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Puddle Jumping, Stream Stompers Investigate Worms, Flow Patterns, Mark Making and Dam Building.

Updated: May 30, 2023

What Happened?

The children were excited to witness the flooding stream waters. They delighted in squishing mud and splashing water with their boots. Worms rescued from drowning were observed to have semi-transparent bodies. "This worm ate something brown! This one ate something white!"

Buckets of stream water were carried and dumped to observe how the water flowed differently over different terrain. The hammocks were back with some children singing classic songs and gently rocking their peers resting in the hammock. We discovered that we could make marks on grey birch bark with a stick! Also some children practiced writing their names with sticks in the mud and sand. The rising waters delivered to us an old rake head that was also interesting for making marks in the sand. Building dams was fun and many children pretended to be beavers who gathered sticks and mud. They pretended the mud was cement to hold the sticks together and block the flow of water.

Making soup was the focus of our mud chefs this week who mixed gathered natural materials with mud, sand and water. Then suddenly a ladybug hotel was built over a shallow stream with two deluxe honeymoon suites with outdoor hot tubs. The chefs and hotel staff struggled to prepare for 24 fussy ladybug guests and a separate party of honeybees! 24 wedding cakes and a bucket of ladybug stew was made just in time for the wedding feast. The bees drank 48 cups of flower nectar before retiring noisily to their stream-view single bed rooms.

At our Thursday location the children played Fishers and Squirrels around and up the big oak tree. We attached one of the blue ropes to some nails that we found in the tree to make it more accessible. The fishers lost their claws so they could not climb up the tree to eat the squirrel family. Some squirrels were captured by the fisher who brought them to his kitchen to be cooked. Luckily they mostly escaped. The children also enjoyed playing soup kitchen in the tiny stream and on the bridge.

What Does it Mean?

The children are learning more about the local predator/prey relationships through the game of Fishers and Squirrels. One child asked what was a predator of squirrels so the teacher taught them about Fishers. The attributes of Fishers were discussed in the context of enjoying the emerging play. Team work and positive social-skills are blossoming in our children as seen in their spontaneous play and in their participation in structured activities and games.

What’s Next?

We will continue to help the children connect with each other, nature and themselves inspired by their interests and guided by our observations of their play and individual development.

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