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Week 3 Spring

What Happened?

The children continued to become more connected to the land, themselves and others. Most days were quite cold so we stayed out of the stream and kept to the higher ground except for a few brief warm moments.


Monday

A lovely Earth Day at Forest Play! It was nice to be in the drier, more open space of Sandy Beach Park. The children are getting to know the new dynamic of the group with some new faces, new teachers and old faces reuniting. The multi-age group brings great opportunities of learning from each other and how to adjust our play so that everyone can be included. Mei joined this morning and did some garbage pick up in Hudson with our son Oscar.

The afternoon involved lots of child-guided play: Lava tigers, camping (which turned to swimming/deep sea diving/going into the mouths of sharks), trading, and balancing. The children were having some big feelings so Ian walked everybody through an exercise to clench and release different body parts. It was fun and very effective! We ended the afternoon with an Earth Day garbage pickup :)




Tuesday

The kids decided to put on a puppet show for each other! We learned about the different roles of being a performer vs. an audience and how they interact. Lots of fun practicing balance and agility on the long logs, also a great spot to stop and have a snack.

With the warmer afternoon a few kids decided to challenge themselves with how deep they could go without getting "a soaker"...getting their socks/pants soaked. Signs of green continue to poke out of the ground showing us spring is here! We are finding small creatures that contrast nicely on the green leaves. Our daughter Mya, who is 19, joined us for lunch today and read lots of stories and play in the forest.



Wednesday

We spent some time inspecting a cool beetle and a chrysalis we found. We tried to revive the injured lava tiger! Archaeologists dug in their site for fossils. Others built a house on a rock with a tree stump and branches for walls. They also collected leafy branches and other soft forest material to cushion the bed! Some children were planting a garden while others were playing hide and seek! Lots of small groups playing solo and together, exploring and discovering the different areas of our space. It was a little colder today so we went inside the community centre for lunch.



Thursday

We did a bit of Earth Day art after reading Oliver Jeffers' "We Are Here" about our planet Earth and a walk filled with numerous imaginary pets on leashes and pets for sale. Zoe W's mom sent lovely daffodils from home (one for each child in the afternoon session) and a beautiful poem.




Friday

Lots of playing with dandelions, using tools, climbing trees, and watching the water pass through. We spent some time fetching garbage out of the river using a string and bucket. We met a few new friends that joined us today and did a scavenger hunt and created a map together. The dandelions made some nice patterns and colours on the rocks.



What Does It Mean?

The younger children are skillfully adapting to the higher ground base. They are also learning about each other through observing and discussing high-interest topics, moments of wonder, conflicts, and imaginative play both cooperative and parallel. Different age groups, dynamics, and the combination of old and new friends encourage the groups to mix in different ways throughout each session. Teacher nudge and encourage inquiry while they begin to get comfortable with the environment and feel safe being part of our community. Small moments of repeated structure provide an opportunity for children to have a voice. Our usual morning circle brought some new children the opportunity to add a string colour of their choice to the talking stick and we notice how our community has grown. There is a strong sense of belonging with this routine for our regular kids and they are proud to model this time for the newer kids. Solo time has returned! It means children and are getting used to the space and noticing the spring season changes to the environment. The changing weather patterns and natural environment bring great provocations for the children to ask questions and notice nature transform. The sounds of the forest bring greater awareness to language development and making connections to familiar sounds.


What's Next?

We will continue to play, explore, and learn on the land. We will offer story scribing and acting so the children can share their ideas and enjoy getting to know each other while engaged in a powerful arts-based guided dramatic play literacy experience. Greater connections to nature, ourselves and each other are waiting to happen! We are excited to see where our curiosity and wonder lead us next!


To see a world in a grain of sand

And a heaven in a wildflower

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand

And eternity in an hour

- William Blake, 1803





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