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Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

Summer Pickings

One of the most satisfying things about summer vacation is the freedom the boys and I have to pick and choose our activities every day. Without the constraints of the school/soccer/baseball/life schedule we can take each day as it comes. It can also be a trap, where we stall within our freedom and end up doing a lot of nuthin’. As I reviewed my blog post about summer activities from earlier this month, I realized we need to get moving. Summer doesn’t last forever and here in Southern CA it ends with an August 23 school start date. Oh no!
At bedtime I asked the boys what they wanted to do the next day. I suggested the zoo or a museum. Henry was quiet for a bit and then asked if we could go to the farm. The farm! The one in our very own town, so conveniently located, inexpensive, and fun?! Yes, of course we could go to the farm! It felt satisfying as a mom to let Henry take the lead and choose the activity. It made him feel good. In the morning I called a couple of our friends and we made an afternoon farm date.
Our local farm is a family destination in the LA area. Not only can kids pick all kinds of fruits and veggies, but there the farm is home to many animals: goats, cows, chickens, oxen, emus, rabbits, horses, and the biggest pig I have ever seen in my life. Not to mention a view that makes me think I have landed in a postcard.
After visiting the animals we grabbed a wagon and went out to see what we could pick. I think I was more excited than the kids. As we came up row after row of green we loved looking at the sign to see what was growing. Many times the kids had to push aside lush greens to find the vegetable below. The cucumbers were especially fun. The skin of the cucumber was surprisingly bumpy and even spiky. It was a great opportunity for the kids to use description words and a stark reminder to the moms about what happens to veggies on their way to the grocery store. How DO cucumbers get all waxy and why?
We tried to pull our some carrots, but soon discovered that they weren’t ready for picking yet. We stuck them right back in. I hope they keep growing!
The big highlight for the kids was the berry picking. We walked far out into the fields to find the most delicious and sweet strawberries. As my friend said, we should have weighed them before the picking started and then after to pay for what landed in their bellies. It was an idyllic afternoon; the weather was perfect, the sky blue, and the kids were happy.
On our way out, we came across some unfamiliar vegetables that I had to pick. One was called a sunburst squash. I have no idea what to do with it, but the kids were delighted. It will turn into a kitchen investigation soon! The other was a purple pepper. Who knew there were purple peppers! When we got to the front to pay everyone was hot, dirty, and tired – exactly what we want after a day on the farm! Look at our bounty (and Henry’s dirty face!)
Of course, I can’t sign off without reminding you all about our good friend Sid the Science Kid. This week is a great week to sit down with the kids and watch some special Sid episodes! Some of our favorites are on this week, including the camping episode and the sing-along special. As I have said before, I like to remind my kids it is okay to sit down and take a break in the middle of our busy day. I like to get them out of the hot sun and give them a chance to rest before we head out on our afternoon adventures. Why not let them hang out with Sid? I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far! Tell me what you’ve been up to with your kids!

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