“Passion does not arrive on videotape or on a CD; passion is personal. Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young, it travels along grassstained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature. — Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, 2005
Today was our very first day of Forest Preschool. We spent 3 1/2 hours immersed in nature with these sweet little children. Looking back, I can’t believe I am getting paid to do such wonderful work. How very lucky I am.
Our theme today was ‘Our Senses and The Environment: Sight & Shapes’. We began by making these fun shape necklaces to take on our hike. We learned about the 5 senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Then we talked about shapes – what are our favorite shapes? What makes them special? What kinds of shapes can we find in nature? Then we used our sense of sight to find different shapes as we walk through the woods!
Here’s one of the songs we learned before we headed off into the woods:
The Leaves on the Trees
The leaves on the trees,
They sway in the breeze,
They sway all around, all around.
Slowly first, then faster
Until all the leaves fall down.
(Repeat, gradually getting faster each time)
The children made these recycled boxes to hold all of their treasures in. And there were SO many treasures and especially NUTS!
Miss Jen and I found a Hornets nest – absolutely amazing – luckily, it was not near where we were working with the children.
Hmmmm what type of nut is this?
We found so many shapes in the forest….
A square is a square (make square with fingers)
No matter which where (turn square all around)
Turn it here, turn it there
It’s still a square (hold hands out to side)
Lilah found an Oval… do you see it? Look on the ground below…
And we were so excited to find these little mushrooms – they look just like fairy umbrellas… we talked a lot about the fact that many berries and mushrooms could make us very sick and be dangerous so it is important not to touch them unless an adult says it is ok.
We found a piece of bark on the ground and when we turned it over we saw these wiggly worms 🙂 – it was a perfect opportunity to talk to the children a little bit about habitats and being gentle when we are in the forest and careful not to disrupt things. I asked them if they thought this was the worms’ home and that maybe it would be nice if we covered them back up… so we did 🙂
What letter is this? Kylie found the letter Y… not only one time but twice.
Gavin and the other children enjoyed playing boat with the leaves in this stream…
Alex used his stick to test the water.
Can you find the big letter ‘V’ we noticed?
Afterwards, we came back to our table and had snack. Then we decorated our collection boxes with the items we found. The children were tired but still excited about the rest of the activities we had planned.
Miss Jen had a tree identification book that we were able to use to find out what type of tree this nut came from. It was a Shagbark Hickory… which is actually an edible nut
Very cool indeed.
We then pushed some nature materials into this plaster of paris to make a fun take-home craft.
And after lunch together picnic-style, we listened to a few sweet stories until Mommies came to pick up the children.
What an amazing first day! I have the absolute best partner to work with, a beautiful location to teach and four little souls just absorbing it all in.
I feel so alive and filled with gratitude 🙂