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Week 2 spring



What Happened?

It was a bit chillier this week so we minimized direct water play and raised our body temperatures with movement games and exploration walks. Our new students are making connections through play with the other children, nature and themselves. The configuration of individuals in each session differs, which naturally leads to each group having different energy. While we cannot share all the rich learning that occurs, here are some highlights of the week organized by day.


We enjoyed making potions, fishing rods, and snake puppets with twine and forest sticks in the morning session.


A busy Monday afternoon! Started with a little book/info about insects. I had everyone let me know if they found a bug and we documented it. I had them try to describe the insect to me before I came to look at it. Energy ran a bit wild as did some emotions. We had a very extended dance party in the middle, with everyone busting some pretty sweet moves. Then a bit of solo time and then there was a lot of mud play, cats & owners, throwing sticks (and dried leaves) into the water to finish up the afternoon. All told, despite some big feelings, a very beauteous afternoon. So nice to be back on this little slice of land.


Tuesday

We took turns with the saw, played with the snake puppets and enjoyed mud play, making a glorious mess. Many children also enjoyed drawing with sticks on the forest floor and with chalk on rocks and trees. The kids spent lots of time "fishing" and had some really creative catches! They also discovered they could throw things in the water and "cast" the lines to drag stuff back to them. Other imaginative play included a soup/pie restaurant, lava tigers, and the clash of empires!



Wednesday (littles)

A fun day exploring mark making with natural materials, stationary, splashing, and potions. Lots of imaginative play about magic potions, fishing, and camping (with lava tiger pets.)


Wednesday (bigs)

A beautiful day exploring, building, drawing, and playing in nature.


Thursday

A wet day but we got in games of Duck, Duck, Goose, hug a tree, and fishing for lost items off the bridge by the beaver dam. This afternoon Kiara directed a play about an evil fairy who captures a princess, and the good fairy that helps lead her mother to the rescue! There was also lots of imaginative play involving some children pretending to be cooked and pretending to be food. This play evolved into the original food eventually becoming compost that grew into dandelions that were later harvested and roasted into quesadillas.



Friday

Our day included tree climbing, working with tools, exploring for insects, retrieving litter from the side of the beaver dam bridge, learning some numbers in French, and colouring stumps with chalk. When the rain came the children wanted to protect their chalk art so they came up with the idea of covering it with dead leaves and sticks. It was exciting to fish out tennis balls, bottles and styrofoam chunks from the beaver dam area.



What Does it Mean?

We are teaching the children to respect the living flora and fauna of the forest and to leave the forest better than when they arrived. This looks like noticing and appreciating the plant shoots emerging from under the blanket of dead leaves, and from the mud on the shores of the river. It sounds like the discussions about protecting the new baby plants, the risk of harming frogs and salamanders with excessive handling, and leaving flowers attached to plants for both aesthetics and their role in the food web for pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. It also looks like collecting litter and cleaning up our own base area.


What's Next?

We will be moving our base back to the higher ground from our first week where the shelter was built. We will continue to explore, appreciate, create, laugh, discuss, argue, wonder, imagine and play in the beautiful forest. As part of the Hudson community clean-up the littles will focus on keeping the base area litter free and discuss how much of a trace our play leaves on the land. The bigs will be helping to remove litter from Jack Layton park with the reaching claws provided by the town.

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