On every journey there are twists and turns, happenings and discoveries. In our world today we sometimes forget to be present and take notice while on outings, instead we focus on the destination. To wake up kids' brains to the world we use a ‘journey stick’, a tradition from indigenous cultures. This is a way to tell the story of travels; safe routes, animal sightings, and places to find water.
Let your child share their journey stick which maps out our winding hike off and on the trail. Ask them to start from the beginning of the story and check in for detail by probing questions - you slid on a hill, where was that, how fast did you go? Did you have a sled? What does this mark mean?
Encourage continuing this project at home by adding other natural materials, coloured string, marker lines, or carving in shapes using tools. Share these photos from this big journey today. You may wish to reread a wonderful storybook “The Hike’ by Allison Farrell which has loads of identifying information about plants and animals your child might like to share.
There is no better place to have lunch on a cold day than in the hayloft. Thanks Raccoon for this great suggestion. Why does Elmo love it when we eat up here? The hayloft feels like it’s getting bigger but really the horses are eating our play equipment.
It’s maple syrup season and we are excited! Ask about the new vocabulary (pictures and words) hidden around the barn. What do these words mean? (evaporation, evaporator, sugar shack).
Often tools are a look but don’t touch for younger children. At nature school we use tools in the context of learning and know how to use them safely. Your child is now an expert on how to tap a maple tree using a drill and hammer. In tapping teams they chose a tree, put in a tap, and added a rooftop. We also learned about some of the older ways a sugar bush was managed. They quickly moved on to adding furniture at their tree, so they could comfortably watch nature's magical drama unfold.
Have a sit down with nature journals and have them take you through the steps in tapping trees for sap. This is procedural writing at its best. See if more details come out about each of these steps in your conversation. Next week we are hoping for a sap run, and then the science of this process begins!
Skill testing question....how many taps could a tree this big around have?
What about this big? Such a fun way to learn about circumference and use measuring tools.
Of course we all wanted to taste the maple syrup from our little sugar bush here at Stoneridge Farm. Yummy sweet! Ask about how syrup is graded according to sweetness.
We will miss Daisy as she will be away for March on her own journey. We hope to see some new faces along with us while she is away.
Elmo wishes all his Forest Friends a happy journey until next week:)