Tag Archives: Spring Break

Ice and Outdoor Play

We’re nearing the end of Spring Break with a mix of sorrow and relief.  We have enjoyed the reprieve from the rigorous school schedule.  However, I have found that the school age children require considerably more structure and guidance than any of the younger children and I am exhausted.

Luckily Mother Nature has provided us with terrific weather – warm enough that we can spend our entire morning outdoors but not so warm that we get completely soaked.  Outdoors is the only place this group of school age children have been able to demonstrate any cooperative play.

I mentioned in my last post that my husband shovelled the snow off the roof of the shed and buried the garden path – we still haven’t managed to clear out all that snow.  Now my husband chopped off some of the thick layer of ice from the shed roof. We have found that the ice pieces are far more useful to have in the yard;

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One of the children thought they should “put together the puzzle’ but that activity only lasted a few minutes before it was deemed to be too difficult.

Some of the ice chunks were huge and required some problem solving skills to move;

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After spending two days clearing most of the snow from the tunnel under the hill the children now used the larger pieces of ice to block the tunnel entrance;

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I was informed that this piece of ice was “too heavy to carry” – probably due to the weight of the ‘skater’;

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They even found a small patch of fluffy snow in the corner of the yard that was perfect for this little snow person;

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Yes, hours of outdoor play is the best way to spend Spring Break.

Spring Break Continues

On day three of spring break we headed out on a field trip to explore the Science Gallery  and listen to a special presentation about the work of the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre  and meet some of their rescued birds and one pet rabbit.  It was great to see a peregrine falcon ‘in person’ – we have learned a lot about them in the past and last spring   we really enjoyed watching their adventures on the falcon cam. We had planned to attend a Planetariumshow too but the wildlife presentation ran longer than expected so we missed the beginning of the show – next time!

There was one other interesting bit of information from day three.  I overheard a comment made by one of the school-age children – apparently they had considered our walk to the dollar store ‘long’.  I was intrigued so we discussed this a little further and I discovered that the older children all agreed with this assessment.  Now I was more shocked and a little dismayed – the dollar store is only a few blocks away – about one kilometre!

The children involved in this conversation are not regularly in attendance or they have recently enrolled so have not experienced our excursions.  They take the bus to school and – according to them – their parents drive them everywhere else they have to go.  These children do not normally walk anywhere.  The ‘regulars’ and I shared some stories of our hiking adventures and I began making plans for a ‘special event’ for day four.

After morning snack on day four we got ready for our trek.

“Where are we going?” they ask

“To the library” I reply

“Where is the library?” the newbies ask

Those who attend regularly begin to giggle and answer “It’s waaay past Safeway and Sobey’s too”.

It is 3.3 kilometres away when we take the short route.  I don’t particularly like the short route because it is a bit of a boring hike with no points of interest and the loud traffic makes conversations difficult.  Today, however, we would take the short route because we didn’t have a lot of time and it was a little chilly.  Our brisk pace kept us warm and we made it there in about 40 minutes.

No one complained about the length of the journey.

We relaxed in the library, read some books and picked out some to take back with us for later.  The pace for our return trip was a little slower so it took a few extra minutes.  While I prepared lunch only one child chose to play in the playroom – the others just wanted to sit and read their books.  The room was surprisingly quiet throughout lunch too.  They were tired and hungry.

After lunch I brought out a map and we traced our routes for the trip to the dollar store and the trip to the library.  I also traced the ‘scenic’ route to the library – the one we usually do twice each summer.  That route is 4.6 kilometres and passes through three parks where we stop and play.  We climb trees and we usually have a picnic too.  The scenic route to the library is the best.

Just one more day of spring break…..

Spring Break – The Beginning

Just a few highlights of our first day of spring break.  The weather cooled off considerably compared to last week but that didn’t stop us from spending several hours outside.

We decorated the tipi;

The girls discovered that weaving was easier if you worked as a team – one inside the tipi and one outside;

We hid and searched for plastic eggs — some are still missing – help!

This was the favorite ‘hiding’ spot — I don’t know why;

The neighbours’ dog was giving hints ‘There’s a yellow one in the garden’;

Then the neighbour donated some chalk so drawing instantly became the popular activity;

There were trails to follow;

And the entire deck was covered in these;

Great start to the week — looking forward to even more fun!

Spring Break

Today is the last day of Spring Break.  We didn’t manage to get out for a field trip this week but we’ve had plenty of fun and as usual we’ve been spending a lot of time outside.

We have decorated the snow to add some color to the yard.

We learned some new methods to help us decide who was going to be ‘it’ when we played tag.

We found a frozen puddle that we just had to break open.

And then we made soup by adding ‘meat’ (pieces of bark), beans that we found hanging on the trellis, and various dried ‘herbs’ that we found around the yard.

We discovered ‘salt’ and became skilled at mining and processing it so we could add it to our soup.

We dug a hole in the gravel and it magically filled with ‘hot chocolate’ so we had to add some ‘mint leaves’ and ‘marshmallows’ which melted instantly.

And after a long cold winter there is something really special about spending hours outside and feeling the warmth of the sun on a snowy spring day.

We’re disappointed that we’ll back to the school schedule next week.  We wish we had more time together.