Forest Fours Journals

Today, we introduced the students to a new chapter of Forest Fours by implementing a writing component to our day. Each child received a special journal that travels with us while on the trails. The students are allowed to draw pictures of the games that they are playing, the structures they build, or the specimens they see while out in nature (fungus, birds, rocks, deer, etc.). They also are allowed to collect things like leaves or small pieces of moss and tape them into their journals for safe keeping.

In addition to the journals, we borrowed four Polaroid cameras from Mrs. Weber so that the students can take pictures of items that would be too big to fit in their journals. The pictures are then taped onto a page and the students write about what they observed. The journals will travel with us each time we venture into the woods and the children are allowed to fill their journals to their heart’s content whenever they deem it necessary.

Since it’s inception, our class has used Forest Four days to play in an unstructured setting so that they could explore and create at their will. The addition of the forest journals allows students to extend their learning by giving them the opportunity to write, even while outdoors. Through this activity, the students are practicing skills such as fine motor development, phonemic awareness, self-regulation, observation, categorization, identification, and much more. We look forward to sharing our journal entries with you in the future!

Ice Collections


The children discovered a large pile of ice chunks today. Within five minutes, everyone in the class was involved in excavating the various shapes and adding them to collections.  Many ideas were attempted to dismount the ice from the surrounding snow.  Sticks were used to pry up the edges.  Shovels chopped at the large swaths of ice covering the grass.  Ice found on abandoned sleds was dislodged through semi-gentle whacking upon the porch.


Getting the ice to its destination was another feat, altogether.  At first, the children carried individual pieces to their collection points.  When that proved to be too laborious, sleds were employed for the purpose.



The collections were varied and ran from large to small.  Some children aimed to claim as many pieces of ice as possible.  Other groups gathered the largest chunks they could find.  One child carefully chose the three she thought were the most beautiful.  The grand purpose of most of the collections was the process of finding and gathering the ice.  A few, however, did choose to add their ice to their in-game play scenario.  The picture below with the crushed snow/ice belongs to a story of cooking and preparing for a party.