Our Forest Kindergarten group comes ready to play each week, with HUMONGOUS imaginations. We are blown away by their stories and by their ability to sink deeply into creative play in the forest.
For the past several weeks, we have had "fox spottings." These foxes are very elusive, and like to hang out in grassy areas or places where the forest floor leaves are shades of orange. Someone in the group will "spot" the fox, but by the time the others arrive (particularly the leaders), the fox is nowhere to be seen. There are theories about where the fox lives, what he eats, and where his family is while he roams the forests to spy on our group.
And there are magical potions. Sticks serve as wands, and concoctions are mixed together - some for more evil purposes, but many for good. For example, a potion to turn your hair rainbow colour. This is an example of a good potion. These Forest K foxes are tricky, and often sneak potions to the leaders when we least expect it, making us grow tails or eat breakfast leaves from the forest.
This past week, we went on a walk to look for magic potions. We found dragon's teeth, rabbit fur, rays of sunshine, snails, and other things to mix into our magical medicines.
We came back to our base camp for our snack and story. Rebecca read Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel, an Anishinaabe introduction to the idea of totem animals. In this book, different animals are connected to different emotions that we all feel. After the story, the children shared what forest animals they were most like. It was very interesting to hear which ones each child chose!
Since it was Hallowe'en, we brought some costumes out for our forest play time. There were lots of flitting butterflies, buzzing bees, dancing ladybugs, and even a turtle at play as they constructed homes, concocted soups and stews, and took care of their Forest K "family" in the woods. These children fully inhabit the forest through their play: creating new worlds, where tricky, protective foxes are never too far away, and magical potions are quite real. Such a fun, fun group of friends!
Hammers, Huge Swings, and the Freedom to Play