Early Childhood Programs Blog

Living Wetlands Week 3

March 20, 2017 - Earth Friends, Preschool

The day after this class was the big snow day that we had been waiting for!  It was really cold this Monday so we kind of altered our plans a bit and decided to spend a good hour at the campfire learning how to build fires, learning fire safety and of course enjoying the warmth!

We started class with our afternoon circle, sharing any fun we had over the weekend and then did our second installment of our phenology project!  This time we added measurements to our plant buds and noted any changes.  You can see an entry in Charlie’s journal below of some of the information we are keeping track of.  We are noting the time of the day, the temperature and the weather.  After recording information about our plants we headed down to the education hut where we were going to play Oh Deer! while eating snack.  The game had decided to escape my bag back at our starting circle so we went back for it and played in the gazebo instead.  Oh Deer! is a game usually played with a larger number of kids and we use symbols with our arms and stand in two different lines.  Before trying it with beads instead, we learned about basic survival needs of animals (food, water, shelter and space).  In our bead version of the game we were only using three, food, water and shelter.  After describing how the game works we saw how deer don’t survive if they can’t find their matching resource and how too many deer can cause die offs and when there are plenty of resources, deer are abundant.  After some trial and error the game came out pretty good!  It was getting really chilly though so we decided to head down to the barn for campfires.

At the barn, we talked about what you need in order to make a fire and how you would gather those supplies if you were stuck out in the wild with fewer resources.  Waterproof matches or a lighter are must-haves to be carrying with you when out in nature.  Also, you can have dryer lint or cotton balls with vaseline in a water proof container for your fire starter.  A fire needs three things: It needs dry fuel, oxygen and a spark.  We had dry chopped wood and dry newspaper (our fire starter) at the barn.  We had to gather dry tinder too.  Tinder is critical since a fire will usually catch on smaller branches and twigs, so it’s important to gather a large amount of tinder before starting your fire.  We also had matches to start our fire.  Victoria started her own fire and Charlie and Solace and I worked on one in the center.  We lit our fires with only a couple matches each!  We talked about fire safety, not running around the fire, being careful with how you move wood in the fire and add the wood and how to put out the fire.  it takes a lot of water!  We also talked about different styles of fire, such as teepees, log cabins and the one we used in the center was a triangle shape, which helps block out the wind that was blowing.  And at the very end the other homeschool class joined us and we enjoyed a book read by Ms. Stephanie about winter!