Rainy days can ruin outdoor fun for some people! We are taught that you can’t have fun in the rain…that we SHOULD stay inside. Rain is important for nature…for plants, animals, and life in the forest! One of our mottos is “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing!” Last week we had our first cold, rainy day…and the kids had a blast exploring the Native American village.
We headed toward the site with stops to jump in puddles, follow streams into the woods, check out a prickly tree called devil’s walking-stick (Aralia spinosa), and catch raindrops in our mouths! The kids explored the autumn olive bushes, disappointed to realize the berries were almost all gone. We kept the group moving with the promise of hot tea upon reaching our destination.
When we arrived at the site, even though we had some structures to take shelter in, we quickly set up camp under our tarp. The kids huddled about as we prepared our tea. Some kids brought some spice bush twigs to add to their herbal tea. Such a quick way to warm up!
After we had some tea, the kids set out to explore the forest. We spent some time learning how to throw a stick like a javelin at our hoop targets. Some kids were naturals! The kids ran around the Native American site, climbing on the canoe and playing games. We noticed that the tarp was pooling in one place and this became the “hand washing” stations well as quick water for drinking. Today goes to show that EVERYONE can have fun in the rain!
One of my favorite things about Forest Dreamers is that we are improving our motor and cognitive skills as well as developing our senses during free play! As the kids have been hiking, jumping, crawling, leaping, hopping, and climbing they are developing skills that are often overlooked in an indoor setting! They are building muscles, awareness, and control.
The past few classes have included some serious hiking to the furthest points of Irvine…a goal since the start of class! This group collected their gear and set off at a quick pace. Once we finished snack and a book, they explored around the tent…in the tent…up the tent…on the tent…all over 🙂 We decided that we needed to move on before something happened to the tent!
The back meadow revealed some awesome discoveries for this group such as a small meandering stream perfect for exploring. The kids were amazed at the golden sycamore leaves that were larger than their heads! Probably our best find was the stinkhorn fungus! As we were walking, we caught a whiff of a foul odor and quickly discovered its source. With all the fall rain, the funguses and mushrooms at Irvine have been on great display!