It was a hot and windy day—but it worked for flying kites, and that was the first thing on our agenda this morning at the Nook. As the families came through the door, I set them up with kite kits, a donation from Elwood Quinn. The kids cut, decorated, reinforced and strung their kites before taking them out to the field to try them out.
Like my poule-volante? (In French, a kite is called a cerf-volant, or flying deer.)
With all the activity and kids needing help at different stages of the kite-making process, I didn’t get to my lesson plans, which included anecdotes on the history of kite-making, kite traditions around the world, the science of flight, different uses for kites, world records, and even a poem to read aloud. I’ll set them aside for now and use them the next windy day when we need to fill a time slot at the Nook!
But little did I know, Cindy’s family has a penchant for kite-flying and her husband Wilson brought in two of his kites: one in the form of a sailing ship and a box-shaped kite with an incredibly long tail. He flew the second one with the kids, and it was a beautiful sight to see it climb and dive through the sky.
Because of all the fun, birdwatching got off to a late start; but we were lucky to have my friend Julie with us. She had come in before to lead a birding by ear workshop, and we needed those skills today as the wind and hot weather kept most birds hunkering down! We heard a few different types of birds, saw some ring-billed gulls and robins, and checked the tree sparrow nest in our birdhouse. The nest was full of tiny, white eggs!
The kids wanted to be outside, even in the unbearable afternoon heat, and so the adults took turns, alternating supervising duties and sitting down in the slightly cooler Nook. At 1:00, the older kids and I sat down for our creative writing workshop. This time, we talked about foreshadowing. I read them a few examples of obvious and no-so-obvious foreshadowing from well known books and films, and then I asked them to write a paragraph or two that would be an opening scene to a short story. Then, we went around the table, each kid reading what they had written before the others tried to guess what would happen next.
At 2:00, some kids pulled out board games while others joined Cindy for a bag-making activity. Using unsold t-shirts from the Nook’s used clothing sale, Cindy showed the kids how to turn them into bags with a few cuts and some knots and fabric paint. They turned out really cute!
We spent the remainder of our time at the Nook in barn, loving on the animals and bringing them green grasses to munch.
When we got home, we loved on our own animals while the girls got crafty with a birthday present for Leila that had arrived in the mail.