When I woke up Monday morning I thought to myself: Today is the day we put this rain gear to the test! The weather forecast said rain all week! The children all entered the classroom with their normal smiles and stories and we headed off into the foggy, rainy forest. “Hoods up!” One child called as we crossed the field. As we approached the gate the children stopped and their eyes got bigger as they stared at our favorite sand pit. “The holes!” a child yelled. “They are filled with water!” All of the holes they had dug in the sand pit were now filled with water and immediately they ran over to check
it out. After a short time the children had figured out which holes are deeper, which ones they can jump over without getting wet, and how they could connect the holes to make a river. “They could be hot tubs for the fairies!” a child suggested. By this time we hadn’t even left the school grounds and the children were noticeably wet, no one commented on it. As we walked through the gates and down the hill the children noticed that as we go into the forest they feel the rain less. Half way down the hill the children noticed that the falling rain had created a river down the hill! They kept placing their boots in the stream to make the water stop. “We have to stop it before it gets to Bee Creek!” The children quickly gathered sticks, pinecones, rocks, leaves and branches and place them over the stream. “The water is still getting through” a child called out. “We have to use mud” another answered. The children continued building and creating as a team for an hour as the rain persisted to fall around them. There were a variety of jobs such as gathering materials, testing the water levels, pushing the soil, making streams, finding worms and digging holes. One group made a dam, a fairy home, a pool and a tank for the worms. The other group made a hot tub for worms, a dam and very long water slides for fairies. As we wrapped up the play to head to our site for a snack, the children were already excited to see how their dams would be on the way back to school. All week we revisited, built on and changed the dams. The team work and collaboration this group showed was phenomenal. They talked to each other about what they were doing and the
connections they were making. This is an example of the continuous compromising, negotiating, problem solving and creative thinking that goes into a day at Nature Kindergarten.
(Prepared by Erin Van Stone, Nature K ECE)