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Exploring Off The Map

We love all the spaces around the farm, but today we decided to travel off the map. To record our discoveries, Coyote gave us our own nature sketch book. We followed hidden arrows to find a task; like making a team land art, finding groundhog holes, building a tiny house, or settling in for a sit spot time. Once settled in, or with tasks completed, everyone made a sketch. Check out five sketches in your child's book and ask for a story with each.

Our group has grown this session and we span in age from small saplings to mature maples. We discussed how older can assist younger and more experienced can mentor our newcomers. Some of us are working on expanding our friendship circle by playing with different people and getting more involved in team tasks. Have a chat about how your child can show they are welcoming to new connections as part of the big growth experience that this small group can offer.

Exploring means traveling for the purpose of discovery, investigating or searching out something new. Here are some pictures of places and happenings. Walk through these with your child and get down to the details of the learning using these probing questions…

Where did we got today?

What happened to this?

What might some of these be?

What were we creating here?

What's the name of this bully plant and how do we get rid of it?

This looks like fun...what is happening here?

Give me a tour of your tiny house.

We have a favourite game with a new twist. This might just look like hiding, however, it is laying a foundation for patient observation and solo reflection. We are helping children feel comfortable with solitary time in nature. I’m sure you’ll get lots of chatter about evading the eyes of the owl in this new game of Camoflauge.

Sketching what we see gets kids to zoom in on smaller details and stretches those fine motor skills on a very happy task. Pictures of our new tree friends at the Baby Tree Nursery are in journals today. What species of tree is yours? How old is it, and how do you know that? We noticed trees that stay green (coniferous) and those that lose their leaves in fall (deciduous). What were some of the conifer trees in the nursery (white spruce, white pine). Tamarack is a cool tree. What makes it so special?

Tell me about your new tree friend. How will you be able to find it again?

Daisy loves exploring as much as the kids. What did she find under some pines? What would you love to find in the forest someday?

Our story today was just part way finished and will be brought back next week. It’s called The Secret Pool. Your child deserves ice cream if they can name the kind of water pool that these creatures count on each spring (vernal).

Mourning Dove was so helpful with our littler ones today. Thanks to both Dove and Daisy for being a dynamic duo and filling all the gaps, carrying extra stuff along the trail, and encouraging stragglers. What a great Chickadee team!

Next week we already have some wishes. Seeing the raccoon who has taken up residence near the farmhouse and finding a hidden Robin’s nest. Don’t blink now, spring change happens super fast. Can’t wait to share more adventures with you next week Forest Friends:)


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