So for the past 4 weeks, I worked with one kindergarten class and one Grade 1/2 class at Riverside Public School in Elmira. They are lucky to have a forest and creek within easy walking distance from their school.
On our "Forest Fridays", each class spent about 1.5 hours in this forested area for 4 weeks. It was amazing to see all of the changes we observed in that time. The forest went from bare trees to full foliage - spring really sprang! The children's clothing and the weather patterns went like this:
week 1: snowpants, hats and mitts (cool, 5 degrees or so, still a tiny bit of snow on the ground in pockets of the forest)
week 2: spring jackets (warm, 15 degrees or so)
week 3: shorts and t-shirts (hot, 28 degrees and humid)
week 4: spring jackets and umbrellas (cloudy and a sprinkle of rain, 13 degrees or so)
After gathering in the forest, we did an activity from the Into Nature guide called "Memory Sticks." It's sort of like a scavenger hunt where children decide what to find - what interests them, what they wonder about. In no time at all, their sticks were filled with woodland treasures. This helped them explore the space and see small details that they were curious about.
Then we came back to the idea of homes. What is the forest a home for? I introduced the groups to some forest gnomes who were looking for some woodland homes. Here are some of them, waiting for their homes to be built: