What’s living out here?

While looking for signs of life in the woods on this unusually warm (60 degrees F) January day, our Pre-Kindergarten children found a little colony of beetles.

They were worried about putting the rock back over them because it might kill them. This is the response from the child who suggested we return their roof.

Forest Fours

Yesterday was our first official Forest Four Day.  Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten spent about two hours exploring our Northbound Trail.  The undergrowth sprouted up beyond our knees over the summer, leading to a lovely, wild excursion.

We made collections:

 

Tried some problem solving and teamwork:

 

Repaired forts:

 

Took on some challenges:

 

 

And searched for wildlife:

 

The Question of a Hole

P1240588

Big discussion this morning in the forest: What made this hole?  The first discovers were sure it was a snake.  Laughing, screaming, and yelling warnings while running through the woods followed.  This brought the rest of us in for closer inspection.  Many assured us that it was definitely a snake hole.  That is until we were presented with another idea.

MF:  It is not a snake hole. It is a mole hole.

Mrs. F:  Oh, how can you tell?

MF:  Mole holes have the dirt pushed up around the edge like this.  Moles are bad. My grandpa has them all over his yard.  We put little yellow worms in that the moles don’t like and they go away.

VJ:  Snakes don’t dig holes.  They slither and there are no slithers here.

FD:  Moles aren’t bad.  They are cute.  I held one once and they are cute.

GS:  Yeah, moles are good for the world.  They help trees and plants grow.

AZ:  No, it’s definitely a snake hole. RUN!!!!

After this discussion, some of the children remained to contemplate the origins of the hole.  The rest ran off to run from the attacking moles and snakes.  It appears it doesn’t matter what is attacking, it’s just fun to run around hiding from the imaginary threat.

The Properties of Snow

We had the most perfect snow for our Forest 4s this past week!

Rainy Day Discoveries

P1210797
Noticing the insect trails in this well chewed stump.

Yesterday we experienced many firsts.  Foremost was the weather.  While we expected the rain in the afternoon, we were caught off guard by the on-again-off-again torrential downpour from 8:30 until around 10:30.  Some of us had raincoats, most of us had boots, and none of us melted.  All of us had fun regardless of the persistent precipitation.

In addition, our City Campus Pre-Kindergarten class came out to join us for Forest 4s.  All together, we had 29 four and five year-olds exploring the wet and drippy woods.  Before heading out, our North Hills Campus students made plans for introducing our new friends to the fort, squirrels, sticks, moss and snails.

The weather provided us with added observation opportunities.  The extremely damp conditions encouraged previously hidden wildlife to cross our paths, sometimes quite literally.

P1210780

This little creature, a Northern Spring Peeper, was spotted by one of the children as it climbed slowly up a tree.  We had enough time for all of the interested children to stop by and marvel at it’s agile upward movement.

While hiking with Mr. Cooper, this lovely Eastern Box Turtle was spotted by one of our visiting Pre-K students.  It was simply ambling along the trail.

P1210811

(I personally thought this one was quite exciting.  I haven’t seen a wild box turtle since I was little.)

Forest 4s: The Real Woods

Reading Outside

Such a lovely day, why don’t we meet with our Book Buddies outside?