One more day of Spring Break left. It’s been a good, but tiring week having all of the kids home. We’ve gone bowling, stayed a hotel with waterslide, gone to an ear-nose-and-throat specialist, played with friends, stayed with friends, play-dated with friends, had some company over, had some good meals out, and began the weekend with a little vomitting up of blood. Well, that’s how Olivia started the weekend, anyway. We called the Healthline and are following their instructions (liquid diet, crackers, etc to eat) and she seems to be doing okay. But I don’t want her out and about today. Even if it is a sunny spring day, like we’ve been waiting for for a month.
So, because I’m inside with the sick girl and the pukey laundry to do and Marc’s at the library finishing up some reading, I decided to make an “April Otterburne Outdoor Adventure” challenge for Madeline and Luke, to give them some fun, education, and a chance to work together. Here’s what it ended up looking like:
Welcome Madeline and Luke to your first Otterburne Outdoor Adventure. We need to make the most of living in this quiet town surrounded by nature. As you walk today, look out for what your most favourite thing is. When you get home, I’ll ask you to draw a picture of it.
Do you have your play clothes on, your splash pants, your jacket, mittens and rubber boots? Then you’re ready to begin!
First, each of you grab 3 rubber balls from Luke’s closet. On your way out the door, you’re going to bury them deep in the snow outside the door. When you get back, you’re going to dig them out, just like you dug out Olivia’s boot yesterday. For every ball you two find, you’ll get 5 marshmallows in your hot chocolate. If you find all of them, that ‘s 30 marshmallows!
After you’ve buried the rubber balls, it’s time to start on the adventure. Are you ready?
1) Walk to the bus stop. Knock on the door three times. Do the dead flies wake up if you knock louder? No? Try the old bus stop. Knock on the door. Did a mouse sneak out the door? No. Well, maybe on your next stop you`ll find some animals. Write down the names of the animals you see.
2) Now go to the trees at the end of the field. Walk all the way down the path between the trees. What do you see along the way? Write down 3 things you see that show us it’s (finally) spring.
3) Did you make it to the end of the trees? Now go to the soccer goal and run as fast as you can to the other soccer goal. You’ll be playing soccer there in just a few weeks. Do you think the snow will be gone by then? Stomp on a snow drift to make it flatter so it will melt faster. Do lots of stomping. Can you sing, ‘The more we stomp together, together, together. — The more we stomp together the faster it’ll melt. — Because we can’t play soccer — when the field’s covered with water. — The more we stomp together the faster it’ll melt.”
4) When you’re done stomping and singing and the people on the road stop staring at you, walk to the swings. Can you get to them? If there’s not too much snow, then do some swinging. No more singing. Just swinging.
5) Now’s the tricky part. You have to count how many steps it takes to get from the swings to the road. How many to cross the road to go to Mailman Jeff’s house? How many steps does it take to go around his circle driveway?
6) When you’re done that, get Madeline to add it up. If it’s an even number (ending in 0,2,4,6 or 8 ) go to the bell tower. If it’s an odd number (ending in 1,3,5,7 or 9) go around the other round driveway by the big dorm. When you’re done go to that little bridge.
7) Now you must make the long walk home. But on your way you must jump in three different puddles. Hit three different trees with snowballs you’ve made. Find a stick and swish it through the biggest puddle you can find – write your name with the stick in the water. Take three deep breaths. What do you smell? Do you smell spring? If not, blow your nose. (No, don’t. You don’t have Kleenex with you.)
8 ) Smell the spring air all the way back to your house. Now dig up those rubber balls to see how many marshmallows you’ll get! I`ll be waiting for you!
I was pretty happy with it in the end. And it looks like the kids are too. They’re in the field portion right now, though it looks like they’ve decided to sit down and have their snack before they move onto stomping snowbanks in song. (Madeline has her “adventure bag” packed, complete with snack and bandaids “in case something bad happens”. I told her she likely didn’t need to bring Polysporin when she asked.) The best part for me is that I got to be a part of their outside fun, but I didn’t have to leave the couch. Which is good today, because I’m exhausted.