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Taking the road less travelled...

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Travelling along trails is easy, but bushwacking your way to a destination through unknown territory is an experience. This requires some brave steps and teamwork. New territory also provide glimpses of unfamiliar plants and trees. It's a great opportunity to look at cattails with fluffy seeds ready to disperse, new stands of milkweed, or identifying features of White Pine. We helped move milkweed seeds to a safer home away from the croplands and combine blades. Ask your child how many needles were in each bundle of pine needles and how this helps figure out that it is a ‘white’ pine tree.

We made it to Raspberry Hill by different routes and found a cool shelter all set up.

Finally to our ‘check in’ using a story called, A Rainbow Book, to give some descriptive language about feelings. We had a fiery, strong red in our group; some yellow, happy and content; a couple of kids felt orange, and even one rainbow. How often do we feel a certain way, without reflecting on why and having the words to describe it.

Wander time around Crayfish Creek means plenty of action and some wet socks. We managed to catch at least one of each of the four types of aquatic critters we know. Does your children remember them and how we did the math to figure out the number of individuals all together?

Chickadee also counted the seeds in one milkweed pod. We all got a chance to make an estimate (guess). See if your child can remember their estimate and who was closest to the actual number. Finding another way to count using groups of ten made this task easier and we got within 1 seed of Chickadee’s accurate answer. Math outdoors…..for sure!!!!

Clay is just sitting there on the creek bottom. Now we know this precious resources is there and Hummingbird and Monarch spent time creating some pretty amazing nests!

Pine haven has changed a little. What is new in this familiar place? Lunchtime is even more fun with a silly book about a frog who doesn’t want to be a frog. Get the full story by asking your child for a retell of the characters and the surprise ending.

Leaves are totally covering the grass around the farmhouse and there is such diversity of tree species here. Now that we have scavenger hunts down pat, our partner groups made stops to learn 10 new trees. See if these letters trigger a new tree name from your child; C (Catalpa), Si M (Silver Maple), JM (Japanese Maple), PB (Paper Birch), HL (Honey Locust), L (Lilac), RP (Red Pine), SM (Sugar Maple), G (Gingko), BW (Black Walnut). A tiny clue which added one feature may be another piece of information they might give you. Thanks for consolidating new nature literacy with them. Our goal is to recognize 40 trees at full year nature school! ,

Land art is not only a hobby for some, but a full time preoccupation. Check out the work of Andy Goldsworthy and you will be amazed at what can be made completely from and in nature. We looked at some other fab fall land art examples and created a star filled with different coloured leaves. Fun and learning about shapes, colours and mostly collaboration. Of course Elmo has to be the centre of the star:)

A final visit with some beautiful lab puppies; ask about their names. A jump in the hayloft to test bravery, and the day is done! Wishes for next week are….MORE OF EVERYTHING!

Nature School is all about connection. Your child is experiencing nature 'up close' through the microscope, rather than passing by the car window. Thank you for giving them this opportunity to wonder, question, and sense the beauty of the natural world.

See you next week Forest Friends:)


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