It has been a lovely Summer at Out and About Adventures.  This summer, we continued on our adventures around Trout Lake while the park activity bustled around us.

Summer2015 128

This summer, we found a lovely spot to play.  Three large yellow cedar trees made a little room among the trees for us.  Providing many opportunities for exploration in the shade, we watched and wondered about the plants, spiders and other insects around us, watched mice and squirrels go about their busy work and discovered a most interestingly shaped pine-cone.

The low-lying branches made for excellent opportunities to climb.  The children challenged their bodies to climbing and hanging and jumping; exploring new heights and different ways to move.

Summer provided a great opportunity to discover edible plants along our travels.  Trout Lake is over run with Wild Chamomile (pineapple weed) and we spent some time learning about, smelling, touching and drinking this lovely sweet weed in our tea during snack time.   Blackberries were also readily available for tasting!

We worked with clay one day after listening to a story together.  We heard the tale of Mama Africa who made all the creature out of clay and then breathed life into them.  Together we worked to make many creatures (and even a few meatballs).

A favourite this season was definitely the Sand Kitchen.  Here the children had the chance to dig, build, squish and splash their way through their imaginations.  This rich sensory experience also provided many opportunities for teamwork, imaginative and collaborative play.

Beside our cedar tree home-base, a willow tree provided shade for more exploration.  We climbed a fallen part of the tree, discovered bugs under its bark, wondered about holes in and around the tree and even tried to climb it.

Under the shade of the Willow tree, we also experienced some whittling.  We used vegetable peelers to whittle away at sticks.  This fine motor activity is a great precursor to knife skills and builds confidence and co-ordination.

We played some sensory games under the trees.  Eagles Nest was a favourite.  The children had to use their sense of hearing to protect their egg from predators, and also had to use their bodies carefully and quietly to sneak up and steal the egg themselves.

Summer2015 011

We spent some time building with Crazy Forts.  This wonderful open ended toy provides endless opportunities for large scale building.  The children were able to build anything their imaginations were drawn to.  We built many different forts, picture frames, lollipops and even dumbbells.    Great chances for collaborative and imaginative play!

We found a bit of burnt wood under the trees which led to learning about charcoal.  We talked about what it is, how it’s made as well as some things it can be used for.  We quickly discovered that it can be used for drawing and began to transform ourselves into animals and other living works of art!

The end of every class was spent at the playground.  Here the children were emersed in swinging, climbing, drawing in the sand and imaginative play before we sang our final songs and goodbyes for the day.

On our last class we did some planting for the children to take home.  Each child picked what they would like to plant, filled their cup with soil, planted the seeds and gave them some water.  We hope that the plants will grow to nourish your home and provide a reminder every now and then of our adventures this summer at Trout Lake!

It has been a blast.  Out and About wishes you an end of the season filled with fun, love, and many wonderful adventures!