Tuesday, July 13, 2010


So, the nephew and I and his day care- all went raspberry picking yesterday in the Canadian heat! Mama R doused us in natural lavender bug spray and off we went to pick. Mama R taught us to pick the truly red berries, not the pink ones. My nephew quickly became an expert! He filled his bucket and his tummy at the same time.

Today they are making, confiture. Mama R wanted all the kids to know the process it takes to make jam! So, all the kids picked the berries, and today they will make the jam. They will have been a part of each and every step of the process. The farm also had goats, sheep and lambs, a llama, chickens, ponies and rabbits. My nephew quickly fell in love. He loves feeding the animals.

These kinds of experiences, visiting a farm, going picking berries, and cooking help to build knowledge and love for the world we live. It also sparks a new reading interest. Books can introduce you to places, new people, and great new activities! Experiences, out in the world, help to introduce you to new passions and interests to continue researching in books! Field trips, outings, exploring the natural are all entry points into new content and new books.

Bobbie Kalman has some beautiful books about the natural world that have inviting photo and wonderful text and information to read. She also does a nice job with diagrams, charts, and maps that help kids put together the information.

My nephew recently went to Orlando with his grandparents and visited Sea World. He is sure that he wants to be a diver. He wants to study whales. The interest has sparked a lot of 'play acting' and reading about orcas and dolphins and all things ocean. It has also helped to introduce him to a whole new vocabulary.

Going to the farm, has done the same thing! It has sparked an interest in plants and in farm animals. It has triggered interest, new reading material and a whole set of questions that he now wants to pursue.

Today he is making raspberry jam. He will make it and eat it! Later he will retell the whole process to the family! Then we will look up the raspberry plants and we will open our plant books to think about plants and how they are important to us and the world.

Here is a recipe for jam to make some at your house. If Mama R gives us her recipe, we will pass it on to you!

Enjoy the world! Get out and explore! Maybe it will just be your back yard or a patch of sidewalk, maybe even mountain. Enjoy the read.

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