We had a lovely fall day for our first session with the Wild Turkeys. We gathered together and played some name and group building games to get to know each other a bit better.
We were eager to get into the forest! Some children suggested that we walk in silence to our spot in the woods, so we quietly entered the forest and tried not to talk.
When we got to our spot, we spent a bit of time taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of what was around us.
Here's what the view looked like:
A bit later, we lined up for handwashing, enjoyed our snack, then made some "tree cookie" name tags that we decorated and wore.
Then it was time to explore!
There were a few negotiations over boundaries and treks to the marshy area - how could we make this a safe activity? What risks are there in crossing over the maze of fallen logs and little islands of grass? What benefits were there in doing this? How deep was the water? How could we measure or map it as we ventured along? How could we construct structures that would help us with this goal of crossing over into unexplored territory?
While the swamp trompers were doing their thing, there were other groups investigating rotting logs - in particular, what was underneath the logs. There was a lot of excitement when they spotted some salamanders.
A discussion ensued. How can we protect these salamanders? How can we make sure that no one steps on the log? A plan emerged...
Gathered sticks became a fence, and a sign labeled the habitat. We learned that salamanders are a sign of a healthy forest. We wondered: What happens to them in the winter? When are they born? What is their life cycle? What do they eat? How many times should we turn the log over to look at them? Will these salamanders still be here next week? Will more come?
During our closing time, one child said, "I really love exploring and I think that it will be different each week because things will change or I'll find things that I haven't ever explored before."
That's the beauty of the natural world - infinite things to discover and explore!
We're looking forward to seeing you again on Thursday, Wild Turkeys!
posted by Rebecca and Shauna
Hammers, Huge Swings, and the Freedom to Play