On Saturday morning, two of our favorite activities came together. The children's librarians from the Arlington County Library joined Long Branch Nature Center for Trail Tales. The basic idea of Trail Tales is that story boards have been put up along the nature trail so can read as you walk. Currently Woodlice by Sian Smith is posted. One of the naturalist told me that they planned to change the stories with the seasons to keep the story relevant to what the kids can find at the nature center.
To celebrate Trail Tales, there were many activities Saturday morning. The librarian who regularly leads a fantastic story time at the library's main branch brought her books, songs, rhymes and puppets to the nature center's mini-amphitheater and led a wonderful story time in the woods about insects. One of the naturalists had leaves and dirt in which the children could find insects and then look at them under various microscopes and magnifying glasses.
There were also fantastic crafts for the kids. Both Meg and Clare made adorable bookmarks. And to the girls' great excitement, there was face painting. I was quite impressed that the artists matched the girls' dresses with their artwork.
It was a very fun morning. We hope the nature center and library will continue working together on events like this one.
Yesterday was the first official day of our summer break (since it was the first weekday since school ended). I have discovered that I am quite excited about the summer adventures that await us. That being said, I am afraid our first official day of summer break did not start off with great excitement. Clare had a doctor's appointment at 9 a.m. So everyone had to get up as if it were a school morning and poor Clare had three shots and a finger prick.
But things got better. The girls have been playing Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad since Friday when we checked the book out of the library. Clare discovered the Ladybug Girl books at school this Spring and we have enjoyed the discovery so much. After all, Ladybug Girl "can do anything." Since she discovered the books, Clare gets to be Ladybug Girl and Meg plays the role of Kiki the Butterfly Girl. I decided to channel that bug squad energy into a nature walk at Long Branch Nature Center.
I found some great nature walk guide sheets on Pinterest (you can see some of the other nature checklists I pinned and plan to use). Clare, in particular, enjoyed checking off things she found on the nature walk (and as you can see, she was still dressed as Ladybug Girl on the walk).
In true Ladybug Girl and Butterfly Girl fashion, my little bug squad climbed rocks and braved the stream water. However Ladybug Girl did spend quite a bit of time complaining that she couldn't walk because her legs ached from her immunizations earlier in the day.
Still, Ladybug Girl fought through her pain and climbed this high mountain (okay, just a bunch of rocks piled on top of each other, but impressive nonetheless).
It was a small adventure, but I am so glad we did something on our first official day of summer break. On a side note, a dear friend of mine has begun her own blog that I highly recommend: Holiness in the Ordinary.
I am Sandra Penfield--a one-time lawyer who is now a very happy stay-at-home mom. This blog is about making every day the very best it can be and preserving those memories for my children.
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