Monday, 2 May 2016

Ready for Summer Exploring

     

On Friday I was reading the girls' weekly school newsletter and right there in the first paragraph was a sentence that really jumped out and caught my attention: "There are only six weeks of the school year left". Six weeks! Eek! I can't believe that the long Summer vacation is almost upon us again.

With the realization that Summer is almost here I really got thinking about our plans for the break. Ava will be attending a Summer camp for two weeks for the first time ever (I'm just as excited about it as she is!) but apart from that we have absolutely no plans. The thought of all three kids home, all Summer with no plans kind of freaked me out a little, so I started thinking about activities that we can do to keep ourselves busy. We're sure to be doing lots of crafting at home, but with limited space in our apartment, and the lovely Summer weather, I like to take the girls out as much as possible over Summer.

We're really lucky here in the Bay Area that we have access to both stunning urban and natural environments. We'll most likely spend plenty of time hanging out in San Francisco visiting museums, galleries, cafes, playgrounds and amazing outdoor spaces along the waterfront. But you can guarantee that most of our time will be spent getting in touch with nature here in the East Bay where we have a wealth of parks filled with all sorts of natural wonders to explore. We sure do love to explore!


With the hot weather over this past weekend it really did feel like Summer was here already. The hot weather was the perfect excuse to do a little exploring at one of the girls' favorite Berkeley locations: the creek at Live Oak Park. All three of my girls love exploring the creek that runs through Live Oak Park in North Berkeley. The surrounding oaks and redwoods provide the perfect amount of shade with dappled sunlight filtering through. The cool water is shallow enough for even Mathilde to wade in without getting too wet. The smooth rocks lining the creek are gentle on little feet. And the best part? The creek and its surrounds are full of life! It's the perfect place for little explorers to go exploring. And explore we did!


 The girls started out looking for interesting rocks, sticks and leaves, but in no time their attention moved to the many creatures that they found in the water or along the edges of the creek bed. In our time at the creek we spotted beautiful blue damselflies, butterflies, squirrels, water striders and plenty of birds. Ava tells me they also found a dead crayfish under a rock. I missed that one!


When we got home Ava and Lola drew pictures of the creatures that they had found at the park. We also looked up information about them on the internet. Both girls were intrigued to learn how water striders manage to walk on top of the water. Ava guessed that they walk on tiny air bubbles and she was right. I didn't know that, so I learned something new too. I guess that would explain the round shapes cast in the water striders' shadows (which you can see in the photo directly above). The girls also learned that what they thought were dragonflies at the park were actually damselflies. That was also another new one for me as I thought they were dragonflies too. We learned that the main difference is that while damselflies fold their wings against their when resting, dragonflies keep theirs out. I also learned how damselflies mate by seeing it first hand at the park too!


Don't you just love how exploring the world around them encourages kids to learn - even if they don't realize it? Ha, that's the best part!

Looking for ways to boost your child's love of learning and exploring over the Summer break? Why not sign them up for a Galileo Camp. Galileo offers camps all throughout the Bay Area and beyond where they have been shaping a new generation of innovators by teaching Pre-K to 8th grade kids to explore, make mistakes and create without fear since 2002.

Pre-K through 5th grade kids take on art, science and outdoor activities at Camp Galileo. They'll learn lasting skills like collaboration and reflection, and take home fun creations like a rocket, photos inspired by Ansel Adams, or even an archery bow.

5th grade through 8th grade kids can choose from 13 immersive majors at Galileo Summer Quest. The confidence boosting and collaboration packed sessions give kids an opportunity Campers can , each confidence-building, collaboration-packed session gives them an opportunity to realize their personal vision in a new inspiring subject. Campers make short films, engineer catapults, whip up inventive dishes, design custom video games, and much, much more.

Little Hiccups reader can save big on a Galileo Camp this summer! Sign up now and receive a discount of $40 off a week of Galileo Camp using the code BEBOLD. This promotion can be combined with the Refer-a-Friend savings of up to $100*. The more friends who sign up and the more weeks they attend, the more you'll save!
*Savings vary by location.

Click here to Galileo today to find a location near you and to sign up for one of their fantastic Summer camps.

How do you like to keep your kids engaged over the long Summer break? Do your kids go to camp? Do you like to spend time exploring your local area like we do? I'd love to hear your Summer plans!

2 comments:

  1. Sweet! Thanks so much for sharing. We'll have to check this park out. I am surprised we haven't yet explored it. We can't wait for summer and I can't wait for my kids to enjoy Camp Galileo.

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