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Friday, October 11, 2013

Elmvale Fall Fair 2013 and merry go round lessons at the park

Today we participated in the Elmvale Fall Fair. Every year there is a small group of homeschoolers that walk together in the parade. We couldn't find the group so we ended up just tagging along with the parade and met up with them later. No pics of the parade since we were in it :( I can see this parade being a lot of fun with a larger group making a float to participate in...maybe next year...hint hint!

I have recently stated taking care of a couple homeschool friends kids a couple days each week so they joined us; as well as another friend. After the parade we explored the barns. This barn had cows and sheep in it all preparing for their shows. I didn't get a picture but the kids thought it was quite funny watching the participants prepare their cows. They shaved the hair very short all over the cow and then they left a thin line down the cows spine and gave them mohawks with a blow dryer.
 Here is a pic of some children showing their cows. You can almost see the mowhawks.
 There were sheep with very long hair that felt thick and ones that were already shaved and much more soft. Their hair all cut off to be spun into wool to make sweaters and socks...so the kids tell me :)
 
 
Some of the other barns housed rabbits, chickens, pigeons and even snakes all on display. Each of the girls picked their favourite bunny.
There was another large barn which housed an assortment of displays for different wares. Someone we knew entered a funny shaped carrot but on our way into that barn the kids spotted the midway and lost interest in the farm related activities so off we went to the rides. Each of the 5 kids with me had $20 to spend on food and rides (which proved to be a good life lesson which I'll explain later). First up was this jungle gym ride...one that everyone wanted to go on.
 
 

 Here's where the life lesson on money occured. All the kids wanted to play a carnival game but after spending $5 on a hotdog as no one wanted a drink...yet, and $10 on tickets for the rides they all had only $5 left over. The plan was to save the rest of the money to buy a drink or a treat later but the boys really wanted to try and hit the bell and win a prize. I reminded everyone they only had $5 left so it would take all their money...they didn't care...so off to games we went.

 Then all the girls wanted to try while the boys played with their prizes.
We went on a few more rides...everyone choosing which rides they wanted to go on and waiting patiently while others had their turns. Every was able to go on 3 rides with their money so they had to choose wisely.
Coming off they were a bit dizzy as they had their strawberry spinning the fastest!
 One of the boys with us got stung while the girls were on the motorcycle ride. I quickly looked around for plantain which we learned about on out wild edibles walk as a skin relief when chewed and the juice is rubbed on the minor bite or sting. I wasn't sure if it would work on a wasp sting but it was my only choice in the middle of the fair. I found some and started to chew it up to release the juice when a lady beside me offered after-bite which we used instead. After a couple minutes he was ready for his last ride..

And then the final lesson in money spending choices...everyone was hot and thirsty! With no money left I left them to be thirsty for a few minutes while the consequence of their game playing choice sunk in...then offered my own water bottle so they could get hydrated a bit as it was hot. We had a little discussion again on choices and how we could solve this problem next time and they all decided that they should bring a water bottle next time as their number one choice and then they decided considering how their last money is spent a little longer next time. Good life lessons I think :)

We met up with Matthias's mom and then me and my gang left for a lemonade and park play.

It's nice to still see an occasional merry go round at a park. There have been so many of them removed for "safety sake". To me the benefits far outweigh the dangers.

Children love to spin. Some children like to go faster then others. Aayla likes to go very slow so the others had to be patient and help her enjoy her time on it as well as being able to get the adrenaline rush that they desired. A great lesson in team work (deciding who will push, ride and when to switch) and cooperation (deciding lengths of time between fast and slow spins)...not to mention all the gross motor benefits of running and pushing and exerting muscles!

Aayla enjoying her slow paced ride
And then it was time to be monkeys

And then it was time for slide races to see who could reach the bottom first.

 We played many rounds of grounders...have you ever played grounders? If not HERE are the rules...take a look and give it a try. Lets just say its a work out and a very different sensory experience to play with your eyes closed! To busy playing to get pictures of it :)
 All in all we had a great day at the fair and at the park. A beautiful fall home school day full of lots of natural learning!