Early Childhood Programs Blog

Tap for Sap! Maple Magic!

February 27, 2015 - Preschool, Preschool Weekly

The Nature Preschool at Irvine could not wait for more maple sugar magic! We started off our week with fresh snow! There were some interesting tracks leading us into the outdoor classroom! The children were excited to investigate and try to guess what critter left them behind. Hoof prints were definitely deer, but when we saw tiny prints that stopped at the foot of a tree the children guessed it could have been a squirrel or maybe even a raccoon! Another favorite discovery of ours was finding frozen critters! Can you guess what they were? Here are some hints: they fly from one flower to another, collect pollen, and make a buzzing sound! That’s right we found dozens of frozen bees! We collected some in a jar and are going to try to see if we can warm them back into being active! Out on the trails the children had so much to discover! With a crunchy layer on top and soft snow underneath, this was the perfect snow for digging tunnels! We found some that animals had made, and then made we some ourselves! In the meadow we built snow people and animals, while others had fun sledding down the giant hills!

We were all a little disappointed our Maple Magic Pancake Brunch had to be cancelled due to snow, but we had a back up plan! Out on the hike the children got introduced to the hand drill, and practiced making holes in soft fallen trees! We explored the tapped trees, looked at the sap in the buckets, identified which branches and hiked to the evaporator to see how the sap is turned to syrup! Afterwards, we invited the families to join us in the Fern Room for hot cocoa and a syrup taste test!

We were lucky enough to have some visitors join us this week! Mr. Daniel, a parent of a student, came in to share some emotional coaching puppet shows! All the children were mesmerized as they met his dear friend, Teddy, and helped him feel more comfortable meeting a large group of new friends! Some other parents joined us to play music and read stories! Take a peek at all our pictures! See you  next week!