The lasting effects of hands on learning


Thatch ants make enormous piles in the forest and are known as cleaners and collectors. Learning by seeing these busy ants in person has made thatch ants familiar and fascinating to my kids. They could watch these little worker ants all day long picking up pine needles and scurrying around on their huge mounds. We learned that some mounds can have up to 40,000 ants!

I'm not exaggerating when I say that this simple moment of hands on learning got my kids talking about some pretty important things like:
life cycle
...and it brought out their sense of humor too. 

We never walk too far without one of them pointing to a needle on the ground and announcing to the ants "you missed one" (they think they're pretty never gets old).

If I were to read thatch ant facts to my kids at home, they would find it interesting but without being able to see them in person I don't think they would retain the information nor find it as fascinating.  I am fully convinced of the importance of hands on learning and taking school OUTSIDE. 

If you'd like to see more trails and outside activities that have worked for us, go to my Instagram account where I have put location tags which will take any guesswork out of it!

"Interpretive" trails always have great signage for a hands on learning experience. 

This trail can be found on WTA website below:

More about thatch ants >> HERE

Delicious and simple Pumpkin Bread


My kids tell me this pumpkin loaf is better than Starbucks and they're dead serious. Enjoy my Grandma's recipe below.

Grandma's Pumpkin Bread
2 C pumpkin
2 C sugar (cut back from 3 C if you prefer sweeter)
1 C water
1 C vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt

Use 2 greased 9 x 5 loaf pans at 350 degrees for 60 - 70 minutes.
Feel free to add raisins, chocolate chips or top with your favorite nuts or seeds like we do!

This bread gets devoured in our house, so I usually have to make a few loaves which has been great for school lunches. After they cool, I'll slice them and tuck them into snack size ziplocs and then fill a gallon freezer ziploc full of those slices. My kids love the freedom to grab one for their lunches and one for a friend.

It also makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors and friends.
by mlekoshi