and we had a warming winter snack cooked by our Kelly Kettle (post out later in the outdoor cooking treats category).  As usual, the time that we had allotted came and went, and we spent much longer than we had intended there, but I love that when it happens….especially as mini man no.2 wasn’t keen on coming out at all this afternoon.  It means everyone has enjoyed their experience and their time in nature and the outdoors 🙂

 

Country Kids

The Nature Curriculum we use is, “Exploring Nature with Children. A complete, year-long curriculum”. It is a beautifully written framework, written by Raising Little Shoots, and can be found over at https://raisinglittleshoots.com/ It suggests a topic for the week, and then provides some background information and suggestions for nature journaling and outdoor exploring. It also provides a comprehensive suggested reading list (fiction and non-fiction) for each week, plus a poem and a piece of art to study. There are extensions activity ideas too. We use the topic as the theme for our week, and follow the ideas for our journaling, and one fiction book. What we have been doing from the curriculum can be found on our curriculum overview post. The craft, science, maths, and English ideas we have researched ourselves to fit in with the theme 🙂 This makes a learning a lot more nature based.

Learning Finds Us!!!!

Today we have been given a couple of fantastic learning opportunities which just popped up!  I realise the little people learn all the time, but today’s opportunities taught the whole family, and were a couple of great chances.  The children were playing in the garden, I was on my never ending weed removal challenge from the gravel path, and Dadda was trying to bash an old cupboard to pieces in the garage (definitely not Ikea, as at some points the cupboard seemed to be winning, not Dadda).  He suddenly shouted, there’s a big moth in here, so that we could all come and have a look.  It was very still and the wings were closed together, however we did get a brief glimpse of them as it seemed to give a stretch, and they were beautiful, and definitely belonged to a butterfly!  We were all taken aback a little, thinking this is most definitely not the time for butterflies, especially in a cold garage in the middle of a Swedish winter.

We carefully lifted it off the cupboard marked for demolition, and moved it onto a sledge for closer inspection.  It was definitely alive but in shutdown mode.  This is not something I thought butterflies did…hibernate!  So, off we went indoors to research, and sure enough some butterflies do hibernate.  Well, strictly scientifically speaking insects don’t hibernate, but stay “dormant”, but as most people think of hibernating as “sleeping through the winter” it is then often applied to moths and butterflies.  We are sure this was a peacock butterfly.  We didn’t want to waken it up too much to make it think spring had come early, so once we had had a good close look, we returned it back to the cool of the garage to return to its slumber.  From my reading up about it, it seems to be quite a rare thing to see a dormant adult butterfly, so we’ve been very lucky 🙂

In the afternoon we went for a little family hike, that, as usual for our hikes, we diverted, and took a little longer, but for good reasons 🙂  We discovered a medium sized uninhabited island that came very close to the coast of ours.  We decided to divert off the footpath to get a closer look.  You can see from the photos that this would be totally accessible via the transport of paddling in warmer weather.  We have earmarked this as an adventure for a warm sunny day, carrying everything we need for a day, and go over and enjoy exploring it.

We then carried on with our hike.  Further along the shore line trying to relocate the path, I discovered an ilium (hip) bone.  This has led to much research since…is it a swan’s?  Is it another bird’s?  Or what and how has it got there.  We think it belongs to one of the island’s deer.  Quite a young one too I think as it is quite small.  You can see it compared to our little lady’s pine cone.  Another good find for us all to learn from, especially as it involved a lot of research from us grown ups to finally hit on the right type of animal/bird and then a species 🙂

Winter Tree Science.

If you want to keep three children quiet for around 2 hours, give them a microscope, knife, and some buds 🙂  They were under some sort of hypnotising spell.  Little lady went into full on teacher mode, and got the mini men chopping and looking too.  She loved gently removing the protective bud scales to reveal the bud underneath, and then chopping a cross section to see what the inside is like.  She viewed and dissected a variety of buds, and her little brothers dipped in and out of the activity, but it’s fair to say, she was amazed by what she discovered in there.

The experiment we did was with pine cones.  We are lucky, as the country we live in has a huge variety and abundance of these!  I am not going to spoil the results in case you want to try this at home.  What you need to do is place one in cold water, one in warm water, and one in air.  Then you should have a good comparison.  There are a lot more variations you can do, and as you can see, we had one half in and half out….let the child lead, they always have the best ideas!!  We also set ours up using a variety of different types to see if there was any difference between tree species too.

 

Week 18 Nature Curriculum – Winter Trees.

This week’s nature curriculum topic is Winter Trees.  They have provided many a gorgeous back drop to my sunrise and sunset photos so far, as we arrived in Sweden late autumn, and have yet to see them bloom.  Trees are lovely in winter too, framing the sky, and allowing us to really see their true shape, naked of leaves.  However, there is also a lot going on with them.  We tend to think of them being dormant, having lost their beautiful array of rainbow coloured leaves in the autumn, but they are very busy growing new life for when the warmer springtime comes 🙂  We took a brief walk round our rather large garden, and checked out a vast number of bushes and trees, all of which were prolific with buds.  These buds contain baby leaves and flowers.  The ones we pruned to sketch into our nature journals, are now stood in some water so we can see which buds burst out first (axillary or terminal), and which have flowers and which have leaves.  The mini men’s journals aren’t pictured today as they just made a few markings in their books and were off, far too busy to do much after having a chat and listening to the story and poem!!  My little lady and I sketched away, making notes and learning about opposite buds, alternate buds, whorled buds, nodes, and leaf scars.  I think we were both surprised by the intricate patterns on the buds, and the variety of patterns.

The suggested reading for the theme was “Once There Was a Tree” by Natalia Romanova.  This is a beautiful story that catalogues how life works.  Once the tree is damaged and chopped down into a stump, it is still an important asset for the surrounding nature. Each living creature that occupies it for a short while alters it, making it perfect for the next type of visitor.  This goes on through a few living creatures requiring the use of it until eventually a new tree grows out of it.  It also underlines though, that although these creatures feel it is their own tree during their transient occupation of it, it does in fact belong to everyone, as it belongs to the earth, and that belongs to all 🙂  A lovely story, especially for the mini men to see how everything goes round in a circle.  The poem was “Trees” by Sara Coleridge.

We have been doing our extension activities which include, tree maths, tree English, and tree art and craft, but check out my other blog posts on these topics and for ideas 🙂

The Nature Curriculum we use is, “Exploring Nature with Children. A complete, year-long curriculum”. It is a beautifully written framework, written by Raising Little Shoots, and can be found over at https://raisinglittleshoots.com/It suggests a topic for the week, and then provides some background information and suggestions for nature journaling and outdoor exploring. It also provides a comprehensive suggested reading list (fiction and non-fiction) for each week, plus a poem and a piece of art to study. There are extensions activity ideas too. We use the topic as the theme for our week, and follow the ideas for our journaling, and one fiction book. What we have been doing from the curriculum can be found on our curriculum overview post. The craft, science, maths, and English ideas we have researched ourselves to fit in with the theme 🙂 This makes a learning a lot more nature based.

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