The past two weeks have been centered around preparing for our first celebration of the year, our Apple Harvest Celebration. The children used our apple peeler and corer to spin apples into spirals, then chop them to put into our pot to cook for apple sauce. After cooking the apples until they were soft, the children helped mill them with our hand cranked food mill. After our delicious cider pressing last weekend, we had lots of apple mash left over and so we have been milling and milling it into apple sauce. On Thursday, we were able to enjoy some warm applesauce with our homemade bread for snack. Many more jars of the sauce is in the freezer, waiting to be served throughout the year.
The construction behind our playground has been quite loud, but it has inspired the children in their play, as well as being exciting to watch. It has provided an interesting backdrop to our mornings outdoors. Lately, some of the themes that the children have been playing with is fort making under the picnic table or the climbing dome, Paw Patrol rescue pets, and also some individual and duet performances on a stage the children built with the blocks. Many times in the last week the whole group of kids has played together on a shared theme one of them thought up, then they would drift into smaller groups and then drift back again into a whole group. It is exciting to watch them as they think up new ideas, try them out with friends, think of something new, rest, then come back to an earlier game. This is what I want to protect in the children; this ability and time to let play unfold without too much input and shaping by adults. Working together and also finding time alone, these moments are crucial to the brain development and social development of the child. This is the brain at play, which will be needed later in life to solve more abstract problems.
The children have been settling into the new school year and have been finding new games to play with one another that they love coming back to. Recently a popular scenario was the fire truck and the children enjoyed dragging chairs into a row, and much care was taken to put on their fire hats (silks wrapped around their heads), and fasten their seat belts (crocheted ropes). In fact, in games like this, children often enjoy putting far more energy into setting up the scenario than in actually acting out the scenario. So the enjoyment they get is in setting up the "fire truck", dressing themselves up, arranging "hoses", than in getting out and putting out "fires". But really it's this act of imagining possibilities together that is so beneficial to the burgeoning social being.
The children have been helping with changing our garden over to fall plantings. The tomatoes have come down and have been replaced with arugula, beet and tatsoi seeds. They helped strip the basil plants and shell our last remaining pole beans. Some kale, radishes and more carrots have been planted, and a few carrots harvested as well!
Our morning verse is a verse that we repeat all year and the children have learned it very well by now. Perhaps you can see if they can show it to you. This one is said and not sung:
Good morning dear Earth
Good morning dear sun.
Good morning dear stones,
and flowers, every one.
Good morning dear beasts,
and the birds in the trees,
Good morning to you,
And good morning to me!