Early Childhood Programs Blog

Little Things Make Big Things Happen

May 12, 2017 - Forest Dreamers

In the big, wide world of Irvine, we see trees, birds, swatches of green grass and blue sky, logs to climb, water to splash in and trails to walk on. One may think that walking the same trails and seeing the same scenery may get cumbersome week after week. We recognize our way on the trail with our eyes closed, but can we stop to notice little details? How often does a howling pack of 4-6 year olds stop and notice any small part of nature? The answer is- not often! That’s why this week, we focused on the smaller things that make up our great outdoor space.

On Tuesday, we broke out the magnifying glasses and started noticing how everyday things like grass, leaves and dirt, turned into objects with bumps, waves and textures! We took our new found mindfulness and used it to create beautiful fairy houses out in the Glen.  We then hiked to the barn and did some cloud watching. Details don’t always have to be small. We noticed things in the clouds that we may have never seen had we not been taking a different look! Our book for the day was called It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw. It was a picture book full of cloud shapes that reminded us of everyday objects. We spent time sunning ourselves and making little discoveries down by the fire circle area.

On Thursday, we took a gander at some of Irvine’s smallest inhabitants- insects! Some of those little guys were so small that we could only catch them with a sweep net. We learned how to use a sweep net in the amphitheater area but didn’t find many insects there. Once we went to the meadow, we found much more in the tall grasses. We even collected some moths! Our story was The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle. Ms. Sophie showed us why jewelweed could really live up to its name. Did you know that adding water to jewelweed makes it shine? Were you also aware that there is an abundance of garlic mustard down by the meadow area that we never noticed  and that lots of our friends liked munching on it?

This week was full of little surprises!

Think Small, Forest Kiddos!