It was a busy and cold week at camp this week. Tuesday hit record lows with much of the ground being a mix of ice and snow. Nonetheless, the children were busy and excited. In the morning, we introduced a new song that required lots of movement and clapping to get our bodies warm called “I want to be free.” In the song, it taught us another word for mother earth coming from South America,” Pachamama". You may hear the children use this word as they really liked saying it. We also spent time decorating our base camp with watercolor paints and spray bottles, tracking in the snow and climbing many fallen down trees. Climbing is a favorite in this group as any hike we go on, one of the kids usually Frog points to a “playground,”and they all run over and start climbing. We make sure to do a safety check to see that the tree is stable and sturdy for bodies. We are also getting stronger and have more stamina for hiking. On Tuesday, we hiked up a steep part of the trail and the kids ran up it with all of their might. They are getting stronger everyday! Going down offered a mixed approach, some kiddos rolling down, scooting on their bottoms, running or opting to hold a hand to feel safe. They all seemed to do exactly what they needed to feel safe and listen to their bodies.
Thursday was a day full of surprises! We had a family visit, enjoyed snack with another group and had a visit from critter connections. The kids flowed very well with the change in the structure of the day and anticipated each event with excitement.
Because of coronavirus, we aren’t able to do much collaborating with other groups but often when we come across them in the woods there is a lot of interest and excitement. To further this connection, we have decided to partner up with another class and do special things for and with them. Earlier in the week, we received pictures from the class and on Thursday our class made them drawings with colored pastel and handed them out at a social distancing gathering we facilitated. At the gathering we shared snack, a song and a few stories. It was really special! We hope to continue this connection throughout winter camp. Lastly, we had a visit from critter connections and got to meet a toad. They did a great job sitting and listening to the speaker and taking turns touching the toad gently.
This group has been very cohesive and have truly been a joy! I have watched them grow in their connections with each other, their relationship to me as their teacher, their stamina, perseverance and confidence in large motor hiking and climbing and their endless curiosities about the natural world. They have a way of pointing out and feeling the magic all around them.
With the recent snow fall, we had an opportunity to do some tracking. Autumn was particularly excited about this and together we took the tracking book out to find the match. Can you figure out which track belongs to which animal?
The children played a game called “Let’s Find It” while we were on a short hike. Each child got a card with an adjective on it (hard, bumpy, soft.. etc) and needed to find something in nature that corresponded. Frog got spiky and chose a burdock seed while Mouse chose curvy and pointed to a branch. Other fun words were YUCK! which they together chose the mud bordering the pond as they trudged through it.
Here is Rainbow taking her turn petting the toad!
We had a visitor from critter connections on Thursday. The children spent all morning trying to predict what critter would visit. Some ideas were snake, lizard, and fox. It was a toad! The presenter shared with the children about toads and how they bury themselves in the earth in the winter. Afterwards, each child got to hold and pet the toad.