The time around Halloween and a kindergarten classroom are often synonymous with terror and fright. When sugar and children collide, the results can be explosive. Luckily for us, we can take out much of that extra energy in our outdoor classroom.
Earlier this week, we kicked off our Wants & Needs unit. It has an interactive and ongoing Mouse House activity where students design, create, place, and usually replace a shelter for our animal friends. Keeping wants & needs in mind, this activity coincides with a spectacular service project for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
Our first mouse check in yielded mixed results. \While a few seem untouched, some were missing the food that we placed and still others looked ransacked.
A few students changed locations, many adder more corn, and all seemed enthused about the project,
Similarly, we have been working with discarded pumpkins and jack o' lanterns. To simultaneously add a food source for our wild friends and allow for observation of the process of decomposition, pumpkins offer a variety of uses.
One of our favorites uses is physical activity. After observing them for a week or so and noting little change, the class wanted to fast track things. Since we have many pumpkins still available for observation, we decided to take some of the extras and have a pumpkin smash party.
As I had hoped, many children had a blast. More importantly, they noticed how much easier animals could access the food and even collected seeds and pumpkin parts to add to their very own mouse house.
It was a smashing good time!