We’ve had such a fun “school” week outdoors! We went to Harvey West Park, I don’t get over there very often and forget how beautiful it is! I should know, it’s where I got married after all! We went to play with friends at the playground, but as the nature lovers we are, were drawn into the forest. We walked along a path and found a little stream, well, my mom’s dog found the stream and shook water all over my daughter before she knew what was happening!
We saw banana slugs, mushrooms, beautiful plants and flowers….Spring is my favorite season! With all the flowers blooming, bright green new life everywhere, birds chirping, warm sunshine, and no tourists, it was a fabulous day! We had the place to ourselves. After our nature fix, the kids were finally ready to socialize so we had a picnic lunch back with our friends and then the kids ran and played around a redwood tree ring. Jumping off stumps and hiding in a hole under one of the trees. It was great!
Later in the week we went to Aptos Park and played soccer and baseball with some friends and then wandered down the short path to the creek. The kids played in the water, looked at plants and watched and listened to the birds. My son was very excited and fascinated to find a branch in the water that had been a storage place for a woodpecker’s acorns at one time.
I had brought some paper frames from home and had the kids pick an interesting looking place on the ground to place it. They noticed details they had missed at first and drew what they could see in the frame onto paper. They enjoyed it so much, they wandered around “framing” many areas and looking for bugs and cool designs in plants and leaves.
Yesterday we went up the UCSC to see the origami exhibit, http://news.ucsc.edu/2012/03/origami-exhibit.html. Pretty amazing stuff! I can’t post pictures as they wouldn’t let me take any, but it’s worth a trip up there. My kids enjoyed the pond with origami frogs, crabs, and koi fish and especially the walkway filled with paper cranes! It’s open at the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery at Cowell College until June 16th if you have a chance to check it out.
My son made a simple origami cup (http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-cup.html) before hand and they filled it up with jelly beans when we got there! He also attempted making a cheetah, but discovered how difficult it was! He did manage a nice simple swan with help from me. It was good for him to really see how hard it is to make origami before we went to appreciate the exhibit!
We did even more fun things, but I don’t have room or time to share them all. Hope you’re enjoying the sunshine and our beautiful area as much as we are!