What creates a thread 5 times stronger than steel and which humans have yet to replicate? It is an ARACHNID. Small in size but mighty! Spiders cause many to shriek, so we put them on the learning menu to bring out the WOW factor of these amazing creatures.
We marvel at their intricate webs, so tried our own team web. Thanks for the great song to go along with the spinning Falcon and Raccoon. Maybe you'll get a version of this at home.
Check out the little pipe cleaner spiders hidden in packs and ask for one fact for each of the eight legs on this creation. Our partner scavenger hunt led to some pretty interesting facts!
Here are a few prompts to get these facts about spiders...
*number of eyes and how well they see
*eggs, how many and how are they kept safe
*differences between spiders and insects
*webs, how long and how often do they build one
*how long do they live...what about tarantulas?
*what do they do to their prey before eating them (hint: slurpee)
*different ways they catch prey (jumping, racing, catching in web)
*strength of their silk and what it’s used for
All the spiders on our hunt can be found in your backyard!
Ask to see a demonstration of how these spiders were made and see if ideas flow about how to add details or use the same materials to create another kind of spider. These kids really show how to support, model and encourage each other when new skills are taught.
Thanks to Raccoon for leading the way to the Backwoods. We knew spiders have a lot of skill to weave a web, so we gave it a try. Was this easy or more difficult than expected? Would this get easier with practice? If you want to try this at home just gather 4 sticks of the same length and fan them out into a wheel shape. Use twine or string to hold them at the centre, then wind the string around each spoke in the wheel, moving outward as you go. What kind of spider makes this web design? (Orb-Weaver).
Wander time showed just how inventive these kids are. We had stew on slow simmer with pulley rope lift, tea was also served. Our creek dwellers created a net to catch aquatic animals - we need more time and patience but have every confidence this will work (next week). Bridge building continues with logs floated down from upstream for use by our happy beaver group. A crayfish was even caught, which is unusual for this spot in the stream. Flowers, beans, and lots of seeds were collected just before the combine started harvesting the crop field.
New Skills and Cool Findings
Back at the farm we visited the pumpkin patch where our own special squash was waiting. Get a full description of your child’s pumpkin; stalk, belly button, number of ribs. Ask about the life cycle stages. What colour is every pumpkin at the start and what possible colours could they become? Blue? Yes!
Keeping with the spider theme it only seemed right to turn our pumpkins into spider houses. Many animals use outdoor pumpkins as hiding places and a food source. Who might visit your pumpkin? What is important for wild animal safety if you leave your pumpkin outside for them? We will discover more about decomposition next week, so keep your pumpkin outside after the BIG DAY to watch it change (even if its gross). Creative expression was peaked for this activity. Mailboxes, flags, window awnings, and slides were all totally kid ideas.
We wished a happy birthday to Falcon who has now reached double digits and we say a sad so long to some treasured friends. Monarch and Wolf live at a distance and aren’t able to travel to us. We are happy they will continue their nature adventures near Milverton. Next week we welcome two new nature school friends who will need all our support, guidance and encouragement to come to know and love this farm as we do. We are so thankful to Salmon’s mom who came out to help with the carving…all fingers and toes are intact! Your child gets individual attention with the experienced help of Osprey and Raccoon. We are so lucky to be able to offer this.
Skill testing question....what does this mean for us next week?
Happy Halloween to all our Forest Friends!!!