Kindness and gratitude, this was our merry mission on the last day of fall session at nature school today. The ponies got handmade festive cookies; made with goopy, splashy, and yummy ingredients. If your child was on feed chores today, see if they recall the recipe. Hay pillows were fluffed with carrot and apple treats to send pony guests to slumberland with sweet dreams. Ester, Ethel, Bubbles, and Bob were not left out. Ask about chicken treats and the all that went into this sticky experience.
We love our animals and ‘pony recess’ was a new event, packed with action. Chat about what the ponies do when loose in the arena, and how they interact with each other. Why was Libby always between Gus and Percy? How do horses show they are going to roll? What tells us that a horse might kick? What are the names of all the horses at Stoneridge?
Our hike to the newly named ‘Christmas Forest’ on a gratitude scavenger hunt opened eyes to things we love about the natural world. A special gift from nature was to be found and later wrapped for a secret Santa present. What did your child choose to give, and what did they receive?
That wind was chilly, but Pine Haven is a sheltered place to have a fire and enjoy lunch. Daisy brought along a ‘sound’ story. It might be fun to ask what sounds were in the book and how these tinkly words might be spelled. I sense some opportunity for homework here:).
The afternoon was jam-packed as we prepared to turn our tree friend into a seasonal art installation. Thank you parents for sending along decorations or treats. Of course we couldn’t forget the wild critters who may be looking for a snack in this cold weather. Talk about some inventive ways we used: apples and sunflower seeds; pine cones, peanut butter, and seeds; and soft willow branches. Here is how it looked through Racoon’s amazing lens.
Sometimes we just feel a little wild!
Daisy and I think a good story should be read anywhere. We have our favourites from today, 'Snow Sounds', 'Acorn Was A Little Wild', and 'Winter's Gift' (didn't get to this one...but well worth finding).
Our final visit to the Curiousity Cabin was a part warm up and wrap up. Secret Santa names were drawn from Daisy's LONG knit kringle hat, and we prepared for a nature gift exchange to say happy holiday to all.
We must thank Daisy (Kim Wagner) a teacher extraordinaire, who is ready to rumble after a stellar career in public education. It takes a special kind of person to volunteer full days to keep connected to the lives of children. She keeps smiling, even on those cold, wet days bringing stragglers along the trail. Our group is so much richer for having her with us. See you in 2023 Daisy.
Raccoon (Gord Barnett) has become one of the Chickadee gang. We love his gentle guiding hand and sharp focus on the eye of the learning storm. Families are lucky to see this record of our day and we so appreciate him coming out of retirement with CTV, to hang out with us.
Parents, I feel so lucky to have your support and especially your amazing children. You see the value in connecting your child deeply to the natural world and I am honoured to be their guide. Wishing you a wonder-filled holiday.
Happy Trails until 2023!.