Early Childhood Programs Blog

Oh My Gourd, it’s a Creature of the Night!

October 27, 2016 - Forest Dreamers


Happy late October! As this month wraps up, the Forest Dreamers have been feeling the inspirations of the season! We got up close and personal with some pumpkins, gourds, night dwelling animals and crispy fall leaves!

On Tuesday, our imaginations created a ‘forest stew’ containing all of the strangest and yuckiest things we could think of! Some of the responses were pretty hilarious! We then tried our hand at making our own caldron concoction of pumpkin and gourd seeds over a nice, warm fire. We spent time around the fire keeping our bodies toasty and watching our seeds toast at the same time! From pumpkin to pot took an assembly line process of working Forest Dreamers. There were some scoopers, some washers, some dryers and some pot stirrers! With our combined work, we created a sweet and salty snack!

We also had a great time squashing, kicking, rolling, dropping and painting a lot of unique gourds. Amongst them were birdhouse gourds, apple gourds, snake gourds, banana gourds and acorn gourds. Their seeds all looked and tasted so unique!

Thursday’s skies were overcast (and eventually rainy) which was actually a great kind of day to talk about nocturnal animals. We were greeted in the glen by a fox! Don’t worry, it was just a taxidermy! We studied the foxes’ fur, feet, ears, nose and eyes. His large ears and powerful nose made him a great night dweller! We learned that if we make a cup with our hands around the outer edges of our ears, it can actually improve our hearing, just like a fox!

Whoooooo do you think came to visit us next? 😉  Ms. Jenna, the animal care specialist, came to our circle to tell us about the screech owl that lives inside Irvine! The owl came to Irvine because she was no longer able to see and hunt in the night. We learned some very interesting facts about this kind of owl and had the chance to ask questions. The group was very involved and asked tons of really thoughtful things and shared some good observations and insights!

Our travels led us to the vernal pool trail at the bottom of the Access Road. Here, we relaxed, climbed trees, collected leaves, made crafts and constructed a giant human spider web out of big balls of yarn. They twisted  between trees and around trees and we had fun twisting up in them ourselves! The day ended with a snack and  a beautiful story entitled Sophie’s Masterpiece by Eileen Spinelli. In this story, Sophie the spider has a gift for the arts. As she enters a home, she is swatted and shooed from all of the areas that she tries to create and seek refuge.  The old little spider finally settles in a knitting basket and helps a friendly human mother create a beautiful quilt for her new baby.

Spin and Sing, Forest Creatures!