The first two months of 2020 have been incredible for us here at Discovery Child Care. This month we learned whether we can eat snow, researched the circle of life, got our snowshoes back on and pushed our balance to the limits on ropes in the forest. Here’s what we got up to in February.
Our snowflake investigation evolved into a debate between School Agers about whether or not it is safe to eat snow! The children agreed that we definitely should not eat dirty, or especially yellow snow, but some of our friends thought that it was okay to eat snow that was freshly fallen and white. We decided to really “dig in” to falling snow, and research if it was safe for consumption!
We learned some very interesting information from some articles on the internet about how snow can actually absorb chemicals, like exhaust from your car, as it is forming, and falling! So that seemingly pure white snow could actually be full of chemicals and pollutants that are in the air.
We already learned through our snowflake research, that snowflakes are cold water droplets that attach to dust and pollen and freeze, so when we are eating handfuls of that white stuff, we are actually eating dust and pollen too!
We found rabbit droppings in our school-age yard, and because it was a heavy snowfall, we watched that poop become completely covered by white fluffy snow within 15 minutes! It was fully hidden, and if someone picked up a scoop of that snow, they could be eating remnants of rabbit scat, and wouldn’t even know it!
There are SO many reasons why snow is not the best choice for an afternoon snack! Please ask your child about our investigation and have them tell you about the experiment we did, proving why white snow isn’t as clean as you may think!
Back outside in our snowshoes!
Over the past couple of days, we have been introducing a new outdoor skill to the preschool children: snowshoeing! They have all been NATURALS and have shown how persistent and patient they are as they learned a new way to walk on snow.
As they have gained confidence with this skill set, we see them using their core muscles to lug around all their snow gear and climb through the deep snow, this takes so much coordination. The enhanced muscle strength allows them to develop the muscles needed so they can write, draw, paint, and regulate their bodies.
On top of this, they have acted as personal cheerleaders for their friends and reaffirmed to each other that: You can do hard things!” They have supported their peers to, “Use the fence to pull yourself up” when they fall down. It’s more than just snowshoeing (which is amazing!) It’s about learning to fall seven times and get back up eight.
I have seen the tenacity and personal strength of all the children through this experience and it is evident that they can handle any challenge life throws at them!
Learning about the circle of life
We were very excited to find a dead mole in the snow in the forest! We were very curious about where it came from, how it died and what would become of it. Some of the children related it to a fox we had seen the week before, wondering if it had killed the mole. H.H.W. wondered if it had come up from a tunnel underground and maybe got too cold.
Since the mole was in a place where we play, we decided to move it so it didn’t get stepped on. We talked about being respectful and gentle and we also discussed the possibility of animals carrying germs that could make us sick. R.C. helped to wrap the mole in tissue and tie it with twine while S.M. dug a hole among the baby trees to bury it in.
We talked about how the mole will help the earth and our forest grow. Back in the classroom, we revisited the experience as a large group to share our thoughts and ideas about the mole. Later, some of the children created pictures at the art table to further express their ideas.
Pushing our balance to the limits
The Kinders have been using ropes in the forest in a different way over the past couple of weeks! We have been introduced to “rope webs” which are exactly what they sound like.
Ropes are tied between two trees at varying heights, creating a web between the trees for the children to explore. Some of us liken it to “walking on a tightrope” as we try to keep our balance on the wobbly ropes while holding fast to the ones higher up.
This new activity has really been building our resilience and persistence as we try new ways to stay on the ropes, despite falling time and time again. Our balance and coordination are also put to the test, especially when we share the ropes with other friends which changes the tension under our feet, making the goal of not falling off even more difficult! We sure are learning a lot about the capabilities of our own bodies and, with each new attempt at climbing the webs, are perfecting ways to hold our hands and change our footing, using all of our little stabilizer muscles.
Our interest in the rope webs has also heightened our interest in tying knots. Our excitement about sharing this activity together has us motivated to help create the webs along with the teachers to help us make sure everything is safe. We have even taken on the responsibility of helping to untie, wrap up and pack away our ropes when it is time to head back to the centre for lunch!
Want to learn more about Discovery Child Care?
We are a licensed child care centre dedicated to providing high quality, play-based learning programs immersed in nature for children ages 6 weeks-12 years.