The Outdoor Adventures of a Nature Kindergarten Teacher, Tyke Hiker, and Nature loving Daddy
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Timberwolf Trail - Week 12 - 2015-16 Edition
With torrential rainfall the previous night, I expected forest kindergarten to be a slopfest. I was pleasantly surprised when I did my pre-school day trek to survey the land and found the land to be much more usable than I feared. there were a few low wet spots but everything was ready to go for a group of nature-hungry children.
Of course, on our walk to one of the trail entrances, I made sure to stop by the puddles. every kid needs a good splash now and then.
Though the gloom and doom cloud cover made it look dreary, the activity and excitement of the kids was as bright as the summer sun. In our observational journey to the oak tree classroom, we found deer tracks, new holes, and plenty of mud.
We kicked off our day with some natural play just in case Mother Nature took a turn for the worse and cooked up a storm. She didn't, so we definitely enjoyed checking out the forest and seeing the land in it's post-rain glory.
After reading a non-fiction story about rain and the water cycle, we went on a hunt for pencil-sized sticks so we could work on some mud painting. It took some trial and error and experimenting with different mud consistencies, but all the students were able to produce unique and interesting pictured and designs using nothing more than a stick, some mud, and an occasional acorn or two.
It's always fun to see what creative ideas students showcase. Besides one young lady taking leaves and essentially impaling them on a stick to create a very cool Christmas-tree like leaf structure, one young boy collected a moss-covered chunk of bark and created a parade of acorn hats on it. I would never thought of doing such a thing, but he was a trendsetter and now our classroom has an acorn parade collection. When I thought about all the things I was hoping to do with kids on our forest kindergarten, I ignored the fact that they would actually come up with the ideas and I just had to be there to help. That's the way it should be!
By special request, we went back to the "tree we could go inside" for further exploration. The rainfall helped us recognize more fungi than our last visit. We even found new leaves, some which were bigger than some of our entire heads.
Another day, another new set of outdoor adventures. I am already excited for next time!