Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Popcorn over an open fire!

Teacher Roo starting the fire and teaching about it at the same time. 

A happy Tiny Trekker with her snack.
What do children learn from making their own popcorn over the fire?  First we start with fire safety.  The children must kneel down next to the fire before they add sticks to make sure they are stable near the fire.  They must walk around the fire and face the fire at all times while in the fire ring.  Then there is the making of the popcorn packet and putting it in the fire.  Wow!  The kids feel accomplished making their own food!  And when they take it out they have the satisfaction of having done it themselves.  Made their own snack!

At Tiny Treks Outdoor preschool the children are continuing to learn fire safety and how to build a fire and how to feed a fire.  These are essential skills for kids who are going to love the outdoors and everything to do with it: camping, hiking, caretaking.  That is our goal at the Tiny Treks Outdoor Preschool:  To help bring up children with an intense love of nature and the outdoors.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Climbing Trees, Snakes and a Garden!

The Monday TTOP kids found a great climbing tree!  We are excited that we are still finding cool spaces at Keep It Simple!  They climbed and played in and on the tree for ages.  When the Wednesday group found out there was a climbing tree, we eagerly went there and everyone tried out climbing or watched and learned, according to their abilities.
On Wednesdays we are having a gardening theme for the rest of the year.  We have already planted bean starts, and last week pumpkin seeds.  We are preparing the land for cucumber seeds and perhaps peas.  It is so exciting to lift up the cardboard and burlap that has been on the land to keep the weeds out.  Underneath we have found roly polys, spotted milipedes, red worms, earthworms and lots of spiders.  
 Last week we saw a garden snake making its way around the garden.  This week we were very sad to see that it had died.  We were all very curious about how it died.  Some ideas were the tractor drove over it or the cats killed it.  Either way we all mourned its passing.
We plan for our TTOP (Tiny Treks Outdoor Preschool) garden to make it through the summer and be another element in our outdoor teaching for our Fall Preschool Program.

Parents: We still have a few spaces left for the TTOP summer camps!

Tiny Treks "Expedition" Camp
Send your 3-6 year old child to experience camp with Tiny Treks!   Each day will be a new exploration while we plan an expedition into the woods with maps and flashlights.  One day we'll cook marshmallows over an outdoor fire and sing silly campfire songs.  Another day will be all about maps and adventures.  Activities each day include a short hike, circle time with singing and laughter, a craft or outdoor exploration.  Please send a snack and lunch each day.
June 23/24/25 930am-1230pm $100

Tiny Treks “Chrysalis to Butterfly” Camp
Your child will get to chase butterflies in the grass with nets and peer at chrysalis with magnifying glasses.  They’ll have fun crafting a chrysalis, caterpillars and colorful butterflies and learn butterfly songs..  Activities each day include a short hike, circle time with singing and laughter, a craft or outdoor exploration.  Please send a snack and lunch.
July 7/8/9 930am-1230pm $100

Tiny Treks "Gone Fishing" Camp
Kids love to pretend to fish!  Your young one will find and make their own natural fishing pole, learn about fish and the water then head to the woods and Bear Creek to “fish”.   Each day will center around who lives in and near the water in Bear Creek.  Activities every day include a short hike, circle time with singing and laughter, a craft or outdoor exploration.  Please send a snack and lunch.

July 21/22/23 930am-1230pm $100

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Getting the soil ready for planting

The Wednesday Tiny Treks Outdoor Preschool Kids (TTOP) were very busy this week getting the soil ready for planting.  We had to pull weeds (the teachers had to get rid of nasty big thistles ) and we had to pull up the cardboard and burlap sacks used on the soil to keep out weeds.  Then we spent lots of time filling up buckets with water, digging in the soil, making hills to plant seeds on and for the most part, working as a team to get the work done!
Everyone was very busy filling up and dumping water.  It was a perfect thing to do in the 80 degree weather.  We even had some fun running under a "sprinkler" when Teacher Ann put the hose up high in the air.  The water felt so good!

After we cleaned the mud off all of the buckets and shovels we put some little strawberry plants in the ground.  Next week we'll put some seed in and mark where they are.  Each week we'll check back to see if our seeds have sprouted.  With our strawberry plants, we'll see if they have survived this heat!

"planting" sticks in the ground.  Will they grow?
The Monday class looked at the differences in the tails of white tailed deer, mule deer and black tailed deer then we played in the woods looking for deer footprints. We made some if our own by the stream using potato molds.

We spent at lot of time planting sticks in the ground and wondering if they would grow. It was lots of fun using cups to take water from the beach to water our sticks in. Sometimes the water in our cup didn't make it to the stick especially if we squeezed the paper cup to hard on the way. We will check to see if our sticks have grown next week. 

Story time by the fire pit.
Listening to stories while having snack.

An overview of the class:
The kids are enjoying getting to know each other this session.  There are 9 kids on Mondays and 8 kids on Wednesdays.   We are working on learning to sit and listen during circle time, on raising hands before we speak in the circle, listening to stories and staying together as a group.  We are learning  how to be a "Bungy Kid".  This means that the children  are learning how far they can wander from the group before they need to come back.  Our safety rules are that they always must be able to see one of the teachers.  If their name is called, they must come right back. They can play with sticks but must watch where the stick is in space so they don't hit anyone.  We'll be working on all of these safety rules as the session continues.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Raccoons and Earth Day

 It was a raccoon-y time at Keep It Simple Farms.  On Monday the Tiny Treks Outdoor Preschool kids made masks and read stories about raccoons.  They went looking for raccoon prints in the mud and played in the woods.
On Wednesday we were talking about Earth Day.  We made crafts from recycled objects; container lids, wood bits, spools and practiced using tape and scissors.  We had a discussion about how we can make our planet better-recycling toys and clothes and things from the kitchen.  Picking up trash.  Then, we sang a fun song called:

Reduce Reuse Recycle Song ( sung to the tune of Have you ever seen a lassie)

Reduce Reuse Recycle, recycle recycle
Reduce Reuse Recycle It's easy to do.
Cause your world is my world, and my world is your world.
Reduce Reuse Recycle It's easy to do.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Quality Time in Nature

There was  lots of listening play today at Tiny Treks Outdoor Preschool.  We heard crows, compared the sounds of the small chicks with the grown chickens, and then we played sand castles by the river.  We made our own special leaf boats to sail on Bear Creek.  The water was flowing very fast today after all of our rain this weekend.

Farmer Leon  showed us a snake skin he had found on the farm.  The kids were having fun climbing up downed trees and enormous Douglas Fir Trees.  We are having fun watching the baby chicks become awkward teenager chickens.  

We, on the other hand, are far from teenagers and keep the wonder of childhood live by spending quality time in nature.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Nature's Art at Keep it Simple Farm

Tiny Treks Outdoor Preschool has been creating temporary nature art at Keep It Simple Farms.  It didn't take long before the kids got the hang of what we were thinking about.  They made rock piles, ferns and rocks and sometimes ferns and sticks.  And because they were children, they didn't feel compelled to make the art completely balanced the way an adult might.  They added a stick to the leaves and called it art.
Wednesday's class was so excited to find the art that Monday's class had created and now this week, to find some of their art still there and bummed to find some gone.  But then they quickly replaced the missing art with new art. The kids were wondering if other visitors at KIS are finding their art too!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

See saw Majorie Daw

The Wednesday We had an amazing time these past 2 weeks at Keep It Simple Farms.  First with the flooding, which got into our boots and was really fun to splash through and play with.  We did lots of pretending.  We have an ongoing game of family going on.  The kids want me to be the youngest with the kids choosing to be mother or father, older brother, grampa etc.  Soon it is time for my "nap" and then they spent a lot of time making me "hot chocolate" "chicken noodle soup" and other yummy concoctions from the water that had invaded one of our usual spots.

We spent a lot of time talking about why there was so much water. (everyone remembered the heavy rains of the week before) and watching how differently the water acted.  The water was flowing quicker than normal and over the beaver dam and over other big logs in the stream.

When we got to the designated deer sanctuary we found a  small log lodged in a tree.  Perhaps the Monday group had hauled it there?  We moved it over a few feet and voila-it became a teeter totter!