Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tuesday's and Wednesday's play

Into town for groceries and library materials, includes a stop at the park.  These Little Free Libraries are popping up a lot around here.  We love the 'take a book - leave a book' concept.  It's a fun way to give away books that you no longer want and others might enjoy, and it's fun to pick out a free book to bring home as well.  We picked out The Trouble With Dragons by Oliver Selfridge, The Great Dimpole Oak by Janet Taylor Lisle, a counting board book, and a Little Critter book by Mercer Mayer.

Not in the mood to run, jump, and climb, Camille read a book about Helen Keller while her sisters played and returned it right away for another one.

I organized a field trip to the planetarium for our homeschool co-op.  We had a good turn out and a great presentation.  I spent part of the program out in the hallway with Ayla, whose 3-year old ability to sit-still-and-be-quiet is not fully developed yet.  Sylvia joined us out there for a little while, too.  That's sometimes the best option for us.

After the planetarium, we had a lovely picnic at a nearby park (Myrick Hixon EcoPark).  We stayed to play, of course.

The favored park equipment of the day was this wobbly platform that we tried to gently push each other off of.

Camille took pictures of me and Sylvia 'sparring' too.  When I'm at the park with my kids, I'm often running, jumping, and giggling right along with them.  It's good exercise, fun, and connection.  I definitely get some sideways looks from the parents sitting on benches staring at their smartphones, but sometimes I get big smiles and comments on how much fun we're having.  Either way, is fine with me.  I sometimes sit and daydream or doodle or knit or chat at the park, too, but usually, I play.
'You got to sing, like you don't need the money.
You got to love, like you'll never get hurt.
You got to dance, dance, dance, like nobody's watching.
It's gotta come from the heart, if you want it to work.'
~ Guy Clark
We checked out this little, old building on the park grounds.  A young boy informed us that it used to be a duck house when his grandfather was a little boy.  Cool!

We explored inside the Eco Center, observing turtles, bees, and bullfrogs, learning about bee dances and ecosystems, and playing with animal puppets.

We hiked around the trails in the La Crosse River Marsh.
A fallen, hollowed tree makes the best imaginary boat a child could wish for, especially when there's plenty of room for three and it's out over the water.

The duckweed-covered turtles liked it, too.

I cherish these days.

great blue heron

Canadian geese getting ready to migrate.

dock play



tossing stones, watching ripples

On the way home, we made up rhymes and little tongue twisters and laughed until we cried. (Giddy, grinning, giggle-girl and big, burly, biker beard were two favorites.  Try saying them three times fast.  We may also have tried big, burly, biker buttocks.  I know, ewww.)
 Back at home, there was time to write to new pen pals, and observe the real night sky, and play with Legos.  
 Mama, how do you spell planetarium?

 the moon and Venus (Venus is just visible through the trees on the lower right of the upper picture, and the brightest 'star' just above the tree line of the lower picture)

love-mobile travels the world puzzle

My children may not write book reports in 2nd grade or memorize the multiplication tables in 3rd grade, but they are learning what migration looks like, what a great blue heron likes to eat, how constellations were named, how sunlight glints off of a turtle's back, how to make things with their hands, how to respect differences, how to grow and cook food and what wild edibles may be found in our area.  What I hope that they're learning is how to care about, and care for, our earth and the people, animals, and plants that we share it with. I wish for them to follow their interests and abilities and to share them with others.

I cherish these days.


  1. Oh, yeah, those free libraries are such an awesome idea!

  2. Ohh the planetarium and that little house...heavenly!

  3. Love those little free libraries, I've only seen 1 around our town, been thinking about putting one in our front yard as we get some traffic on the way to a main road. That EcoPark looks amazing, beautiful pictures!

    When I start to worry about what my kids aren't learning since their not in school, all I have to do is start thinking and seeing what they are learning and it puts me right at ease:)

  4. Julie, that would be fun to put up a free library box in your yard!

  5. I love the idea for the library box at the park! Genius!


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