The first day of Forest Dreamers this spring and the trails are closed! 60 miles per hour wind gusts kept us off the trails and out of the Outdoor Classroom. We took our group of explorers into the Hodge Podge Lodge to introduce ourselves, discuss the semester, and to add our artwork to the walls.
Since the outdoor classroom was closed, we headed inside for a book as we ate our snacks. Our book (The Mitten by Jan Brett) kept the kids engaged as we imitated and discussed the animals that all sought shelter in the lost mitten. After we finished our snack, we set off into the nature center for a scavenger hunt…searching for toe-less turtles, snake “prints”, and a queen bee!
This wouldn’t be Forest Dreamers if we stayed inside the entire time so we suited up and headed out. The children rolled down hills…sometimes on top of each other! They balanced on the curbs and took turns jumping off the end. Ms. Kelly brought some wind streamers and the children chased each other with the blowing ribbon. While some children played, others made wooden wind chimes to hang in the tree outside…adding to the whimsical feeling of Irvine!
ALGAE AND ICE
Finally…We are able to get on the trails!!! Our Forest Dreamers bundled up and set off for the meadow and sunshine. Once there, we talked about exploring and protecting the land and respecting each other (our intentions!). Enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, we observed the features of Irvine and discussed where we might want to go.
Today, after looking at the map, our group choose the ponds to explore. We set off down the meadow trail, running to stretch our little legs. The children were AMAZED by the thin sheet of ice still covering the still water. The children harvested pieces of ice and watched them shatter as they tossed them onto the bridge. It sounded like glass breaking! Several of our nature lovers exclaimed that throwing sticks on the ice was the highlight of their day!
As we were making our way back to the Nature Center, we stopped to look for animal tracks in the mud. The mammals of Irvine did not disappoint! By the waters edge, we investigated some tracks that we believe are opossum!