There was so much learning packed into this week that our newsletter would be a moderately long novel, so I'll do my best to focus on the highlights and be brief! This week's overarching theme was practical outdoor skills. We learned how the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, and how to use that information to understand where we are and where we're going. Younger children enjoyed The Way to Start A Day by Byrd Baylor and learned how different cultures have greeted the sun throughout history. Our children tend to enjoy greeting the day at forest school with gathering hickory nuts and eating snack! They also traced their shadows with sidewalk chalk and observed how at some times of the day our shadows are taller than we are. Older children learned to use a compass to find North. We took a curvy hike, oriented our bodies towards the direction we thought was North, and then checked ourselves with the compass.
The gathering of hickory nuts continued this week and we were excited to discover that some nuts have nut weevils inside (closely resembling grubs). Other observed creatures included two Northern Walking Sticks (stick bugs), katydids, a large American Toad the children named "Rocky Rocky", a dead hornet that we observed closely, many daddy long legs, and a tree cricket. We also learned about poison ivy and got a close look at some growing near camp so the children are able to avoid it out on the trails.
On Tuesday our older children enjoyed learning some basics of knot tying from a special guest, Travis. They sure had fun and are looking forward to Travis's return so we can use knots to make a rope swing in the woods.
Some neat art projects also emerged from this week. Younger children made some prints of leaves using paint and older children gathered natural items to make different colors for painting, including poke berries, grass and leaves, mud, and charcoal from the fire pit. We will be keeping their art for now in preparation for a fun event at our Winter Family Gathering...stay tuned for more info!
To close a fantastic week, on Friday we received a generous donation of a Lettuce Grow plant tower from the Kiwanis Club. The children had so much fun assembling it, filling it with water, adding plant food, and planting our first seedlings (lettuce, cilantro, kale, and green onions). Now the Garden Shelter can live up to its name.
Things to Look Forward To
Our Family Gathering is Wednesday, September 21st from 5-6:30 p.m.! Thank you for bringing the s'mores item on your note. It's going to be a bit hot for a fire but we don't think the children will mind too much. Looking forward to a great time!
Some Montessori materials will be making an appearance next week! We can hardly wait!
Opportunities for Involvement
If you have seeds or seedlings that you think would do well in our garden tower let us know; we have plenty of open spots available.
Just $350 to go on our first Bunch Bike! The fundraiser is set up for two, but we'll go ahead and order one once the funds are secured.
See you next week!
Heather & Kris