For the past several weeks we have been enjoying everything that is sticky, muddy and chilly in nature! We have been starting our days with free time. This free time includes activity choices in one of our many interactive areas offered at the Boardman River Nature Center. Naturalists are able to create anything their heart desires in our Creative Corner! With plenty of paper, glue, glitter, craft sticks, you name it, they can create it. At the end of every class we make sure to gather natural materials from around the nature center to add to our Natural Parts Lab! Here, naturalists are able to plan, build and use their creations made from natural materials from our own “back-yard.” Lately, mixing all of these materials together in one sensory bin has been a favorite activity. Another option in our cozy classroom is the Nature-Nook! The Nature-Nook is a cozy space to take a break or read a good book. With pebble pillows and log cushions, we feel right at home and bring the outside, in!
In the past weeks Ms. Rachel and Ms. Madeline have brought some CRAZY fun activities to the group. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Halloween Sensory Game- Retrieving spooky, plastic spiders from cotton-webs with tweezers
- Reptile Skeleton Creation- Using Q-tips as bones, glued to a pattern of a reptile skeleton like a Eastern Box Turtle
- Create your own Pumpkin Slime!- Clear Elmers Glue, Liquid Starch and Pumpkin Guts!
- Homemade Applesauce- Peeling, slicing and coring apples using special tools to create our own apple sauce with a pressure cooker. Delicious! Apples + Cinnamon + InstaPot (8 minutes)= Applesauce!
All of these crafts and activities usually make us SUPER hungry. Our group has become accustomed to eating half of our snack to keep our bellies happy and saving the rest for after outside-time. We love to read stories during this snack time and love to share stories about what we love to do outside of Nature-School.
After snack time, we head outside for the rest of our time at Nature-School. In the past weeks we have had a ton of fun exploring the Natural Education Reserve. Here are just a few of the fun activities we have had the opportunity to do:
- Worm-hunting!- We LOVE to search for Earthworms and other creatures under rocks and log. No shortage here!
- Painting Animal Tracks- Water and food coloring are the key. Grab a paint brush and paint any animal tracks you find in the snow! This will make them extra easy to see.
- November Mud Play!- We were SO excited to play in the ooey gooey mud. Ms. Rachel provided us with pots, pans, shovels etc to create copious amounts of mud-pies! We stayed warm in dry in the awesome new Oaki rain-suits Ms. Taryn got us for the Nature Center’s new Gear Library! Too much fun!
We look forward to what the rest of our winter sessions bring and much more snow play! Registration is open for our Winter/Spring 2020 session. We encourage you to sign your naturalist(s) up for even more year-round fun!
Thank you for sharing with us these bright young minds!
-GTCD EE Team