Friday, April 29, 2016

Art, Science and a bit of Physical Activity

The bushes and trees are in full bloom here
and when the wind blows they cover the ground.
It's very beautiful.
Each year I see this and I wonder what we could do with those petals.
This year I thought we could use them at the art table
with a question.
Will the flowers leave colour on the paper if we
or roll them?
Some of them did but most of them didn't.
We even tried squishing and smooshing.
This is one of the few art activities that drew more boys then girls to the table.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pond Play Indoors

Not everyone could go to the Little River Pond on Mondays
so I set up a pond play in our water table.
We introduced lots of animals and talked about where they would live,
 in the water or on the land.
We started with some fake plants and rocks,
then added sticks.
After the first week visiting the real pond we started to help the beavers build a lodge.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Reconnecting With Our Grand Friends

It seems like it's been a long flu season this winter.
Today was our first day back at our Grand Friends home
since November.
It was a pleasure to watch these two work companionably 
side by side.
We made banana ice cream and this little guy loved it and wanted more.
So this granny was quite happy to feed him hers.
It's true that it is easier to connect over food.
It's good to be back.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Buddy's Roll, Collect and Create

Today we got together with our big buddies and headed outside.
Each buddy pair had a nature bag
that contained three picture cards and a die.
The idea is that they draw a picture card then roll the dice.
Count how many spots then collect that many of the picture.
For example, the picture card says stick and he rolls a 4 then he collects
four sticks.
After the buddies drew each of the three cards and collected everything
we gathered in the sand box to create art with our collection.
Some even made stories to go with their art.
"We made a person with a weapon", said the little buddy.
"That's not school friendly", said the big buddy.
I walked on but when I came back they had changed it to
"a baseball player with a bat".
And on my last walk around the group they had changed it again
to make a 'big eared mouse baseball player".

Monday, April 25, 2016

Another Monday at the Pond

This was our final Monday heading to the same pond.
This week we focused on beavers.

We started by walking around the edge of the pond looking for signs
that a beaver had been here.
We found several old trees that had been chewed.
We also searched in among the grass at the edge of the pond
in hopes of finding frog eggs.
We did find eggs but they were salamander eggs
so we put them back.

As we walked around the park I asked the children to collect thin sticks
so we could build our own beaver lodge.
We talked about how beavers cut down the trees.
That their teeth are much stronger than ours.
Since we couldn't use our teeth to cut the branches we collected,
and I didn't think the parents would be happy if I gave
their children knives, I brought vegetable peelers to do the job.
It took some practice and most had success with peeling the bark off.
With our sticks we built a lodge starting with sticking the sticks
up like a teepee.
We added mud from the pond to help hold it together.
I was impressed how the children really got into handling the mud.
Our finished lodge.
When asked how the beavers get into their lodge, a few children answered;
by underground.

Next the children completed the last page in their pond study booklets.
Draw a beaver and it's home.
Pretty awesome picures.

Finally we had visitors from Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society
talk with us about beavers.
They introduced a lot of new vocabulary for us, like;
semi-aquatic, mammal, herbivore, and more.
A friend lent me a beaver skull and we were able to check out it's teeth.

Next week we will visit a different pond.
In the meantime another friend shared this great video about