Wednesday, October 14, 2009

'Fire Building 101'
Children learned that a fire needs air and wood to stay alive
Children strayed from fire momentarily to explore, and when I let them know the fire was dwindling, Coleman repeatedly said "Thank you, thank you, thank you Marlene for keeping our fire alive!"

Children hanging out in the shelter they helped build over the summer months with our campers. It was amazing to see how each child intereacted differently with the shelter. Some explored it by going inside, others started taking it apart to see how it was constructed, others stood outside and watched, and the remainder ran around it playing games.

'Snacks and Igloos, perfect Combo'
Snack Time near the 'sacred space.' We have a Shaman Group that comes on site once a month to perform a Sweat Lodge. Now that the winter is coming, the tarps have gone back on, and the children explored it and magically turned it into their very own igloo. Griffyn talked about his family who lived up North, and the other children learned about other cultures who live and sleep outdoors in ice homes.

Snowsuit Time

Last week we enjoyed the company of Pierre Blin, our wilderness expert who also runs our homeschooling program here on site, who spent two days with Sara and our children exploring specific wilderness skills. During his time here, Sara and the children will get the chance to learn fire-building skills, plant and animal identification, wilderness safety, and much more. Additionally, they will get the chance to make their very own 'talking stick' which assists in our theme of celebrating diversity, allowing us to explore First Nations traditions. Also, the talking sticks help our preschoolers learn the sacredness of listening to their peers throughout the day and in story-telling circles.

A friendly reminder for parents when dropping your children off in the mornings, please have their rain gear on them (waterproof pants, waterproof jacket, warm layers underneath, boots, warm hat, and mitts) even when it's not raining given the amount of dew collecting as temperatures drop. Also, in upcoming days (tomorrow to be precise) we may dip to temps -8 degrees, in which case children need to come wearing snowsuits, insulated boots (or rainboots with thick woolen socks), hats, and mitts. When looking to get your child's snowsuit this year, ensure you are getting a waterproof one, and that you're child will be comfortable running around (meaning it's very warm but not too bulky that they cannot move). Thanks kindly for your cooperation on this. It means when the children arrive Sara can immediately go into programming, and not go looking for gear indoors which delays our program from starting up to 1 hour at can be quite difficult getting children indoors, changed, and back outdoors in a short amount of time.

Check back shortly for recent pictures taken during our fire-building workshop! They capture the uniqueness and beauty that our children are experiencing on a daily basis.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October's Theme: Celebrating Diversity

The theme for October: Celebrating Diversity [ October 6-30 ]

Family participation DURING THE MONTH:
1) Brainstorming what is diversity and send me the notes (to post in our bulletin board)
2) Ideas about activities on how we can celebrate diversity (to post)
3) I will like to extend an invitation to the parents to visit the library with the children and choose some books about our monthly themes and share with the group
4) To create a family book with pictures (including extended family) and some stories they will like to share to enrich our forest preschool library
5) Share world maps and/or the globe, posters, games, toys, musical instruments, photos of vacations and any material and resources.
6) Parents are welcome to share talents or time in our program

During this month we will explore the many facets of diversity; diversity in people and our environment. Please take a look at our Bulletin Board in the Learning Centre, and take the time to read our programming tree as the children assist in adding the leaves as the month unfolds. It's quite magical to watch a theme unfold, as we allow the children to lead their learning process, and to witness how they incorporate their learning into the lives at home.

Last month we explored the theme "Camouflage" which took us in many different directions with the children. They watched the camouflaging of the environment as the leaves changed with the passing of the summer, they experienced Camouflage as they played games and learned to blend into their own little hiding spots, they discussed how compost begins to Camouflage as it breaks down into soil, and so much more. We have heard tons of stories from our families about how their children picked up on this theme at home, witnessing how animals and other things in their environments also lent themselves to the great world of Camouflage.

If any parent has anything to contribute on Celebrating Diversity, please suggest them to Sara at any point in time. We welcome story-telling circles, pictures brought from home, science experiments, etc.

Enjoy this Harvest Season, and looking forward to seeing this learning unfold in front of our eyes.