We are so excited to be back and see our Forest Playschool friends! What a great start to a new session. We have nineteen weeks together and nine playschoolers, which means each kiddo will have two opportunities to be morning meeting leader and plan the day! On our first day, Emily and I decided we would be the morning meeting leaders to help ease us back into our routine. We also had two new faces to introduce in our morning circle - our new Spring semester education interns Ciara and Mady! Our returning playschoolers introduced themselves, helped explain the rules of our program and the flow of the day. During our meeting we resolved to craft, play an outdoor game and go on a hike. After snack, we dove right into crafting and coloring.
We colored, cut snowflakes and made masks by the warmth of the fire. We added all of our paper scraps to a bin next to the fire so that rather than going to waste, they would become kindling for future fires. Once our working space was cleaned up, we were ready to bundle back up for a hike! Emily and I offered up a few different hiking routes we could take, but we landed on Lookout Rock. This is an Audubon favorite because on days with clear skies you have a view of both Camel's Hump and Mount Mansfield. It's quite a steep hike in some sections, but this group handled it like pros!
It's hard to see in the picture above, but about half way through our hike we heard a perisistant drumming noise. My eyes darted from tree trunk to tree trunk until I saw a Hairy Woodpecker climbing a snag nearby. A snag is a tree that is presumably dead, but left standing because it is not dangerous and provides food and/or habitat for animals. The group stopped and watched the woodpecker create flakes of wood that fell to the ground like snow. Although we didn't spot any other animals in action on this hike there was plenty of evidence that animals had been there.
We found mouse and rabbit tracks! Mouse tracks are easily indentified by their small size and the line that runs between the footsteps. This line is the mouse's tail dragging in the snow.
We trekked to the top and had a photo shoot to prove it! Unfortunately, the weather wasn't great so couldn't see much of either mountain, but it was still a beautiful view. The steepest part of our hike was on the way down, so we encouraged playschoolers to keep lots of space between the people in front of them and scooch on their bottoms if they felt unbalanced.
Once we got to the bottom we played a round of 'What Time is it Mr. Fox' and had some free time outside before lunctime.
We finished our day with a late lunch in the barn. Soon after, adults started to arrive and it was already time to say goodbye. See you next week!