Friday, January 24, 2014

Thumbs Up and Thumbs down on ideas about the wind.

We're learning about wind and it was a wind-less day today.  But the kids spent time using their newly made fans, blowing around leaves and trying to blow rocks.  During circle time we discussed how we thought different things in the woods would behave if we blew on them.  Teaching the idea of "thumbs up for yes and thumbs down for no" we hypothesized that tree stumps would not move, spider webs would move with our wind and leaves would also.  Someone wondered if the fur on an animal would move-so we were off to go find out!

We first went to Lily the goat.  She was standing right next to the fence so we could blow on her fur a bit and it did move.  We proved that point!  Next on our hike we stopped to "feed" the "Talking Tree" and also tried to "blow it over".  Impossible!  Thumbs down with blowing over a tree stump.

We blew on a fern and its leaves moved.  So did the spider web and lichen.  We also watched the lichen scurry down the stream-weaving in and out of the rocks along with the current.

When we stopped on the way back to watch the horse in the sun with steam escaping from his nostrils, we all tried making steam from our mouths.  Oh yes-it was still cold out.  We could all see our breath!

Next time we get together we are going to pretend to be tornadoes by spinning around fast!  I wonder how many of us will get dizzy from it!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tiny Treks Outdoor Preschool having fun

We began the Tiny Treks day learning about wind and making our own fans.  We had fun seeing what things we could "blow" with the fans: some straw but not the rocks.  Our hair and faces.  The kids enjoyed cooling off Teacher Ann while played the guitar and taught them some of the words to "Blowin in the Wind."

Next it was on to the chicken coop.  I had found some chicken feed from when I kept chickens at my house-so I brought it in for the kids to throw for the chickens.  The chickens were very excited about this treat and so were the kids.  We even got to help gather eggs from the nesting boxes.  There were 13 eggs today!

Soon it was time for snack.  We headed over to the fire pit and scrambled up onto the new big logs that ring the fire pit.  We didn't have a fire but we enjoyed our snack and stories.  We read a book that had true and false questions about weather.  The kids really knew their stuff about weather!  Then we also read a story about Chinese New Years and learned all about the Lion and Dragon puppets.  We all thought they were pretty cool and maybe a little scary too!
After a rousing game of hide and seek in the woods we spent lots of time making and baking along the stream.  This is a northwest version of mud pies.  Instead of mud we used rocks and sand to make hot chocolate, ice cream, smoothies, strawberries and rocky road ice cream.  There was also some cake baking going on too.  The kids played in the stream for a long time-interacting with each other and using their wonderful imaginations.

Tummies began rumbling and it was time for lunch.  During lunch we read more stories and I also played more songs on the guitar.  It was a good day at Keep It Simple Farms with Tiny treks!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Learning about rain and water

Water play is fun any day of the year.  At Tiny Treks I often carry in my backpack some kind of cups or bowls.  When I get them out the kids just begin to fill them.  It might be with stones or dirt or leaves or water.  But they always are eager to fill them up.  I think this is like the story of giving your child an expensive toy and what they are most excited about is the box.  So all I need is the outdoors, a stream and some plastic bowls and I've got kids excited to fill up the bowls, water the plants along the side of the stream or throw the water back into the stream and watch it splash.  This week the water play went on for a long time.  So long that one of the kids said-"Teacher Ann-Its time to hike!" So then, I interrupted the play of the other kids so we could continue exploring.  But it lasted a good long time.

Tiny Treks Outdoor Preschool has a certain place along the trail that it loves at Keep It Simple Farms.  There is an area where the trees are all deciduous and easy to climb on and around.  The kids have games that they play every time they arrive.  Here is one of the trekkers "driving a car" on the tree.  "Beep Beep!"
During January we are learning about weather-so we got to have fun with shaving cream, water and eye droppers full of blue food coloring.  The idea was to add blue water to the "clouds" of shaving cream to see how much water a cloud could accept before it "rained".  The kids were very intent, watching the shaving cream fill up with the blue food coloring and then raining down into the jar.  We all had fun cleaning up as well!

Next week we are learning about the wind.  I'm looking forward to using straws and fans to teach how wind moves things around.