As we step through the “Magic Hole” in the fence at the edge of our school yard, we decide together if we will go to the left or to the right, à gauche ou à droit? Lately, there has been lots of evidence of wildlife in the forest. Footprints and scat tell us where the deer and rabbits have been active. Yesterday, we noticed a dead squirrel who had been a meal for coyote or a hawk. Today, the remains were missing! Our discoveries sparked discussions about predators, prey, scavengers, and food chains. If we are quiet, we can often hear the sounds of forest birds. We listened to the songs of the crows and chickadees and made bird calls back to them.
From the top of the tobogganing hill, we could see much of southern Guelph, including the university and the OMAFRA building. But why can’t we see the city from the bottom of the hill? Sliding down the hill, the sleds seemed louder than usual this week. Why? This children suggested that the hill is long, there are bumps in the snow, and the granular melting snow is “icy” and “crunchy,” not “powdery” or “soft”.
As we continued along the walking trail, we spoke with Charlie, a neighbour we frequently meet on his (and our) morning walks. Charlie is going to become a first-time grandfather over the summer. Exciting news!
There is a clearing in the woods that we often stop at on our way back to the school. There are many recurring play themes that the children act out in the forest: Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, puppies and kittens, and evil wizards. Along the way, we collected a sled full of logs, pine boughs, branches, and grass that we brought back into our classroom. Another perfect morning outdoors!
As spring arrives, we will continue to spend lots of time outside. Please presume that your child will begin the day outside and continue to send him or her dressed for the weather. Sometimes children arrive with snow pants or splash pants draped over their arms or stuffed in their backpacks. We are anxious to go exploring, but sometimes we need to wait while our friends go back in the school to get ready. As the snow melts, extra dry socks and mittens will also come in very handy. Merci !