Based in San Francisco, iteachkids.org is an early childhood education blog by Tiva Lee Samaru. HER posts explore; through videos and other resources - original early childhood education curricula and ideas for enrichment classes, as well as, tips and tricks for classroom management and general childcare.

The Bush Life

The Bush Life

Nostalgia allows the reliving of childhood experiences.

Springtime in San Francisco always serves as a reminder of my birthplace - Trinidad and Tobago.

The sound of birds during the day and insects at night-time brings a recognizable feeling of appreciation along. Additionally, it brings recollections of the tropical sounds that greeted me in the morning and tucked me in at night. The wonderful thing about my childhood home is the abundance of flora and fauna. Fruit trees of all shapes and sizes, animals of all species and a diverse selection of flowers.

I remember hiking through the back yard with my siblings, spending hours picking fruit and playing with the trees. Another fond memory is our frequent Sunday morning picnics under the lime tree. It feels like a blessing to have so much nature to immerse oneself in. Playtime never seemed dull and time passed so easily. Some days we’d have lunch outdoors and just listen to the chirping birds. Watching their movement as they flew into their nests that hung on this beautiful bamboo tree that occupied a space on our property.

When the sun said goodbye and the moon said hello - as soon as the slightest trace of dusk came, the animals of the night would emerge.

Crickets chirping while toads and frogs croaked. Like an ensemble, each sound impeccably timed with the other. Rhythmic and relaxing. As a teenager, friends joked about my childhood home, commonly referring to it as “living in the bush”. But, many of those same friends would visit and fall in love with “the bush life”. Some would even fall fast asleep to frog lullabies.

These wondrous aural experiences included a plethora of visual ones, like daddy getting out of the vehicle to chase frogs away.

On some nights, they filled up the driveway. Some would hop away at the sight of the bright car light while others refused to move. However, once daddy exited the vehicle, they hopped into the grass, most likely out of fear. Sometimes we would step out of the vehicle and assist while ensuring they were all out of harm’s way. Nonetheless, there were times when they would hop directly towards us and we would scream so loudly and start hopping, even running away from them at times. I treasure these magnificent and comedic memories as they elevate my work as an Early Childhood Enrichment Educator.

I’ve mentioned in a post not too long ago, that crafting allowed simplification and the opportunity to share deeply meaningful activities with my students. So, as Spring came along with all these reminders about my upbringing and associated recollections, inspiration showed up as well, providing another opportunity to simplify and create.


Take a look!

Relying on memories of all these frogs frantically hopping away, I wanted to create a frog that can actually hop. So I grabbed a few pipe cleaners and spent a few minutes meticulously molding it into a shape that would bring this conception to life. With some time and testing, you can make your own hopping frog by using my video as a guide.

Keep on Hopping,

Tiva

Even a frog needs a home

Even a frog needs a home

Birds come. Birds go.

Birds come. Birds go.