Friday, December 7, 2018

Timberwolf Trail - Week 14 - 2018-19 Edition

After quite the wet weekend, the temperatures dipped. . . .big time. But that wouldn't stop nature kindergarteners from exploring the world around them.

Learning involves change and based in the massive rain we received, our signs got a bit distorted, Though they know are quite the art project, they certainly don't look as we expected. I guess we now know to stay away from markers for our next sign project.

When there is ice, we must investigate. And crack. It is a rule.

This week, we were excited to meet with our newest nature friend, DNR Dianne. She is a naturalist and educator from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Together, we worked together to find tracks from some of our animal friends. We also investigated the newest batch of trail camera to see if any of the animals caught on camera matched the tracks we discovered.

Speaking of trail cameras, I added a new one to our outdoor classroom. In our Wants  Needs Unit , we have investigated what animals who visit out outdoor classroom need to survive in winter. One thing we do to help our friends is create mouse houses. Unfortunately, the torrential weekend rains destroyed most of our mouse houses so we were forced to try something new.

In order to test out our new camera and replace our mouse habitats, we worked together to create a mouse mansion. We filled it with corn, seeds, pine cones, gourds, and other natural materials and placed it to see if anyone would visit.

As you can see below, they did.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Timberwolf Trail - Week 13 - 2018-19 Edition

Our Mouse House project connected to Wants & Needs is usually a class favorite. So far, this year is no exception.

After planning, collecting, designing, and creating our mouse houses, we placed them.

Of course, it snowed that night, so that added even more excitement on our first official mouse house check the next day.

The snow did offer some new perspectives from our sit spots.

The snow also provided some beautiful views and tremendous tracks to follow.

We also wrapped up our animal research non-fiction writing by creating and adding our signs to the trail. Now, all the trail visitors can take a hike and become experts on animals that we have observed in our outdoor classroom.

Though we were busy, there's always time for natural play.

Pus, having a conference night allowed me to catch a beautiful sunset in action. Baby #3 is due any day now, so there may potentially be a short pause from these updates, but we will make sure to enjoy and learn in and with nature as much as we can.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Tyke Hike #62 - Lapham Peak

Black Friday is a great day to shop if that is what you are into, but for me and mine, it is a great day to #OptOutside, especially when the weather is gorgeous. This morning, 31 of us took advantage of the wonderful weather and did some hiking at Lapham Peak State Park.

After meeting at the tower and descending the nearly 120 steps into the forest, we prepared for the hike with Adam Rubin's Those Darn Squirrels. Just like the squirrels combined their expertise to help out Old Man Fookwire in the story, we would team up and work together to build a winter den.

Building a winter den takes planning and an important initial decision is location, location, location.

Once we found oi spot, it was teamwork and hard work combining together to create a den the animals would be proud to call their home. Of course, we had to test it out.

With hard work comes hard play, so we found a great spot to explore off trail and enjoy the wonders of natural play.

After wrapping up play, hiking back through the woods, and ascending those steps back to the tower, it was time for more steps as we climbed the tower and got beautiful views of lake country.

With another tyke on the way in just a few weeks, tyke hiking may slow down a bit but it won't be long before we are all back on the trail, enjoying nature and each other. Happy Trails until then!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Timberwolf Trail - Week 12 - 2018-19 Edition

In this shortened week, we focused on thankfulness. We talked about all we are thankful for in our own loves, in school, and in nature. We also decided to give back to nature, so we made seed feeders with pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed.

Birdseed ice cream

We had a great time placing them, but were even more excited when we checked on them the next day and there was not a trace of any pine cone seed feeders anywhere.

This year's pine cone feeder with a remnant of last year

We also decided to help our animal friends by creating a den.

It took teamwork, communication, and some problem-solving but we managed to create one we could all enjoy together.

And, of course we were thankful for natural play.

Stump jumping

Leaf party

We also did  a bit of service work, finding a few rocks to serve as winter placeholders for our butterfly garden signs.

As we wrapped up our week, we saw a few hawks fly overhead. the student whose winter animal is the hawk was especially excited. next week, we turn our animal research into posters that will decorate the trail for all who visit it.

Hawk watching