A Glimmer of Hope

We love outdoor play – in all types of weather – but this has been a very, very long winter.  On the positive side, this slow-to-warm-up spring has allowed the snow in the yard to melt without creating huge puddles of water.  Soaking wet children cannot stay outside in cool temperatures.

Yesterday the gravel area was almost dry and there are just a few patches of stubborn snow left.  We checked out the visible soil in the garden and on the hill;

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Close inspection resulted in the discovery of some very tiny bits of new growth.  Baby plants – how exciting! There is some Yarrow – always the first one to show up here;

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And even more exciting is this one;

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It is growing where the Prairie Coneflower used to be.  The coneflower didn’t grow last year – I thought it may have died.

There are also some tiny sprouts of Giant Hyssop but the pictures were too blurry.

We can’t wait to go out today and see if the sprouts are bigger or if there are some more.  There is finally a glimmer of hope that this long winter may be over soon.

 

April Snow

I heard a lot of adults complaining about the weather yesterday.  After a long winter the last thing most people wanted was more snow – especially in April.  However, none of the children were complaining.

When we went out to play the yard looked so beautiful.  My favourite part was the way the snow gathered on the branches of our Flame Willow;

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The children dashed into the yard and began to play with all the new snow – their excitment was endless;

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The snow was wet and sticky – perfect for decorating the yard with polka dots like this;

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Some just couldn’t resist rolling in it;

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Yes, I’d love to be able to toss the snow gear and get working in the garden but I didn’t really mind this either.

Contemplation and Deliberation

Modifications and expansions to the play space over the past few years have enabled me to have a wider variety of toys available at the same time.  Elimination of old, broken and seldom used items from the storage area has also limited the number of items available to rotate in and out of play. So,  about a year ago that I decided it was time to consider purchasing some new toys.

I started looking at some of the many daycare supply catalogues that I have here.  Every year I get more sent to me.  Some of them end up as craft supplies or loose parts for the children to ‘read’ and use in their dramatic play activities.  As the children peruse the catalogues I take note of the items that interest them.  I was intrigued that some of the children pick out items that they want to ‘make’ rather than ‘buy’ – I do that too.

However, I know there are some new items that I do need to buy.  I made a rather long list of possible purchases then I put it aside for a while.  When I looked at it again I easily cut the list in half but it was still a little long.  Over spring break I printed the shortened list – with pictures – and gave it to the children.  I asked them for their opinions.  What items would they like best and why?

They were little help.

Not only did they not eliminate any of the items from the list but now they are expecting the arrival of the new items. Every day they arrive and ask if the new toys are here – I haven’t even placed the order yet.

Sigh, it’s going to be a big, expensive order.