These last couple of months have seen a lot of rain in Vancouver’s East end.  At Trout Lake, the children are discovering just how much fun the rain can bring when you play outside.  Muddy bits in the field make for a wonderful canvas in which to examine tracks.  We have found dog, human and crow tracks close to our meeting spot.    The mud also makes for a great, sensory rich material to experience together; slipping, squishing and stomping are all great fun and a great way to learn about the many ways to experience the world around us through all of our senses.

The mud also makes for a great place to find worms.  Our adventurers have enjoyed finding, watching, feeling and wondering about the worms: how they move, what they eat, how/where do they sleep.

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Continuing with the children’s interest in knots and ropes, we brought even more types and lengths of rope with us on our adventures.  They children’s knots got more and more complex, some even stumping the facilitator’s when it was time to untie.

We set up a pulley and bucket between two sets of trees.  The children enjoyed whizzing the bucket back and forth; sometimes simply reveling in the joy of running while dragging the bucket as fast as their legs could carry them and at other times, creating a whole system of mail delivery people who would send messages back and forth between the trees.

As the weather warms and the migratory birds return to our city, urban birds sometimes need a helping hand.  We created bird feeders together using oranges, string and bird seed.  The children squeezed out some of the orange juice, used skewers to poke holes in the orange peels, threaded the string though the holes and filled it up with bird seed.

We did some whittling together using vegetable peelers as our tools.  The children could work methodically to peel the bark off of the sticks that we found under the trees.  Some children chose to take their sticks home, proud and excited to share with their parents about all they had carved while others used their sticks in their play, creating magic wands and even mustaches!

Our time with crazy forts this session was spend building large projects together as a group.  The children strategized with one another to build larger and larger projects, discussion, teamwork and compromise helped our creations to be the best they could be.

The cedar trees at Trout Lake have become a home-base for us this session.  They hold the space for our play while providing us with strong branches for climbing and small sticks and organic material to experience and create with.

Ever looking to experience the many things that can be done with a few tools and materials, we began to put up a rope swing for the last couple weeks of classes during our winter session.  Some of the children were interested in helping experimenting with how high the swing needed to be made and watching and helping with tying the knots needed to make it safe.   The children enjoyed swinging, bouncing and spinning once the project was complete.

Towards the end of the program, we returned to the beach and to our Sand Kitchen.  The children noticed more birds, the changing temperature of the sand/water and a large increase in puddles in the trees close by all in between creating marvelous culinary creations.

Our end of session project was some take-home planting.  The children picked which herbs they would like to grow, filled up a small cup with soil, planted the seeds and watered them after discussing as a group what flowers and plants need to grow and be healthy.  We hope that your plant grows and provides your family with beauty and sustenance over the coming spring and summer seasons.

We hope to see some of you again for the Spring session of Out and About Adventures.  Until next time, be well, be merry, and be muddy!