Friday, March 5, 2010

sugaring time

It's an annual tradition for us to read the Enki Education Kindergarten Nature Story "Sugaring Time." Each year we approach the artistic digestion differently, however, and this year I decided that painting would serve our needs nicely. After recalling the story, I started by talking about Old Maple feeling the East Wind starting to blow during the day, and the North Wind returning at night, while we painted our entire paper yellow with broad, long brush strokes. (This first painting is J's.)

(Zoo Boy's painting.) We then sang "Sleep Root Children" (from the story) while using an arcing brush stroke with the blue. We finished by singing "Haul Sweet Water" (also from the story) while dabbing on the red. The boys readily recognized the maple tree with sap buckets in my painting (below) and J's (although I never said a word about it). Zoo Boy forgot to wipe off his brush before loading it with red paint and wound up with a sear of purple instead of red sap buckets. But we all kind of like it this way anyway.

The next day we participated in a Maple Sugaring program at a local park's sugar house. This is also a yearly tradition of ours, although my guess is this is the last year we'll bother with the class -- the boys knew all the answers to all the questions. Next year we'll just tap our own trees and make our own sugar and syrup. I feel that sugaring is a legacy for kids growing up in New England.

No work on the seasonal sugaring activities would be complete without tasting sap, syrup, and maple candies. This is a hard maple drop, a bit different than the type of maple sugar candy we usually buy and make.

My painting, for anyone who might be interested. (By the way, if I were to do it over, I would let the painting dry before adding the buckets so that they were crisper.)


Anonymous said...

One day, I hope our Western family will head east for this event. Love seeing how you worked with the story in paint...actually love all the glimpses of how you all approach the Enki curriculum. I've even gone through your archives to look for your led drawings. Quite a resource you have created! Thanks.

Numeric MaMa said...

Yes, I would love to come east for our kids to experience this as well. It has been so warm in Seattle this year that Jack Frost only painted the grass once or twice. I'm glad you can pass that legacy onto your children.

I also find your blog very helpful. We are trailing behind you about a year or so. Thanks for forging the path!

michelle grimes kindig said...

mmmm....maple sugar candy....This is ONE major thing that I miss about being up North...But we will read the story this month and I have some maple sugar candy stashed in the freezer from my last trip to NY....Exciting!