February Highlights: Valentine’s Day, Learning About Toads, Snow Storms and Much More!

The weather has been tumultuous this year, meaning we’ve had very little chance to get out. While the start of February proved to be warmer, winter was certainly in full force for the rest of February with snow storms and high winds in abundance.

As usual, this didn’t stop us from having fun! Highlights this month included building snowmen, creating Valentine’s Day treats and much more!

Taking the Rare Winter Opportunity to go for a Walk

The warm weather made for dangerously icy conditions on Monday which kept us away from the forest. Instead, we decided to go for a walk through the neighbourhood together. First though, we made a list of things we thought we may see along the way.

With our list in hand and our owl eyes open, we took to the sidewalk. It wasn’t long before we started to find many of the things on our search including stop signs, animal tracks, birds, bunny poop and all different kinds of nests. Lisa even spotted an old wasps nest dangling in a tree right near the sidewalk!

While we didn’t get a chance to see a couple of things we had hoped to, like a worm or a hippo, we did see some really great things we hadn’t expected to come across. These included: a huge vine that draped a light post, a great close up of water as it moved beneath the ice and, most interesting, water rushing along the road into the storm drains. We listened to it as it flowed, mimicking the sound of a waterfall. We realized that the water came from the melting snow all around us, but where was it going?

Back at the centre, we decided to find out. We searched for diagrams on the internet and learned about how the water we use to wash, brush our teeth and clean our dishes, goes into the sewage system where the water gets treated and cleaned. But did you know that most storm drains lead right to open water?

We talked about how the water from the roads and sidewalks goes right into the water where we like to go fishing or even go to the beach. We talked about how this water brings with it any animal waste (as we saw a lot of dog poop), chemicals from the grass, pollution and even garbage, right to our lakes and rivers and can make the fish sick. EW! This led to a conversation about how littering even far away from a lake can still bring garbage into the water. We talked about all of the garbage we saw outside along our walk and decided that when spring comes along, we will help by picking it up together.

Let’s Build a Snowman!​​

It was a little too windy to go into the forest today, so we decided to play outside of our forest and enjoy all the snow. We bundled up and went on our way. We stopped outside the forest to sing our Good Morning song and then discussed what we wanted to do.

The kinders noticed how sticky the snow was and decided it was a great day to make a snowman. Our friends got right down to business rolling some huge snowballs. One of them was too heavy to lift onto another ball, so we had to problem solve and think of ways we could lift it up. R.M. had a great idea. “We can cut it half and then glue it back together with snow”. Wonderful idea!!

He found a stick and started cutting it in half until it broke in two pieces. We placed the two halves together on top of a giant ball and packed snow in around it. Once the snowmen were done, we made a faces using sticks, pine cones and leaves. They added sticks for arms and Chelsa even let us use her hat and safety vest. We made a pretty awesome snowman family. It was the perfect kickoff to Family Day weekend!

A Valentine’s Treat

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The kinders made some sugar cookies for our Valentine’s Day tea. They were very excited to learn that we would be making our very own cookies for our families. We gathered up all of the ingredients and brought them into the classroom.

Each of our friends took turns measuring, counting, stirring and placing the ingredients into the bowl. We then added food colouring to some of the dough to make pink and purple. Once the dough was mixed all together, we rolled it out onto the floured table and made it nice and flat. Our friends took turns cutting heart shapes into the cookie dough. We then baked them until they were just right. We couldn’t wait to share them with our families for our tea party. They were delicious!!

The children were very interested in making cookies for their friends in dramatic play and out in the Nature Classroom with the snow as well. We decided to extend our baking experience by providing the children with play dough, muffin tins, cookie sheets, measuring cups, spoons, beans, pine cones and dried pasta. Many of our friends were excited to make cookies for their friends and teachers. They used rollers to flatten the dough out and then cut it into a variety of shapes. The play dough bucket was used as the oven to bake them. After they were baked, our friends decorated them with the beans, pine cones and dried pasta. They couldn’t wait to serve them. They were very yummy!!

Where do toads go?

While we were in the forest this morning, we remembered the toad that we saw come out of the hole under this tree last fall. We had a lengthy discussion about why we aren’t seeing him now, is he still in there? Does he hibernate? What will he eat? The children then decided to build him a shelter to keep the cold out!

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