The trails are becoming familiar, so we set some parameters and let the kids find their way to meeting spots like the Backwoods, Raspberry Hill and Crayfish Creek. Trusting in children helps build a stronger sense of personal responsibility and confidence. They ALL made it!
Today we released our given names and joined the world of furry mammals, fish, tiny fliers, steadfast trees, and amazing insects by taking on their names. This brings the language of nature into our everyday lives and reminds us of the value of the non-human residents of this land. Living things are teachers and mentors for us and we will use these names to find out more about them and draw from their qualities.
Ask your child about their nature name, why they chose it, and what qualities this living thing has. Remind them of the story we read today, ‘Sometimes I Feel Like A Fox’, do they recall some ‘juicy’ words used to describe those animals? Build some language at home around what traits their living thing may have in common with them (patience, quick, strong, loves family). We will check in with them on this next week. Does Elmo have a nature name?
We loved our scavenger hunt today. Finding the elements particular trees need to grow strong and healthy helped us see trees as individuals. Ask what the four elements trees need are (air, water, sun, soil), and what tree they were trying to help in the hunt. Did their tree stay alive?
Crayfish Creek was brimming with life today. What four critters do we often find in the creek? See if your child can recall how many of each were found today. They may recall the graph we made using leaves to show how many crayfish (14), water striders (1), minnows (7) and mayflies (1) we caught.
Backwoods Circle just keeps offering new opportunities to create and play. Building with sticks, making special recipes to share, finding what is fine to take and what should be left alone, and using safety sense to gather materials and get to the water, are all great skills. There was so much chatter going on….where can you find that, how do you open this, what happens when..., can you help me? Such amazing conversation and cooperation. Ask about what your child did during wander time and what materials they used. Do they know what should be left alone in nature and why? Can they tell you what ‘naturalizing’ the site means before we leave it?
Hunger brought us back to Pine Haven, either by the north or south side trail. Which trail did they choose to venture back on? Wash up and eating time once again brought on more chatter. Somehow we started to form food clubs, where those with certain items added their name to a club. Most of our group had cheese in their lunches today:).
Our afternoon rotations were: 1) chicken time and arena play with Daisy; 2) tree friend learning with Coyote; and 3) mucking stalls and grooming with Heron. They should have lots to tell you about these activities. It would be amazing if your child could recall how big their tree friend is around the middle (circumference), how tall it is (height), and what special features this tree has.
Enjoy chatting around your table about this day. Expressing ideas orally will help build stronger connections to the learning and bring your child back next week more prepared to gain more detailed information and deeper understanding.
Has anyone heard of a 'Straw Angel', Acorn has!
Happy trails until next week Forest Friends:)