Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tree Freeze

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I attended a workshop on the weekend that was called Growing Up Wild
and participants included Early Childhood Educators, teachers, principals
and a boy scout leader.
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By participating in the workshop I learned several new ideas to play
with children outside and received this fabulous guide packed full of

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One game the facilitator taught us was giving actions to trees.  I can’t
remember what or if she had a name for the game but I call it “Tree Freeze”.

We warmed up by singing an echo song called “Tall Trees”.  Then I
introduced a picture for each tree that we would give an action.

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A douglas fir, straight and tall with arms straight overhead.
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The hemlock, droopy at the top.
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The maple tree, big and wide with lots of leaves.
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A cedar tree, graceful low branches.
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The spruce, with prickly needles, reach in then pull back into a fist
and say ‘ouch’.

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We practiced a bit in the classroom.  I would say, “Ready?” then call
out one of the trees.
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Then we headed outside for a walk, acting out the trees as I called them.
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It’s an easy game to learn and a great game to play on a walk.
You could make up your own actions for the trees that grow where
you live.
                      Give it a try.

Monday, April 29, 2013

We’re Going on an Animal Hunt

Today we went on an Animal Safari.  We walked through the same
woods as Fairy Lane but on a new trail.

Before we went I printed photo cards from Sparklebox and added
information about the animal on the back.  I taped a bag with a stamp
of that animal and an ink pad on the back.  Next time I would just carry
one good ink pad instead having one per bag.
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Early this morning I took my dog for a walk and hung the photos in
the woods.  I settled on eight photo cards.
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When the families gathered for the walk in the woods I handed out their
Nature Bags.
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The bag had toilet paper binoculars and a blank book for collecting
stamps of the animals.  This is an easy book to make and I found a
tutorial for you to follow at Teach Beside Me.
Off we went singing “Going on an animal hunt, going to find
lots of them, we’re not scared,
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           tall trees, green leaves,
                 and look at those flowers.”
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As we found the animals we talked about what they ate,
where they slept, if they lived by themselves or in a group.
And tried to act or make the sound that animal would make.
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Then they pulled out their book and had it stamped.
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We continued through the forest till we found all the animals.
It was a wonderful way to spend a morning exploring the woods.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Welcome to Our Bee Hive

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This past week our school held it’s annual spelling bee.  Although our
StrongStart doesn’t participate in the spelling part we did get into the
spirit of the day and dressed in yellow and black.
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We got busy making bee hats, using flower stamps to decorate them.
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These rolling stamps are great for toddlers.  They are easy to grip
and they roll!  What more could you ask for?
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After making our hats we modeled them for a picture,
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to be placed in a bee hive.

Search and Rescue Field Trip

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Many of our children are interested in vehicles that are used for rescue. 
This year we’ve visited the fire hall, had an ambulance visit us at school
and then this week we had a tour of the Search and Rescue Headquarters.

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We got to climb in and check out the many types of vehicles the
rescuers use to do their job.
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We saw and tried some of the equipment they use, like;
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 their very heavy life jacket for swift water rescue,
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the wet suit for staying dry and warm and
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the pole they use to try to reach a person that is in the water.

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We put on the safety helmets that felt much bigger than our bicycle helmets.

We met and learned about the dogs that are trained for Search and Rescue. 
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It can take up to 18 months or more, of many hours of training, to get
a dog ready for the job.
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Luke, who is having his belly scratched, will be retiring soon at 8
years of age.  The other two dogs love to search so they can play
tug of war with their handler as a reward.

We learned to “Hug a Tree” if we get separated from our grown-up
in the woods.  (The bear is pretending to be a tree).
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It's important to tell our parents or grandparents where we are going when
we go out to play (the same is important for adults too).
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A few important things to remember while you stay by your tree are;
to stay warm, blow a whistle if you have one and answer when you hear
your name being called.

           Future Search and Rescue Volunteers
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A very big thank you to all the people who volunteer their time to train,
be prepared and ready to go at a moment’s notice to help others when
they are lost. 
                      You do an amazing job!