Underwater life is mysterious, the great unseen! Have you ever asked yourself; what is a fish, what species live here, and how can we protect them? These are all great questions and with the help of a conservation crate from the Hunting & Fishing Heritage Centre we were able to answer them.
First off parts of a fish. Does your child remember the name of the fin found on the back or spine of a fish? Not all fish have scales...like catfish. Catfish have already be spotted at Harrington Pond. Does your child remember that encounter?
In mystery forest, we snacked, we wandered and heard part of a story about the life in the river.
We split into three groups to practice our fish identification skills using cards from the kit. Elk knows his fish really well and his team gained the most points during quiz time. Does your child remember any specific types of fish? What are some characteristics or features to look for on the fish?
People also fish for a living and they need to be mindful of how many fish they take. Our teams went fishing in lakes (buckets) for fish (game pieces). In the short fishing season, something happened with Flower Lake. Does your child remember what happened? Why did teams not fish very often at Lake Unidragon?
Of course, fish are part of the food chain in Harrington Pond. Some little fish will eat plants but what else do fish eat? Pretending to be part of the food chain while playing rock, paper, scissors made us laugh and giggle. What does your child remember about playing this activity? Ask if they want to teach you the game at home.
Library time started with a step-by-step how to draw a fish activity at the small table. Maybe your child can show the steps to a sibling or parent to help rehearse this new skill. Gray Squirrel was all ready with a fly fishing story. Does Mrs. Eastman like fishing? Was a fish caught in the story? Another great activity booklet was sent home from the library today.
Our afternoon was wet and filled with excitement. Down the Little Creek Trail we have our spot for finding crayfish but we also see other aquatic animals too. What might be found in this waterway (think back about the book we read before our adventure). Firefly caught her first crayfish! What strategies do you think she used to catch it? Hummingbird took a graceful swan dive and handled being wet with style!
Coyote found a secret stream. We walked in a deer trail through wispy Horsetail with Salamander and Elk pulling hard to get rid of the ever-present Garlic Mustard. Tamarack even spied some Watercress by the shore. Where did we end up? What did this place sound like?
Taking time to sketch the animals, plants and trees or just a favourite part of the day is quiet, peaceful work. Seeing with 'soft eyes' only happens when we are not trying to see anything in particular.
At nature school we always take time to smell flowers and share with friends the joys and sadness that life can bring.
Our gratitude goes out to the kids for showering Coyote with caring on her arrival. To Tamarack for charting a steady course through the whole day and spying a hovering Osprey. We are always happy to see Dragonfly as she brings her unique nature craft that has been honed over the years. Raccoon joined in, braving water, traffic, mud and a few mosquitos to get a new perspective on our day.
Remember our final question to take home? What are some special days we can celebrate in June at nature school? Be ready with some fun ideas for next week Forest Friends:)