Sometimes themes emerge at Nature School, and we just go with it. Some of the children have been pretend 'directing movies,' gathering friends to fill the roles of princesses or monsters, assembling an audience. Sometimes the show unfolds, and sometimes, 'It's cancelled. Come back next Tuesday!' And we all run down the trail, finding something else to explore or climb or inspect.
Last week we introduced some beautiful, brand new animal masks (thank you Lauriane for your mad sewing skills!) and the children became wild foxes, wolves, hedgehogs, bees, lady bugs and more.
Introducing curtains for performance...
Inspecting a fir tree for the blisters that contain sticky sap....We poked a few to smell the wonderful smell, and tried a mini-experiment (to drop a stick with sap on its end into a bucket of water, with the idea that it'll be propelled around the water. More experiments to come!)
1, 2, 3, ready or not, here I come!
The kids found 'Canada leaves,' as they called them, and did you know the leaves even 'smell like syrup? Everyone smell them!' There was great excitement about the Canada leaves. I really enjoyed watching this unfold, knowing they were on the right track to identifying the tree and even making associations about where maple syrup comes from (of course, the sugar maples aren't here!). This was a foray into a 'new' part of the forest this group hadn't explored yet. So, much opportunity for adventure and getting to know new climbing logs and fallen treasures.
Earlier in the day we'd gone on a hunt to find our 'lost' missing stuffed owl, Ollie. In the morning we usually take Ollie out of our bin for morning circle, and Oh No, he was missing today! Thankfully, he'd left us a note with some clues to help find him (I'd scattered feathers along the trail with the hopes that the kids could follow them). We did eventually find Ollie, even though some of the Big School Kids had picked him up and moved him.
In other unphotographed moments, an umbrella store was created, a former fort was turned into a kitten-raft, and burdock leaves became meals at a restaurant. Children are coming out of their springs shells, so to speak, bursting with energy.
The days have been full of giggles, squeals of laughter and all kinds of imagination.
The older Nature Explorers took a field trip to the Kootenay River last week, to help with the release of the sturgeon. Thanks to the organizers for including our group and sharing all kinds of neat facts about these super interesting fish.