It felt like ages since I’d been at the Nook! We were happy to get back into the swing of things this morning, and as usual, the farm did not disappoint.
Zahra learned to purl at Knitting Circle this morning, and so now she knows the two basic stitches. Kristin gave the kids a new project—hand warmers—and Zahra is hard at work on those this evening in her bed. She’s also made a series of bunnies and wants to make one for each of her cousins. I love it that, while I’m reading our book in the evenings, she’s sitting next to me knitting.
While Zahra was busy, and Leila was sitting next to her in Knitting Circle (later, she muttered, “I’m casting on,” and then turned to me to ask what that means), I took Noah and Jordan out to the barnyard. Other kids soon joined us. I sat watching them play for a while and then called Mr. Quinn to see if we couldn’t get set up with an incubator and some hatching eggs for the Nook. He agreed and came over to the barnyard, needing to move the sheep from the barn to the pasture. At first, the plan was that we would stand back and watch him herd the sheep. But when the group split and some sheep didn’t budge from the barn, the boys and I got in on the action. We chased them out of the barn from behind, and Mr. Quinn led them with the promise of food to the pasture.
After that, it was on to drama, and the paper bag princess had her costume. There’s just one more rehearsal before their performance at the Nook!
Outside, Kristin led a group for Nature Hour. This is the first week we’ve used the backpack of free resources provided by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. There is some great stuff in there and plenty of ideas to keep our Nature Hour group busy through the end of June! This time, the kids whittled and decorated sticks. They even made a little lean-to with a sign. It was another beautiful, sunny day, and it was so wonderful to be out there with friends, literally whittling the day away.
We came in for lunch, though, our bellies growling. On our way back, Zahra and I spotted an inhabitant in the birdhouse put up by our Birdwatching Group. I snapped a picture and couldn’t wait to tell Ryan!
The first activity of the afternoon was art for the older kids, this time led by one of our young members, Maya (the same Maya who designed our centre’s logo). She presented the work of Joseph Cornell, and then the kids worked on box assemblages. There were all so creative! No following the herd here. Here are a few of them:
Art continued with a lesson from Aita. Last time she was there, she had taught the kids how to draw bodies in proportion. This time, they concentrated on facial expressions. I was bouncing back and forth between the inside and outside at this point, and when I came back up the stairs to check on Zahra, she was bounding down the stairs. When she saw me, she gave me a hug and said, “That was great!” Zahra used to think she was a great artist, but this year, she started losing faith in her abilities. She often gets frustrated when her ideas don’t translate to paper. I’ve been telling her that it’s a matter of practise, but like Noah and the advice on positive attitude that came from Jill, Zahra needed to hear it from another person. “Nobody’s born a great artist; we have to work at it!” said Aita. And this evening, after dinner, Zahra was working on it some more.
While the place was busting at the seams with artistic endeavours, Cindy kept some of the younger kids busy making origami jumping frogs and playing with play dough, and Isabelle took another group of the younger kids out to the field for baseball. Later, it was the older kids’ turn for baseball.
Noah preferred to play on the play yard. We ran into Mr. Quinn again who, this time, was trying to get an aggressive cow from one trailer to another—which is no easy task. I jumped onto the step to look into the trailer, curious as to what this heritage breed cow looked like, and nearly jumped out of my skin. Mr. Quinn had warned me that the cow was “mad”—and wow, I could see it in her eyes!
Back to the egg hatching project. We decided, after all, to not keep the incubator and eggs at the Nook. With all the vibration from the construction going on in the adjoining building, plus the in-and-out of birthday party kids on the weekends, it’s likely that we would get a very low hatch rate, if anything at all. Mr, Quinn suggested that I take it home, and as you can imagine, my husband was thrilled at the idea of two incubators running continuously—one in the kitchen and one in our bedroom—for the next three weeks. Ha! I will organize a couple “egg candling” dates where members of the Nook can come to my house and we can check the progress of the chicks’ development (and then go to a nearby park for a picnic dinner!). And then, when the eggs start to hatch, a sort of “baby announcement” will be made, and anyone who is available will be welcome to come watch it all unfold.
For those of you who contributed to the Nook’s “Grow Fund” before this all started and were one of the top ten donors, this should be very exciting news to you: in three weeks, you will have a chicken named after you! I bet you can’t wait.