Preschool Programs

A Hike to Sunny Beaver Pond

Week 9

This week we enjoyed the unseasonal sunny, spring-like weather by hiking down to one of the sunniest spots at the Green Mountain Audubon Center, Beaver Pond! It was a big hike for playschoolers, but they did wonderfully. 

Friday 11/7

We started our morning looking for all kinds of (laminated) critters around the garden from fisher cats to rattle snakes! Once we found all of our animals we counted them together. Then, we did something really fun! Emily started calling out names of the different animals we found and we had to act them out. It was super silly! If any hiker had passed by they would have seen a group of children and adults running around flapping wings, hissing like snakes or gathering nuts like a squirrel. 

Counting them up! All 34 of them. Photo: Audubon Vermont
Slithering snakes! Photo: Audubon Vermont

Once we tired out from crawling, wiggling and flying we moved onto Morning Meeting and chose our LAST Morning Meeting Leader! This session has flown by. Our last week, Emily and I usually plan something special for the playschoolers so we become the leaders. 

Morning Meeting circle and our leader adding items to the board. Photo: Audubon Vermont
Morning Meeting board. Photo: Audubon Vermont

Our Morning Meeting Leader planned an awesome day. I suggested going to Beaver Pond and she was totally up to plan on a hike! She also decided we would play games and have some free play time after Thank-You Circle. So, after our story we all used the bathroom and set off on our hike! 

Hiking down to Beaver Pond. Photo: Audubon Vermont

We did such an awesome job hiking, we barely needed a break. Everytime we cross the boardwalk on the White Pine Trail we need to pay the 'Troll Toll' with a joke. We heard a lot of knock knock jokes without punch lines, but nonetheless, we laughed and paid the toll! Once we got to Beaver Pond, the group had a blast looking at the fresh beaver chews, poking around the water for salamanders and climbing nearby rocks. The beaver blind also turned into a snack shack where playschoolers served us ice cream (sticks) and pizza (rocks). 

Photo: Audubon Vermont
During a wet season, these rocks are usually covered in water. Photo: Audubon Vermont
Beaver Blind snack shack with customers waiting in line. Photo: Audubon Vermont
Looking for tadpoles and salamanders. Photo: Audubon Vermont

We had a great time playing and soaking in the sun. It was so hot that we had to take off our warm layers. I haven't seen short sleeves in November in a long time! After playing, we hiked back up the hill to have lunch and Thank-You Circle. Most of us shared that our favorite part of the day was getting a chance to be silly and act like animals. We ended our day with some free play in the garden until our adults arrived. 

Photo: Audubon Vermont

See you next week! 

Monday 11/16

Monday's group also went to Beaver Pond because it was some of our playschoolers' favorite spot at Audubon. But first, we started our day by looking for animals around the garden. When we found all of the animals, we acted them out! This group loved pretending to be frogs, peregrine falcons and squirrels! My favorite was acting out a woodpecker by tapping on a tree and each other. 

Then, we moved into Morning Meeting to discuss the day. Our last Morning Meeting Leader of the session planned the day for us: 

Morning meeting board. Photo: Audubon Vermont

So, after snack and story we hopped aboard the noodle train and started downhill to Beaver Pond. This group also had to pay the 'Troll toll' in order to cross the White Pine boardwalk. Most of our jokes were statements that the group found funny, for example:

"Knock, knock!"

"Who's there?"


"Tractor who?"

"Tractor with a blister!" And the playschoolers erupted in laughter. On the way back we heard the same joke with a different punchline, this time it was "Tree with a blister." To be fair, I'm not very good at thinking of jokes on the spot. 

At Beaver Pond we had a blast climbing rocks, looking for salamanders, playing in the beaver blind and so much more! 

The whole crew climbed this rock! Photo: Audubon Vermont
Photo: Audubon Vermont
Using the beaver blind as a fort. Photo: Audubon Vermont
You can totally tell there is a big smile under that mask! Photo: Audubon Vermont

We went hunting for cattails because the group loves spreading their seeds. We also testing to see if the seeds would float in the pond. 

On a mission to collect cattails! Photo: Audubon Vermont
Spreading the cattails over the water. Photo: Audubon Vermont

Some of us also had fun playing with sticks and engaging in safe stick fights! I asked them what they were playing after taking the photo below and they said "Snow White"? I guess I missed this scene in the film...

Photo: Audubon Vermont

We ended our time at Beaver Pond with some tree climbing! 

Hanging upside-down! Photo: Audubon Vermont

After playing, we hiked back up the hill to our cubbies and ate lunch while listening to a few stories. We had a little free play time before adults started arriving. 

See you next week! 

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