Here in East Vancouver, Trout Lake is a small oasis of nature close to home. Nearer than most forests and beaches; in this neighbourhood many turn to this wonderful park for its peacefulness. I have noticed many children in our program this session taking an opportunity for reflection. Moving a little to the edge of where we are playing, I have watched child after child take a break from the games and just going to stop and quietly watch the water. I am continually awed by the wisdom of children and inspired by the relationship they can form with a natural space.

We have spent many rainy days under the trees. We continue to test our bodies and our imaginations as the trees transform into animals to take us on adventures and vehicles to move us anywhere our minds can dream up as we climb ever higher and swing on branches with more confidence. Ropes have added a new element to our play; creating swings, ziplines and traps to aid all the challenges we face in our imaginative playscape.

Puddles have taken over Trout Lake! We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this muddy substance. Splashing, stomping, noticing tracks and even making and throwing mudballs! Exploring the puddles has taken us on a journey further around the lake where we can explore, run, and see our lake from another side.

As the weather cools, the sand feels different. We have noticed the change in temperature and moisture while digging and building together on the beach. One very cold day we had a frozen lake to play with. Breaking chunks of ice, finding air bubbles under the ice by the shore and sliding on frozen puddles were all a captivating part of play that day.

We began some work with compasses towards the end of this session. We discussed how compasses worked, and practiced orienting ourselves with our compasses in a game together. Once we gained some experience with these valuable tools, we embarked on a ‘Compass Riddle Hunt’ where we used our compasses to find clues in order to answer a riddle.

Our term-end craft was colourful paintings which were painted using found natural objects as our brushes. First, we had to collect some brushes; creating an opportunity to get to know the trees. We noticed the textures and patterns of different coniferous and deciduous trees, wondering about how we could use them and even noticing a few new baby trees out and about in the park.

We have had a lovely fall together at Out and About Adventures. We wish you and your family a wonderful winter full of muddy boots and days filled with imagination. We will see you in 2016!