A Day In the Park

two little girls running toward lake

Yesterday was a very eventful (but good!) day.  My intention was to go by the calendar and head for the rail trail in the afternoon/early evening.  That wasn’t quite how things worked out, but…as I’ve said before–some of the best laid plans are foiled.  This foiling turned out okay though.

This morning, I dropped Tinkerbell off for her very last day of regular preschool this year.  *sniff*  I came home, did as much as I could in forty-five minutes, and left again to help Rapunzel’s kindergarten teacher with Watermelon Math Day.  Let me just say…thank God (literally!) for kindergarten teachers!  I don’t know how they do it!  I most certainly don’t have the patience for a class full of 20 rowdy five- and six-year olds!  Anyway, Rapunzel was thrilled to have me help her class, and I love being able to take part in her education.

After picking up Tinkerbell from preschool, doing some work for my dad, and finishing up some more chores around the house, we all piled into the car for a forty-five minute drive to another Home Depot.  Prince Charming wanted to pick up a new hose that was apparently a great deal this week ($20 for a 100-foot hose), and this particular store was the closest that had one in stock.

While we were out that direction, we decided to do some rubbings for the summer park program.  Sure beats driving out there a second time later.

The first post was relatively easy to find.  There was a playground nearby, so we let the kids run around for a little bit before moving on with our adventure.

The second post was about a mile or so into the woods over a bumpy, rocky trail with lots of roots and trees across the path.  This would have been a lot easier without a stroller, but I know for sure that Tinkerbell would not have made it even halfway in.  This trail was tough but provided for some good photography.

two geese and their goslings

The last trail was only half a mile, but I’d have to say it was the most gorgeous–I don’t know if it was just the terrain or the weather, but I got some great photos and took in some wonderful scenery.  What was even better was that we got to see a family of geese.  This ordinarily wouldn’t be special, but we saw the mommy and daddy goose with their fluffy goslings!  We were able to get close enough where the parents even began hissing at us.  We also saw a water snake at the edge of the lake.  This was the highlight of Tinkerbell’s day–not mine!

I’m so glad we were able to go out on such a lovely day as a family.  I’m looking forward to our next adventure already!

Advertisements

The First Sign of Summer…

…is signing up for our local library system’s summer reading program and our local park program! We signed up today, and Rapunzel was so excited!
Tinkerbell, Wendy, and Rapunzel in front of our local library

If you have a local library who offers a summer program (many of them do), I’d strongly recommend signing your kids up.  Our library system rewards the children based on the number of minutes read.  I enjoy this method better than number of books read only because it’s more fair to children of different ages.  Either way, it’s a great way to keep the kids’ learning throughout the summer.  It’s a known fact that many children lose much of what they learned during the school year throughout the summer.  Reading throughout the summer will help keep them from losing this knowledge and give them a boost for the next school year.

Our summer park program is offered in collaboration with the library program.  Check with your local library or your community’s recreation commission.  Last year was the first year our family did this, and we enjoyed it immensely.  Unfortunately Tinkerbell was somewhat of a pain to walk with, but we all got our exercise and were able to check out our local parks in the process.

After receiving our booklets today, I mapped out our route for the summer.
parkprogram2012

Last year, Tinkerbell won a camping package for completing all of the rubbings at each of the parks.  She wasn’t so thrilled when she saw it, but when we got home she thought it was the best thing since chocolate milk!  I hope we win again this year!

We’ve already logged ten minutes today (it doesn’t sound like much, but we were at a party all evening), and our first day of the parks will be next Tuesday, when the kids are finally out of school.

Does your community offer a library and/or park program?  What does it offer and how do you like it?