Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! With the temperatures dropping, the winds picking up and a few snow flurries, this was the perfect week to talk about how to stay warm in the winter! While we found lots of ice, snow and frozen ground to play with, we also worked together to figure out how to stay warm.
Method 1: Heat from fire! Monday we were able to build a small fire in the outdoor fire pit and on Thursday another small one in our Kelly Kettle. We found that we could not build a fire on the other days due to the wind and the snow flurries! We talked about fire safety and the process of building the fire. We established that fires need oxygen, fuel and an ignition source, as well as kindling and things that burn easily to start. Once the fire is established, then bigger logs can be added.
Method 2: Clothes! While many animals have fur to keep them warm, we use our clothing and blankets during the winter. A favorite article of clothing to stay warm in the winter is mittens! We read a book called The Mitten by Jan Brett about a whole bunch of animals that squeeze inside a mitten to stay warm on a cold winter day. We each helped act out the story by adding stuffed animals into a large mitten. We also read a book called Missing Mittens by Stuart J. Murphy. In this book we learned about odd and even numbers from a farmer and his animals who were all missing just one mitten! On Thursday we played our own Missing Mitten game in which everyone got to hide a mitten and then had to go out and find the missing mittens that other people hid.
Method 3: Shelter! We use shelters to help keep us warm in the winter and so do other animals. When we got really cold outside, we came into the Irvine exhibit hall to warm up and to meet our Wood Turtle. We discussed how the wood turtle would stay warm in the winter: Fur? No. Mittens? No. Fire?. No. Shelter? Yes! The Wood Turtle can go into its shell and burrow under logs to stay warm in the winter time. We also talked about animals that hibernate in the winter and came up with a long list. We decided to head back outside and make our own shelters. The Wednesday crew made a shelter out of tarps, which protected them from the wind. And the Thursday crew helped add to a shelter made out of wood and bark, that had been started by another class at Irvine.
Method 4: Warm Tea! On Wednesday and Thursday we made peppermint tea. Due to the wind on Wednesday, we heated the water for tea inside but on Thursday we were able to heat the water in our Kelly Kettle. Those who decided to try the tea all agreed that it helped warm them up right away.