Early Childhood Programs Blog

Rocks and Meadows

October 5, 2018 - Forest Dreamers, Preschool

Rock Painters!

Today we were determined to make it to the stream with the intention of dam building and exploration! At the gazebo, we decided to play a name game while we ate our snack 🙂 Most of our friends played and chose to bring the following on a trip: an inchworm, cheese, an octopus, candy blocks, NEW candy, a lion, and a cat.  Can you guess what your child brought??? This was a great way to review everyone’s names and have fun while we ate!

We made it past the meadow, checking out mushrooms, hickory nuts and acorns. We chose the “upper” stream and quickly made our way to the water. We were EXPECTING the kids to jump into the water and explore up and downstream. Instead, the kids wanted to paint rocks using watercolors! They had a fabulous time. They started off painting rocks around where they were sitting but soon some children were painting rocks to camouflage on the trail for their friends.  At one point, some kids ended up painting each other (as well as Ms. Avril). We briefly touched on why Native Americans would paint themselves and what materials they might use in nature. The kids had some great ideas for different materials and gave us some great ideas for future classes!

Down to the Wetlands

The fog lifted this morning right as we entered into the meadow. Blue, sunny skies greeted us as we made our way to the ponds towards the back of the property. Like always at Irvine, every day brings something new to discover and explore! We made our way down the Old Farm Lane, passing by the “Boot Sucking Ponds”. (I love our class names for Irvine’s different features!) Some friends were examining the cotton-like milkweed seeds when Ms. Stephanie called them back to investigate some scat! We used sticks to examine it and predict not only what animal it may have been but also what it had been eating. Guesses ranged from zebras, dinosaurs, and rhinos…finally settling on possibly a coyote. This led to a discussion about what animals live in Maryland as well as eat seeds and furry animals.

We made it to the wetlands where we started off talking about animals that live in these waters as well as the need to be respectful and move slowly. We saw frogs, tadpoles, and lots of grasses. Part of the group stopped to build a dam and the other went ahead to the dock in the bigger pond. There we laid down on the dock and looked at our shadows in the water. We took turns making letters for our friends to guess. Eventually, we rolled over and used our imaginations to look for “objects” in the sky. We found dragons, slippers, and even an alligator.

A trip wouldn’t be complete without some “boot sucking mud”. After walking in the sun, we were so excited and thankful for the breeze. As the leaves to drift towards the forest floor one of our friends yelled, “I LOVE FALL!”