Showing posts with label Ipswich River. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ipswich River. Show all posts

50 Hikes with Kids in New England -- Review and Sharing a Hike


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The weather here in New England is not perfect for getting outside and certainly not for hiking without snowshoes. However, I like to think about warmer weather and weather where the ground isn't covered with snow and ice. I know it is coming! So today I am going to share a new book that shares 50 hikes around New England that are good to do with kids. The book is 50 Hikes with Kids: New England by Wendy Gorton.

Pond, Nature, Teddy Bear Picnic and Museum

We had a very busy day today. We had our Nature Adventures with Picture Books at the Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary this morning. It is hard to believe there is only one more of them this summer. This week's theme was ponds! She read us a book about a walk around a pond and seeing animals and signs of animals. Then she showed us pictures of the animals we may see and off we went. Since it was hot and sunny when we started out, our instructor chose the pond in the Rockery, so we would be in the shade for the most part. Along the way we saw many dragonflies and damselflies. I did not take any pictures of them this week since we had so many last week. There were many steps to make the hill easier to get down and up, however one of the moms had her youngest in a stroller so she required some help getting back up.
We stopped along the way to look at scat (at least that is the official term for it--in house it is poop) and discuss which animals may have left it. She also pointed out a beaver boundary mound. Then we saw the water and the water lilies. We also saw a frog, but my pictures did not come out well of it. We saw a blue heron but we saw it when it was flying away from us.
Then we went over a bridge and our instructor took some water samples for us to explore. The first find was a snail. Then we found a baby dragonfly. It was hard to believe this ugly water bug turns into the beautiful dragonflies we were seeing everywhere.
We also found some baby damselflies. It was hard to believe how different they look from the baby dragonflies when they look so much alike as adults. (To tell the difference, damselflies land with their wings folded and dragonflies land with them open.)
Then we found an even smaller baby damselfly!! This was my find, so I'm proud!

Here are all of our finds or at least the ones we could get to stay in something. Several of the waterbugs took off on us when we put them into the ice cube tray. Apparently the whirliwig bugs or whatever they are have wings.

Then she showed us a rana slyvatica (a wooden frog that you rub with a wooden stick to make frog sounds). The kids all tried it out.
She also showed us models of the stages of a frog's life. The kids got to hold each one.
On the way back up the hill, I went with the kids who were walking to get them to stop every once in awhile to wait for the other adults who were helping with the stroller. At one point we stopped and the kids pointed out an animal down the road. The deer was kind enough to wait until everyone joined us and got a good look at it before running off.
After getting back to the nature center I realized we needed to get going so we could meet Hazel's friend at the Wenham Museum for a Teddy Bear Picnic. We got there late. Hazel went over to our friends while I went in to check in and pay for us. It was a little chaotic and the kids did not stay focused too well. I did get some pictures of Hazel doing the Teddy bear, teddy bear dance.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Touch the Ground.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Show Your Shoes.

Then they pretended to be bears with one child the mama bear to lead them in their behavior. Then Hazel wanted to go inside. The museum is on a main street/state highway so it was loud. They had read some books while the kids ate their lunches and had coloring sheets, but it was too large of a group and too spread out to keep them all focused with the noise from the road. So we took our teddy bears and picnic stuff back to the car and went inside to the museum.

I had only been to the museum once before. I know they have some old house as part of the museum with certain times to tour it, but we have not done that part. The rest of the museum is very kid friendly. It has toys, exhibits of life in the U.S. during the 17th-19th century and clothes for them to try on, toys that can be played with and then their are the dollhouses, dolls, and the trains with the buttons you can push to get them all moving. Needless to say the kids had a lot of fun. I did not bring my camera inside thinking a museum doesn't allow pictures to be taken. Our friend however did and sent me some.
Hazel is wearing a dress fashioned after the 19th century and a 17th century style bonnet. Downstairs where the model trains are there is also an interactive room for the kids to play. It includes a large model train engine you can sit in.
First they sold tickets since other kids were on the train.
Then Hazel loved pulling the suitcase around.
Then they got in the train. After this we each went our own way. Hazel was obsessed with a model house they could play in. She put Ducky to sleep in the bed and then took a basket to go to the market or churned butter. It was really cute!!

Overall a wonderful busy day!! We are going to plan a teddy bear picnic for the near future and invite a few friends.

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Exploring at the Wildlife Sanctuary and Painting

On Wednesday we had our class at the Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. We skipped our class at Drumlin Farm this week since Hazel claimed to feel like she was going to throw up on our way there, however half an hour later she wanted lunch. I'm not really sure what happened, but she seems fine now. Anyway, at the Ipswich River Sanctuary we jumped in puddles and chased the other 3-year olds. Oh, and Hazel made a friend and held hands with her on part of our walk. I took a picture of them, but did not get the mother's permission to post it on line, so I won't. After a short walk we went back to the vernal pool to see if we could see some frogs this time. And we did!! We saw two different ones. The first one pictured above was pretty brave with all the kids around. Then one of them got a bit too close and he jumped in the water, but he stayed where we could see him with his eyes out of the water the entire time.
A little ways down we saw a big bull frog. He had different coloring than the first and was sitting on a log (again until someone got a bit too close).
While checking out the second frog, we saw a fast moving turkey (many of the kids missed it by the pool) and one of the kids found a slug. He even stuck his eyes out for us!
Then it was time to go back to the Nature House for our craft. On our way back through the field we saw the turkey again.
Then for our craft we made bird nests out of air-drying clay and grass. Then the instructor gave us a bird for it.
Then we ran some errands and came home. After lunch we finished our fairy garden and did some painting.

We have been reading the book Brown at the Zoo by Christianne C. Jones. It starts by talking about the colors--primary and secondary and that brown is a tertiary color. It then talks about how you can make it. The book goes through all the things that are brown at the zoo. It is in a series of books about colors. We decided to try to make brown in the different color combinations with Hazel's paints. Basically you can mix the three primary colors or you can mix any two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel (red and green, yellow and purple, or orange and blue). We tried to make different shades by mixing the different colors. Some combinations worked better than others, but it may be the proportions we (Hazel) used.
Then she wanted to do some more paintings from The Color of Us. So we mixed yellow, white, black, and red in different proportions to explore the colors we would get. I let Hazel have a bit more control with the mixing this time.
Then we started over with some new mixtures and got this.
Then Hazel wanted to paint with blue. She said these were blueberries, but I thought it could also be pictures from The Dot by Peter Reynolds. We kept saying we were going to make some dot paintings, but never quite got to them.

Then she asked to use watercolors and she came up with the following. I think she had blueberries on the mind!
Just a reminder that Sharing Saturday will start tonight and you can visit the wonderful posts shared last week still, and Happy Family Times will end tomorrow, so go link up. And I'm still hosting a link party for Mother's Day gift ideas.

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Banana Walnut Blueberry Pancakes & First Class

This morning Hazel wanted to make pancakes for breakfast. I played with our recipe a bit to make it healthier. Since we had some nice ripe bananas we decided to make banana pancakes. I have been reading How to Disease-Proof Your Child by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. I haven't gotten very far, but it is interesting and he really pushes the nuts and seeds as well as fruits and vegetables. In particular he talks about walnuts and flax seeds. I bought some walnuts and gave some to Hazel but she didn't like them, so I put some in the blender and added them to the pancakes.
My banana masher
We mixed together 1/2 cup of flax seed meal, 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, 2 teaspoons of baking soda,  1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and about 1/2 cup of ground walnuts.

Around this time we sprayed the griddle pan with a butter cooking spray and warmed the pan. Then we beat an egg and added one cup of milk, one tablespoon olive oil and the mashed bananas (2 pretty ripe bananas).  Then we added this mixture to the dry ingredients and mixed it together. Then we stirred in one cup of frozen blueberries. Now it was time to cook.
And finally time to eat. We had them with some maple syrup!

After breakfast we needed to get ready for our first class at the Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. Every time we have tried to get into their toddler class it has been full. This last time April's was full but they put us in the May one, so off we went. Hazel loved it!
Looking for frogs at the vernal pool
Today's theme was frogs. The instructor showed the kids two frogs--a leopard frog and a wood frog in the Nature Center. Then we walked to the vernal pool or the frog pond. She had found some tadpoles earlier this morning and left them to show the kids on our way. She also had some salamander eggs to show them. Unfortunately, it was cold and wet out today so the frogs were not out nor were the turtles. We will have to bring Daddy here on a sunny warm day so we can see them. (One of our goals of taking the class here was to get to know this place better so we can go as a family more.) The instructor found a pond cricket and a slug, but Hazel wanted to keep walking and not stop to look. The one rule the instructor had was whenever the kids saw a trail marker post they had to stop and wait for everyone. I stayed up with Hazel since she was often by the post. Apparently the instructor got the slug to stick out its eyes. I don't know how, but I would have loved to see it.
Could a fairy live in this old tree with the other tree winding around it?
While Hazel was getting impatient we decided to look for fairy houses or places fairies could live. We found an interesting fallen tree that had another tree wrapping around it. We decided it would be perfect for a fairy. The rest of the class was looking at a spider web except for the boy who went from one post to the next without looking at anything. Then the instructor showed the kids where the deer had been eating and one of the girls found a deer print. At this point Hazel needed a bathroom so we went ahead to use it.
Walking by the meadow
On our way to the bathroom we walked by a meadow with blue bird boxes. Then after the bathroom we went into the Nature Center to join the class for a craft. She had a frog puzzle out of paper for the kids to do. Each kid got a glue stick and puzzle. Here is Hazel's.

After class, we went out for some jumping in puddles and one of the boys showed Hazel the water bubbler. After some playing with it and experimenting and a little help from me, Hazel figured out how to drink from it.
Don't you love the look of satisfaction on her face! Her shirt is completely wet, but oh, well. Then one of the girls asked if they wanted to play hide and seek and off the kids were. Then they splashed in the puddles and then it was tag. Needless to say it was a fun morning.

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