The Tree Lady

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Balboa Park- August 2015

We actually kicked off our row of The Tree Lady with a trip to Balboa Park!  We already had a trip planned to the beaches of Carlsbad, CA when I heard that FIAR was releasing this new unit, so I knew we had to squeeze in a visit to Balboa Park, especially since this was the “Centennial Year”.  I read the story to the boys before we went out of town, so they’d have a clue why we were visiting this park, but that was really the only prep-work I did ahead of time, other than read through the whole “manual” on the unit myself.

Let’s just say that their attitudes were pretty terrible when we got there.  They had been playing in the ocean and visiting Legoland for the 5 days leading up to our little jaunt over to Balboa Park, so to them this “park” that had no playgrounds and required a whole bunch of walking in the heat was a total bummer.  Had we been locals who interrupted one of our usual ho-hum days to go to the park and have lunch and walk around, they probably would have been excited.

Anywho, we spotted the statue of the Tree Lady way out near the area that we parked, so we stopped by her first to take pictures and read the little plaque.


(forced enthusiasm)




After reading this plaque to the boys, we made the long trek across the bridge into the main area.


This park is absolutely huge!  There are tons of beautiful buildings and museums and open areas (both grassy and paved).  The San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Air and Space Museum are also part of this park.  Since we didn’t arrive until about 2 in the afternoon, we figured we didn’t have time for either of those big-ticket museums.


There were huge, amazing, beautiful 100-year-old trees all over the property!

I suggested to Raphael that we find some food and eat…food is the quickest way to change their moods!


Especially when it’s junk food, like hot dogs, nachos, and chips!


Look mom, they do have a playground here…


Err, sort of!


After filling all of the bellies, we decided to take a stroll and see what we could find.


Ooh, cool, one of those statue-dancing guys.


He was really great, and the boys each gave him a dollar.  We asked him if he was going to continue dancing, but he complained that it was too hot to dance and he needed about 20 minutes to cool down (they were having a bit of a heat wave that week).  We just laughed and said that we are from Arizona!

So we moved on…


More pretty landscapes and impressive buildings.

What got their attention, though, was the balloon girl.





And then we left.  We were there for a total of about 3 hours, most of it spent walking.  The park really was amazing and it’s worth visiting if you have the chance, but there really isn’t much to do there with little kids, unless you are going to the zoo.

Fast Forward to May of 2016!

We read a few go-along books…trees, gardening, California history…


I forgot to include in the picture another really great book we read called Redwoods by Jason Chin.  We own several of his books and they are all fabulous!


Since the Tree Lady moved to San Diego from Northern California, this book was great at showing just how amazing the trees and botany are in the area she grew up in.

Art: Dust Jacket and Book Cover


We compared the dust jacket to the book cover and saw that they were different.

Social Studies: Story Disk


We put our story disk over San Diego.


We talked about the different definitions of what a park is, and the boys each designed their own park…





And we visited a local park, for research purposes.  😉





We received a Koala Crate that had a simple little cute activity about gardening, so Raphael did that with the boys over the weekend.





Lately we’ve been doing our rows with much more discussion and much less activity, so there just aren’t as many pictures to post on the blog…which is ok.  🙂


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