Last week at Nature School we had kids who knew what they wanted to do, and got right down to business. The giant snowball has been a continual work in progress by a few of the wolf cubs, carving out holes, sliding in and out, attaching sticks and many more variations.
On Wednesday, we had a date with Mr. Mitchell's Gr.7 class, who joined us in the forest. It's always an interesting time when the big kids join the littles, and by the end the Nature School kids are talking about their 'special buddies.' The Gr. 7's spent some time dreaming up original stories to tell aloud to their buddies, and while I didn't catch entire stories, I heard whisps about forest animals, aliens, pirate ships and trips to the moon. There's something about storytelling in the forest that never gets old! After a silly song, the Gr.7's were finding ways to play with the wolf cubs--hide and seek, running and sliding on the trail--more than one Gr.7 expressed amazement at how some of the younger kids can climb!
It was a special moment that stopped a group of our kids in their tracks, when a squirrel appeared not 10 feet away, frozen to it's tree, and staring right at us. The kids stopped what they were doing and immediately wanted to sneak quietly and closely towards the squirrel. We talked afterwards about some of the reasons a squirrel might sit so still, not even twitching (maybe fear, protecting a food stash...)
Some of the newer wolf cubs learned about the common berries we see in our forest--rosehip, mountain ash and snowberries, and how some are ok to nibble and others definitely not! They got to see my exaggerated 'yucky' face while I sampled a mountain ash berry--edible by not enjoyable by any stretch!
On Friday, we tried an experiment to exercise our peripheral vision, imagining that we could see the way an animal could--with great awareness as to what is happening on the sides of our vision. The kids were invited to choose a tree to 'glue' their eyes to, while seeing how far they could see around them. Sit Spot is a great time to practice these kind of observation skills!
Last week our older group, the Nature Explorers, had the chance to see our new group 'Tipi Tent,' which we learned takes a few people to set up and requires some different pegs for the snow! We can't wait to cozy up inside with some books on a rainy day.