I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Mulberry Tree.
In the fall, it provides fallen leaves that make worms and creatures feel safe enough to come out of the ground. That's because we rake so rarely that the leaves begin the composting process and worms just love that.
In the spring, new leaves begin to emerge in preparation for 1. feeding silkworms, and 2. providing shade in the summer.
But my favorite contribution of the mulberry tree yet...it's role as The Rope Tree.
One day, we took about ten minutes to hang some ropes and tie some knots and drill some holes and make some swings. Later, Brianna (our student teacher from DeAnza College), brought a ski rope and hung that from the tree as well. This has been most popular activity area for the children. When they climb, all of the muscles engage, including the core.
There are a few safety features of the ropes we hang on the trees. First, the hand holds and foot holds are small enough loops that they don't fit over children's heads. We also have a rule in place that if they want to swing the swing (which is a large, heavy piece of wood), the children must be sitting on the swing. Otherwise it becomes a huge solid pendulum ready to knock someone out. Brianna found a way to feed the children's interest in pendulums as well, but I'll post about that later!