Early Childhood Programs Blog

‘Leafing’ for Summer!

June 1, 2018 - Forest Dreamers

This week we celebrated the Forest Dreamers and everything they have learned this semester! We have had such a great time this season exploring, observing, discovering, laughing, meeting animal visitors, climbing, jumping, playing games, getting wet and muddy, catching frogs/tadpoles/toads and so much more! We can’t believe the season is over and its time to ‘leaf’ for summer. Thank goodness we have a few snow day make-up classes so it is not quite goodbye just yet!

We started the week off by meeting the land snail who lives in his shell, much like the animals we learned about last week who live at the beach. He popped his head out of his shell and left a nice trail of slime on Mr. Travis’ hand as he explored looking for something to eat. He reminded us of another decomposer that we found under a log in the outdoor classroom: the slug! This week we found worms, roly polies, millipedes, slugs, snails and toads under logs in the outdoor classroom. We were especially excited about finding toads and made habitats for them in pots from the outdoor kitchen.

On Wednesday one of the Forest Dreamers brought in his ferret, Little Boy, to meet the class. Everyone had chance to touch or hold him if they wanted and many people noticed that he had a very distinct smell. Other educators and volunteers came to meet Little Boy and our Forest Dreamer was happy to show him off!

Throughout the week, the Forest Dreamers worked together to pick their favorite habitats to visit. We visited the meadow to see all of the new growth and to play games. And of course we had to visit some wet and muddy habitats to look for frogs and tadpoles and to get muddy ourselves. Both classes decided to have snack in the Gazebo, where we read A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer. It is the story of an oak tree in the forest that is home to many animals. One night, during heavy precipitation and wind, the tree falls over. It then becomes habitat for new animals and eventually food and habitat for decomposers who turn it into soil. After many years, a new oak seed is dropped into the rich soil created by the decomposers and the life cycle restarts. We tied this life cycle to the food webs we learned about earlier in the semester.

On Thursday and Friday we had our leafing ceremonies. Families and special friends joined us in celebrating our Forest Dreamers and everything they have accomplished this season. We gathered around a campfire, read poems about each student and hung Tulip Poplar leaves on our tree. We then roasted marshmallows on the fire and enjoyed a potluck snack together. The Forest Dreamers showed their families around Irvine, leading them down to the wetlands where we all worked together to catch tadpoles and froglets.

Thank you all for an amazing Spring season!