Chickadees are inquisitive and bold, they greet others with a cheerful song and love to socialize around the bird feeder. That was us today! From the first moments searching for a nature treasure to share, we saw the explorer spirit in our group. Some found leaves of different shapes and colours, a cool broken shell, small horse hair nest, and even a HUGE cow thigh bone. This is a group of keen observers!!
Our first wander in to the barn to meet the horses; soft nose rubs and pats seemed to be exciting.
You may want to ask your child a few questions about their horse visits…
*What were the names of the horses in the barn today (Jester, Scarlett, Sable)
*Did you brush the horses? Why do we brush them? What are the brushes called?
*How do you move safely around horses?
We also got to know about the chickens and duck on the farm. You may want to chat about…
*What did you notice about the chickens and duck?
*Do they have names?
*Did you find out some more about their habits?
Our trip along the trail happened when the weather was fine. See if your child can explain the different places animals might eat, rest, hide or perch in this natural habitat. Time spent in the little creek was filled with excitement. What animals were we on the lookout for? (minnows, crayfish, water striders, mayflies). Did we catch any? (YES) What did they look like? Heron even showed her special fishing style by catching a GREAT grandmother crayfish - almost small lobster size.
When the rains came we were already heading back to the farm. Lunch time in the quiet of the hayloft with rain patter and thunder burst was a new experience for most of our group. It’s a wonderful place to be in a storm; snug and safe. Acorn (Ben) wishes for more time to play and build hay/straw forts next week. The indoor arena, or world’s biggest sand box, became a horse show event space, indoor soccer field and mini-laboratory today.
Nature school is so lucky to have community support, and today we had our own Monarch Lady, Joan bring her butterfly habitat to share. It is amazing to see the stages of this metamorphosis up close! Joan brought the Monarch’s favourite flowers for us to smell and touch; a real sensory learning experience for everyone.
You may want to ask…
*What stages of the Monarch life cycle did you see in the habitat?
*Was there a different type of caterpillar and cocoon in there? (Swallowtail)
*Where does Monarch travel on its great migration?
Take a look in our new nature journals to see this life cycle mapped out. We will add more detail later as we simply ran out of time.
Finding, making, moving, creating, relaxing and reflecting...are all part of forest school.
Hoping your little people have lots of stories and need a nap after such an amazing first day at nature school.
We are so thankful to have a very experienced and newly retired teacher Kim (Daisy) to help guide this adventure. Avonlea (Heron) supported us in so many ways today and we hope to have her back again. Happy trails until next week Forest Friends:)