We had a true farm to table experience to wrap up our final week! Farm Sprouts spent time engaging in imaginative play as sugar shack workers, put the finishing touches on our evaporator, worked with our maple playdough, and made butter from heavy cream in preparation for our snack later. We joined to share some of our thoughts about the maple sugaring process, spurred by viewing our Wonder Wall. Farm Sprouts enjoyed reading the book, “Pancakes for Breakfast” by Tomie dePaola, which tells the story through illustrations of a woman who wakes up hungry for pancakes. She preeds to collect eggs from the hens, collect milk from the cow to make butter, and visits a nearby maple sugaring operation to purchase syrup. All activities we can experience here at the farm!
Farm Sprouts were happy to have another ride on the wagon out to the sugar bush. We had a lot to do and wanted to conserve their energy for the work ahead. We showed our appreciation for the forest by falling into yoga tree pose. We learned the word tree in several languages, including árbol in Spanish, 树 shù in Chinese, and 나무 namu in Korean. We sang, “I’m a Big Old Maple” to the tune of “I’m a Little Tea Pot.” We visited the sugar shack, checked on our sap bucket, and spent some time playing in the forest. On the wagon, they had decided to name a now beloved spot in the forest: Stick A-mazing World. So of course we had to return one last time this winter! The trees have fallen to form an incredible climbing structure. It’s been a must-play stop during our forest adventures for this group each week since its discovery. The social interaction, experimentation with risk and physical strength and abilities, imaginative play, and the natural discoveries which occur in this special place are a joy to observe. Hooray for nature play!
On our return, we stopped at the chicken coop. Farm Sprouts peered into nesting boxes to spot and collect freshly laid eggs. Fortunately, the hens had laid more eggs since the morning and we had just what we needed for our pancake recipe! We made a double batch of batter for the afternoon group, meaning we needed 4 eggs!
Once we returned to the Activity Center, we were ready to kick off our pancake celebration! Farm Sprouts spent time journaling some of their thoughts related to maple sugaring or other topics. We read the story, “Pancakes, Pancakes!” by Eric Carle. We listened to songs about pancakes and maple sugaring. Farm Sprouts helped add ingredients, including honey and eggs from the farm. The buckwheat was ground fresh for the batter.
Papa Jim’s Pancakes (from Ms. Brooke’s grandfather)
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup organic, all-purpose or pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. honey
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Combine and warm a skillet. Flip when bubbles appear. Serve with butter and maple syrup! Feel free to listen to some good music (Papa Jim liked country) while you flip and enjoy.
Farm Sprouts were able to eat their pancakes with fresh maple syrup from the farm this season, which included sap from the tree they helped tap!
We see such incredible growth in so many ways in such a short time. It is such an honor and joy to work as guides to support your children in developing socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically. We see them form friendships, take risks, ask insightful questions, and find joy in learning and discovery. We have a few favorite “I statements” we all repeat, which include “I am brave!” “I am strong!” “I am adventurous!” And they were! Lastly, we ask them to promise themselves to NEVER stop asking questions. May their sense of wonder and curiosity continue throughout their lives.
“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.” ― Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
Until next maple sugaring season! Happy Spring!