Early Childhood Programs Blog

A Bounty of Colors and Critters

October 1, 2017 - Forest Dreamers

Hello and happy Fall! Forest Dreamers spent the last summer blazing days doing things we love! We caught lots of critters and saw and collected lots of pretty things! Everything is full of color right now and we are remembering what it looks like now, because in a few short months, our scenery will change a lot! Check out what we did this week:

On Monday we dove into the colors of fall by trying to find and match the colors of objects found along the trail to the colors painted on the bottom of our egg cartons. We were able to find every color, including purple and blue which were the hardest for us! While hunting for colors we passed the bird blind where birds come to the feeders for food. Since birds need lots of seeds this time of year, either for travel or for winter we decided we would help the birds by spreading bird seed around as we walked. We started with bird seed in our buckets and later realized that gloves filled with seeds was a fun way to carry the seeds! We travelled far and wide around Irvine spreading seed, even in the stream! We read Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert learning that it is possible to find every color of the rainbow in a garden. Inspired by the beautiful bouquet created in the book, we decided to make some bouquets at the beginning of the next class!

On Wednesday, we made beautiful, colorful creations by scouting out places at Irvine where wild flowers grow. We moved down Irvine’s driveway and found yellow goldenrod, blue cornflowers, red berries, green leaves and vines and fuzzy brownish foxtails. We also found it fun to record the cars we saw coming into the driveway. We saw  black Hondas,  navy Mazdas,  various (but mostly black) Toyotas and a  black Land Rover!

We played in a new area where the stream flows and ended up reading a book called Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert and were inspired to make our own leaf journals like the ones in the story!



This Tuesday we missed Ms. Paula but had a great time welcoming Mr. Travis to the Forest Dreamers class! We started the morning by exploring around the Outdoor Classroom hunting for anything that moves. We soon had a bucket full of beetles, slugs, worms, crickets and we even found a millipede. Excited about the change in seasons, we started off down the trail with a pail each to collect the leaves and colors of fall. We later dumped out our pails, shared what we had found, and added some of them to our journals. We read Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert during snack and were impressed that so many colors could grow in a garden. Inspired to write, we created a few color poems. We then went to some ponds to check how the frogs were doing with the change in season. Jumping right in, we got muddy quickly but were able to find and catch a ton of frogs! We put some of them in our pails and observed them as they looked at us and jumped out to hop away. We were so excited about all the frogs we found, we decided we should go to a different water area for our next class and look for tadpoles!

Thursday we took our love for logs (rolling to see what’s underneath) and frogs to create a fun snack- Flies on a log! We used apples and celery

for our ‘logs’, cream cheese and nut butter for our ‘mud’ and raisins and almonds for our ‘flies’. We had some pretty interesting creations at the end. I even heard that someone made a whale! I guess we decided to make edible sculptures, instead!

We also went to a brand new part of the stream that was more pond like and had a great time wading into it! There were some deep parts and we thought we may have hopelessly lost a boot! Luckily, with a little help,  we retrieved it!

It was really very interesting to watch what everyone decided to do. It really reminded us of the idea of ‘play work’. These little budding scientists are learning so much on their own just being outside. Some came up with ideas on how to catch frogs, some were trying to measure the water’s depth and others were creating ‘secret hideouts’ and a ‘soup’ kind of concoction.

Our story was The Princess Who Married a Frog. It was a fun folktale about showing respect for living things (in this case, frogs). With all of the excitement of finding our little pals, we also have to remember to handle them like scientists!