Forest Dreamers have been perfecting their observational skills this week. We’ve kept a sharp eye out for any thing that hops! We have visited some of our favorite spots as well as a few new ones! We used paint to create symmetrical butterflies, leaves to create creatures, kindling to create fire, black walnuts to create ink, and a whole bunch of kitchen essentials to create pokeberry play dough!
We had a few extra visitors on Monday and we all gathered together on the first official chilly day and made our first fire! Creating the fire was a group effort and we were all pretty much beginners! We got a little something going and were pretty proud with ourselves! After the fire, we hiked to a new location and found some new things! We found the new composting toilet on the new property and learned how it works!
We spread out a blanket and read the story Leaf Man by Lois Elhert. There were some pretty neat pictures of things made totally out of leaves. We used this inspiration to make our own leaf creature!
On Wednesday, we got a chance to see some really neat owls up close. We met with a screech owl and a barred owl and learned how they perched onto Ms. Tara’s hand! We cleared some black walnuts off the paved road, collected some mushy, gushy ones and boiled them to make our own ink. The ink was a light tannish color, We let it steep for the rest of the day. On Monday, we will test it out to see if letting it sit made it darker!
Tuesday we had a chance to do what real scientists do. We learned that Irvine’s monarchs were ready to make the long, hard journey to Mexico. We thought of how fun it would be for someone to find one of the butterflies we had released! Some friends took turns gently adding a sticker to the butterfly’s wing while others had a chance to let the butterfly go off of their finger!
This inspiration led us to our journals. We took a look at some taxidermy butterflies up close and noticed the symmetry. We thought it would be fun to make symmetrical butterfly prints in our journal with paint! We used some of the pretty colors we noticed in the butterfly wings to make our creation!
We ended up at one of the only small remaining patches of water left and did some serious frog catching! Everyone is getting quite good at this!
Thursday was another day of catching, releasing and creating! We each took a turn following a step to help make beautiful pokeberry play dough. We carefully measured out the ingredients, added heat, and some pokeberry ‘juice’ and voila! We used our own personal ball of dough however we saw fit! We ended up deciding that making leaf and letter prints were really cool. We liked making instant stamps of natural designs!
Down at the ‘Grasshopper Trail’ (which is what we now affectionately call one of the meadow trails), we found seemingly hundreds of hopping critters sailing from blade of grass to blade of grass! Watching everyone scamper to collect them was very entertaining. The class expressed interest in bringing out some sweep nets next week and trying this again!
Once we reached the flat part of the meadow, Ms. Tara showed us where wild persimmons were growing. We all had a chance to try one. Everyone agreed they tasted quite strange. Persimmons can leave a very dry taste in the mouth and are much better when cooked or baked into something like a bread. We were proud of them for giving it a try!
The last part of class was our favorite little muddy puddle for those frogs again! We will keep learning about all things that hop, crawl and scamper as long as we have such a happy and enthusiastic class!