Sunday, March 22, 2009

Maple Syrup Season

We had the opportunity last week to visit Kensington Metro Park to get some maple syrup schoolin'. We met up with our friends, the Snyder family, and had an absolute blast learning all of the interesting facts and history that go along with collecting and making maple sap into maple syrup. After the lesson, we were treated to a wonderfully yummy pancake dinner - topped off, of course, with 100% real maple syrup that was collected right from Kensington's Sugar Maples. It was a fun AND educational experience - gotta love it!
Learning about the trees

Even the youngest ones enjoyed being outside for the lesson

The naturalist demonstrates how the trees make the sugar for the sap

The youngest explorer in our group

We discussed different ways to identify sugar maples - the leaves (on the ground at this time of year), bark and branches

Maple sap becomes maple syrup in this little "shack"

Kids + sugar = fun at the Sugar Shack

Ethan learns about the process of boiling the sap down into syrup

Kevin just couldn't get over how wonderful it smelled!

Ethan's enjoying the smells, too!

Elijah watches those water molecules escape from the sap - the process in progress

Looking for the perfect tree to tap

Found it!

Inserting the spile

Discovering first hand how the Native Americans tapped for syrup

Inside for a little art & crafts . . .

. . . and a little Maple Syrup Word Searching

Anticipating our pancake dinner!


Joie said...

Looks like a lot of fun and a bit cold. did you get any syrup to take for use at home?

Heidi said...

We did this program several years ago. My kids loved it!