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Showing posts with label Drumlin Farm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drumlin Farm. Show all posts

School Vacation Week--Welcome Spring!

So on top of Monday's horrible tragedy, it is school vacation week here and spring has definitely sprung. We have not had many crafts to post since our focus has been on getting outside and at night I have been processing all that has happened (and working on her knitted farm playmat which is almost finished!!). I thought I would share a few pictures from our activities this week. (I know I still haven't done my Cinderella post this week, but am working on it!)

On Monday our day was spent going to the doctor's office--yes Hazel still has a cold and getting Hazel's dance class photo taken. A busy tiring day, but not much to show for it.

On Tuesday Hazel took a class at Drumlin Farm with her best friend from school. Now her friend's mom and I started with them, but parents were not suppose to be there. I didn't get many pictures since I explained to Hazel that moms were not allowed and she was all right with it, her friend however did not feel the same so his mom got a few pictures for me. I went off to the gift shop and then checked out the animals so I would know if we wanted to see them all later and then found a quiet place to sit and knit. The class was on cold-blooded animals so they were ponding a bit.
After their class ended we had a picnic lunch and then went to check out all the animals including the 12-day-old piglets. Hazel and her friend found a door open to an empty chicken coop, so they hopped in and his mom took a picture of them caged.
Then we did Hazel's favorite thing--the hay ride.
Then we bought farm fresh eggs and went to the gift shop. I promised Hazel she could get two gifts since she had been so good at the class without me. This class was meant to be a test run for both of them to see how they would do with each other and not us. Hazel passed and her friend did not (but he did not have a good night the night before so that might be why). While in the gift shop I bought more bird seed as well so his mom went to get the car instead of us carrying the huge bags the distance to the parking lot. (Drumlin Farm is a Mass Audubon location.)
Near the gift shop was one of the few places you can eat due to the working farm and health violations, so the kids enjoyed their M&M's from lunch while we waited.

Today was one of those wonderful spring days that got close to 70 without quite reaching it. We had to take the cats to the groomers and run a few errands, but we spent the afternoon outside. First we went to check on the flowers (see collage near top) and vegetables we planted. We watered some and noticed the English daisy looked dug up so we replanted it and gave it lots of water. Then Hazel watered her pansies. Then we headed to her garden to check on the lettuce--looks like the rabbit found it and snap peas and pansies. The basil was planted a bit too early, so we will have to get more. Oh, and Hazel watered the tomato plants that are in the garage still since it is over a month too early to plant them outside here. Then it was time to play!
Hazel took a little rest on her bench at the swingset and then went on the swings. A neighbor across the street brought her three-year-old granddaughter over since her granddaughter wanted to meet Hazel and they played for a bit. Overall it was a fun day!

For those looking to help with the horrific tragedy in Boston, CNN has a good list of ways anyone can help.




Our Tuesday: Cooking, Nature and Play

This morning Hazel announced she wanted pancakes for breakfast. In other words, she wanted to cook. So we made some. We had some very ripe bananas that I wanted to do something with so I gave three of them to Hazel to mash. Then I gave her an egg to beat. We mixed with the egg, the bananas, a pureed carrot, 1 cup of skim milk, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Next we mixed the dry ingredients in a separate bowl: 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/3 cup ground almond meal, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 cup oatmeal. Then we poured the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and threw in a cup of blueberries. Mixed it well and then cooked the pancakes.
Hazel even helped scoop a couple into the pan, though she is very afraid of the hot stove. She really enjoys cooking with me.
Then we headed to Drumlin Farm for our last class this spring. Today we focused on all the senses for the end. This included popping popcorn since all five senses are used: hear it pop, smell it, touch it, see it and taste it. The kids enjoyed eating it. Then the class visitor was brought out. It was an opossum! The opossum is the only marsupial in North America and fifty years ago you would not find them this far north, but they have migrated with their food.
Our instructor, Alex, told us all about opossums. They only have babies inside of them for two weeks and then they are born the size of a bean. The babies then go into a pouch on the mother's stomach and live there until they are big enough. Their nipples are located inside the pouch (this is also true of kangaroos).
They also cannot hang by their tail. Their tails are not that strong. They do use them for balance and help, but they climb and hang by their claws. You can see in the picture below how big their claws are.
This opossum was in some sort of a fight and has a flattened and injured nose, which is why she lives at the Mass Audubon. They also had an opossum skin to pass around for the kids (and moms) to feel how soft they were. We also think she could smell the popcorn we popped. She kept trying to climb the plexiglass and sniff.
Instead of a craft today we got to go on the hay ride. Hazel enjoys this even if she won't smile for a picture. She also wanted to wear her binoculars we made earlier in the class. She came out with them on and said she was wearing them so she could see things better today. After this we took a walk to the top of the drumlin. We had never been there before and had a good time. On our way back we saw the model long house they made during the summer camp last year. The kids loved it.
It reminded me of the fort we want to make for Hazel. Of course this is much bigger than what we are planning. For those who do not know, the long house was the housing of the Iroquois and many of the tribes in New England. (One tribe in Massachusetts is the Wampanoag.) It would be covered with bark or wood and 20-30 people would live in it. They have a really neat complete long house at Plimouth Plantation.
Then we walked by a pond to look for crayfish. We did not see any, but saw a bouncing bug and a neat silver maple growing in the pond.
The kids had fun sitting by the water. They found bugs and just liked watching the water.

Then it was time to say goodbye. A few of us exchanged contact information so we can try to get together this summer. It was really a nice group of kids and moms. We will miss our weekly trips to Drumlin Farm, but will go back again.

After lunch we ran a few errands and then got one of our high school babysitters to play with Hazel so I could have a break and I am using it to write this, but at least this is relaxing.

May Day at Drumlin Farm

Happy May Day!! Last year I made a miniature May pole for Hazel's seasonal table. Not sure where it is now. I will have to look for it later. This morning we made this May Day Basket. I used a printable from Fantasy Jr. Hazel practiced cutting so some of the flowers ended up square and we added some flower stickers we had.
For May Day we went to Drumlin Farm. Here in Massachusetts it was a cold, rainy day. Hazel was excited to see the puddles! We really need the rain so it was good to see it, but not a lot of fun with the cold temperatures.
Puddle Jumping!!
In our class today the focus was on hearing. We got there a bit late due to the horrible traffic in the rain. The visitor was just coming out of her cage when we got there. The visitor today was an American Kestrel, because she makes lots of noise.
Things I learned today: birds have hollow bones which is why they can fly. This bird weighs about the same as the glove our instructor had on to hold her; her ears are located at the top of the thick black stripes behind her eyes. Once again she had kestrel wings for the kids and moms to feel as well as an owl wing. The owls wings are very soft on the edges to help with the silent flight. After our visitor we made a fun craft which is perfect for this week and Cinco de Mayo!! A shaker noise toy out of a toilet paper roll and rice. Staple one end of a toilet paper roll shut. Decorate the outside how you want. Put some rice (amount up to you) and then staple the other end in the other direction to make neat shape.

Then we headed to the chicken house. We timed it well because there was still a hen out for another program so we got to pet it.

Then we got to go into the Staff Only section where the chicks are. We missed the hen house last year so we didn't get to see the chicks last year. They had three chick cages with different ages in each one.
Youngest

Then we went to see the newest babies on the farm.

Can you imagine having 11 babies? Oh, my!!
My piglet is piglet weight!
Then class was over so we walked over to see Midnight, the pony. Then wanted to check on the seeds we planted last week so we walked through the sheep and goat barn. All the goats and sheep were inside!

We thought this one was in the best spot in the whole farm! Eating and warm!
We checked our swiss chard, but it hadn't sprouted yet. Oh, well. It has been too cold here lately. Then we went to the gift shop to buy some bird seed and headed home.


Farms and Zoos

Broad Tailed Hawk at Drumlin Farm
We are trying, but struggling to get back into our weekly rhythm. With my parents here Monday morning still it seems to have thrown us off a bit. Plus Hazel was up quite a bit Sunday night--I think the excitement of the weekend got to her and now I'm sick as a result. Oh, well.

Yesterday we went to Drumlin Farm for our class. We focused on vision this week and the guest animal was a broad tailed hawk. It was very neat to see one so close up. I know my father would be jealous so I too lots of pictures for him. He loves hawks!! The discussion of course was the hawk's vision being so good to hunt. This hawk cannot really fly anymore which is why the farm is keeping him there. Then the instructor passed around actual hawk wings, tail and feet for us to feel. It was so interesting.
Next the kids made their own binoculars. She had real ones and magnifying glasses out on the exploration table with many things from nature to look at. These binoculars are very easy. You need two toilet paper rolls, tape, pipe cleaner and string. Punch a hole in each toilet paper roll for the string. Tape the rolls together so the holes face outward and on the top. Wrap the pipe cleaner around to secure even more. Then tie string to holes and you are good to go. Of course the kids all decorated theirs with crayons.
Then we went to Bird Hill to see all the different birds and see if we could find the ones like our class visitor. The interesting thing I learned was that hawks do not have feathers on their feet, but owls do. Owls have feathers on their feet for silent flight. Then we went to the vernal pool and we spotted this wood frog. Hazel wasn't quite herself and didn't want to walk around to see the animals so we went home. We don't have class next week since it is school vacation week so we won't be back to the farm for a couple of weeks.

We have been planning a zoo play mat for Hazel. I got the idea from Made to Play! by Joel Henriques. I love this book!! So many great ideas for homemade toys that grow the imagination. Since the book is for handmade toys and crafts I made a few changes. As a person who loves my sewing machine and does not love sewing by hand, I did some machine applique. It is very easy. First cut the shapes of the colored fabric that you want with a little more to be folded over. Then cut some fusible interfacing a bit smaller than each piece and iron it on following the instructions of the interfacing to the center of each piece. Fold the edges down. If you have curved pieces, you will need to cut periodically to get it smooth. Iron the edges down.

Now the fun part! Figuring out where each piece should go. Lay them out and pin them where you want them to go.


Then you set your sewing machine to a large zig zag stitch and make the stitch length very small (almost button hole small) and zig zag the edges on.








Then I just zig zag stitched any rough edges of the play mat because eventually I'm going to make another side and quilt them together, but wanted the rough edges not to fray too much.
We made some toilet paper roll animals to go with the zoo and we invaded her toys to find other animals including the ones I needle felted for Easter.  The toilet paper roll animals I got from DLTK. I chose the ones that already had color since Hazel is not great about coloring pictures.
Plus we pulled out her other animals we had. Including her magnetic puzzle animals.
The rainbow sheep she received for Easter were put in a pasture.
The swans were put in a lake.

 At one point we even had her dinosaur in there. Oh, and we made a toilet paper roll unicorn. I added some pink roving for the mane and tail. Now we will see how she plays with it.