3.30.17 | FoxWalkers Forest Kindergarten- Stealthily Searching for Sleeping Salamanders

northwest-salamander-ambystoma-gracile

We had another beautiful day at our Forest Kindergarten program this week. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and new flowers and green growth were emerging all over the landscape!  Such a joyous time of renewal is Spring. 

In our continuing adventures of Moon Bird and Running Deer, the kids heard a story about using “Owl Eyes” and “Deer Ears” to stretch their awareness and expand their senses.  In the story, Moon Bird transformed into an Owl to find and catch little critters using his Owl Eyes, while Running Deer shape-shifted into a Deer and used her Deer Ears to locate Moon Bird over and over again during a hiding game.  

Have you ever touched slimy witch's butter with your nose??? We have! We love the sensory nature of exploring a spring forest, bursting with life! 

At Feather and Frond, practicing “Deer Ears” and “Owl Eyes” are core routines that helps us to connect to the natural world.  One way that we practice these core routines is through playing games.  On Thursday we played Hand Tag and Eagle Eye, two games that give children the opportunity to practice sharpening their senses of sound and sight, and help them to develop their own “Deer Ears” and “Owl Eyes”.   We’ll continue to practice these skills throughout our time together, as they really enhance our experience of the natural world!

Speaking of core routines, another one of our favorites is “Fox Walking”, which involves moving down the trail quietly and in control like our forest-dwelling friend, Vulpes vulpes.   Forest Kindergarten was in need of a fun name, and since this crew has really taken to fox walking, we would like to announce that we’ve officially named ourselves the Fox Walkers!

After our morning routine on Thursday, the Fox Walkers set out on an adventure through the woods.  Since Patrick had found about half a dozen Salamanders within the week prior, he suggested that we look for more under the moist bark and wood in the forest.  Of course the children were enthusiastic to do so, and so we went on a Salamander Hunt, checking under various logs and pieces of bark and rotting wood in the forest.  We found many worms, beetles, roly-polies, snails, slugs, mycelium, and other wonderful life hiding, but we did not find a salamander unfortunately!  The search will continue throughout the Spring!

At the end of our day together, Melissa set up a little birthday circle to celebrate our two Aries birthday boys, Patrick and Cyrus.  Candles were lit, songs were sung, and sweet birthday wishes were shared.  We got to see pictures of Pat and Cyrus from when they were both babies until the current day!  And we nibbled on delicious sweet lavender fairy cupcakes… yum!!

We are so grateful for this amazing group that has assembled to form the Fox Walkers Forest Kindergarten!  We have off this week for Spring Break, so we look forward to seeing everyone on 4/13… If you get a chance, take a family walk in the forest and let us know what you find!

Comparing Indian Plum leaves with an unknown lookalike.  

Muddy, happy, healthy humans!

What a gorgeous day!

Finger-plays and friends found on forest floors...

Witch's Butter and Fiddleheads