Happy Howl-o-ween from your Forest Friends! This week we talked about all things nocturnal and eerie. Halloween time is a great time to learn about some of the creatures we may see portrayed around the holiday such as owls, spiders, snakes and foxes. These animals aren’t as spooky as they are interesting. The more we know and learn about these things, the less scary they become!
The end of October is also a special time for treats made from things like pumpkins and apples. Each class had a great time making apple cider on our apple press! Here is the breakdown of our week:
We had a special friend come visit us from one of our classmates’ home- a ferret by the name of Little Boy! Little Boy made his way around Irvine and visited with all of the staff! Our little (human) expert told us all about how Little Boy should be held, what kind of food he eats, how he gets along with his other ferret friends at home, and told us what to do if a ferret gets sick! Although we learned that ferrets are not nocturnal as we first thought, We have heard a lot about Little Boy over the weeks and were glad to finally meet him!
We also created some spooky goo! We took turns trying out different ways to use the goo. We let gravity stretch and break it apart, we added things to it, we even made noise putty out of it. It sparked a pretty lively conversation about the way air gets trapped in the cup we squeezed it into and can even work with parts of our bodies, causing- er… noisy bodily functions!
Our hike led us to a part of the woods where we decided to pretend to spin a web just like an orb weaver spider. We weaved in and out of the branches and trees with yarn and decided to come back later on and see if we had caught anything!
We dove into the nocturnal and spooky this week in honor of Halloween. We started the day with a visit from our taxidermy fox which gave us an up close look and chance to journal about one of the nocturnal animals at Irvine. We journeyed to the perfect place to explore on Halloween- the freezers in long term storage filled with animals to be prepared for taxidermy and animals to be fed to our raptors and other Irvine animal residents. The Turkey Vulture was a favorite spooky frozen animal! Ms. Paula transformed everyone who wanted into foxes and wolves with face paint and then we were ready to play a game called “What time is it Mr. Fox?” Mr. Fox calls out the time and each little prey animal must take that many steps toward him/her. When Mr. Fox yells “It’s Lunchtime!” everyone must scatter back to their safe ‘homes’ before Mr. Fox catches them!
Mr. John walked by and showed us another nocturnal animal from Irvine: our screech owl. Then, since we were thirsty and hungry, we made ourselves some fresh apple cider with the cider press and ate the special Halloween treats that a friend brought to share. We decided to end the day pretending to be another favorite Halloween animal: the spider. We created our own webs out of yarn in the woods and left it there to see if we would catch anything.
What’s Halloween week without a little slime? On Thursday, we started the day with a cooking project in which we created our very own glittery slime to play with and take home. We realized that we needed to check our spider webs and so we headed out on the trail to find our webs. When we got there the webs were empty but we decided to sit in them and have snack while reading a few books with facts about spiders. We learned that they are called arachnids, have two body parts, most are not poisonous and are actually very helpful, their silk is one of the strongest materials on earth and much more! We then cleaned up our web and created a huge yarn ball. Since it was such a nice warm day we headed down to the wetlands to find some water and play.