Rainy Day Discoveries

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.


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.


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

So very much going on!

Goodness! We have had a whirlwind of discoveries this week. We’ve found “frogs” hanging out on our log circuit, mysterious yellow goo appeared on the wood chips, towers of blocks curiously refused to crumble, and the ramps in the construction zone have found configurations unseen before.  Oh, and I almost forgot! There has been a rash of author sightings within these four walls.  With so many options, it’s hard to choose what to research next…

Frog or Toad?

The Pre-K children made their first wildlife discovery this week. You’ve probably already heard, but just in case your children are as secretive about school activities as mine,


Small, lumpy creature found in sandbox.
Children beside themselves
(and others, too.)

Every year, we find at least one of these fantastic creatures.  All Autumn and Spring, children are picking it up, observing it, and building it sand pit homes. It’s amazing that the amphibian family hasn’t moved to a newer, quiet location.  Yet, as we dig anew each Fall the creature appears, hopping into our hearts and filling us with questions.

This year, we’ve had much debate over what type of animal it actually is.  Some believe it is a frog, others are voting for toad.

So far, the children have decided upon the following rules governing “froginess”:

  • must be green
  • must not have bumps
  • hops around lakes and dives

We don’t have any statements regarding the authenticity of a toad.  Obviously, this calls for some further study.