Building a Mongolian Yurt

In the afternoon, Kyle met us in the back yard to teach us a traditional Mongolian game featuring nomadic Mongolian horses (wooden clothes pins!). After an energetic game with lots of cheering, we set to work constructing our very own yurt, which is a nomadic house built from canvas and a wooden frame. While a … Continue reading Building a Mongolian Yurt


Playing with wool can be satisfying, and so can making bouncy felt wool balls out of shapeless wool!  Our kids learned the process and science behind wet felting and rolled together colorful balls from loose wool roving (combed wool) and warm soapy water. We examined more objects under the microscope, wrote in our journals, glazed … Continue reading Freeplay

Learning about Aboriginal Australians

We learned about the indigenous aboriginal groups of Australia who have lived in harmony with their landscape for millennia.  While migrating, they shaped the earth with their complex farming practices, making sure to protect the animals and plant-life of each region, and leaving enough resources for their fellow man.    Spark Explorers started our journey … Continue reading Learning about Aboriginal Australians

Making Zen Water Gardens

Kyle, our guest teacher,  visited us in the yard to teach us the word for “water” in Kanji.  We used ink to try out our calligraphy skills!  Kyle then had us choose our own water carrying vessels, in which we carefully passed water from one friend to another.  We took our vessels and created water … Continue reading Making Zen Water Gardens

Making Wabi Sabi Teacups

Looking at examples of wabi-sabi teacups, we were inspired to make our own using red and white clay and a pinch pot technique.  The kids were thrilled to create their own perfectly imperfect teapots, some overheard saying “mine is very wabi-sabi!”  Discussing the Wabi-Sabi Aesthetic For centuries, the influence of nature has deeply shaped the … Continue reading Making Wabi Sabi Teacups

Free play

On Tuesday, we began our mornings with several art stations. Since we were learning about Japanese culture, we used tools and our fingers to make designs in a Zen Garden filled with lavender-scented sand and rocks. We used copper wire and beads to make our own bubble blowers. We also looked at the intricate patterns … Continue reading Free play