Join in with our ‘skulk’ of foxes as we get back to nature at the farm in 2024. Kids scattered to check out changes and say hello to familiar friends (human and animal). It’s been awhile and we've missed this inquisitive group of rambling explorers. They inspected the ‘snow’ kitchen, checked the big hole high up in Silver Maple, noticed some new things growing and visited the ponies.
Learning to freeze, listen, stalk and pounce like Red Fox is practiced in our rabbit/fox game. Ask where rabbit is safe and how fox gets prey that is hidden from sight. Great to warm up bodies on this breezy cool morning.
We turn off our strongest human sense to test out how foxes leave messages to stay out or find their family groups. How do they do this? Ask about our smelly match up activity using these guiding questions.
What scent was in your jar?
Did you find your skulk or fox group?
What were the plant smells we used?
Who was in your skulk?
Switching senses to our vision and turning on brains to tracking, we set off along the trail on a challenge to identify fox tracks, then spread out to find one fact about this fascinating canine. Test your child’s memory by asking them to go through as many of the 8 facts as they can.
HINT: life span, diet, families, marking territory, homes. Now see if they can give you a realistic version of the foxes screaming howl. Terrifying!!!
The backwoods is a magnet for creativity. This group melts into little gangs of activity, conspiring together on masterful projects like crafting a cooking campfire with reclining chairs or creating a new camouflage game with a five step challenge (more ideas from Falcon for next week). Sometimes we just want to play solo with a little dog who loves to fetch or partake in some risky play with stick races in fast flowing streams. All part of learning to keep safe while designing novel experiences that ignite excitement.
Our trip back was a fun review. Puzzle pieces with facts written on back were collected by each skulk. Reading is practiced as teams help younger children to stretch out sounds or fill in tricky words. The puzzle is of course of our own Red Fox. See if your child can paint on the colours of foxes beautiful fur coat, starting with black behind ears and finishing with white tip on tail.
Power outage….no problem. We set up our lunches in the arena where light filters in from the roof. Just in time power was back on and we headed to the hayloft for some romping fun.
The new year opens with a novel called ‘A Wolf Called Wander’ which will be read over the next 9 weeks. It links with so many of our topics of study and gives that inside story told masterfully by Swift, the wolf narrator. What are the names of the other wolves who are part of Swift’s family? Where does Swift and his siblings need to stay right now and why?
You know if you have hit the sweet spot for new concept learning when journal time is so focused and quiet. This group stretched out their skills to add more point form facts, a habitat sketch, tracks, and a compass. See if you can get some bragging going about all that your child added in their journal today. It was an effort worthy of pride! Thank you to the student teachers who mentored others to build confidence and encourage stretching their abilities. We added some extensions to our big pine table in the cabin which gives us more elbow room. Such a great learning space!
Our afternoon rotations were new skills for us! Using whittling to create beads with different types of wood was led by Dragonfly. See if your child can remember the type of wood they used, how the pith was removed, and what decorations (if any) were added. We plan to have the children create one bead for the concept we learn each day. This will be made into a ‘memory necklace’ to bring home at the end of winter session. We imagine rich conversations happening using these beads as their memory guide. Today we also got started looking for a perfect walking stick which we hope will be crafted by your child's hands over many weeks until ready for a family trail walk.
Horses sometimes need medical attention. What is in our horse first aid kit? We have a special bandage wrap that stays on these big, active equines. Check out your child’s bandage and get a demonstration of how it is put on. Of course we loved grooming our favourite steeds. Ask who got their attention this week and why.
Special moments captured today...
So much joy and piles of fun on this blustery winter day! Your children returned with happy smiles and bundles of energy for learning in the fields and forests at Stoneridge. We love having you back with us Forest Friends:)