There was lots of discussion about Halloween this week at Nature School, not necessarily because it is relevant, but just because it is so much fun! I heard all about the wonderful costumes and the yummy treats. It sounds like the kids all had a ton of fun. Our themes this week could connect a little bit to Halloween. On Monday we talk more about spiders and we created a giant spider web in which we played all kinds of games.
Shelter or fort building was also a big activity this week. We built a couple of different types of shelters out of sticks found in the yard or on the forest floor. There was some trial and error as we decided how to best proceed to make the shelters stable as possible. We had a couple of minor collapses before we got it quite right. Different lengths of sticks we required for different parts of the shelter and the kids were great a determining what should go where. The best part came after the shelters were built and we could play in them. I had to laugh as some of the children moved from one shelter to another claiming that they had to move because the first “just didn’t have enough storage space!”. I wonder where they have heard that before? It is certainly something that has been said at my house on multiple occasions!
On Thursday, the day after Halloween, we took a couple of the leftover pumpkins and made a delicious pumpkin soup. Everyone helped to cut up the pumpkin, with child friendly and non-sharp knives. They added some garlic, onion, salt, pepper and vegetable broth and we cooked it all over the campfire. It took a bit of time but within an hour or so the soup was cooked and cooled enough to eat. Not all of the children cared for it but most of them really liked it. Some of them liked it enough to eat three cupfuls. I always find it amazing what you can get kids to eat if you include them in the cooking process.
As usual, lots of stories were told this week. We have been experimenting with creating stories as a group, stories that we all contribute to. One person will start with a sentence or two, another will add to it and the chain continues until we have woven quite a tale. The children are really getting good at this.
“Does this belong in Nature?” was the question that we asked multiple times this week as we clean up some litter that had somehow been scattered around the yard. We examined what we had cleaned up, determine what could be recycled, what could be reused and what we had to go in the garbage. We talked about how important it is to not throw your garbage on the ground and what we can do to try to create less garbage. The kids spoke in earnest about this. They really do have the best little hearts! ~ Tara