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Goodbye Snow and Ice; Hello Worms and Flowers!

What Happened?

Fun Tuesday morning with a very small group! Fun with squirting water, gathered some wind-strewn branches and made a little tipi structure with a pine-needle carpet (and brooms for sweeping up) :)) Sleepy times in the hammocks at the end. So much cuteness, and spring is rushing and flowing through the land! - Ian, Forest Play Co-Teacher

Wednesday groups met for the first time due to last week's ice storm cancellation. It was a beautiful sunny day to connect with each other, themselves and the land. Children were scaffolded by adults in log balancing, mindful rock stacking, and potion making. Later we engaged in decorating Tuesdays crew's stick structure with pine needle paint brushes, water paint and old leaf wallpaper, and in playing fish veterinarians. These fish vets caught fish (sticks) from the new stream running by the log and inspected them for injuries. Injuries were then treated with a medicinal paste lovingly made and administered in the fish vet's on-site laboratory. The fish were then released back into the stream. There was also a shallow puddle for splashing and wading that was very popular!

Thursday we met at St James church hall for the first time and then explored the nature preserve behind Le Nichoir. We discovered a little bridge over a small stream and had lots of fun moving on, over, across and off. Some played out a modified version of Three Billy Goats with a Pine Needle Gnome in place of the Troll. In the first photo below you can see Rose walking the Pine Needle Gnome with his large nose and humongous moustache. Isaac and Oscar scaled the arches of the tree growing on the bank of the stream. Some children made a muddy mushroom stew for the gnome while others were painting the bridge with pine needle brushes. We finished off the morning reading the Hungry Caterpillar with a cameo appearance by a local earthworm who played the part of the Caterpillar eating the healthy leaf before being escorted off stage due to concerns for his safety.

What Does it Mean?

The new children and families are starting to get to know each other and play beside and sometimes with each other and the children who have carried on from our last session. Direct experience of play in natural elements provides sensory stimulation and soothing of emotional distress from the self -regulation required for socialising and play in a group setting. The children's interests and joy led the way to engaged learning.

What is Next?

We will continue to explore and learn through play in our ever changing natural landscapes and notice the seasonal changes of spring. We will foster healthy relationships and social skills between the children as they play and learn. We will learn more about each other's interests, fears and needs.

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Mei-Lyn Freeman
Mei-Lyn Freeman
15 abr 2023

WOW! What a gorgeous week of play. It was wonderful to explore the new space with the children and families on Thursday. It is so exciting to see the world and land from the children's perspectives of all different ages. Their play, curiosity, and creative expressions showed us a lot about their identity with the land, themselves and each other. Storytelling and making continues to encourage down time to gather together to practice key communication skills of listening, speaking and sharing. Some of our regular children are showing more courage to share their ideas and opinions at meetings with the talking stick! ❤️

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