A walk in the rain

Our playgroup meets rain or shine. Today it was a constant downpour while the kids were here. We started the session hanging out on the porch of the cabin. The kids played with musical instruments while the parents had hot coffee and candyroaster squash and craisin muffins. (http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/pumpkin-squash-or-sweet-potato-muffins/)

Then we went for a rain walk. When I was taking my permaculture course we had to go for walks in the rain to observe the water flow in a design. Rain walks are truly amazing! Yet it seems a little weird to say “oh boy! It’s raining, let’s go outside.” Trust me, your kids will love to be out in the rain.

Observations we made today…

  • The rain makes everything shiny.
  • Look at the ripples in the water when the rain hits its surface, do you see the bubbles?
  • Can you find any mushrooms popping up saying thanks to the rain?
  • Are there any new streams in driveways or paths?
  • Do sticks, leaves, acorns, and other forest floor objects look and feel different?

Today’s playgroup was all young toddlers. For older kids, it would be fun to test the ph of the rain that is falling. Is it more acidic than it should be? How does that affect the plants and animals?

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Corn Inspired Play Group

Corn Husk Dolls

Corn Husk Dolls

Tis the season for corn.  After meeting around the fire for some rock painting, it was time for an activity.  The oldest kid we had was four and this activity was a little advanced for him too, but the finished product was perfect for him and all the younger ones.  We made corn husk dolls. While the process was mostly me making them in front of the kids, I think it’s important for the kiddos to watch something being made.  It required time and work versus just appearing into their lives.

Native American Gardening  By Michael Caduto & Joseph Bruchac

Native American Gardening By Michael Caduto & Joseph Bruchac

Image from Native American Gardening  By Michael Caduto & Joseph Bruchac

Image from Native American Gardening By Michael Caduto & Joseph Bruchac

Earthways By Carol Petrash

Earthways By Carol Petrash

Image from Earthways By Carol Petrash

Image from Earthways By Carol Petrash

Yesterday we found a couple arrowheads on the paths in the woods so it was a really cool item to show everyone.  It is amazing to think that there were people roaming these woods thousands of years ago.

Later in the session I told the Native American story of Does Nothing, who finally did something by finding the corn plant and sharing it with all of the people. I got the story from a wonderful book about Native American gardening.  It was a nice story to tell after we made the corn husk dolls.

Excerpt from Native American Gardening  By Michael Caduto & Joseph Bruchac

Excerpt from Native American Gardening By Michael Caduto & Joseph Bruchac

"Sharing the Corn" Image from Native American Gardening  By Michael Caduto & Joseph Bruchac

“Sharing the Corn” Image from Native American Gardening By Michael Caduto & Joseph Bruchac

Our session ended with Hannah, another (awesome) mom, leading a song.  The kids were jumping, clapping, touching their noses, and smiling big.  Endorphin levels are running high today!