Fall leaves and golden sun
Another beautiful week at forest school! The golden autumn sun continues to shine down on us and the frosty mornings made us want to move our bodies. We hiked way up into the forest and saw a mother deer and her fawn walking along above us. As they slipped away into the trees, we found their trail and learned about the way that deer move through the forest on these well traveled trails. Our students eagerly became deer and followed the trail to where it opened up into one of our favorite meadows.
Cooperation, taking turns, speaking kindly with one another: this is the biggest work of the early childhood years, and in any early childhood class environment it is the important learning that is happening. While we study animal tracks, we also study teamwork and good communication skills.
Our little chefs found a decomposing stump and, after some exploration, decided it was a good soup pot and got right to work finding stirring sticks and ingredients for a forest soup. This is such a wonderful example of learning through play; after stirring leaves, needles, acorns, and some moss into a pot, one of our students arranged this lovely meal on a plate and we all talked about what delicious things were on the "plate." Acorns, a cedar sprig, moss, Madrone bark and leaves, all arranged on a piece of bark from a Ponderosa pine tree. This kind of sensory learning creates such intimate knowledge: the look, feel, smell, and texture of the different plant species in this forest where we live and play.
We also got to spend some time creating our own little golden acorns by wet felting wool into little balls, dying them with turmeric powder, and attaching real acorn caps on the top. Wet felting is a very old practice of taking raw wool and creating a kind of fabric by washing it with soap and water and working it with your hands into your desired shape. Here's our acorns drying in the sun!