The month of September…
As spring continues we look for blossoms on the trees, greener grass and new growth in our bush. We begin to notice baby caterpillars, the sound of new birds and the way that the sun lingers for just a little longer each day.
As we notice these changes we see the children’s language vocabulary extended upon, in a more natural way than any classroom could provide.
“This leaf is light green, not like the one I found the other day, that one was a deep green, similar, but different.”
“Wow that tree is gigantic”
“No way its humongous!”
We support this learning of vocabulary by slowing down the bush walks, stopping to look on the ground, up in the sky, engaged in descriptive conversation with the children about all that is around us.
This learning then transfers into our journals and day book books, as the children describe in detail all that they saw.
In September, we were very adventurous and embarked on three excursions. The first was to Molesworth Environment Centre. Here the children participated in pond studies, bush walking, cave explorations, and damper cooking. On this day, we encountered some not so ideal weather as a snow storm approached. This did not deter our Big Bears, as they marched through the rain to head back to camp Peter (our guide) commented on their resilience and competent nature. He told us stories of grade three students who gave up half way through the walk our 3-5 year olds had just done and how they were unstable on the tracks that were uneven, consistently falling down and not resilient enough to get back up. Peter was so impressed at how the Big Bears cared for each other, helping each other over obstacles and sharing the resources provided for activities.
These are all skills our children learn from our current environment, skills that will carry them through life, creating adults that are self-motivated, confident, and strong-minded.
Our second excursion was to Sam’s house, a day of brushing, patting and feeding the horses. Here Imogen and Alinta were in their element, as they are our resident horse experts. However for many of our newer Tuesday children this was a completely new experience and with the support of the educators they were able to get up close and personal with animals they may never have been exposed to before.
Lastly we held a weekend excursion to Waverly Flora Park, for a morning of scavenger hunting and campfire lunch. For those that came it was clear as to its success, with so many Big Bear families joining us we mingled, laughed, adventured and filled our bellies. It was wonderful for the children to show off their bush walking abilities to their families and share to wonderful delights of playing in the bush.
Whilst back at the centre we have still been engaged in many of our own adventures, one being that we have found a new game called the coo-wee game. Taking a walkie-talkie each, the room splits into two, one group bush walking one way and the other in the opposite direction. During this time, we communicate through the walkie-talkies’ to assess where the other group is, often finding each other across valleys and large open fields. During this game we see how comfortable and well know the bush is to our children. They have developed an acute sense of direction, as they can always point back towards Big Bears or many other specific landmarks.
Our game has sparked many new ideas and interests. One morning Peter arrived with a postcard sent form his grandparents. On the front was some pictures of cassowary birds, together with many of his friends Peter discussed these birds, wondering if any lived in our bush. Later on as we bush walked the hunt was on to find a cassowary. The children searched high and low. They listened intently on the sounds coming from the bracken ferns, and they scoured the ground for clues, tracks and poo. “It’s such a mystery.” Lochlan told his friends, upon closely following some tracks that lead into a hole.
On our way back the discovery was made, a true Cassowary skull! Peter carried it back to examine with all his friends, placing it high in our museum to keep for further investigations.
Also on our journey’s we have made the most wonderful discovery of a cave! Just big enough to let three of four children crawl in, we have enjoyed hiding away and exploring all the rocky formations that surround it.
Lastly we finally found the perfect space to set up our giant camping tent! Together children and educators from all rooms worked together to set it up, celebrating by the whole centre having their sleep and rest times in it. This tent has given us the room to accommodate everyone who wishes to sleep outdoors and in any weather. We couldn’t be happier with it!
This month has had such a tremendous amount of learning, we are seeing literacy and mathematics everywhere, as the children’s nature explorations transfer into their stories, their journals and their games.
All of our educators will be contributors to our blog. We really enjoy our daily reflections as we revisit our days with the children and their achievements and successes. These blogs will share the stories of the children and the beauty in our days. We hope you enjoy them!