April 22, 2020
Happy Earth Day! In honor of this glorious day I wanted to select a nature-based project reflecting our hopes for our beautiful planet. The truth is, images of trees have been on my mind as of late. Everything in our world feels unstable, unpredictable, and at moments unmanageable right now. The Governor of Massachusetts announced yesterday our school will now be closed until June 29th. While I understand and agree with safeguarding our community, this news was heartbreaking for our educators, families and mostly our kids.
When life feels out of control what is a more stabilizing image than a big, beautiful, blossoming tree? I am calmed by the permanence. Deep, strong roots reach down and take hold of the earth. Branches reach upward and outward and all about towards the sky…what freedom!
Tree Pose, Vrksasana in Sanskrit, is a stabilizing balancing posture in yoga. Have your kiddo stand hips distance apart, reach their arms high towards the sky and “grow their branches”! Encourage them to lift their foot up to their ankle or just above the knee. Remember- process, not outcome! Reassure them that balancing is what they are working towards and falling is normal and OKAY!
Project of the Day for All Ages: Grow Your Branches!
For this project I was craving a few things. It is a lovely day (though a bit chilly) here in Boston and I desperately needed some FRESH AIR!
Bundle up and venture out. Though we love living in the city under normal circumstances, this pandemic has me dreaming of being outside in some wide open spaces. That being said, we are making the best of our walks! Trying to find spaces where all of the grass and sticks haven’t been peed on by our four-legged friends.
What materials can you collect? Take a moment to talk about trees. Bark. Branches. Leaves. Roots. How can we get creative about how we are thinking about these elements. Even in the heart of the city we were able to source some lovely (pee-free) fallen materials.
Start with a large blank paper! POSSIBILITY! It made sense to me to begin with the roots and trunk and then grow my tree from there. Lay your collected materials out neatly so your kiddos can see what they have to work with. What a fun sensory activity for our tinier friends. All of the shapes and sizes and textures to explore.
Assemble. As usual, I used a glue gun for speed and precision. Wet glue or tape will work for kids. Messy is great! Enjoy the process.
Most important direction, as always: HAVE FUN!
More resources to follow in the coming days. Feedback and more ideas welcome, as always!
Be well and stay healthy!