Loading...Loading...
Discover the secret of childhood from 0-3 year old:

Posts Tagged ‘nature’

From Caterpillars to Butterflies, Literally!

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 6:26 pm | By Stephanie Woo

A couple weeks ago, I ordered some caterpillars from Insect Lore, an online company my friend Shiying told me about. I love that you don’t have to worry about feeding the caterpillars because they come with all the food they need before turning into chrysalis. Our ‘cup’ of caterpillar arrived via UPS. I have to say watching the transformation of our five caterpillars was amazing – not only did the children love it, so did we!

Brooke examining our five hungry caterpillars.

After two weeks of eating nonstop, the caterpillars have attached themselves to the top of the cup, which could only mean one thing…

They’ve turned into chrysalis! Mark shows the children how to take the chrysalis out and tape it to the ‘butterfly garden,’ a large net for the butterflies to fly around in once they come out…

That’s our friend, five-year-old Gerren, who was super delighted watching the process, too!

10 days later…

After all the butterflies have emerged, we chose a special day and had a butterfly-releasing ceremony. B is holding one of the butterflies.

M coaxes her butterfly to take flight: Fly, butterfly, fly!

What We Started Doing After the Montessori Congress

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 6:39 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Lately, I’ve been uninspired. I’ve done everything with my children that I learned during my 0-3 training and they’re ready to move on. I start my AMI 3-6 training at Montessori Institute Northwest in September, but that seemed like eons away. I needed new ideas NOW.

Was it fate or a coincidence that the 2013 International Montessori Congress took place here in Portland OR, just 15 minutes from our home? AND it was a huge inspiration. The theme was Montessori: Guided by Nature. The most memorable parts of the Congress for me were the really cool people I met, Vandana Shiva’s closing presentation and Rusty Keeler‘s “Playscape”, an amazing play space made entirely out of simple, natural materials one can find anywhere.

After those five days, I was enlivened. I felt inspired to bring more nature into our lives. So we did just that. 

For starters, we simply took more walks in nature. Here’s one that we took with my friend, Brenda, and her 5-year-old daughter, Gerren. Little did I know that Brenda, being a native Washingtonian, was a total naturalist – and she led us to amazing little treasures at Hoyt Arboretum, a forest right next to our house…

Our fearless naturalist and leader, Brenda, foraging for goodies

Did you know there was something called Thimbleberries? A tiny little red fruit that tastes delicious!

 A handful of thimbleberries – gone in 2 seconds

Look at those loaded wild blackberry bushes! And they are free! 

Delicious blackberries

What?! You can eat these?

This valley of wild flowers belongs in a storybook. But Gerren doesn’t know that – she’s right at home prancing through the fields of blossoms! And they aren’t just pretty…

Look what they come with – wild sweet peas!

M ates pods after pods of these tiny peas. Definitely the most amount of raw veges she’s ever consumed in one sitting. Good for practicing that pincer grasp, too.

Dandelions!

Nature walks would not be complete without slugs. And Brenda spots one right next to our car. She finds leaves for transplanting the slug to a new home.

Everyone gets an close-and-personal opportunity to pet the slug

Gerren demonstrates how to handle a slug with care. She lays it down on a patch of grass, faraway from the roads, where it can be safe.. 

We’ve done lots of other ‘nature’ activities since the Congress that I will share in the upcoming weeks. For those of you out there who attended the Congress, what have you been doing differently? 

Which Is Better: Man-Made or Natural?

Friday, May 31st, 2013 12:47 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Recently, I took some photos of B and M sliding, dangling, climbing and swinging on the playground and in the forest. How is a child’s consciousness shaped by playing on man-made swings and slides VERSUS dangling on living trees and sliding down dirt slopes in a forest? 

I can’t put my finger on it, but it really does feel very different, doesn’t it? For one, nature is continuously changing. The slopes gets muddy after a rainstorm. The tree branches will bend and give when you climb on it. For me, having that connection to earth, trees and nature expands our consciousness in a way that metal and plastic play structures don’t do. What differences do you see?

Sliding down a slide vs. sliding down a particularly steep slope in the forest

Dangling on monkey bars vs. a dangling on a tree

Climbing on a metal play structure vs. climbing a tree

Swinging at the park vs. bobbing up and down on limber tree branches