Birds are daredevils, they don’t trust the branch they perch on, they trust their wings. Children learning outdoors are discovering this kind of self-assurance; pushing against the wind, sheltering amongst branches, balancing, and exploring new places to gather with friends. We are soulmates to the birds, and today we gained new knowledge about these amazing creatures.
We sometimes ease into our days together, working on joint tasks, scanning field guides or posters, and quizzing each other on the location of places around the world. We love our space at the Community Hall.
Ask your child about ways to tell a bird species by its pattern of flight. See if they will challenge your skills by singing out a bird song and having you guess the species. You can find out more by taking a tour of their journal entry today. What are some facts about the Chickadee, how can you tell a male from a female Cardinal, and what species of woodpecker has a big mohawk. Wild bird bingo is our new favourite game. We love bingo dabbers!!
We learn through role play. Ask your child to take flight and make a bird call to share their knowledge. We used coloured bandannas to identify the different winter birds in Ontario. What species of bird was matching the blue, red, black and white and why? Can you research another Ontario winter bird to find out their special calls or songs, feeding habits, ways they fly and protect their territory.
Take a walk on a snowy morning to catch a glimpse of some of our resident winter birds. See if your child can identify a funny little scoop billed bird who walks upside down (Nuthatch), or a small songbird wearing a black hoodie (Junco). Explore with an eye out for signs of bird activity. What tells you a bird has visited?
Ask about some of the games played today that helped us practice evading the predator owl or prowling cat. How many seeds were collected in the bird feeder game? What can we do to protect birds from domestic cats?
For a heart-warming experience, read the Frank Glew book, That Chickadee Feeling, then head out with some sunflower seeds to an active feeder and start to train these curious feathered friends to land on hands or hats. You won’t forget that chickadee feeling!
Cedar Hideaway offers some pretty cool things to do during wander time. Check out these photos and have a chat to capture the stories behind this imaginative free play. Have a conversation about what is meant when we are asked to ‘naturalize’ a space after we have been there. What are some of the impacts we humans have on the environment around the pond? How can we minimize this? Did we notice some BIG changes along the trails (trees cut down). Why did this happen?
Our tree friends were waiting for us as always, standing tall in Mystery Forest. Tamarack brought some clay and we molded tiny bird feeders then filled them with seeds. Finding soft places and holes to hide seed treats is a fun way to help birds during the lean winter months. Do you have a way you can help our winter animal residents survive the cold?
Here are some views of the library today. See if you can get a retell on Jane Yolen’s beautiful new picture book, “Love Birds”. It’s a bird themed Romeo and Juliet, and so worth a second read.
Before eating we take a moment to share something we are thankful for. This sharing is done ‘popcorn’ style, meaning no hands are raised, children speak when they’re ready by listening for a pause to add their thoughts or join on to someone else’s. It’s a nice organic way for children to experience reciprocity in conversation. It might be interesting to ask what your child shares when we are giving thanks at these times. We are pretty grateful for our new friends at nature school:)
A waterfall captures attention while screens grab it. We hope nature school offers the waterfall experience, drawing interest and expanding wonder of this beautiful and complex world. Thank you for entrusting this task to our hands. Each day we pack up as if heading out on an exciting camping trip for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. We are always so excited to see our wonderful Heron group in Harrington. Happy trails until next week Forest Friends:).
These are busy and wonder-filled days, so you can imagine we need time to chillax!