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Love is...

I know, Valentine's is over, yet we wanted to celebrate caring relationships between living things. You'll see how this theme allowed us to reveal some surprises alliances in the wilds. Take a look...

Starting our mornings together with quiet indoor activities allows for connecting with each other in small groups and one-on-one. A large group of children of various ages got together to test their memory skills with the bird identification game. Others spent time figuring out animal and plant identification using guide books and cards. It was nice to see how everyone settles into different activities and shows caring for one another.

If you were an owl and your arms were wings, how long would your wingspan be? Stretch out your arms and see how long your wingspan is? Did your child have a long wingspan compared to their partner or their sibling? Which one is female and male? Where did they find themselves in the order of the longest wingspan to shortest?  

It took a watchful pair of 'owl's' in a 'bandana nest' to protect the eggs from the crafty coon. Do owls and raccoons get along with each other? How sneaky did the raccoon have to be to be able to steal an egg from the nest?  

Some animals do get along with each other and they could be called "animal sidekicks".  At snack time we learned about a few animals who are considered 'sidekicks'. What were some of these animals and how did they help each other? The badger and the coyote hunt together in the prairies and sometimes even play together (see video).

Snow brought us all together in playful excitement. Sunrise Hill proved to be fast today, even with only a skiff of snow. Hummingbird and Monarch made curvy trails on the sleds together and even added a bump or two. Friends were helping push each other down the hill or even share a ride together. Beaver pulled his friend Crow up the hill. Now that's a good friend!

After a quick game of animal charades, everyone got a card to act out their animal. Their goal was to find their life-long mate by looking for another animal acting like them. What animal was your child and how hard was it to find their life long match? What animals in Ontario mate for life?

Our tree friends on Butterfly Hill got some homemade presents. There were gifts of other wooden items like branches, rocks and snow creations. The snow creations were colourful and they were creative in showing gratitude to their tree friend.

Friendship and caring continued into reading time. Reading buddies helping each other with hard words or by showing good listening skills. Special thanks to Grey Squirrel for sharing a book called "Be a Tree". What was it about? How are trees and humans the same?

We are just so comfortable in the library. Love the slippers Owl!

Ants do not act individually. Instead, they behave according to the needs of the colony. Coyote did a test through a game called ‘Ant Trail’. What was our line of ants searching for? How did this demonstrate the way we work together? Afterwards, we talked about the game and how our group is growing as a community. What did we notice? (we need teamwork, focus, patience, and cooperation to make our group work). Bonus question: How can you tell a White Pine cone from a Jack Pine cone?

Singing together feels so good, it’s joyful and full of spirit. What were some of the song requests, seemed like a Beatles day to me! Killdeer is asking for the Garden Song next time:).

We are getting close to having sticks as smooth as bone, ready for some personal artwork and the final wax. Ask about your child’s ideas for a simple design which they will carve and burn into their stick. Final blunt cuts were made with some muscle power too! 

At closing circle we each shared a message for the whole group. There were expressions of gratitude for kindness, caring, and fun times together. It just seems right to check in once and a while, especially as our group grows, that each of us feels safe, respected, understood and able to take some risks. We are creating our own little model of the ideal learning community.

Happy family long weekend to everyone!


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