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Snow Will Keep Us Together

Updated: Jan 26

Snow draws people together in creating dream projects that are bigger than one person alone could realize. This fort was a child-driven collaborative effort, with crazy carpets being used to drag the boulders when they got too big to handle. Joyful work on a beautiful January day.

Beginnings at Harrington Hall are often peaceful, while students settle in to activities like colouring, playing memory games, reading or puzzle solving. These tricky 3D wood puzzles were used by my mom when she was young. Some things never get old!

Starting our day with a game of animal charades was a fun way to share drama skills and practice acting in front of others.  Our acting was so good that we were able to guess nine of the thirteen animals. Ask your child to show the actions to their chosen animal. Hint: the animal could not be any of the nature names.

Early morning rain soon turned to sunshine. We built a fox den to use as part of the Fox and Rabbit game. Today this raucous game had a couple of new twists to the rules of the wild. Can your child explain what the den was for? A coyote was part of our game this time and we had two foxes. Later in the game a hunter was added. What happened to the rabbits when there was a coyote and a hunter? What happened to the foxes? A game like this helps to introduce bigger concepts of population growth and decline, and how all things are connected. Students shared their vision of how to grow this game next week. Predator/Prey games are usually fatal...even the fox looks concerned for this little rabbit:)

The animal of the week was introduced in a scavenger hunt along the trails. Twelve small pieces of paper with clues were hidden by Tamarack earlier in the morning. Was it easy or hard to find the clue? What was your clue? Can you remember any of the other clues? What was our animal today?

Downy Woodpecker is an interesting bird and today we looked at some cool adaptations. The tongue of a woodpecker is tucked up inside its beak and up and over its eye socket. Amazing! 

Thinking and talking about woodpeckers led to the noisy ruckus they make. Acting like woodpeckers drumming on trees, we practiced the different rhythms. Right now you can hear this sound throughout Ontario woodlands as these small birds search for the perfect mate. Maybe you remember the rhythm of a downy woodpecker? Did Mystery Forest have any woodpecker holes in the trees? Would Mystery Forest be a good home for woodpeckers?

Wandering in the forest there were foxes playing in dens, tree climbing, and the ice cream shop opened again with helpers doing some advertising. Even delivery service was available! Dragonfly enjoyed the flavour of the day: Walnut Butter.  Yum.  

The Saplings group found some woodpecker holes in a dead tree. What size were they?

The library was bumping today, with a sprinkle of all things nice! Ask your child to tell you the story of this time together including reading with their buddy.

New partners can change how we feel and think about reading. That's why mixed age groups offer rich learning experiences where age doesn't define capability or confidence.

Willow read a book about red foxes from The Smithsonian Institute. What facts do you remember from the book?

Wow, Grey Squirrel knocked this art project out of the park. She must love Woodpeckers too! Check out our efforts to create animal motion with paper.

Grey Squirrel always makes us think deeply. Her book prompted questions. In which country are woodpeckers not found? (Australia). Larch said woodpeckers don’t live in Antarctica. Beaver said Australia is a continent and not a country. We love discussion:)

Using our hands to connect with trees by carving builds this relationship through a new kind of familiarity. Seeing the different grains appear when taking the outer skin away that protects them, understanding what wood feels like when it’s alive and when it's dried out, noticing small notches and wood eating bug tracks. Making something beautiful over time with concerted effort is an art we are losing in rapid paced modern society. Just like busy Downy Woodpeckers we got shredding off bark to find the beauty beneath. Your child's finished walking stick will come home on our final day of winter session.

We imagine you have tired, fulfilled children after a day in this magical place. Stay safe around our waterways until we meet again next week Forest Friends:)

1 Comment

I clearly remember a poster of the Ontario birds in my one-room schoolhouse - 6 decades ago! I think it's one of the reasons I'm still fascinated by them. Do you know what bird that beautiful spotted feather is from?

Isn't it lovely that there is a swan living on the pond once again!


Harrington resident

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