Like a line of zealous picketing workers our kids waved plaid and pastel umbrellas and chanted ‘rain, rain, storm all day’. as they marched the trail beside the pond. I guess Nature schoolers love all weather and were pretty pumped to use their colourful rooftops. Even though the rain held off, it was a joyful, high energy, and bustling spring Friday.
The Herons are a curious bunch about everything on and UNDER the land. Our day began by creating the pond area land map complete with all the features we have become familiar with. See if you can get a tour using the place signs and ask about the location of campsites for our Let’s Go Camping game.
We are becoming area experts at this site, but with each new visit and season so much keeps changing. Have your child tell you about these photos. The plant is our smelly friend ‘Skunk Cabbage’ who loves its feet wet.
Our walking destination was found by following arrows to a circle task. Each place we visited we added a sketch in our book. See what these sketches tell you about what we did at each place. It might include tiny houses, pond views, special sit spots or wander time experiences. Moving from 'doing' tasks to 'reflecting and observing' is an important transition skill for children who love busy bodies but need time to rest and think. We are using our sketch book as a tool for this calmer reflection time.
As we begin to think about planting the community garden, we also wonder how the most important underground creatures tending the soil are doing. Yes, that’s our wonderful worms!
Mrs. Eastman (Grey Squirrel) read a funny story about a worm named Carl. Ask your child to retell the story about this worms burning question. Did Carl find the answer? Why are worms so important to all living things?
Before offering facts to children, we love them to get their hands dirty. With loads of worms on the tarp we were ready to go on a worm hunt. What did we do with these worms? Who found the longest and where did we put them after we were done?
Get ready to meet your child’s new worm friend. Ask about the features of this worm. Does it have eyes, ears, or a nose? What is the band around the middle for? You may want to offer a ‘worm’s and dirt’ treat for some more details about worms. Check out this great resource.
As part of consolidating the learning today, your child brought home a booklet from Mrs. Eastman and pictures of the worm life cycle. Have your child cut out and paste these stages in their journal, adding notes if they are able to. You can go further with this journey by looking at other research online, in texts, or by making your own worm farm or wormery. https://www.wikihow-fun.com/Make-a-Plastic-Bottle-Wormery
Of course we always have time for spontaneous fun like singing, hill rolling or just simply being playful together or exploring new things on our own.
Our group has grown bigger, and we span in age from smaller saplings to mature maples. We are so pleased to see how older can assist younger and more experienced can mentor our newcomers. Some of us are working on expanding our friendship circle by playing with different people and getting more involved in team tasks. Have a chat about how your child can show they are welcoming to new connections as part of the growth experience that this small group can offer.
Thank you parents for packing so well for our experiences each week. Nature journals, songbooks, sketchbooks, and library cards are a lot to remember. We are very grateful to Tamarack who takes care of all the details and makes transition so smooth, always with a smile. Big Raccoon captured all our fun moments and is ready to help anyone slowing down on the trail. What a great Heron Team!
Happy tunneling until next week Forest Friends:)