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Let It Flow

Updated: Feb 29

Sunny skies, warm breeze, grass greening, bird’s singing - FAST FORWARD TWO HOURS- cold icy winds, blowing snow, black clouds, freezing puddles. Mother Nature you've got to be kidding me! This day was so much like the cycle of sap inside trees. When it's warm it flows freely up the trunk and into the branches, making the tree get active and feel great. Then it turns cold, dips below freezing, the sap drops into the roots, slowly pooling, snugged up waiting. This was us today, the yin/yang of flowing with what nature brings.

Ask them about our legend of Maple Moon and who really first discovered that sweet sap. Get ready for a great tale of boyhood adventure and celebration.

Coyote invented a new game that highlights the critter in this legend. Explain how you play this live action game. What were you trying to gather? Who were you trying to avoid and what happened to you in the end? A great game is fun, gets you running, teaches something and always includes MATH. Get the final number from your child’s addition of their team's food and sap.

Onward to literacy, where we were learning new words about our topic. What equipment is used to tap Maple trees and what words did you find and match? Were there some items that really didn’t belong in this group?. Frog and Salmon were sure it was the mints:). Who eats those? (Jester)

Time to head out and tap our friendly Sugar Maples. Blue Jay led us right to her tree friend. Why is this tree the best one to tap? Talk about the steps to tap a tree in order so that your parents could do this for themselves. Use this vocabulary list to guide you step-by-step. What were we doing to Frog and Dragonfly?

  1. Tape Measure

  2. South and child height

  3. Drill

  4. Stick

  5. Spile

  6. Hammer

  7. Bucket and lid

  8. Sap

The hayloft is an excellent place for play. Life long skills are built through play. As new games and activities are tested out, new pathways for thinking and creating are developed.  Sometimes play is unstructured and sometimes there are rules that create structure for learning. Incorporating different forms of play is an important part of learning at Coyote Nature School.  Ask your child what they liked today, and they will probably tell you about a game they were playing.

The careful crafting of walking sticks is nearly complete. Pride in this accomplishment is written all over the faces of our group. Some were working on designing and creating art to go on their walking sticks. What creative element of design is your child working on? What has your child learned about using tools safely?  These functional works of art will come home next week:).

Writing things down on paper and adding to their journals is a great way to help remember and share their daily learning experiences. For the younger ‘Seedling Group”, we broke it down into four steps to tap a maple tree for sap. The older “Sapling Group”, focused on using maple syrup terminology to explain an aspect of their learning or highlight a new concept.

On our last day of winter session our buckets may be full of sap and we can learn about the next part of the journey from sap to syrup. We are thankful to Ladybug, an old friend and champion of outdoor learning through her long teaching career. who helped out today. Now happily retired, we hope to tap into her passion for connecting kids with nature, enthusiasm and warmth. We say so long to Daisy who is heading away on vacation and will be back with us this spring. Dragonfly and I are already thinking about a fitting finale for winter 2024. Enjoy the final snowfalls Forest Friends:).



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