How often are children asked a question and then given freedom and time to uncover an answer? Not too often. Life is busy, and children ramble and amble. The direct route to learning might be easy, but the longer trail opens so many more windows to new knowledge.
This morning the kids were shown a Robin’s nest. We noticed the location, materials used to make the nest, and saw that two eggs had hatched. The excitement of this discovery led to a full group nest hunt. The line of child questioning and wondering went like this…
Robin seems to like spruce trees, so let’s start there.
Pines are coniferous so we should also look at them.
Walk quietly so we don’t startle the mom bird.
Maybe we should watch where we walk, some birds might nest on the ground.
Let’s check high spots in trees for bigger bird nests.
How about near the water because birds need water.
Will predators get these low nests?
Why would this bird leave a half finished nest?
Our final count was about 10 new nests near the barn, mostly Robins. Falcon showed such keen observation skills that we ended up relying on his advice on where to look. This cascade of learning and questioning opened up a whole new world that wasn’t on our menu for today. One discovery fuels excitement for further discovery. Ask your child about the nest hunt. Can they describe what the new chicks look like? What colour, shape and size where the eggs? What other kinds of birds do we see often at the farm and what is their special call (blue jay, cardinal (peter-peter), red-winged black bird(trill).
Robins were so busy finding worms to feed their new chicks we just had to study them. Ask your child to show you their clay worm and to describe their body parts. Worms don’t have any eyes, ears, or nose. How do they sense danger (vibration)? What kinds of worms did we find in the soil today? (red wigglers & earthworms). What is worm poop called and why is it so nutritious? (gummy worm treat question). We did some citizen science; measuring, counting, and observing worm behaviour. Ask for details about this part of our investigation of worms.
Every step of our day seemed full of ‘wow’ moments. Starting with the horse stampede out to the paddock with five wild ponies rearing and rolling. See if you can get the names of all the horses. Chickadee found fossils in a small stone from the rock pile and a decomposing corn cob. Wolf, Monarch, and Falcon continued work on damming the creek. They think beavers have a challenging job trying to hold water back. Owl brought a frilly Emu feather to share. Frog turns out to be a camouflage master and Salmon a fact wizard in journals today. Acorn was surprised to find worms can grow from 5cm to double that by stretching their muscles.
Who made this hole? (Pileated Woodpecker)
Eradicating the invasive plant, Garlic Mustard from the farm is our passion!!
That pull and pop of the tap root is SO satisfying!!!
Each week the trees are changing. Talk about your child’s tree friend by name and see if things had changed from last week. What new tree did your child find first thing this morning and can they name all 8 new trees we visited? Hint: start with our hot/cold game helping Daisy find the biggest tree in the yard and then go from there. Honey Locust * Japanese Maple * Silver Maple * Catalpa * Red Pine * Lilac * Gingko * Paper Birch
What is this living dome made of? (Willow)
Nature journal time in the cabin involved sketching, writing and adding pictures. Ask your child to walk you through the life cycle of the worm giving some information about each stage. What are some interesting facts we learned from our read aloud, The Life Cycle of An Earthworm by Bobby Kalman. We had a surprise critter come out in the cabin. Who is this?
Your child may also be able to tell you about some interesting happenings using these photos.
Keep counting those raindrops until we see you again Forest Friends:)