Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Park Day

It is always so amazing to me how much cool stuff can happen in one day just hanging out at the park. Today was our Life Learners park day. It was a hot but beautiful day and we were meeting at a park with a water feature. Three other families came to play with us. The kids played in the water for a while and swang on the swings and then there was a lull. One of the moms brought out a bag of balloons and the kids went wild. They filled them up with water and broke them on the ground or filled them but did not tie them off and squirted each other. They filled them very full and carried them around, pretending they were babies. They took the filled balloons down the slides with them, sometimes sending them down first to see if they would pop at the bottom. After a balloon popped at the top of the slide, they started making water slides by filling water bottles and pouring them down the slide. Here is a picture of A sliding down with her "baby".

I got this picture of a dust devil that kicked up while we were there. It spun for quite a while and sucked a lot of dust and garbage high into the air. While we were watching it A said,"I thought we did not get tornadoes here." After the balloons were all used up, the kids all headed off to find lizards and other creatures in the rocky border of the park. They did not manage to catch a lizard, but they said they saw two different kinds. They did catch a caterpillar and a butterfly and A said they saw a huge monarch butterfly, but it got away. There was a short fight over whether anyone should take the caterpillar home or if it should be released into the wild. E was looking at it and she said,"Look, it wiggles all around. It is a wild animal!" It ended up going home with one of the boys who wanted to look at it under his microscope. But he promised to set it free right afterward. My girls really lobbbied hard for it to be set free, which I thought was interesting since we have a hornworm caterpillar we are "raising" in the bug box at home. Maybe they thought the hornworm was better off captive than dead in the compost, which was where he was headed when they decided to keep him! My tomato plants are basically feeding him until he pupates, then out they go to make room for a fall crop.

The park has a demonstration garden that the kids wanted to see, so we made that our last stop before heading home. They all swarmed off the path and into a dry rock stream bed in the garden. I commented on how our kids all were very comfortable taking the path less traveled! It was another rich day of playing and learning for the Life Learners.

Tonight while laying down to go to bed A said," Mama, three things. 1. I am tired. 2. I am tired. And 3. I am tired!" She was asleep in 5 minutes!

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