• Andrea Eilers

Fresh Forest

We have said goodbye to snowy, slippery days and instead have been celebrating the emergence of spring!

Gone are the parkas and snow pants in exchange for our rain gear! Our resilient children barely skipped a beat as they smoothly transitioned from one season to the next. It was so exciting to see the wonder expressed when a child noticed a twig budding into life! It’s a blessing to be with a child when they're welcoming a slug from their winter’s sleep!

Welcomes we have had in abundance! Imagine a busy, curious child stopping to sit in silence on a stump in the dappled light of a fresh morning. After some time, they share that they hears birds. They've been tuning their mind to the conversations of our forest friends and soon after, discerning between birds chirping and a squirrel’s chatter. Being surrounded by nature through the seasons has allowed the children to, in their own way and on their own time, notice and appreciate the rhythmic ebb and flow of time. As their bodies, friendships and skills have developed with a similar ebb and flow, each child has been able to settle into the ecosystem which has given them the opportunity to emerge, nearly a year later, almost as reborn as their environment.

Each child has come so far. One can now use two hands to put away their belongings, another stops to ask a friend who tripped if they are ok, boundaries are created to protect saplings, slugs or their own need for space. Nature works in harmony with each piece seeking what it needs. The kids have really blossomed in this area. Collaborative problem-solving takes time, patience, decision making and yes, all too often and usually for the best results --- re-do’s! Children are such natural innovators given the time and creative licence. It’s music to our ears when a child expresses gratitude to another peer, “Your idea to use the longer stick was just what we needed! Yay!”. We teachers become so moved when we notice these conversations, trials and expressions of thanks – we often smile across to one another with our hearts happy.

One of the biggest highlights of the season has been worms, well, maybe both worms and POOP!

There have been countless poopy giggles, songs, stories and yes---books! Our forest friends love their poop, unless it gets on their boot of course! But hey, poop happens!

Meanwhile, amongst some poopy sounds and chuckles, we created worm kingdoms with containers of all sizes and shapes. They were adorned with twigs, pebbles and sometimes topped off with yup, another worm…..consider this….earlier in the season worms were GROSS! YUCK! I’m not touching that! Oh, but now….the baby worms and big daddies are all getting handled with loving care…!

It’s really cool to have the dirt and worms in clear containers to see with our x-ray eyes what their underground world looks like for them. It’s really fun to pretend to be a worm yourself, wiggling across the ground without using your hands to move from one place to another – that’s really hard…and very fun to watch!! The kids used little ropes as wormy friends and a big rope as a worm on the war-path! Don’t let the wiggly, rope-worm touch you! Jump high! Incorporating one of our favorite songs: “Herman the Worm” wrapped up some of our fits and giggles in a lovely bow.

We thank you so much for bringing your kids to us each week. It has been our deepest pleasure to work so intimately with them in this exceptional environment. Not every parent would be willing to put their kid out there in the elements, getting dirty, falling down and carrying their own gear! Hi five gang!

Looking forward to berries, chicks, bumble bees and blooms. See ya later alligator!


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