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Wet & Wild in Winter

The snow was pretty much untouched upon arriving at Stoneridge Farm today. There were some tracks from Coyote and probably some from one of the two gray cats hanging around. The bird feeders were topped up and busy.

The kids just arrived and then dove right into the snow. They were building, rolling, shoveling the snow. A few snow people, snow ducks, and holes were created. What does your child like to do in the snow?  Play is a natural way to develop life skills. Teamwork, communication and problem solving skills were used to help complete some of the snow projects. 

Using actions and sounds, we pretended to be some of our favourite animals.  One at a time, we tried to guess the animals that were being acted out. The kids were able accumulate 10 points for guessing the different animals correctly. Special thanks to Bunny and Cardinal for keeping score and judging during this activity.

Our Fox and Rabbit predator/prey game was played with a new twist today.  How was the game changed? If you were a Fox, did adding a Coyote and a hunter to the game make it easier or harder for you? Why? What if you played the whole game as a Rabbit? Did it make it easier or harder with the changes we made today? How would you change the game for next week? Asking these types of questions can demonstrate knowledge of ecological concepts and animal behaviour.

Being a tree is a tough job but the bunny seems grateful!

Are deer, squirrels and rabbits around the farm in the winter? On a day like today, we saw so many signs of animals. How do these animals survive the winter? We went on what seemed like a long walk today. Why did it take longer to travel out to Raspberry Hill today? What did we see along the way? Some felt relief passing by Crocodile Tree on the way back to Pine Haven because they know it’s about halfway. Sliding down the side of the hill like an otter was fun. Seeing the ice of Crayfish Creek and watching it crack is a reminder of the changing water levels and temperatures in the winter.

What month is it?  Ask your child to you that funny song that helps us recall each season in order. The Saplings noticed that today was 1/24/24.  As the Earth rotates around the sun, pay attention to the seasonal changes.  At Coyote Nature School, we celebrate and study the seasons. What season is it now? I bet Squirrel knows!

Dormancy was a new word for today. What does that mean? Remember the 4 words that start with the letter “S”? Can you remember an animal that is dormant in winter? The temperature at the barn thermometer was 4 degrees Celsius. What happened to the water when it was poured into the container with the ladybug? The problem to solve for today’s experiment was to find a warm enough place in nature ladybug can survive freezing temperatures outside. What was a strategy for placing your container?  We will have to wait until next week to find out if we were successful.

Using our hands to connect with trees by carving builds this relationship through a new kind of familiarity. Seeing the different grains appear when taking the outer skin away that protects them, understanding what wood feels like when it’s alive and when it's dried out, noticing small notches and wood eating bug tracks. Making something beautiful over time with concerted effort is an art we are losing in rapid paced modern society. We are excited about this longer project. Do you think you'll remember your walking stick next week? Get ready to watch it evolve over the next 7 weeks.

At times like these it's all just FUN! Ask about these unplanned and joyful moments.

Thanks to Bunny and Blue Jay for getting some chores done. It just takes some muscle work and true grit. These gals got the job done beautifully and learned about how to be careful using long handled manure forks in close quarters. All in a days work Forest Friends:)


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