Hand-in-Hand October News
Musings from the educators…
What I noticed this month by Alix:
October was a fun month. The children had all settled into the routines of forest preschool, and gotten more comfortable with one another, allowing them to delve deeper into their play, their observations and their ponderings. Their ability to collect themselves and prepare to set off in the morning is remarkable, and they are quick to help one another with all kinds of things – getting backpacks on, climbing, opening snack containers – they have grown into a close community, and it is wonderful to watch! I’ve noticed how observant the children are, and have enjoyed hearing them point out their discoveries with excited exclamations to the rest of the class. I wonder what discoveries you hear about at home? I’m looking forward to seeing what November brings us, and where our adventures will lead us.
What I noticed this month by Heather:
What a joy to watch as the trees shake off their leaves and settle into their roots, and our Roots layer up and settle into their routines. As Alix noted above, the group is working together to make the daily routines smoother and safer. This is important not only because group cohesion is a foundational understanding in any early years program, but especially in ours. The less time the educators spend directing, the more time spent freely exploring our natural environment! I’ve noticed that when children are given responsibility and basic guidelines that they agree on and have some agency over, suddenly they have space to be themselves. The Roots have varied interests and backgrounds. Some kids will spend most of the day climbing the creek bank over and over again, mastering the steps and roots to use to lever themselves up. Others will immerse themselves in imaginative play: echoing the habits of home, like taking care of a baby sibling. Often, the children would share their excitement over the discovery of a new mushroom, slug, snail, fern, or remnants of the neighbourhood that once existed where we play. Its during these discoveries and the discussions that follow them that I really see how the children are opening up their senses to deepen their understanding of the this place and each other.
Themes from October:
EVIDENCE OF AUTUMN
Having become comfortable with the structure of our day – the routines, expectations and personalities of one another – this month our focus shifted from safety and settled on the glory that was autumn around us. We extended our mushroom exploration into noticing particular details of different ones as they popped up. Leaves were everywhere and we took advantage of their abundance to play and work with them. We built with them, made art with them, created patterns with them, and just generally had fun with them. At the Maple Grove and the Creek Bed we noticed the trees becoming barer and barer, and the creek filling with water! This observation and absorption of the seasons is one of the benefits of outdoor education – we lived the fall, experienced it in an up-close and personal way – this season is now a part of your child’s world knowledge!
Another theme we explored in the first half of October was the senses. Fueled by a visit from special guests Paul and his guide dog Kona, we explored all five of our senses in a hands-on way, giving the children insight into how they glean knowledge about the world around them. Putting sensations of touch into words was a great literacy activity, and hearing children describe what they could feel but not see was very interesting.
CONSTRUCTION AND TEAM WORK
There were many projects undertaken in October! We made two forts with sticks and leaves, one in the Maple Grove and another near the fish hatchery, we constructed ‘ziplines’ to pass materials back and forth on, we made fires and puddles and waterfalls using water and more! There’s been increased communication and team work amongst the Roots, and I look forward to seeing what they can accomplish together as the year goes on and we understand what were working with even better!
Here’s a great example of teamwork, fun and construction demonstrated in this video of Torin and Theo sliding a bucket of mail to each other:
FIELD TRIP TO THE PUNTLEDGE RIVER FISH HATCHERY
Thanks to the wonderful folks at the fish hatchery in Courtenay, we did a self guided tour and learned about how the fish hatchery helps assist the salmon life cycle and ensure there are plenty of fry and found salmon come spring time. We got to get up close and personal with some of the jobs at the hatchery too – looks like a fun job working with all those fish! But stinky!
BIRTHDAYS AND HALLOWEEN!
We had a few special events this month, 3 birthdays and Halloween! We acknowledge each other’s passage of time and trips around the sun on birthdays. We had fun celebrating on the last day of October with face painting and witch’s brew. We hope you all had a great night of trick-or-treating!
We hope that some of these stories made it to your house via your child as well! We love to hear what your child is telling you at home, so feel free to share! Please, never hesitate to contact us (individually or jointly) with questions, concerns or comments you may have – we love open communication!