This is the tree bench behind our slide - check out the willow that is leafing out!

On Saturday, I will be traveling to Ottumwa, Iowa to teach at the Southeast Iowa Early Care and Education Symposium, a conference I am very much looking forward to!  I will be unveiling a brand new workshop titled, “Climbing up the Slide: How Honoring a Child’s Innate Desires Nurtures their Body, Mind, and Spirit” and I feel giddy with excitement.  Each time I deliver new content, I anticipate how the material will be received, the way time will unfold and if I allotted it correctly in my mind, and what pieces participants will embrace most strongly.  In addition to this class, I will also be teaching “One Big Family! How Rivalry Surfaces in Early Childhood Settings, and What to do about it!” and “Time on the Floor: How Entering a Child’s World Fosters Lifelong Learning.”   Needless to say, my unclaimed time (typically reserved for writing) will largely go toward laminating, cutting, tying, packing, printing, stapling, photocopying, ironing, coloring, taping, and counting.  Curious about what might be happening in Saturday’s workshops?  Join us!

But, lest you feel disconnected from the crew and what we are up to over these days, I want to share some visuals to help you live vicariously through our adventures.

Today, a good friend from Gingerich Landscaping delivered 4.5 tons of compost for our natural playscape landscaping.  Of course, with seven under the age of five, we can’t miss a chance to see a dump truck in action!

Spring is (amazingly) in full swing and our living tunnel is beginning to shoot up and leaf out!   Willow is amazing, because you simply cut branches off and stick them in the ground, and they will grow!  We planted these about a month ago, and they have already added several inches in height.  Eventually, this willow will grow up and form a living tunnel behind the slide.

We all helped Ezra seed the two hills with Eco (no mow) Grass.  The crew has been patiently waiting until the baby grass gets established before they walk on the hills or use the slide!

Ezra explained how to broadcast the seeds.

Then we all took turns.

Carefully sprinkling the seeds.

We can’t wait for the grass to grow!

We finished our raised beds recently and transplanted our broccoli, along with sowing kale, rainbow swiss chard, and radishes.  The crew is so curious about all of the things that grow!

A row of broccoli, protected (hopefully) from our rabbit friends.

Young gardeners, learning how to tend small seedlings.  For children, gardening is such a natural connection to the life cycle, and it is immediately relevant to their tummies as things grow!

We have been eating most of our mid-day meals and snacks outside.  Here, Desmond is showing off his teeth, and a face full of lunch!

Hope you had a wonderful Monday!  Are you in the area?  Will you be in Ottumwa on Saturday? Let me know…I’d love to connect in person!!