When the Ocean Becomes the Teacher

Here’s a fascinating learning story from a recent trip to the beach with our smaller outdoor program group.  We often say that the environment is the third teacher.  This story is a great example of how that can work.

D thought it would be fun to “launch” a small driftwood log out into the ocean. Then he and J would wait patiently for the waves to bring the log back to the point where they could actually reach out and get the log. They did this over and over many times.  In fact I marvelled at how long they spent with the task considering the fact that there was a lot of watching and waiting involved.

They both had to use some self-regulation to keep from wading right into the water and huge amounts of patience as the waves were barely a ripple and each time it took several minutes for the log to finally come within reach.

Can you think of a more fun way to learn patience?  I cannot!  If we told the children “today we are going to practice patience,” it would probably be met with a huge groan or protest.  And yet this was a pastime that seemed like it might continue all morning!

Then I asked about what might help get the log back faster.  (I couldn’t let the ocean be the only teacher that day.) D had two ideas:

He explained we either needed a wave maker to create bigger waves or something long to help reach the log from a further distance.

Problem-solving at its best!

Reflecting on these ordinary moments shows me what a great teacher the ocean can be and why the outdoor classroom is so valuable.

The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky.   -Margaret McMillan

Mini Blog Tour

Hello Readers!

A wicked migraine has visited me this week so not much excitement for blogging I’m sad to say.  But at least you know I’m a real person and not a blogging machine.

Just in case you are interested, I am trying to get a little more exposed to the world beyond this little blog simply.cindy so I have the privilege of posting on Roberta Pimentel’s blog every second Monday (I’m doing a series titled Tiny Humans) and on May 19th, I get the privilege of appearing on Norah Colvin’s blog blog in her monthly author spotlight!  Yay!

Thanks for stopping by simply.cindy and I hope to have some more fun posts for you soon.


It’s Saturday Morning!

Here it is Saturday morning again and I thought I’d better post the pancake recipe from my book this time.  Yes, this will be the last of my Saturday morning pancake feature so I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the posts and won’t miss them too much.  There must be billions more pancake recipes out there but now you will have to search elsewhere to find them (unless you’ve missed some of my previous pancake posts).

So, without further adieu, straight from Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker the recipe for Katie’s Perfect Pancakes!

1 egg

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 teaspoons of MAGIC baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat egg until fluffy.  Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.  Grease heated griddle if necessary.  For each pancake pour about 3 tablespoons of batter from the tip of a large spoon.  Use a pancake told to make your pancakes perfectly round.  Cook pancakes until puffy and dry around the edges.  Flip and cook other side until golden brown.1280px-Strawberry_on_pancake


And here’s one more…

Extra Fluffy Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup milk

2 egg yolks

2 egg whites

In a medium bowl, mix flour and baking powder.  Stir in milk and egg yolk until smooth.

In a large glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining egg whites until no streaks remain.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.  Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.  Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides, serve hot.

If you’re looking for my book, you can purchase it on amazon.ca or amazon.com  You and your children will want to read it again and again!  Happy Saturday! Have a great weekend 🙂

“I don’t have to tell you I love you.  I fed you pancakes.” -Kathleen Flinn

Five Star Reviews!

Woohoo!  It may not quite be time to break out the champagne yet, but my little Katie book now as 4 reviews and they are all five stars!!  Huge bouquets to all those who have left reviews so far.  I hope to eventually get 30 reviews posted so if you’ve had a chance to read it, please do post a little something. Reviews are something an author has little control over so the most I can do is hope for the best. Your time to review will be hugely appreciated.
on April 9, 2017
A bit of magic mixed in with things kids love (like lots of pancakes!) makes it a fun read.
on May 1, 2017
This book is delightful and original. It inspires children to be inventive, resourceful, and innovative. Katie, the protagonist, is full of spunk and charisma. She demonstrates exception problem solving in this fun and charming story.  
on May 1, 2017
This is a fantastic book! Katie Shaeffer is bold, fun, spunky, and determined. Together with her friend Baxter they create a marvelous invention. This book inspired my kids to be creative and inventive. It is now a family favorite!
on April 29, 2017
Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker is a very well illustrated book. It is a great read for children and the pictures are great. I love the story line and it provides a great imagination for children. I highly recommend it.
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