Gardens & Hot, Sunny Sunshine (May 21-25/18)

Wednesday morning we headed out to our gardens to do a little work.  With Arlene coming back to see us next week, we thought we would surprise her by opening up our remaining garden beds together.  We learned that this meant removing all of the straw from the beds and then pulling any weeds that had grown. We excitedly put on our garden gloves and off we went to remove arm load after arm load of straw to place in the garden waste bags.  With a lot of teamwork, we were down to the soil in no time, pulling the few weeds we found.

With the hard work behind us, we decided it might be time to check on the things we had planted previously and see how things were growing.  We were delighted to see our colourful lettuce was full and found that it tasted just as wonderful as it looked. The kale was a little bitter, though, and some of us chose not to taste it. We also saw that the seeds we had planted were starting to sprout. We talked about how, before long, the small pea plants would be climbing the trellis to heights taller than us and our teachers. We can’t wait!

After checking out the rest of the new growth in the garden, we headed to the Nature Classroom to enjoy the rest of the sunny morning together!

Friday morning we were greeted in the forest by all kinds of wonderful things.  M noticed right away “It’s dark in here!” as we made our way to the meeting area. We also noticed that someone had been visiting our site as our sitting area was changed and there were some branches from pine trees that we knew did not belong there as there are no pines in our forest.  After our story, we listened and looked.

We could hear all kinds of different birds singing at once and, one, we didn’t recognize. We could see why it was so dark in the forest as well. So many new leaves had grown on the maple trees that very little sun could get in. We also talked about how hard it would be to see any of the birds and animals up in the trees with all of those leaves to hide so we would have to use our ears a little more to find them. Finally, we noticed how green and lush all of the plants were at ground level, especially the white trilliums that had now become a blanket all around us.

We set off to explore this familiar space that seemed so different all of a sudden.  Z and j got right to work trying to hang the rope swing. It didn’t take them very long.  The rope was over the branch in no time and they worked together to pull it down lower.

This brought forward something different this time, however.  As one boy pulled the rope at one end, the other boy pulled it on the other end. Up and down the two sides of the rope went. Then they realized that, if one of them held on tight, the other could pull their end of the rope and lift the first one off the ground.  They thought this was wonderful! They took turns pulling the rope as hard as they could, trying to lift their friend off the ground. Soon, M joined in, realizing that two people were stronger than one. He and J pull and up Z went much to the laughter of all of their friends.

R, G and J spent a lot of time practicing their printing skills.  They were curious about the spelling of the names of their friends and Lisa helped them to spell as they wrote down the letters to create the names on paper.  They also spent some time drawing pictures and looking art some of the bird identification cards and material we had along with us. R drew a picture of a tree and J showed Michelle all the birds he knew.

Z joined them and was excited to show off how many different birds he could identify!

P was interested in the pine branches that were piled on the forest floor.  Chelsa decided to see if a fort could be made out of them and, soon enough, there was a fort with a pine roof, ready to be explored.  P crawled inside and was very excited to find some worms! He showed them to his friends before placing them back in their “home”

The children came and went from the fort, adding blankets to the floor, claiming it was an airplane and even hanging up their hats on the hat rack at one of the entrances!   Someone moved some of the pine roof aside to create a “sky light” and little faces could be seen poking out of it at any given time. We were surprised how many friends we could fit inside what seemed to be a rather tiny structure.

We enjoyed looking for new flowers, and spent a lot of time balancing and jumping from different logs, fallen branches and boulders.  Our confidence has grown and so have our bodies and we are really putting ourselves to the test with this activity!

Finally, some of us have developed a strong interest in climbing and we have taken to the trees on this one.  While reaching the branch that is our goal isn’t easy, we are gaining the strength, the confidence and the skill to climb and manipulate our bodies higher and more efficiently with each try!

We made our way back to the centre in the scorching sun together, excited for the summer weather and for what would lie ahead for us Monday when we return.

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