Fall has arrived! As if Mother Nature threw a switch, we went from a balmy 95 degrees on the last day of summer to a comfortable 75 on the first day of fall. What a gift. The children spent what may have been our last truly hot days enjoying water play at Base Camp and at the Lake Shelter. It was pretty impressive to see their determination to catch minnows in the shallows (with quite a bit of success). We even broke in our rain gear a little bit on Monday which was an absolute blast!
We loved spending time with all of you during our first Family Gathering to note the changing of the seasons. Your children have developed such heart-warming bonds and we hope you enjoyed observing their friendship as we get to each day. Our next Family Gathering will be for the Winter Solstice on December 21 and we are so excited for what we have planned...stay tuned!
This week's informal theme centered around music. Kris shared a special drum that filled our shelter with soothing sounds, particularly when there was also rain pattering on the metal roof of the shelter. We enjoyed several books about music, a mason jar xylophone, and made maracas out of gourds and shelled corn, acorns, and hickory nut shells. Some children also found partridge pea, a plant that has seed pods that rattle and is a favorite of pollinators.
It was with great excitement that we introduced our first Montessori materials this week! Children learned how to unroll/roll a mat for their work, walk with care around other people's work mats, and received lessons on a few carefully chosen materials. We will continue to introduce many more as the year continues. Once a child has had a lesson on how to use a material they are free to choose it whenever it is not in use by someone else. It's beautiful to see the flow between free play in the woods to calm focus in our classroom area.
Areas of Interest This Week
Knot Tying! Some of the older children have really embraced this skills and even made a hammock
Exploring the "creek" and making rock cairns
Shelling corn and painting with corn cobs
Understanding the change of season and how other cultures observe the equinox
Montessori materials, including the Tower of Cubes, the Long Rods, Zoology Puzzles (parts of a mammal, fish, bird, reptile, amphibian, and insect), and Botany Puzzles (parts of a tree, leaf, flower, and root)
Identifying oak trees by their leaves and gathering acorns
Things to Look Forward To
As the weather continues to cool, it can get quite brisk first thing in the morning. Our Base Camp is not in the sun until later in the day. Remember that it's much easier to take off layers when too warm than to warm up after already growing cold. A base layer + mid layer + outer layer is a great combo for those chilly mornings and allows flexibility as the day warms.
We ordered our Bunch Bike!! Technically we're still $350 away from covering the cost but that's just too close not to make it happen. We are still welcoming donations to close that gap and work towards our second bike, while also greatly anticipating the rides we'll soon be taking around the property.
Ways to Get Involved
Help us close the gap on our Bunch Bike!
If you have a child who attends in the morning and you enjoy fire building, we welcome volunteers to come early and start our fire. We will start having fires daily after the first freeze.
Enjoy this BEAUTIFUL weekend!
Heather & Kris