Today we continued to use our nature names and we had a few new names to remember today. Welcome to Polar Bear (Sadie) who missed last week’s ceremony, and to our helpers Karen (Oak) and Harry (Hemlock).
Outside we travelled in all kinds of directions and with all kinds of movements. Getting familiar with where we are and the directions we travel helps everyone get familiar and more comfortable with their surroundings. Ask your child what direction we travelled in the morning to get to Butterfly Hill?
At Butterfly Hill, we continued our journey discovering trees. Throughout the seasons, they are always there in the same place waiting to be seen, smelled and touched. The colours of fall certainly draw our eyes to their branches and to the leaves on the ground. We became squirrels and started the activity by hiding our ‘food’. Almost all our squirrels were able to survive by finding the ‘food’ they hid. Too bad the blue jays never got a bite to eat from the squirrels. Ask your child how red squirrels hide their food differently from the gray squirrels.
With the help from Harry (Hemlock) our tree and plant expert, we looked at two new types of trees with different looking leaves. We collected leaves and if we could, we did a leaf rubbing in our nature journals. The shape of the Black Cherry leaf is almost like an oval with two pointed ends. We also looked at the Basswood leaf. Ask your child if they remember the shape of the Basswood leaf. Maybe you have a Black Cherry or a Basswood nearby?
Wander time is filled with imaginative play by the newly fallen paper birch tree. The castle, the garden, the magic black cherry leaf and prince and princesses were all part of wander time delight.
Back at the library, we had heard a story about squirrels through the seasons. Ask your child what a squirrel might use their tail for? Mrs. Eastman helped us sign out some new books for us to take home and read.
Gathering at Grandmother Maple in the Mystery Forest, we talked about the squirrel that might be running and hopping across her branches and wondering if there was a squirrel drey in her branches. Dreys look like bird nests but they are really winter squirrel homes made with branches and leaves.
Have a look with your child for squirrel dreys on your walks. We even tried to build a drey with leaves and twigs. It wasn’t easy but we left our tiny squirrel homes along the trail hoping that it could be home to some animal. We spent some time measuring today with measuring tapes. Measuring sticks, people, hydro poles, etc. Ask about how they measured their tree friend? We are getting good at doing bark rubbings!
We also explored camouflage through an activity with foxes and rabbits. Rabbits are really good at camouflage and our nature school friends hid very well as rabbits even though some of them wore really bright colours today. Camouflage is more than just the colours we are wearing. We can learn so much from watching nature. What does a rabbit do when it thinks it has been spotted?
We appreciate our helpers Harry and Karen for spending some time at nature school. See you next week Forest Friends:)