At ‘Out and About Adventures’ this spring, we have enjoyed sunny skies and hotter than normal temperatures on our adventures together at Trout Lake. We have watched the plantain spring up, the blackberries begin to blossom and the wild chamomile adding a bit of colour to our otherwise green fields.
Taking advantage of the many different textures available in the park, we partook in a painting activity. Together we hunted for different sizes and textures of greenery in the park. Add some paint, some dollies and a whole lot of creativity and we used our nature paintbrushes to create beautiful artwork under the sun.
We also created seed bombs this session. Combining wildflower seeds with soil and clay we created a fun medium for adding some colour to everyone’s home and helping out the bees, butterflies and other pollinators in the process. With our urban bird friends in mind, the children also created some bird feeders made, primarily out of oranges to take home and enjoy.
Compasses were a big part of our learning this session. Together, we learnt what a compass is and how it works. We discussed the four directions and learnt some fun rhymes for remembering them. We used our compasses to direct our travels around the lake and played a direction game; learning a bit about one another as we learnt how to find a direction using our newfound tool. Once everyone was comfortable with the tool, we did a compass riddle hunt as a team. Using our compasses, we followed directions to different spots in the park in order to find the clues to solve the riddles.
Another tool the children enjoyed this session were the peelers. Using vegetable peelers, we worked to whittle down sticks that we found in the park. Some children sat with the activity for quite a while, whittling their stick down to enough of a point to stake them into the ground with ease.
Teamwork is a big part of our time outdoors. Things work best when we work together. The children enjoyed collaborative play and building with ‘crazy forts’. This large scale building toy required negotiation, compromise and patience. This activity provides endless opportunities to learn about ourselves, the ideas of others and how to make one project work for the group as a whole. The results were amazing fortresses, tunnels and many smiling faces.
Using the rope and pulley/bucket was also a great opportunity for the children to develop their social skills. One pulley means the necessity to work together. Conversations sparked about what the goal was and whose turn was coming up and what everyone felt was fair.
During the last couple classes, we revisited some of the children’s favourite activities. We used the sand kitchen to make wonderful creations, dug deep enough on a hot sunny day to find water under the sand and watched as baby ducklings discovered us as we discovered them. We strung up the rope swing, practiced our knot tying skills, manufactured multiple traps for imaginary beasts (and even the teachers) and climbed into the branches of a beautiful willow tree.
One child ended the last class by drawing a heart in the sand because “I love my outdoor adventure camp so much!” We certainly loved our time with each of the children this session and we wish you and your families and very happy summer filled with many adventures of your own.