Saturday, November 5, 2016

Tyke Hike #32 - Loew Lake

Temperatures in the lower sixties and hiking on the Ice Age Trail in early November?  I'll take it! Many others did too as approximately 43 hikers enjoyed a wonderful walk along the Ice Age Trail's marvelous Loew Lake Segment.

With Getting Ready for Winter as the theme of the hike, we kicked off with a walk through the fantastically fresh-smelling pine forest and chatted about needles, pine cones, and coniferous trees.  A few of my new friends even took the "Pine Needle Bed" Challenge.

As the forest transformed from pine-dominant to deciduous heavy, we found many coniferous and deciduous saplings. We also took my daughter's lead and bopped every blaze we found.

 After talking about "dropping" deciduous trees and figuring out how animals got ready for winter, we felt the urge for natural play and found fallen logs that scratched that itch.

With so many children, I was reminded of my 25 kindergartners. Last week, they reached a class goal and celebrated by burying their teacher with leaves. They had a blast, so I thought the tykes might enjoy it as well.

I am pretty sure they did!

Back to the trail and back to natural play. We took extra time to enjoy natural play in the forest as we all know winter is coming and opportunities are limited.

We found this uniquely-shaped piece of wood which kids took turning placing on their heads and acting as little reindeer. Embry didn't want it on her heads but at least she smiled for the picture.

The focus on natural play made for a very unique tyke hike. I especially liked watching kids go out of their comfort zone and "get in" to nature. A little extra laundry might have been added to the weekend chore list today, but the children walked away with some awesome experiences and more confidence and resiliency in themselves and their own abilities. Plus, they had tons of fun!  Not a bad way to start your Saturday!

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