March 4: Spring has Sprung

Did you hear that “KONK-la-REEEE”?

What about that “drip…drip…drip”?

Or maybe you smelled the wet mud or saw Chipmunks running around again.

Know what that means? The Northern Hemisphere is waking up and spring is just around the corner!

It also means that its time for a new session of Forest Preschool! And as usual, it was what we like to call a “Frigid Friday”. It seems like every Friday the weather gets extra cold just in time for Forest Preschool. And it was a cold 19 degrees F when friends started to arrive, so we decided to start inside.We read books and had large paper out for coloring.

We met some new friends and were reacquainted with old friends.

One new friend is Kelsey, student-volunteer extraordinaire! She is studying Environmental Studies, Sustainability, and Community and International Development at UVM(busy girl!). She is helping us teach and improve some of our programs this spring by adding a climate change focus. We are happy to have her. I am not sure what Kelsey’s favorite animal is but I will say Chocolate Easter Bunny for now (we can ask her the next time she comes). 🙂

After everyone arrived, we sang a welcome song that Chickadee (Debbie) learned from Heidi Wilson:

Good morning, Earth

Good morning, Sky

Good morning, wind- blowing by…

Then we each shared something/one that we would like to tell “Good morning!” We greeted the sun and squirrels, birds and rocks, animals and trees. Then we went outside.

Outside, it was a cold and blistery day. We watched the squirrels and chickadees at the feeder before heading to our forest camp. We examined the old forts that were out there and found our fairy potion bottles but they were frozen solid! We walked the boundaries and talked about staying together when we go out to explore at Audubon. We then walked a different way back to the barn to see if our returning friends could remember the way.

At the barn, we opened some milk cartons that were cold and hard and didn’t find milk inside. A few drops of food coloring in water and you’ve got homemade ice-blocks!

At this point we were getting cold (and Chickadee was happy we were checking-in with our bodies and letting adults know) so we went inside and sat by the heater to eat our snacks while Kelsey read us a book.

After snack, Chickadee pulled out a long table covered with paper and some homemade frozen paints. We did some watercolor painting to decorate a large poster.

Simultaneously, we also had some child-led experiments about the best way to melt the ice cubes and get the color out. We dipped them in cups of warm water, held them in front of the heater, cupped them in our hands, even breathed on them! Some of us had blue hands, but look what we made:

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We are going to collect signs of spring and we need your help! Wherever you are, if you see a sign of spring (respectfully) get a sample and bring it in. We will affix it to our poster and would love to fill it with pictures, mud, drawings, and cuttings. If you find something living, please only pick 1, or draw a picture instead.

After we cleaned up and got cleaned-up we went back outside. A game was made up using hula hoops to freeze people as still as statues. We also took to smashing our ice blocks and getting to the color core inside.

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After that, we came together to share some gratitude for the day. We were happy we got to:

R- break icicles

O- play the hula hoop game

F-play the hula hoop game too!

C- breaking the silver part off of the ice

E- playing the hula hoop game

P- trying to melt ice bottles

Kelsey- painting a spring poster with ice

Debbie- making new friends

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See you next time!

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