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

Saturday, November 17, 2018

WOLF November 2018

Woodside's Outdoor Learning Families (WOLF) Nature Club spent the morning working to help our animal friends prepare for winter.

We started off by creating pine cone seed feeders before finding spots in the woods to place our tasty treats.

After placing our seed feeders, we grabbed some natural supplies and added on to a winter done already started.

Of course, once the construction was complete, we had to try it out.

Lastly, though the snow overnight was less than expected, it was time to hit the trail with snowshoes.

WOLF is taking December off for the holidays but looking forward to more nature exploration in 2019.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Timberwolf Trail - Week 11 - 2018-19 Edition

The wonders of winter started to sneak into nature kindergarten this week, so of course, we had to explore them with some natural play.

But we had some work to do as well. The week kicked off with each student randomly selecting a picture of a winter animal either caught on the trail camera or seen around the trail. We got books from the library on our animal, found some online resources for our animal, and then did some focused hikes with our animal in mind.

After researching habitats and the habitat of our animal, we went out on a Habitat Hike, scouting potential places where our chosen animal may chose to visit.

We looked in logs, crevices, cavities, and dens.

We also cleaned out a few of the birdhouses along the trail and dissected the materials those birds used in their nests. This would be an important preview to a project we will be starting next week.

We loved looking at Pebble Go, an online research site that provided lots of information on many of our winter animals.

Our second focused hike was a Food Hike. Playing the role of a winter animal living on the trail, we hiked to the fallen tree forests and went on a five minute food forage to collect as much food as we could. We then talked about and shared our collections. From seeds to twigs and leaves to nuts, we certainly collected a feast for our winter friends. We will be using these finds in a new project coming soon.

Of course, we also had time to do some of our nature routines like Sit Spots and outdoor stations.

Snowshoe Practice
Sit Spot

Pine Cone Art

I still get excited when other classrooms join us. But what is most exciting. . . .natural play.

We dug holes, made critter castles out of rocks, checked on our pumpkins, and even accessorized our winter den. Even though next week is a short week, it will be a great one!