Saint Patrick’s Day, Volcanoes, Songs, and Dirt

We might not be Irish, but we had some fun celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day this week.

photo (4)We had a St. Patty party with friends at one of our favorite state parks. Lucien helped me deliver coffee for all the moms and snacks for the kids. We also brought along a big bag of rice to feed the feral chickens at the park, and Lucien was excited to share with a friend!

photo 1 (22)One of our creative mom friends brought along a sensory bin of green rice and the supplies for a fingerprint rainbow craft. After having some fun with art, we were off to play, climb, run, and explore the trails! Being out in nature is such a fun, mood-lifting adventure for Lucien and for me. I love finding these little pockets of nature in the big city!

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And we had to cook a traditional Irish dinner, of course! Corned beef was on the menu, and, in lieu of cabbage (I think I am the only person in the house who is a fan), Lucien helped me prepare a new recipe for potato dumplings. Mixing and shaping them into balls was great fun.

photo 1 (23)Also, craft time at the Discovery Center was a lot of fun. Lucien’s shamrock was on display in one of their windows, and he was so proud that he wanted to take a picture to show Daddy.

We have also been getting into science this week, because our monthly Clifford science kit just arrived in the mail. “Do another experiment! Do another experiment!” is a joyful exclamation that I have been hearing multiple times per day. We “fed” yeast with sugar and watched the carbon dioxide bubbles it produced, then talked about how a similar process occurs when making Lucien’s favorite drink – kombucha. We made sticky ice cubes by pouring salt on them, making them melt slightly and then re-freeze. We talked about freezing and boiling points.

And we have been doing explosions with baking soda and vinegar. Lots of explosions. Good thing I picked up the big box of baking soda. Lucien concentrated on his explosions for an hour yesterday, like a little mad scientist at work in his lab. We even decided to get out the paints and make colorful explosions. He made a beautiful volcano with red hot lava.

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Volcanoes have been an interest to him lately. In addition to our baking soda and vinegar volcanoes, he has been asking lots of questions about how the Hawaiian islands were formed, and I have been doing my best to explain in terms he can understand how volcanoes built the island we live on. We checked out two non-fiction books on volcanoes during our most recent library visit. Lucien was fascinated by the science, but a bit nervous about the possibility of an eruption. I explained to him that while volcanoes built out island, there are no active volcanoes on Oahu today. We talked about other active volcanoes, and he told me that he wants to fly over Kilauea on the Big Island with Grandma Carmen.

We also read a chapter book about volcanoes – Vacation Under the Volcano, which is number 13 in the Magic Tree House series. It still amazes me that Lucien wants to sit through these longer chapter books – it takes us about 45 minutes to read through one, and most pages have no pictures – but he loves them, refuses to let me take a break in the middle, and sometimes asks to read more than one in a sitting. So last time we went to the library, I checked out a stack of them, and we are already on number 13. Mary Pope Osborne had better keep writing, because Lucien absolutely adores Jack and Annie!

photo 3 (21)Speaking of books, we had a wonderful special guest at our library story time – the Fairy Grandmother was back with magic tricks, songs, and stories, and was Lucien ever thrilled!
photo 2 (26)We have also been spending a lot of time outside, and enjoying the pleasantly warm weather and sunshine at the zoo.
Lucien and I are both disappointed that our Music Together class is on spring break hiatus, but we have found a fun new activity – Island Song! On Friday morning we went to play and swing and fly kites and ride bikes at the park, and then at 11 a group of moms got together with musical instruments to lead some singing under the shade trees.
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We then had some fun spring-themed sensory play. Lucien loved digging and planting flowers in the sensory bins and interacting with the other kids there.
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Some even wanted to bury toes in the dirt!
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Happy spring, everybody!
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