Rainy skies surprised us on our first day of Fox Walkers Forest Kindergarten at Whatcom Falls Park this past Friday! Though the wet weather was a bit of a shock to us all, once the children got geared up in waterproof clothing we were ready to settle into our day together.
We began our morning with some fun leaf play under an epic Big Leaf Maple Tree. The Autumn leaves offer so many opportunities for creativity this time of year! We transitioned to our movement circle, where we followed our friends Moon Bird and Running Deer along on a journey through the forest. During their journey they paddled their kayaks on a lake; observed Wild Geese, Great Blue Heron and a busy Squirrel; and were amazed by the twirling, swirling Autumn leaves falling from the trees.
We followed up movement circle with an engaging puppet show over snack, featuring --you guessed it— Moon Bird and Running Deer! In this story, Moon Bird and Running Deer make friends with an owl and deer in the forest. These friendly creatures encouraged Moon Bird and Running Deer to stop and take some time to listen to forest, instead of running and being loud in the woods all the time. Moon Bird and Running Deer heeded their advice and each found themselves a “Sit Spot” in the woods, where they sat, listened and observed their natural surroundings with all of their senses. Afterwards they shared their exciting Sit Spot stories with each other.
To the forest us Fox Walkers eventually traveled, where we made our way to a sweet pond filled with Mallards. We spent lots of time at the pond, practicing our fox walking, sitting quietly and observing the ducks, and then letting out some big energy by playing a couple of circle games. We meandered over the bridge and scrambled up a steep hillside, using the roots of trees for support. Once we go to the top of the hill, we were rewarded with some sweet and delicious blackberries! Yum!
We eventually made our way back to the meadow where we reunited with parents, had a closing sharing circle, and played “Leaf Monster” with some fallen leaves. I came across a freshly deceased squirrel (the cause of death was not obvious), and Pat carefully used two sturdy branches to relocate the squirrel to the based of a tree. We buried it with the help of some lingering Fox Walkers. Rest in peace, Squirrel friend!
We're truly grateful for a successful first day of Fox Walkers Forest Kindergarten at Whatcom Falls Park, and we look forward to seeing you all next Friday!