Although there is a lengthy ongoing list of projects and tasks to do on this little homestead, we always try to make room for play. Today it was pirates, sand cakes (to celebrate the birthday of our garden worm friends), and sail boating in the pond. We've also been caring for a caterpillar named Stripey, who came from the Fertile Ground Farm fennel patch - she (we decided it's a she) is going to turn into a Black Swallowtail Butterfly, and just last night she wove her chrysalis and started the metamorphosis - exciting! Within a few weeks she should emerge as a butterfly. Our new caterpillar pet encouraged learning about the needs of caterpillars and butterflies, including discovering this useful website called Butterfly School.
We just purchased the book Playful Learning, whose premise is that children are inherently interested in learning and we need only to provide enriching environments to encourage this joy of discovering the world. This book is connected with a wonderful website chock full of activities to engage children of all ages in playful learning experiences.