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Teacher's Strike Connects us to Nature!

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Thank you for being part of our camp during the teacher's strike. We had an amazing time in both groups exploring the forest with new kids and seeing the joy created from their stories, imagination, friendships made and play! At Hudson Forest Play we use the format of a learning story to share what happens in our days of exploring, learning and play. Read more about Learning Stories that were launched by two teachers in 2001 from New Zealand linked here.

What Happened?

Two groups of children explored, learned and played together this week either at Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve or at Sandy Beach Park. Monday started off wet and warm and as the days got colder ice formations were created and each day more and more sunshine was welcomed through the clouds. The children played, explored, created, and learned in the natural elements and changing environments. Each day welcomed different children to interact with and create games with, build structures, and share experiences. Activities and games were planned and created by the children each day using natural materials to tinker with, balance upon, take risks with and create stories. We explored a new environment at the Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve with the use of a warming tent! Routines and rules were established to share our voices, express ideas, ground us together, and bring structure to each day. Specific books were chosen to read aloud to the children to bring a sense of calm, ignite curiosity, understanding of language and story elements. Solo time allowed time to reflect and be quitely present in nature. This provided a time each day to listen to nature and our own breathing patterns. We made bird seed snacks with cookie cutters, talked about different kinds of birds, their habitats and care, ice art with objects found in nature, lots and lots of sledding, what time is it mr.pikachu/sonic/flash/other favorite characters, lots of tree climbing (going up higher every day!), dramatic play with hospitals and babies and Pokémon characters, they built snow structures, experienced cold therapy, carved out spining tops, movement walks, nature walks, mindful walks with eye spy games, hide and seek, and so much more!

What Does it Mean?

Nature connections were made in this short time that we hope will have long lasting effects on your children. Recent research provides further evidence of the health benefits of playing outdoors and the importance of bringing this into our daily practices for our children. Read more from the article linked here published in Oct, 2023 from the BBC. Children are naturally curious, creative, and social. Our program at Hudson Forest Play aims to cultivate the development of children's natural motivation to be together while developing their skills to self-regulate emotions, socially interact, explore and learn about nature's wonders with critical thinking skills. Literacy, language, math and science elements naturally enter into our days in a playful way so that children don't even know they are learning and our teachers don't feel like they are teaching! Together, their curiosity leads the way and we curate our program to align with children's interests.

Some Texts that we read:

  • The Three Brothers by Marie-Louise Gay

  • Read Little Red Riding Hood and the Dragon by Ying Chang

  • The Day the Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers

  • Snowbear by Miriam Moss

  • Fox Tale by Michael Foreman

  • Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak

  • I am one by Susan Verde

  • Donut: The Unicorn Who Wants to Fly by Laura Gehl

  • Mary Had a Monstersaur by Mike Dumbleton and Peter Bath

  • Seven Hungry Babies by Candace Fleming and Eugene Yelchin

What Happens Next?

The skills and experiences the children had this week will hopefully provide lasting memories, friendships, and nature connections that will have them yearning to go back outside. We hope that you will continue to join our program at Hudson Forest Play in the future.

We will continue to explore Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve in the winter months from January - March and learn more about wild bird conservation at Hudson Forest Play. We look forward to our paths crossing again!

What was your child's best memory from this week? Please share in the comment box below!

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2 comentários

Megan Webster
Megan Webster
15 de dez. de 2023

Caio had the most wonderful time at camp this week, and is praying for more strikes so he can go right back!!! 🤣 Thank you so much for creating such intentional and beautiful experiences for children. My son is going back to school fortified, cheerful, smarter, and more connected to nature! Thank you!


Sonia Simpson
Sonia Simpson
15 de dez. de 2023

Such wonderful photos and memories. The warming tent looks so cozy. Can't wait until the winter session. ❄️❤️

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