Children looking at woolly bear caterpillar

October Highlights: Building Bridges, Learning About Pumpkins and Making the Most of Ontario’s Beautiful Fall Colours

With Halloween finally here and the beautiful fall colours still in full bloom, here at Discovery Child Care we have been making the most of the changing season! This month we have built bridges over puddles, sewn beautiful fall leaves onto flags, prepared for halloween by learning about pumpkins and gourds, and much much more!

Orange Shirt Day

Earlier this month, our staff and children stood together to recognize orange shirt day. We wore orange to acknowledge the residential school experiences, the impact they have had on survivors and their families, and to share the message that “Every Child Matters.” 

Some of our classrooms had the opportunity to listen to stories about this day, including adapted and appropriate versions of Phyllis Webstad’s story that inspired Orange Shirt Day. Hearing the children’s thoughts about this day was insightful and profound. This is just one small step in understanding our journey on a path towards truth and reconciliation. 

Discovery also hosted a food drive at the start of October in support of the Barrie Native Friendship Centre’s “Hunger to Hope” initiative. We are so grateful for everyone’s contributions. 

Building bridges over puddles

Wednesday morning brought so much rain and we were very excited to get out and play in all the puddles. V.L found a huge puddle and decided to make a bridge over it with some wooden blocks she found. 

E.N joined her and they worked together, placing the blocks neatly across the puddle. H.H.W and S.M soon came to help collect blocks and build the bridge. E.N noticed “The water isn’t flowing under the bridge. It’s staying there”. Chelsa asked; “Do you know what it’s called when the water is blocked?”, H.H.W replied “A dam! Like a beaver makes!” 

I asked how they thought they could get the water to flow and, before long, H.H.W and V.L. were sharing ideas about how to redesign the bridge. They stood blocks on their edges at the sides of the puddle before placing more blocks across them. With some trial and error, they created a bridge under which the water could flow and they added a ramp leading onto it to stabilize it and to walk up. Our friends worked together sharing ideas, problem solving and taking turns crossing this amazing bridge!

Beautiful fall colours and sewing with leaves

It is such a beautiful and vibrant time of the year in our forest. The children have been noticing how quickly the trees have changed and the fallen leaves have given us endless opportunities to create beautiful pieces of art. 

H.G.C. found a stick and was searching for some leaves. Lisa asked what he was making and he said “a leaf kabob”. He searched high and low for the perfect leaves adding them to the stick. A few friends noticed and joined in making their own kabobs finding all sorts of beautiful leaves. 

The next morning, we decided to bring some twine and plastic sewing needles out to the Nature Classroom. Our friends quickly started exploring the yard for the perfect leaves they wanted to collect. They worked very hard adding leaves that were different shapes, sizes and colours to the twine. R.C wanted to collect only the red leaves, while A.H. and V.L. put all different kinds of colours on their twine. 

Some of our friends asked if we could bring some of the leaves inside to use with the needles for the afternoon. We set up the art table with the leaves our friends collected along with some burlap, needles, twine. The children practiced their sewing skills by sewing the leaves right onto the burlap. The Kinders caught on pretty quickly. They made a beautiful leaf mural on the burlap.

With all of the interest in sewing leaves, we brought some of the sewing items with us to the forest the next day. Our friends noticed that we have some different leaves in the forest that we don’t have at the centre. R.C. said “I want to make a flag” She went and found a stick. Chelsa showed her how she could attach a piece of burlap to the stick using the needle and string. She weaved the string in and around the stick attaching the burlap to create her flag. “I want a Canada leaf on it,” she said and went off the find one. She then sewed the leaf to the burlap. 

H.G.C asked if he could make a flag. We gathered some sticks and some leaves to take back to the centre with us. The children worked on making their very own flags after lunch. It was so wonderful to see the children problem solving, helping each other and taking turns. They were very proud of all their hard work!!

Preparing for halloween!

The children were excited to see that our nature table included some small pumpkins and a variety of gourds. The children got right to work, using their magnifying glasses to take a good look at these treasures.

“This is Halloween!” said MC. “Yes, it smells like Halloween!” said JW. I explained that the pumpkins came from a farm near my home, and that the other items were called gourds, and that they also grew on the same farm in the fall.

“Little” said FM about the small white gourd. “Yes a little white pumpkin” said EH.

I asked the children how these items felt and they thought that the pumpkins were smooth, but the gourds were “all bumpy”. Some friends took the pumpkins to the different areas of the classroom saying, “trick or treat”! Others brought the gourds to the dramatic play centre where they cooked some lovely “soup”. We plan to extend this learning by cutting some pumpkins open and exploring what is inside in the coming weeks!!

Along with our pumpkin exploration, we got lucky enough to find a woolly bear caterpillar in the Nature Classroom! We used our senses again and carefully took turns touching him. Some of our friends thought that he felt “soft” while others thought he felt “pokey”. We wonder if we will find any more woolly bear friends now that the weather is changing?!

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