On Saturday, March 21st, several families braved the rain/snow to come to the Huron Natural Area to celebrate the first day of spring.
First, we talked about signs and sounds of spring. We read The Listening Walk by Paul Showers about a girl who hears many, many sounds around her as she walks quietly with her dad and her dog.
We listened (inside) to hear what we could hear for 12 seconds. It was a challenge to be quiet at first! We heard the humming of an electric heater, and maybe the fluorescent lights too. Then we went outside to the woods. We stood together as a group and listened quietly for 15 seconds. We heard the chattering of chickadees, the wind blowing in the trees, and the far-away whoosh of traffic.
And then the sun came out!
Each child then took an index card and pencil to make a sound map. They found a special place in the woods to listen for 5 minutes. Using symbols to represent the sounds, they mapped out where they heard the sounds in relation to where they were sitting.
Then we went for a little hike. We passed by a bubbling stream that was making lots of spring-like noises. We stopped to listen quietly for a bit.
Goodbye winter! Welcome spring!
On March 17th, we celebrated St Patrick's Day by going on a "Lucky Leprechaun Hike" at Huron Natural Area in Kitchener. When I planned this hike, I had imagined that there would be a lot more green on the ground, and a lot less white. I thought that we could hunt for 4-leaf clovers.
But this was not meant to be.
It was a snowy, chilly, sunny St Patrick's day! We had a great time.
We found a protected place in the woods and read Too Many Leprechauns: Or How that Pot o' Gold Got to the End of the Rainbow by Stephen Krensky. Some participants of the hike shared how they had trapped a leprechaun in their home, and described what he looked like. We compared notes on different sizes of leafed-clovers we have found in the past. Several said they had found a 4-leaf clover, one mentioned a 28-leaf one, and one had even discovered a 84-leaf specimen in the past!
Here are some of the leprechauns, waiting to go on the hike.
After this, we worked in family groups to find things on a scavenger hunt list:
We shared these items, then used our special sticks to make leprechaun faces/bodies for our little green felt hoods to fit onto. Then we set to work building leprechaun houses, or gnome homes, in the woods. It was so much fun to see the variety of structures that were created:
It was wonderful to see the creativity come alive, and the care that they took in creating homes for the leprechauns. I'm sure they appreciated it!
Our next family nature experience will take place this Saturday, March 21 at 1:00 at Huron Natural Area. We'll be celebrating the first day of spring (probably in the snow!). Feel free to join us!
Hammers, Huge Swings, and the Freedom to Play