Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hiking to the Top of the World

A week after moving into our new home in Southern California, we were honored to join a new group of friends at Santiago Oaks Regional Park for Nature Kindergarten. During circle time, us newcomers learned what to do if we encounter rattlesnakes or mountain lions. Then, in honor of Earth Day, we hiked "to the top of the world", stopping along the way to let the children explore and to learn about the various plants on the trail; which to avoid (poison oak!) and which are edible. We sampled wild mustard, malva, pineapple weed (wild chamomile), lemonade berry, yucca, and pepper berry.

After eating our lunch on the top of the mountain, our leader showed the children how to use stones to make paintbrushes from the leaf of a yucca plant.

Arwen was able to walk much of the trail. She found going down a bit easier, especially with her brothers helping her through some bumpy patches.

After story and tea time, Arwen enjoyed playing 'horse' on a log bench, while the children learned to bore out the middle of elderberry branch segments to make beads.

Noah loves his elderberry branch necklace and could not wait to get home and use his yucca paintbrush to paint a picture of the mountain.

We are looking forward to many more learning adventures in our new home!