The fire crackled to life with very little effort this morning. As far as the weather goes, this morning was the nicest so far, cool but not cold, cloudy but no rain. We did get showers over the course of the day, but they really went un-noticed by the majority of the children. Those that chose to keep removing their waterproof clothing spent the day having their play interrupted by the need to keep returning to their lockers to put them back on as each shower came. The children who kept theirs on, continued their play, generally unphased by the weather conditions around them.
Todays group of children was the largest we have had at an outdoor kindy session. The bugs group plus half the frogs group (who have been with us the last two days) joined us ready for a full on day of outdoor kindy fun.
It was interesting to watch the dynamics of the group today. For the majority of the children it was a brand new experience. As they were spending time familiarising themselves with the new environment, exploring all the loose parts available, and discovering all the play provocations and what they had to offer, there were also a small group who were looking to repeat and extend experiences that they had been part of over the past two days.
As always, there was a huge focus on mud and water in the play of the children. Watching the water spray in a fine mist from the hose and trying to catch just the right amount of the sunlight to create a rainbow.
Collecting water and pouring it down the gutter, leaves racing down and dissapearing out the end, as the water continued to cascade over the sparkling coloured tiles.
Finding big puddles of cold water left from the rain and jumping into them, the muddy water splashing up legs and over anyone and anything that was close enough. The infectious laughter of children as they encouraged each other to try and jump harder and splash bigger.
Dirt was dug by shovels and little hands, and loaded into wheelbarrows that became very tricky to manipulate as their weight increased and the ground become uneven from all the holes that were dug. The excitement as water was added and the dirt turned into thick, squelchy and heavy mud.
The watercourse was a hive of activity in the afternoon as pipes, bamboo and tubes were connected to move water from one part of the digging patch to the other. Children clambered around, working alongside one and other. They chatted and planned, negotiated, listened, put forward ideas and hypothosies, and worked together to devise ways to make their ideas become reality. Then worked through the whole process again to adjust their ideas when things didnt quite go to plan.
We made some special paint with watered down clay, it squelched in our hands, and the colour remained long after the painting was completed. We used it to paint the back wall of our digging patch area in gentle hues of colour. The thick paint making beautiful patterns as each brick was coloured one by one.
Our mud kitchen area, which was rearranged yesterday to create more space for the digging patch, had some finishing touches planned.
Inspired by some gorgeous slabs of wood bought in by one of the families yesterday, a few of the children helped design a sign for the mud kitchen. Katie and one of the mums used our new wood burning tool to start making it. The children have decided to call it the ‘MUDDY PUDDLE KITCHEN’
A long clear piece of tubing become a fascinating experiment as a couple of children discovered you could blow water out of the end of it. It was hard work, but oh so much fun when they managed to get water spurting from the end.
There was unlimited fun to be had in a cardboard box.
There was time for sitting around the warmth of the fire enjoying the company of our friends.
Time for cuddles with little visitors, equally fascinated by the dancing flames and warmth of the campfire as the kindy children.
Time for a few silly selfies….ok some of us may have taken a few more than others 😉
Today we also had a visit from one of our mums in her ambulance! She talked to us about keeping safe, and the sorts of things that ambulance officers do….she even pretended to do some first aid on some people.
Then we all got to look through the ambulance, and even saw the lights flashing and heard the siren sound.
We had some difficulties getting our pizza oven going properly today, but as luck would have it, our lovely friend that made it for us dropped in with some apples and made a few adjustments so its all ready to fire up again tomorrow.
We still cooked fruit toast, sausages and marshmallows on the fire over the day though.
Ropes have become a fascinating tool to create so many different experiences with this week, and the children are particularly enjoying the challenge of climbing and balancing on ropes.
There were some fantastic structures created today using lots of loose parts from around the yard.
We had a very busy and exciting day. There are a few VERY tired children (and staff/prac teachers/work experience students!) after three days straight of outdoor kindy, and some that are chomping at the bit to get back for their second day tomorrow. We are really looking forward to another day filled with amazing play experiences and muddy faces tomorrow.