It was a mild and muddy week at Fiddleheads, as I'm sure everyone noticed from the laundry. We made good use of the rainy days to begin our unit on winter weather and the water cycle. We read All the Water in the World, and acted out the water cycle, learning about evaporation, clouds and condensation, and rain running back into the ocean. We read Scuffy the Tugboat and His Adventures Down the River, and talked about water flow through watersheds and floods. Then with much excitement we sailed origami boats down the swiftly flowing rain gutters at Mt Tabor. We read Eric Carle's charming Little Cloud, and learned about clouds, having a lucky day of relative sun and clarity to be able to observe them. Today we had a visit from Karen Cook, Avery's grandmother and a retired 1-2 teacher with a masters in art education. She led the children in some wintery paintings, and Arielle and Ginger made tortilla snowflakes with the kids!
We've been playing with ice in the sensory bucket, and we've had some fun opportunities to explore water and mud at the park. Our favorite mudslide was in its full glory this week. And there is a little stream that drains through the middle of our play area at Mt Tabor. It only appears during extended periods of heavy rain. It's always exciting to see and to get in. There are some good puddles and rocks to jump off from, and the drainage grate at the bottom is interesting to investigate. Then after the water drains there are pockets of different textured mud to explore. Water is flowing, and it's endlessly fascinating to young children! We will continue to explore and talk about winter weather and the water cycle next week.
We had a fun, mostly rainy and muddy week. This time of year it is especially a gift to be outside. It may not seem like it, considering the weather from inside looking out. The winter darkness is taking its toll right about now. We all feel tired, it's hard to get up and get motivated. It has been rainy for days. At circle when we check in with our bodies and feelings many people have mentioned feeling tired and having missing parents feelings this week in the am. These are natural feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability that winter brings. Being outside though pulls us out of ourselves on a deep level and provides respite from our own personal feelings. The world invites us to pay attention and look outside of ourselves again and again. It always feels exhilarating to me to experience our fun preschool moments against the backdrop of a grey and relentlessly gloomy day. Moments like the hilarity of playing in puddles, the triumph of cresting a big hill into an open clearing, the excitement of visiting a favorite climbing tree. Fun is had, joy is found, we're having adventures together. We're connecting our bodies and emotional selves with the larger world on a visceral level daily, and as muddy and grumpy as that can be, it is also therapeutic, uplifting, and a great teacher to us about weathering adversity, being in the present moment, and finding comfort and joy in the face of discomfort. Deep learning going on right now.
We continued with our theme of animals in winter and animal adaptations this week. We talked about food scarcity in winter and played a counting, foraging game. We talked about physiological changes in amphibians and other hibernating animals in winter and played an imaginary game where we were buried in mud, (actually quilts), laying very still and quiet until spring. The conifers did some nice journaling. We will begin talking about winter weather and the water cycle next week.
We had a fun, muddy, snowy week learning about migration and experiencing some exciting winter weather. On Monday we read Homeward Bound, a lovely book introducing some of the great migrations of all kinds of different North American animals. On Tuesday we talked about why animals migrate, and read Flight of the Snow Geese. We were just playing a migrating snow goose game, jumping from wetland to wetland to eat and avoid predators on our way from the arctic to the high desert for the winter, when it began to snow for real. We watched the landscape transform under a deluge of small white snowy hail. Spirits were high, and several of the children on the walk back to school for lunch exclaimed, "Today is the best day ever!" That is a heartwarming thing to hear, and definitely speak volumes to the enchanting nature of an immersive experience in nature for young children, no matter what the weather is. On Wednesday we read about the migration of monarch butterflies, particularly focusing on the near magical fact that it is only the 4th generation of monarchs, whose great grandmothers went to Mexico the previous year, which actually make the journey there and back to the Oyamel Fir forests in the mountains of Michoacan every year. We played a relay running game mimicking the 4 generations and the long migration to Mexico. Today Arielle read Following Papa's Song, a story about whale migration, and the kids played a whale song hunt, wherein Ginger went ahead of the kids, out of eyesight, and played recordings of whale songs from her bluetooth, and the children were baby whales swimming through the forest following the song until they found her. We'll be making a fun bear snack tomorrow for cooking day. It's been a really fun week!
Next week we will continue to talk about winter, finishing up with animal adaptations in winter, and we will begin talking about winter weather and the water cycle.
Hello everyone, welcome back to school! We are currently focusing on animals in winter and the adaptations that help them survive. We are also going to be focusing on the concept of adaptations overall. We ourselves are really interesting animals to look at concerning our winter adaptations, like houses and clothes, which might be interesting to add to any winter animal discussions at home.
This week we focused on introducing the concept of an adaptation (kind of like an animal superpower), and animal winter adaptations. We read about nocturnal animal behavior; animals adapted to enjoy the long nights at this time of the year. We read Bear Snores On, about hibernation. We read Winter Dance, which introduces many animal winter behaviors and adaptations through the eyes of a little fox. We also read the wonderful winter book The Mitten by Jan Brett and had some fun dramatic play around that story. We are learning some new songs and poems for winter. The kids will be making warming snacks during cooking time. Next week we will be focusing more on migration.
We had some fun and full days outside this week despite the wet and blustery weather. We played a lot of imaginary animal play, and also made some structures out of the sticks and branches that we had gathered for the winter spiral. We climbed some trees. We made some muddy winter soup. We smelled some lovely winter flowers. We listened to the wind and found some interesting things that it blows down out of the trees.
Just as a reminder, Fiddleheads follows PPS weather advisories and closures, so we delay and close when they do. Check for closures as this winter weather sets in before you head out in the am.