Brr! We gather together for a brisk hike on one of the first frosty mornings of the season. Our class sets off with enthusiasm, finding the best "sun puddles." Frost sweetens the bright red rose hips hanging on the wild roses, so they are finally ready to harvest. Rose hips are high in vitamin C and taste similar to a raw tomato. We gather our hips into our harvest basket and bring them back to our tipi to make tea and drink it at story time.
The wild roses are also near a large Ponderosa pine tree with many low branches for climbing. Some of our students gather rose hips, while others play house in the lower branches of the tree, and take turns collecting hips into our basket. When it's time to gather together again and eat lunch, we take our harvest back to our tipi where all the children will help to de-stem and scrape out the seeds of the rose hips before putting the red flesh into a thermos of hot water to make a fresh rose hip tea.
Happy Halloween! We celebrate this powerful time of year as we reach the halfway point between the Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. In forest school, we observe the seasons changing, feel the rhythm of the earth around us, and move with it. Teacher Torrey painted everyone's faces and our class transformed into a group of wild animals. Each child hollowed out a pumpkin and created their own pumpkin house with nature items like leaves, lichen, acorn caps, and Madrone berries. This project also provides an opportunity to work on our plant identification- what kind of leaf is that? Where did that berry come from, and what is it called? If you put a small candle inside the pumpkin house, it looks like the lights are on!