Fall Nature Study

 Fall Nature Study

Fall Nature Study

We love fall in our family! The leaves are turning colors and my house smells of apples and cloves as I bake and diffuse.


One of our favorite activities each season is nature study, and we love observing the change of seasons in our favorite places. We try to take time on every outing to pause at a scenic spot to sketch or play.

IMAGE.JPG

Sometimes getting young children to actually observe nature, requires giving them a craft that involves natural materials. This allows them to slow down enough to actually observe the leaves, bark or feathers that they are supposed to be studying.


One of the resources that we are using this year, is the book, Exploring Nature With Children, by Lynn Seddon. This manual includes activities, book suggestions, an overview of the topic and even poem and art suggestions to go along with the theme of the week. 

We also enjoy collecting leaves on each of our outings and identifying the trees they came from. Our new Tree Guide has been a helpful resource for observing trees and enjoying the fall season.


We have also used the book, Look What I Did With a Leaf for our annual leaf creatures, and one of the girls in our local nature group, made this fabulous horse, using ideas from the book.

blogger-image--1764359682.jpg

Another family fall tradition that we have is a visit to a place called Apple Hill. We don't live as close as we used to, but purchasing fresh apples and fresh apple donuts is worth the drive. You may have apple orchards or pumpkin patches near you where you can celebrate the changing season.

IMG_1679.JPG
IMG_1635.JPG

Affiliate links included in this post.

We have many free items for your family. Parent guides, children’s activities, printable and book lists to give you a taste of The Peaceful Press Curriculum. Click the button below for access.

A Preschool Guide To Trees

Last spring I shared here on the blog about a tree unit study our family was enjoying at that time and that has blossomed into a very lovely preschool collection. You can read a bit more about that learning unit, the books and the activities I shared HERE, as well as the heart of why I love studying trees with my little ones. 

Tree Mobile.jpg

Following a similar four week breakdown, this tree unit is broken into four components, which are:

A Tree Begins 

The study of how a tree begins to grow and how to care for a growing tree. Transferring acorns, sorting tree seeds and watering plants are a few activities we do this week.

About A Tree

The study of what makes up a tree and how tree are similar, yet different. This week we measure trees, sort bark, and make leaf prints.

full.JPG

A Tree is a Home

The study of the habitat that is within and surrounding a tree. We will explore the world of bugs and birds and other tree dwellers in this week of playful learning.

A Tree Gives

A study on some of the ways a tree gives to us. This week we will play with fruit, making a rainbow fruit snack, apple star print, and learn about some of the beautiful gifts the tree generously gives.

IMG_8896.jpeg

My heart is that as you study trees with your little ones you will see your hearts grow together and your roots in your family deepened. This study has a mix of living books,  simple crafts, directed printables, fun activities and adventure.  You will also find simple food preparation and home skills you can work into the rhythm of your day.

These lessons are created with play in mind, but offer some skills an older preschool or kindergarten student will also enjoy as well. They have been loved by my two year old on the simplest level, engaging for my four year old, while still grabbing the attention of my six year old. We have been testing out and trying all of these activities in preparation to share them with you. And I have been praying over each mama, and each little learner, who reads and journeys through this tree unit. I am here cheering you on as your love and lead your little ones.  

Book List

A Is For Acorn by Analisa Tripp

Because of An Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer

A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston

Seeds and Trees by Brandon Walden

The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward

A Tree is Nice by Janice Udry

A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer

Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman

Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman

Trees, Leaves, and Bark by Diane Burns

The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown Ups by Gina Ingoglia

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

Going on A Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger

How do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro

The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall

Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

IMG_8898.jpeg

With Love, Lisa Wilkinson

Instagram.com/tencre8chaos 

You might also like our other post LEARN ABOUT TREES.

 Enjoy this 4 week breakdown of A Preschool Guide to Trees!

Enjoy this 4 week breakdown of A Preschool Guide to Trees!

Happy Birthday World-Rosh Hashanah Activities for Children

 Rosh Hashanah Activities for Children

Rosh Hashanah Activities for Children

Our newest curriculum, The Precious People, includes celebrations of several ancient feast days to bring what we are learning to life through food and fun. Enjoy this guest post about one of these festivals.

Purchase Your Copy of The Precious People

Rosh HaShanah is the Jewish New Year. It is the first in a series of holidays that mark the fall feasts. Rosh HaShanah are Hebrew words that mean “beginning of the year”. It falls on the first day of the month Tishri in the lunar based Hebrew calendar.

The month before Rosh HaShanah, the month of Elul, is a time of preparation. The Jewish person looks deep inside his soul, at all the actions he has done over the past year; of all the words he has spoken. Were they loving and good? Where is there room for improvement? How has he behaved before G-d and before his fellow man? Has he or she been generous, patient, kind and forgiving? It is a time of repentance and cleansing or purification, not just internally, but externally. The home is made spic and span; new clothes are bought; special foods prepared for the feasts that lie ahead. Each day in the morning, the shofar, or ram's horn is blown. Its loud booming sound is supposed to wake up the sleeping soul. “Get ready! Get ready to stand before the Lord!!”

Rosh HaShanah begins the period known as the Ten Days of Awe or Days of Repentance between the New Year and the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Jewish people throughout the world celebrate Rosh HaShanah. In America, it is customary to send New Year cards to friends and family. The greetings read “L'Shannah tovah tickateyvu!” which means “May you be inscribed for a good year!” It is a family time; a time not only to attend synagogue, but to enjoy a big meal with family and friends. In Israel, it is a time of gift giving – usually something for the home, such as flowers or sweet foods.

Many families celebrate the holiday with a seder, a ritual meal with special foods, prayers and blessings to bring in the New Year. At the beginning of the meal, at sunset, the women of the home light two candles and say a blessing. It is a way of sanctifying, or making holy this time. A special prayer is recited by all, thanking G-d for preserving us and bringing us to this holy time. The father sings the blessing over the wine; the hands are washed with accompanying blessings, and then there is the blessing over the bread.

On the Sabbath day, there are two loves of freshly baked challah, a light and sweet egg bread that has been braided into three parts. On Rosh HaShanah, the challah is round in a crownlike spiral. This represents the cycle of the year as well as the fact that G-d is the King. At the meal, it is customary to eat sweet foods, most notably apples dipped in honey for a sweet year. The apples are raised up, and all present at the table say to each other; “May it be thy will, O Lord, to grant us a sweet and happy year.”

At Synagogue many prayers are said: prayers of repentance; prayers for forgiveness and mercy; prayers of thanks for the past year; and prayers for a good year. Besides the many prayers, the Torah (the first five books of the Scriptures) is chanted in Hebrew from a handwritten scroll. If the New Year does not fall on a Sabbath, the ram's horn, the shofar, is blown (blowing the shofar is extremely hard work, so if it is Shabbat or Sabbath, no work can be done). It reminds the Jewish people of the shofar blasts as Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. In the afternoon, many Jews gather near a flowing body of water for the tashlikh, or “you will cast” service. Often crumbs are carried in the pockets, symbols of broken promises, sins, bad attitudes, which are thrown into the water as a symbol “to cast all sins into the depths of the sea.”

For the Jews of Israel most holidays only last one day, but outside of the land of Israel, holidays are celebrated for two days. Because Jewish time is marked from the beginning of the creation of the world, Rosh HaShanah, 2018 is actually the beginning of the year 5779.

IMG_0980.JPG

Rosh HaShanah Seder

Items needed:
2 white candles (or pure beeswax candles)
1 cup/glass red wine or grape juice
1 round challah bread
1 large round plate containing the following items

*a pomegranate

dates

apple slices

honey

(some seder customs add other foods and blessings as well)

Order (seder) of Blessings: (in English)

Blessing over candle lighting:
Blessed are You, O Lord, our G-d, King of the universe, who sanctifies us by His commandments and ordains us to light the Holy Day lights. Amen.

Thanks for the season:
Blessed are You, O Lord, our G-d,
king of the universe, who has kept us in life and sustained us and enabled us to reach this season. Amen.

Blessing over wine (or grape juice):
Blessed are You, O Lord, our G-d, King of the universe, who gives us the fruit of the vine. Amen.

Blessing before hand washing:
Blessed are You O Lord, our G-d, King of the universe who ordains us to wash . our hands... forgive me my sins and wash away my iniquities. Amen.

Blessing over bread:
Blessed are You, O Lord, our G-d, who brings forth bread from the earth. Amen.

Raise the pomegranate and say: May it be G-d's will that our lives may be as full of good deeds as the pomegranate is with seeds. All respond: AMEN!!! 

Raise the dates and say: May it be Your will, O Lord, that we would have a year of peace. All say: AMEN!!!

Dip the apple slices (or challah) into the honey. Distribute and say:
May you renew us for a good year, a happy year, a healthy hear, a holy year, and may we all be inscribed in the Book of Life. All say: Amen!!!

Say all together: Let the old year end with all its problems. Let the new year begin with all its blessings! AMEN!!!


Many learning activities can be inspired by the celebration.

Apple Activities:

Cut apples in half, dip in paint, and use as stamps on card stock.

Make the apple stamp cards into greeting cards for family and friends.

Apple Themed Picture Books

Apple Cider Making Days by Ann Purmell
The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

Honeybees and Honey Projects:

A great way to start the school year is to study about bees and honey. It is customary in the Jewish religion to start the first day of a child's formal schooling with a spoonful of honey. This represents the sweetness of learning.

There are many books for children about the life cycle of the bee; the many products bees produce; and great crafts as well:

Make rolled beeswax candles

Buy honey-sticks in different flavors. Tie up a bunch with twisted yellow and black pipe-cleaners to give as New Year treats to family and friends.

Children's Books About Bees:

The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons

The Beautiful Bee Book by Susan Unstead

Bees: A Honeyed History by Piotr Socha

To introduce young listeners to classical music, listen to The Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov.

One of my favorite bee resources is from Israel. Search for Dvorat HaTavor. Scroll down to the English setting and watch a great video on beekeeping from Biblical times to modern day. 

 Photo by Lisa Wilkinson

Photo by Lisa Wilkinson

Rosh HaShanah Books

Celebrate Rosh HaShannah by Deborah Heiligman  


The Days Between: Blessings, Poems and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season by Marcia Falk  


Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays by Matt Axelrod 

Recipe for Rosh HaShanah 

APPLE HONEY CAKE (Vegetarian) 8 servings

I absolutely love this recipe for Rosh HaShannah and Shabbat! First of all, it tastes amazing and looks like it was topped with crème brulee. It looks so elegant and fancy, like you've been to Master Baker classes, but it's deceptively simple and quick. Also, if you adhere to the Jewish dietary laws of Kashrut, and cannot mix meat with dairy at the same meal, this is pareveh, or neutral, meaning it can be served at any meal. Lastly, because it's a tradition to use apples and honey as a symbol of a sweet new year, this is a perfect recipe. As an added bonus, it also uses four of the “seven species” grown naturally in Israel listed in Deuteronomy 8:8 – wheat, olive(oil), date(honey), and fig. I serve it all year long.

INGREDIENTS:

2 red apples, peeled and sliced
2 green apples, peeled and sliced
4 large eggs
2/3 cup pure honey or silan (date honey)
5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp granulated sugar
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 fresh figs (Mission), quartered for optional decoration

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 (180C). Grease or line (I do both) an 8 inch (20cm) round nonstick baking pan with parchment/baking paper. Line the bottom of the pan with all of the apple slices to form concentric rings - there should be a lot of apples on the bottom, looking like a sunflower. In medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, olive oil and two of the eggs. Blend until just smooth (I do this by hand). Pour all of the batter over top of the apples. Bake for 20 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven. Increase temperature to 400 (200C) degrees. In separate small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 eggs and the honey (or silan). Pour the mixture over the cake and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes, until the top looks golden brown like a crème brulee and toothpick comes out clean. Arrange fig slices in four clumps towards outer edges. Delicious eaten warm or cold.

Written by Tamar Dunbar Karmi’el, Galilee

Israel 2018/5778

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for clicking through and supporting this site.

Enjoy our free parent guides, activities and books lists:

Thankfulness

My daughter recently wrote a letter about thankfulness for our e-mail subscribers, and we wanted to share it here as well.

"I recently wrote pages of things I was thankful for because I realized I was slipping into a skewed view of life. Most of my focus was centering on areas I messed up in, and the things I wasn't doing well.

Over the years, I have seen many of my peers grow up dissatisfied with the education or experiences they received because they have focused on the wrong things.

It’s easy to do. We forget and are jealous and insecure about our and other people's education or lifestyle. But one thing I truly believe is that I had the best education ever. Not because it was always perfect, and not because there aren’t things I missed, but because it was genuine.

It was unique, and thanks to my mom it was genius and motivating and outdoorsy and beautiful. I had a good education. But here’s the second thing that made it great; thankfulness.

I recently read Viktor Frankl’s “Man in Search of Meaning’ and he talks about how in the concentration camps, the men he was with, dying men, would leave what little warmth they had to watch a beautiful sunset. They displayed what Frankl calls the greatest human freedom, which is our freedom to choose our response to life.

You and I get to choose our response to circumstances in life. And when I am thankful for my education I am also able to take full advantage of every bit of it. 

Thankfulness started early, with my parents gently and lovingly equipping me to deal with a world that sometimes hurt, with people who don’t always love themselves like they should, and with way too much advertising and competition trying to tell me that I am not enough.

So, we read books about thankful people like Mother Teresa, Amy Carmichael, the Arnold Pent Family, Rani Snell, and Corrie Ten Boom. We would go around the dinner table sharing what we were thankful for. When we went tide pooling and watched hermit crabs molt, or grew gardens, or nature journaled, or sweat our way from historical monument to monument along the East Coast, we embraced the wonder of it and were thankful. And we continue to be mindful of when our hearts are thankful and when they are not.  Thankfulness creates joy in us, and an ability to enjoy our life, no matter the circumstances." (Emelie Pepito)

IMG_5459.JPG

This Thanksgiving season, we wish for each of you the ability to cultivate gratitude in yourselves and your children. As you prepare for the holidays, take the time to jot down your intentions for this season, and then create traditions that fit with the values of your own family.  Perhaps even take time to interview your children about their own favorite holiday memories and then prioritize the activities you will participate in.

The holidays don't have to be characterized by exhaustion and disappointment. We can take the time to create our own traditions, and break free of expectations that don't reflect the gratitude and peace that we are working to cultivate.

IMAGE.JPG

If you are looking for creative activities to build more connection in your family, check out The Playful Pioneers and The Peaceful Preschool. Each parent guide is full of weekly lesson plans for literature based learning, using lovely books that encourage gratitude.

More posts on creating a happy holiday

Santa Mask

Christmas Stories

IMG_0724.PNG