It has been such a great start to our second year! The second cohort of Nature Kindergarteners are out enjoying this beautiful fall and discovering all the learning that arrives with it! The last two months have passed so quickly and the children are creating a connection to the forest as well as finding their place in the community in which they are creating.
For most of September the focus was on creating friendships, team building and learning how to safely be part of a group in the forest. This included team building activities such as creating nature art, group discussions and challenges, cooperative games, safety games, learning about cougars and bears and also learning about how to treat others and be a good friend.
We also focused on nurturing the children’s abilities to explore, question, discover, inquire and find information! We did this through asking the children to expand on their thinking through questions, connections and further discussion. We became scientists and used our senses to notice and wonder and then make plans about how we could find out more about what we were observing. After a weekend full of rain a child commented on a log he had found: “I noticed it is squishy, it is different than last time”. We responded by asking what she thought had happened. From there we starting to notice, talk and explore all things water!
Water, Water Everywhere!
As we noticed the children’s interest in water take off we began to plan how we could expand their interest and the learning opportunities the forest was offering us. We found books about water and started a water station in the classroom. Since then the children have been noticing the rain, dew, clouds, fog, and now the frost! We even went to explore in Bee Creek for a few mornings so the children could fully experience what a water habitat was like! Now we are doing an on-going experiment using our observation skills to figure out if water is living or non-living!
Written by Nature Kindergarten Early Childhood Educator Erin Van Stone