Early Childhood Programs Blog

Bring on the ICE! (Tuesday/Thursday)

March 4, 2019 - Forest Dreamers, Preschool

Hopscotch and Allergies

Finally…Forest Dreamers starts up again!! Everyone gathered in the Glen, quickly setting off teepee building, balancing on logs, and inspecting the hidden ice crystals in the shadows of the bare trees. Some children rolled over logs and used magnifying lens to get a closer look.  We knew that this day would revolve around ICE!

Our dreamers packed up their snacks and headed off in search of sunshine in the meadow. We gathered on the benches and looked over the peaceful meadow, checking out the various features of Irvine: the meadow, ponds, tents, and the barn. Next, we talked about exploring and protecting the land as well as respecting each other (our intentions!).

Kids say the best things and the first day of Forest Dreamers did not disappoint! As the children headed down the trail to the pond, they were excited to see the ice lingering on the paths. “Look everyone, we can hopscotch on the Ice,” yelled one child!  Suddenly, everyone was jumping on the ice turning it into slush.

As the children moved to the ice on the ponds, they set about assigning unofficial rolls: the harvester and the crushers! This kept everyone busy until they started to discover the slimy algae in the water.  “Allergy!!! Yuck,” cried one friend.  We kept trying to explain it was algae but she was to busy to care.  What a great day exploring and experiencing new textures.

Magical Games

A day of games! That is how Thursday played out. The children found a geocaching box by the story circle and decided to hide it in the leaves and brush for Ms. Stephanie. This led to a discussion about camouflage and why animals hide from others animals. We also rolled back some logs to see what was lingering around….salamander eggs!! Everyone is so excited to see the forest wake up and our animal friends come out.

This group is a very active and we use the map with each class to get a game plan of where we will go. First, we asked one of our dreamers to orient the map. Then, we discussed the different things that we can learn from our map of Irvine. Meadows, streams, forests, ponds, and trails are all things that we can find using our map!

Since the children liked the small teepee, we told them about a HUGE one to play in. Their interest instantly spiked. Everyone agreed this was the place to visit! Once we got there, they became wizards and fairies. They were playing with “wands”, “double-sided lightsabers”, and “donut throwers”. This is one reason why I love Forest Dreamers…the kids get to engage in imaginative play!