As we settled in to spring, the Fresh Air Learners have enjoyed a time of new growth and ever changing weather. Of learning new skills, perfecting old ones and complex imaginative play.
As the forest blossoms, so did imaginations. The children used their skills with whittling and knot tying to create pirate swords, fairy ladders and wands. All of which aided in their cooperative, social play in the forest.
A couple of our groups fell in love with string this year. Finger knitting kept our fingers moving; making headbands, belts, bracelets, scarves and necklaces. Sometimes there where “Finger Knitting Races” to see who could do the longest and the children reveled in seeing their creations growing much longer than the height of their own body. Once finger knitted was well mastered, one group moved on to braiding and finding new ways to play with string and yarn.
This season, we tested our balance and strength with the 4-6s by creating a zip line to ride. It took skill to master this new skill (proper group, tucking in the legs, holding on tightly) but the end ride was well worth the effort.
It seems that this season, everything has become something else in the imaginations of our forest kids. Logs became beds, tiny sticks place in soil became beds for pirates to nap in, rocks became anchors for pirate ships, and mud became chocolate milk, muffins and spaghetti sauce.
At the farm, we were put to work mucking out the horse stalls. This is a great opportunity to take a very active role in being a farmer. The children worked to separate the wet sawdust from the dry and shovel all the dirty stuff into a wheel barrow. We them rolled it over to the manure shed and shoveled it onto the pile to be used for the farm garden. Nothing on the farm is ever wasted!
Other farm highlights this month included making a fire with the group, jumping around and playing in the straw pile, feeding the animals, caring for the garden and one group of children declaring that the goats are their “BFFs”.