Early Childhood Programs Blog

Creepy Crawly- Monday/Wednesday Forest Dreamers

October 21, 2018 - Forest Dreamers, Preschool

Slugs and Salamanders

We had a slow start this misty morning! We gathered our crew and started down the trail with promises of a special surprise.  Nestled back in the spice bush forest is a story circle…but not just any story circle…Salamander Circle! As we carefully rolled the stumps over, we discovered small, large, and multiple salamanders for a total of 11!! In one area! What a find!

After rolling over every log, we set off to work on our Nature Scavenger Hunt. We were searching for a tree without brown bark when we came upon the seven-trunk sycamore! The kids quickly scurried into the “nest” where they were overcome with the number of slugs inside. As they started to count them down, one of our friends declared there were 20 slugs in the tree. I am not sure if there were really 20 but they were numerous with trails of slime following behind.  Ms. Kelly explained to the kids if they hummed to the slugs, their tentacles would come out.  As we were heading back to the outdoor classroom, we noticed one of our friends humming to a lone slug 🙂

There’s a Pond Where??

Today we quickly left the woods in search of some sunshine. As we started snack (I say started because we often eat the entire time!) we looked across the meadow at the freshly cut trails and decided to explore the back meadows. We saw on the map that there were some ponds back there but we had never visited them.

We came upon two different ponds and soon saw a difference in the water. The largest of the ponds was crystal clear with numerous tadpoles, beetles, and other water life. We tried to catch a crawfish and then Ms. Kelly picked up dragonfly larvae.  We were very excited about this find and we were amazed at our discoveries considering how cold the water was.

By contrast, the other pond had algae growing around the edges. We kept looking around the edge of the pond for signs of life and we saw maybe one tadpole. We started talking to the kids about why they think this was??? The children soon came to a consensus that the difference in wildlife could be pollution and pond scum growing in the pond. We talked briefly about what causes pollution in our wetlands and the kids were very fascinated by the difference in unhealthy vs healthy ponds!