We have started off our winter session with walks around the park as we get to know our play space with our new groups. Each term, we teachers get to know the park anew as each group brings its own perspectives, wonderings and favourite places. In our program, providing a supportive and safe environment for children to form a relationship with a natural space is at the top of our priority list. Allowing for time to sit with, lay upon or climb a tree not only tests a child’s body but give everyone a chance to make a new friend, a new little home waiting to be awoken by their imaginations.
The lake is the center of our park and we need time to get to know it as well. The beach has become a favourite play space as the children dig small ponds of their own creations, lavish us teachers in delicious sand treats and even open a restaurant with the best view in town!
Ever wondering; one day we put on our scientist caps and did some soil testing. Together, we collected two samples of soil from two different spots in the park. We added water and shook them up well (everyone got a turn to shake). Once the water settled we could see the different ratios of clay, plant matter and sand leveled out in the sample jars.
Most people would think it a little too early to start seeding outdoors; but not when you are growing gardens of children. Tim had tremendous success planting children seeds, watering them and watching them bloom into the prettiest smiling flowers I have ever seen.
The park provides endless opportunities for meeting new friends. In addition to our friendships within our groups we have made many animals friends along the way. Friendly dogs, quick squirrels and curious ducks have all greeted us along our adventures. Watching and interacting with them teaches everyone a lot about body language, empathy, the simple physics of movement and the biology of the world all around us.
A child’s imagination can utilize the simplest tools in the most amazing ways. A bag of different lengths and thicknesses of rope were transformed into dragon (and friend) traps, construction equipment, train tracks, cable bars and skipping ropes on one Monday in the park. We will be looking into exploring this interest further after the Family Day break.
Each day, after we work up an appetite through our adventuring together we wash our hands and sit for snack. During this time the children can share food together and herbal tea that I bring to share. I bring some stories to read to the group as everyone enjoys their mini-meals. After snack is done and packed away, we end with some time to play at the playground before finishing up with a little music and our good-byes.
Looking forward to more adventures together. Registration for the Spring programs will be open March 16th.