Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Minecraft Fun and Discovery on a Forest Walk

Today we went for a walk with Linda and Matthias...some local homeschooling friends of ours (plus they had three other homeschool children visiting them today) so our nature walk with two adults and six kids quickly turned in to a fabulous two hours of Minecraft play and discovery time. Not only did they get an amazing two hours of fresh air and exercise, they were curious, imaginative, social, helpful and caring as they explored and played.

We went for a forest walk near Linda's house and within two minutes Sierra was climbing trees. She scooted up this tree and then walked up the lower one with out holding on. She was quite proud of her balance.
 The other kids ran ahead to this tree fort some local kids work on little bit by little bit and Sierra and I caught up when she was done climbing.
 Sierra found a sweet little chair to have rest on under the fort.
This is where the walk began to evolve into a Minecraft affair. They all exploring the woods a bit, climbing on logs, exploring the moss, searching for bugs. Someone else yelled we should play Minecraft, everyone yelled OK and so it began. The scampering over the logs, with their pretend pick axes and enchanted diamond armour on a hunt to get the Endor Dragon.
 Sierra called a time out for a moment because she saw this amazing little fairy swimming hole.
 Doesn't it look like a little swimming hole? Perfect for fairy gatherings on a hot summers day.
The other kids took advantage of the pause as a time to search for BB gun pellets which are found in abundance around the tree fort. Matthias collects them for a friend of his who uses them to make pictures with. A wonderful little recycled project.
 Next we headed to the old race track. Along the way they continued to race along the path and play Minecraft, sometimes switching to Hunger Games and then back to Minecraft.

I have never been to the old race track before but it was a lot of fun. Aayla asked if we could bring daddy and the pedal cars here and have pedal car races so we will add that to our list of things to do.

Aayla played Minecraft a bit but mostly she walked and talked with a three year old boy who was with us or explored in her own way. She loved playing leap frog over these cement pylons at the track.
And she had a blast on this dirt hill.
Then we had to catch up to the others who were racing around the track.
When they got tired of racing around the track (about 2/3's of the way around) it was back to Minecraft. They found a Minecraft map (large piece of bark) which told them to go to the Parkour course.
Aayla stopped for a little rest and enjoyed climbing all over these large logs...and the tunnel was a fun surprise.

Ahead the kids began their Parkour course finding chests and spawn eggs.

Just as I found some lambs ear and was giving it to Aayla and the three year old to feel how soft it was and explain it was absorbent and you can use it as a bandage...Sierra came over with a scrap on her leg and we put it to use to stop the bleeding.
It was time to start heading back and on our way we found a deer that looked like it got it's leg caught in a hole and couldn't get out and then perished there. It was quite stinky and bits of the carcass was eaten but there was a fair amount left untouched still so it couldn't have been there for too long.

We continued walking along and noticed something in the distance so we veered off the trail to explore.

 Sierra of course couldn't pass by this climbing tree.
 Aayla had to give it a go too... my little monkeys.
 We found a burrow and had a good discussion on what might live in the whole.
 Then we arrived at the thing that caught our attention from the trail. It was the beginning of a shelter.

They played more Minecraft around here for a bit and then we continued on...
I just love these little moss bits
 Under this fallen tree they found another burrow and discussed again what might live in here. They investigated this one a little longer and discovered there was a second opening on the back side. Then someone said they saw two red eyes, then it was two yellow eyes, then it was four eyes and their imaginations began to run wild.

Sierra borrowed my phone to use the flash light to try to see in the hole but no luck. Then Aayla borrowed the phone to take a couple of Laura and one of me (with Andy their dog in the background). She didn't do too bad with getting us actually in the picture! Her photo skills are improving.

There were many other learning opportunities today that we could have expanded on but Linda and I were chatting and they were having so much fun playing and exploring on their own that no other input was really needed. 

We weren't able to find any flowers as part of our 30X30 challenge today (which I will post more about tomorrow) but we did find these Tea Berries which I used instead. Tea berries take me way back down memory lane to my days of growing up in Torbrook Mines, Nova Scotia and exploring the woods there foraging for berries. We only found a couple today.

It was a fabulous afternoon and we all had a lot of fun together (with old friends and making new ones). I hope we can all get together again really soon as all the kids really played so well together and had sooOooo much fun!

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