We were still experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures during October leading us to observe many signs of spring, such as leaf buds, sprouts and insects. We have also heard lots of frogs and the wren singing its spring celebration song. Some of the kids went barefoot right through the second week of October!
We have talked this month about how we are in the season of fall. We have paid attention to the signs of autumn such as falling leaves, mushrooms and evidence of squirrel activity (ripped apart cones). We have watched our leaf circles decompose and observed that the different leaves decompose at different rates. One of the highlights this month was preparing the new firepit under the outdoor kitchen, which we have already christened by making a batch of popcorn over the fire.
We had lots of opportunity for water play this month as well. We discovered how water flows and where it goes. We have watched our mud puddle grow to some of the highest levels yet. We have found evidence of animals and worms in the mud at the edge of the puddle.
We have been engaging in alot of imaginative play about mixing, stirring, cooking and baking, soups, and cakes, and cookies in “The Bakery” area of main camp. The children continue to enjoy playing “Family” and everyone likes to choose the role they play in the family. In this game, sometimes they pretend they are people and other times they pretend they are animals like rabbits or birds.
There has been alot of running around on the trails this month as the children move about more to keep warm. They all have really been enjoying performing spontaneously at our Forest Theater, singing and dancing and making up characters and plots. We have spent alot of time decorating the forest brightly with “sidewalk” chalk.
We’ve noticed an explosion in mushrooms and mold and the soil never seems to dry out anymore as fall progresses and the sun angle changes. We have found the neon pink of the wolfs milk slime, the bright bold orange jelly, and some new mushrooms called rabbit ears. We have seen quite a number of the large russula mushrooms and have been studying their gills. We have seen many banana slugs eating these mushrooms and many have the tiny teethmarks of a small rodent (mouse or shrew or mole) that had a nibble.
We have been sunchasing in the forest: finding a place to sit in the sun and observing how the sunlight seems to move. We talk about how it is the earth moving, not the sun, helping the children to visualize their place on the planet.
By Erin Kenny ©2010