We haven't done much for formal kindergarten this summer, to be honest... mostly cooking together and Nature study and our yarn dyeing experiments. And lots of play, of course! Zac has been playing on his own, because no one has been coming over (happily, we have a dog).
I have dutifully taken notes in my planbook about what we've done. It's not a lot because I've been working so much! But no matter how busy I've gotten with prepping for the new school year and consulting and curriculum writing, I've still always read to him. So I do have lots of books to share!
Zac has really enjoyed the activity ideas from Tinkergarten, and Potion Play was going strong for a long time. You'd think we would run out of new ingredients but we never seem to. There are things to collect in nature, of course. And we have a HelloFresh subscription, and he likes to use the remaining fresh herbs from the kit that we don't need for the recipe. They also give us little packets of dried herbs and spices, and if we have that dried herb or spice in the cabinet I'll use mine and either set their cute little packages aside in the camping closet or give them to him for sensory play.
He also loved inventing games with balls (PDF) and excavating the contents of Frozen Treasures (PDF). I put the links to all the free PDFs from Tinkergarten that they sent out over the summer on my Preschool & K page.
Playing in the sunshine. Playing in the rain. Playing in the mud. Playing under the playstands. Making forts in his room out of blankets and chairs. Building elaborate block structures for his little animals. Matching mother animals to their babies. Playing with trains, with cars, with diggers, with his wheelbaroow, with his wagon, with sticks and stumps. Climbing trees. Hanging things from tree branches and then hitting them with sticks...
Finger knitting. Taking walks. Playing board games. The Tree of Life puzzle. Pattern beads. Making play dough. Art on the outdoor easel. Talking about the seasons. Painting a Summer abstract in warm colors. Reading Say It! and making Shaving Cream Marbled Leaves. Birch tree painting. Reading Winter Awake! and making wine cork stamped ladybugs.
Writing with milk to see if it makes an invisible ink. Grinding up grass in a mortar and pestle; mixing up grass and dirt with egg yolk to see if it makes paint. Colored water and celery experiment. Experimenting to see what happens if you water plants with juice.
Helping me organizing the house and tidy the yard. Sweeping! Dusting! Handwashing cloth masks and hanging them out on the clothesline. Stuffing sachets with dried mint for our baskets of wool in the Handwork room (moth repellant). Writing letters to family members who live out of state.
Making recipes (Peanut-Butter Chocolate No-Bake Cookies, Cinnamon Zucchini Cake). Making dinner with me. The HelloFresh meals are really good! We loved so many; here's one I happened to write down: Zucchini and Tomato Flatbbreads with Lemon Ricott, Basil, and Honey. MMMMMMMMM.
Read Knoxville, Tennesee by Nikki Giovanni and shake up heavy cream to make butter and buttermilk. Making Sun Tea. Slathering raisin bread with homemade butter. Inventing smoothies. Nibbling endlessly on fresh basil.
Experimenting with planting seeds from a lemon. Will we get a lemon tree?
Painting a huge cardboard box to be a fort. Playing in it outside. Constantly tying pieces of yarn to things around the house (handles, doorknobs, chairs, etc.). Tying play silks around his stuffed animals to be capes.
Spraying the tomatoes with our fermented garlic spray to keep Striped Chipmunk away. Checking the cherry tomatoes every day and harvesting.
Planting different kinds of pumpkins on the Fourth of July so we would have home-grown pumpkins for Halloween. And, yes, we did get two VERY strong plants, both from our packet of heirloom Red Warty Thing from Botanical Interests. They are currently taking over the yard by the back door!
Doing our own little July 4th traditions since we couldn't go to Maryland this year (watching fireworks, doing the egg & spoon race and the egg toss).
Visiting the native prairie plants garden at the John A Logan Museum.
Collecting tree stumps for our outdoor classroom.
Working in the butterfly garden. Adding basil and chives. Setting up a butterfly muddle. Starting seeds for seven different kinds of sunflowers, more butterfly plants (fennel, yarrow, dill, four kinds of lavender), plus morning glory and moonflower.
Reading The Popcorn Book and popping fresh popcorn. Eating popcorn & cream like the colonists.
Now we are in a new bedtime chapter book, An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly by Laurence Pringle. It's amazing! Pringle wrote wonderful nature study books, including one about a green garner dragonfly. I can't wait to read that one next. And yesterday we collected six monarch caterpillars and set them up in their habitat! I'll make a post of photos soon.
And, naturally, we've been reading and reading and reading some more:
A Worm's Tale by Barbara Lindgren
Poofy Loves Company by Nancy Winslow Parker
Seven Simeons by Boris Artzybasheff
Apron On, Apron Off by Helen Kay
The King, the Dragon, and the Witch by Jerome Corsi
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