Please find below our daily SolBe Family update letter containing helpful resources and exciting projects to explore while we all do our part to stay home during this pandemic.

SolBe Families,

With a sunny forecast and slightly warmer weather today. Our top recommendation, as it is when our friends are here at SolBe, would be to get outside and enjoy.  A nice walk outside, maybe going on a “bear hunt”, or enjoying a casual hike for 30 minutes or so. Fresh air is ever so important for kids and perhaps even more important for your sanity.

If you live nearby SolBe, here are a few trails that are child-friendly for a walk:

  1.  Allandale Woods Trail
  2.  Lost Pond Trail
  3. Arnold Arboretum Trail  

Of course there are many others- alltrails.com is a wonderful resource if you are new to the area!

If I can chime in, it’s Patty, fortunate to live very close to the Arnold Arboretum.  I have walked there for at least an hour for the past three days, and can affirm that these walks have been restorative in every way.  What you will find are carpets of crocuses, kiddos riding bikes and scooters, families playing hide and seek among the trees. It is truly a normalizing experience in the best ways and absolutely free.  Pack good shoes or rain boots and snacks and water, as the Visitor’s Center has been closed. You will come away refreshed.  

We continue to work on the logistics around some virtual classroom time, live-streamed cooking class and potentially music and yoga from our partners. In the meantime, I tuned into a class on Beanstalk.co and would highly recommend it.  The resources are free and there are additional projects and live zoom classrooms for our age group. We also just heard from our partner Jennifer Gillette who runs The Loved Child in Belmont.  She is going to be leading free virtual classes and workshops in the coming days—specifically, her famous “Toilet Training” workshop for those who are working on this at this time. Expect an email on this in the next day or so!

Project of the Day Infants/Toddlers: Make Your Own Non-Toxic Homemade Paint!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of fresh raspberries
  •  ½ teaspoon of vinegar
  •  ½ teaspoon of salt

Directions

Using a mortar or similar tool made raspberry pure and then push it through a strainer to gel pulp-free juice. Add ½ teaspoon of vinegar to hold the color and make it more liquid. Finally add ½ teaspoon of salt and TA DAH!

Suggestions for Parents

  • All ingredients in this recipe are child friendly! Involve your child  in the whole process and let him/her get messy by touching, smelling, hearing, and maybe tasting!
  •  The process of making the paint is a wonderful opportunity to promote critical thinking (see questions below), work on language (express yourself and model responses), science (observe how ingredients change) and of course, have fun connecting in this meaningful activity!

Questions & Reflection

The following are examples of some questions you can introduce while working on this project. Even if you don’t hear any response back, we suggest to wait at least 2 minutes and then, model a response.

  • What does it feel/smell/look/hear like?
  • When you touch it, how do you feel?
  • What else can be red?
  • With Older Infants, we suggest to model responses while pointing at things (e.i., point at a red apple after asking “What else can be red?”) and use a lot of gestures!
  • Share with your child what you will be working on: Making paint! Even if you feel, your child does not quite fully understand yet, it is important to share the purpose of the activity.
  • Share with your child things we can do with paint and participate in the process of creating a wonderful art piece with your child!
  • Have fun!

Project of the Day Older Toddlers & Preschoolers: Going on a Hunt!

Take the opportunity of this wonderful weather to explore outdoors (see list of trails we suggested!). Bring a bag and allow your child to collect any items of his/her interest (e.g., leaves, sticks, rocks). Once at home, explore together all your findings! Using any kind of ruler (or another measuring tool you have handy), invite your child to measure each object and notice all the different lengths. Make your own masterpiece with all the pieces you found!

Suggestions for Parents

  • Participate in the process! Collect items that are interesting to you and measure together!
  • Share with your child how math can be anywhere, even at the park

Questions to Guide your Conversations

  • What is the function of the ruler?
  • How do we use it?
  • While exploring what you found at the park: What do they look like? Where have we seen these objects before?
  • While at the park: How did we feel?
  • What can we make with all these objects? What happens if…we put 2 sticks together?

More resources to follow in the coming days. Feedback and more ideas welcome, as always!

Be well and stay healthy!

The SolBe Team

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