Spring is here. The birds are singing, the sun is making its presence known with heat and light and the adventurers have be reveling in the wonders of the season and of their own developmental achievements. Spring and summer are a time for growth; both in nature and in our little adventurers. Supported by natural spaces, our students have been stretching their muscles and challenging their minds through learning new skills and diving deeper into familiar skills.
At the beach, the groups took their exploration of water, sand and mud further through more complex play narratives and distinct, co-operative projects. Groups previously interested in aquifers have now taken to working with the flow of the underground water and gravity to create small waterfalls and manufacturing “pipes” in the beach to run the water through the sand. Children interested in measuring the deepness of the water expanded upon that interest through creating different sizes of “ponds” and measuring against each other’s feet and hands to determine volume. Some children became fascinated by watching the water displacement created by throwing rocks and handfuls of sand into a bowl or hole filled with water and watching how much is rose, or if the sand sucked up the water like a sponge.
As the sessions move along, the adventurers tackle the branches of our trees with new confidence; climbing higher and finding new branches. Figuring out which ones are best for swinging, hanging or reflecting. At Out and About, children are welcome to climb and challenge their bodies. We encourage them and guide them with our words of support, allowing them time and space to tackle each new challenge that comes along with each new branch while they pay attention to their own instinct and develop their personal risk assessment skills.
Expanding upon an interest in tools, we introduced hammers and nails to the groups this session. Using adult tools is both challenging and highly rewarding for children. It builds confidence while gaining experience with a valuable life skill at an early age. This activity is accessible for all skill levels. For some the victory was in hitting the nail straight on with the hammer, for some it was driving the nail deep into the wood, for others it was attaching two pieces together and for a few, it was building a small toy or sculpture to take home. No one person’s victory can outweigh another. The only competition here is to be the very best you that you can be.
Our groups spent some more time with ropes this season. Knots are can be useful, fascinating and sometimes challenging thing. One of the best ways to begin to gain confidence with tying knots is to start by untying knots. Some children would spend time tying up knots while others asked profusely to untie them, working their fingers to loosen knots tied tightly by their facilitators and their peers. One group organically organized a game of tug-o-war under the cedar trees; communicating their observations to one another about which end needed more people and figuring out how to pull as a team.
During our last class, we planted some seeds for each child to take home. We hope that your plant will grow with your child throughout the summer season and remind them of our time together at beautiful Trout Lake. Happy Summer!