Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Timberwolf Trail - Week 5 - 2016-17 Edition

The rain didn't stop the exploring. We kicked off our day with a look at how our oak tree classroom and the surrounding forest floor had changed over the last few days. Besides the floor being littered with leaves, the tree was now a rainbow of colors. We chatted about why leaves changed colors and introduced the term dormant. We also read a nonfiction book on leaves. After adding  leaves to our ever-growing "biggest leaf pile ever," we started a collection of sticks and took them out to the grass field to make sight word sticks.

Then, the nature kindergartners kicked off their collections of nature science unit with a wonderful art project made from items they collected on and along the trail.

After dropping off leftover sticks near our outdoor classroom, we took to the prairie to collect seeds, mainly from our showy goldenrod plants and our big bluestem grasses. We also went on a hike in search of some milkweed plants.  We found some, along with plenty of surviving grasshoppers.

Watch out for raining corn!
After bagging our seeds, we snacked and went to natural play.  However, with sporadic downpours, most kids stayed under the shade and natural umbrella of the oak tree.  There, we have some donated corn kernels stored. We enjoyed finding hiding spots to place the kernels, but not nearly as much as we enjoyed creating "corn rainstorms."

Once the rain le tup, we all hiked for some more playtime near the "inside tree."  Here, we recently discovered a very nice and open area with a few fallen trees and plenty of nearby wood available to make a wood shelter.

Unfortunately, the rain wasn't as sporadic in the afternoon, so we stayed inside.  However, we made lemonade out of Mother Nature's lemons and took the inside time to work on some great things. First, we used some sticks, seeds, and leaves we had collected in the morning to make our "Collections of nature" collages.  The sticks became trees, the leaves became smaller leaves, and the seeds became blooming prairie plants.

Work in progress
Completed project

Then, with the nights getting chillier and the trees getting barer, we knew Old Man Winter was coming to visit Wisconsin soon, so why not practice with our snowshoes for the very first time. Snowshoeing is an awesome winter activity that adds so much to our program, so taking the time to get familiar with these tools is time well-spent.

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