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Ol' Fashion Soakers and Solitude

When’s the last time you waded up a quiet stream, cold water filling your boots and soaking your socks? Or taken time by yourself, no timeline, no agenda, just quietly enjoying a moment of solitude? We love bringing children outdoors where things just happen fluidly keeping a kid’s pace all day long!

Scroll through these pictures, ask your child to tell the story of what they were thinking, wondering about or learning. There will be lots to tell about this big day of curiosity and connection.

What were the materials used in this morning land art piece. What did the whole group decide to make together? How did we sign this materpiece?

What happened to Coyote?

There are 10 trees we are learning about around the farmhouse, noticing the changes happening to each. With these hints is your child able to name and expand on what is special about them….

I have white bark and… (Paper Birch)

I grow large nuts… (Black Walnut)

My seed pods are shaped like a smile… (Honey Locust)

My name starts with cat…. (Catalpa)

I am one of many here of the same species… (Silver Maple)

Red is in my name… (Red Pine)

My flowers are coming soon and smell beautiful… (Lilac)

I have leaves shaped like a fan… (Gingko)

My red leaves have a familiar shape… (Japanese Maple)

I am a memory tree with shirt shaped leaves (Tulip)

Sweet sap is my gift to give… (Sugar Maple)

Waking up our less dominant senses of smell and touch leads to a rich description and lasting memories. Our time around the smelly garden was spent matching a smell/texture to the plant it came from. See if your child can recall some of these plants and use words to describe each one.

The crop of winter wheat is taller than most of us. What will this be used for? We found a place where the grass was flattened. What happened here? We loved being inside the border of grass, it was quiet and very spongy to sit on. Great place to share the book 'A Secret Stream' by Kimberly Ridley, to get us thinking about life in the waterway. Get the child version of this experience and what surprising creatures live in and around the stream.

Our exploration of water creatures continued today. Frogs are busy finding mates, laying eggs and hunting for food. What are some of the common frogs we might find around the local waterways? (Bull Frog, Wood Frog, Spring Peeper, Green Frog, Leopard Frog). Which ones did we catch or see in the creek today?

There are a few open meadows on the farm. These are places where lots of animals find food and hide from predators. We made a careful winding deer trail so we didn’t tromp down this habitat. What animals might seek refuge here? You may be noticing more of this caretaker attitude like walking with 'gentle footsteps' in your child when outdoors with family and friends. Praise this whenever you get the chance, it will lead them towards sustainable citizenship in the future.

We did our own hiding today and it seems that these kids are getting pretty crafty at finding place to camouflage.

Lunch and some loose time was spent in the backyard. The new woodland trail and gardens are places where fun things happen. We had artistic talents on full display and new friendships expanding into full group game play. Ask about this time and see what stories pop out.

The life cycle of the frog is pretty fascinating. Use nature journals to get a description of each phase of this metamorphosis (try to get this word) and what adaptations are happening to frog. How long does the journey from egg to adult frog take?

Our day just scampered along, everyone in the groove, helping the team and full of fun chatter. Thanks so much to Erin (Hawk) for keeping a keen eye on the needs of our group on land and in water. Next week the kids are wishing for a hike to the backwoods and beyond! Looking forward to this new adventure Forest Friends:)


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