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Celebrating Grandmother Tree

Gratitude and Grandmother both start with G. but they share much more than that in our imagination and our reality. Right now we are connecting the child with the tree; linking the caring nature of kids with the giving nature of trees. Our Grandmother Maple is the centrepiece of our experience with trees. We look to her wisdom, wonder about the stories she could tell, notice her many offspring far and wide, and recognize the life she offers above and below ground. Start a conversation about your child’s feelings about trees. All our activities today will offer you openings to questions to go deeper into the learning.

Collaborative task: Create a tree from sticks.

Problem: Someone decided to clean up all the deadfall around the hall property.

Solution: Big Raccoon travels to find sticks while kids get creative on planning ideas.

Result: A decent tree was created and leaves found to bring together in matched pairs.

Here are a few guiding questions;

What are the parts of a tree?

Name some animals that would live in a tree?

How does an animal use the tree. Hint food, water or shelter

There are tiny bursts of colour along the trail that won’t last long. Ask for a lesson in some common fall wildflowers from our scavenger hunt. (see picture) We wanted to put the wildflowers picked to use in an art project. We took time to think and play with some ideas for our picture card and shared some creative models. Then we watched as everyone took a different approach to laying out their materials. Your child has carried this card home where it needs to rest under a heavy object for one week. Take a peek, then rearrange if needed and either tape or glue the dried flowers in place. It might be worthy of a frame!

We are grateful for library time, and as always, Grey Squirrel has so much for us to do. We focused on leaves changing, some history of gathering for Thanksgiving, and finally created our own watercolour masterpiece with a maple leaf centrepiece. This leaf can be removed and leaves space for a thanksgiving message. The booklet sent home features a word search, scavenger hunt and fill in the blanks all related to Thanksgiving. We were also left with a beautiful poem about Gratitude Stones. Ask your child for a retell about what these stones are and how you collect and display them to help appreciate special memories.

On the west side of the pond we brought an apple treat to our new tree friends. It was time to find out more about them and get the details down on paper. Ask your child for information about the species, pet name, height, special features, and leaf/bark pattern of their tree. Most got to put a leaf in their field guide today.

Gratitude can be part of our walks through the forest. Appreciating the colours the smells and sights. What did your child feel grateful for today? Nature smells like that of the black walnut seed bring good memories of autumn. Collecting information or a gift from nature to give to someone is one way to express our gratitude. Try adding ‘gratitude stones’ to your next outing and help relive some of your sightings, new friendships or family moments.

We were busy right until the last minute today! Thanks to parents for searching to make sure all the treasures in backpacks get to be appreciated. Enjoy the peak of fall colour and prepare for that forecast frost. We are ready for the grand entrance of REAL fall now! See you next week Forest Friends:)


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