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Yah! Sticky Snow to Make a Snow Village: Week of February 19th

Updated: Feb 27

What Happened?

The changing weather and snow conditions provided many opportunities to appreciate how much one place can change.


Monday:

The kids spent most of the morning building their fort/village with the newly fallen sticky snow! Zoe M's older sister Sam volunteered and was a hit with the children.




The afternoon involved climbing, surfing and Sam singlehandedly defeating the rest of the children at tug of war! Penelope and Amanda led the portrait drawing portion of the tent time! It was quieter afternoon, with everyone literally chilled out at the end.



Tuesday:

Tuesday the kids added onto their home building beds, more walls & roads. They’ve been hanging out in the tree together just talking! It’s pretty cute. We played the mindfulness guessing game, then took turns letting someone put something inside, as well as hiding a golf ball around the tent for them to find. They practiced taking turns, figuring out how to choose who goes next (pick a number from 1-10), who gets to open the bag, etc. and being happy for your friends when it’s their turn/respecting the rules of the game.



Wednesday (younger):

This morning was cold so we gathered in the tent early for snacks. The children listened to traditional pow wow music & gathered sticks to drum along to the songs 🌞🎵




We were hanging out in the tree when we noticed rabbit tracks! We decided to follow them. It led us on an adventure, finding clues & making up a story line as we went. The rabbit tracks soon turned into pterodactyl tracks & we were being chased! We were now a lost family looking for food & shelter, running from pterodactyls!


While I, Chey, was being attacked by pterodactyls Jess was peacefully pulling around the littlest ones, who were close to falling asleep.


Playing house & making blueberry pie, measuring the ingredients & counting how many berries!


Wednesday (older):

What a great day we had!! Working with sticks, shelters, boulders, they were so busy in the sun. Climbing trees, climbing the shelter, unearthing rocks from roots. Then amazing snow sculptures! I brought a book and it went over well while they ate! We talked about the Indigenous people and the land, the senses, the First Nations, how to say hello in Inu, and the name of the river we reside on “Kichissipi” (Algonquin) which means Big River. The girls did more journalism interviews at the community centre: "do you like to hike in the forest, and what do you think they’ll look like in a hundred years?" More global warming and environmental stewardship talk. We talked about the creation story of turtle island, then they sculpted a turtle, with trees and things on its back! Truly child led and so marvellous. It’s amazing to see these boys beaming with happiness.



Thursday:

We played with more colour today (including colour bubble painting), made snowmen, had tigers and lava tigers, read 2 books about bubbles, and discovered Jess's secret talent of balloon animal making!




What Does It Mean?

Individuals are learning to identify and regulate their strong emotions by being part of a larger group of children. The necessity of waiting for turns in daily rituals such as passing the talking stick, entering the tent, making arts/crafts, and playing academic games teaches the children the value of self-regulation for belonging to a group. The desire to belong provides motivation to listen to self-regulation coaching cues from adults.


The mixed age composition of the groups and the inclusion of parents with babies helps all the children develop pro-social behaviours and social and emotional competence. Read more here from independent research conducted about the The Roots of Empathy/Racines de l'empathie program. The Roots of Empathy/Racines de l'empathie is an international program that fosters empathy in school age children through regular visits of babies to classrooms.


What's Next?

The children will continue to experience playing and learning in changing weather and different types of snow/rainy conditions in the coming week. They will be asked to check in with their own body temperatures to ensure their own comfort and safety as external temperatures will vary widely in the coming week. The first bird workshop with Elise, the education coordinator of Le Nicoire is scheduled for Tuesday morning. We will be closed for March break (March 4-7th.) Matt is looking forward to rejoining the groups on March 11th. The remainder of the bird workshops will occur during the weeks of March 11th and March 18th.



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