Early Childhood Programs Blog

Forest Explorers Week 4

October 29, 2016 - Earth Friends

We started off with a check in circle and had a fun game of telephone before heading towards the gazebo.

Fall is here, and among the bright colored tumbling leaves, we took a closer look at some of the characteristics of a plant. Right now some plants are in the process of dying off because of the less humid cold weather and indirect sunlight.  Dry Spicebush (Lindera bezoin) is a plant that is actually combustible when it is burned which can make it very good kindling for fire! Plants and twigs with low moisture content are obviously best for burning. We observed the difference between a living branch off of the spicebush and a dead one. We made note of how the dry one snapped and broke apart, while the living one was green and flexible. Spicebush is an important plant for our ecosystem and is food for deer, opossums, and cottontail rabbits! You can even make a tea from the buds, leaves, and twigs!

During free exploration of the meadow, we played a game called Fire in the Forest.  In this game, the person who is ‘it’ pretends to be a raging forest fire! When the fire warns you of his presence, you as a forest animal, must run to shelter to try and escape it! If the ‘fire’ catches up to you, you become part of the fire itself.

We also practiced our crow call which is the sound we use to call the group back together. The kids practiced going away from the adults waiting until they were crow called back. They were all great at repeating the sound and coming back right away! On the last round, I waited a while to call them back and we had an impromptu sit spot! Sit spot is a practice where you observe all that is around you and try to stay in the present moment.

Down near the education barn we found some dead, dry grasses and piled them high to make a quick burning fire! Even though it was a sunny and warm day to make a fire, this was good practice for the rapidly approaching cold weather. Everyone was excited to add some grass to the fire! We didn’t have time to gather many sticks so the fire was mostly a smoky and smoldering pile of grass.

Ms. Paula told a great story called How the Spider Stole the Sun to wrap up the end of our day!

See you next week!

~Ms. Paula and Andrew