Outdoor Kindy Week – Day 3

Today was our third day of outdoor kindy, however for the group of children that joined us this morning, and for Nell, it was their first experience of our exciting outdoor learning environment.  It was out mildest morning so far and yet still cool enough that the warmth of the campfire enticed many of the children and parents to sit on our logs and chat by the fire.

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We had quite a few visitors today….Joan (ECW) had her first day at our kindy today and will be joining us regularly for the rest of the term.  Jac spent the whole day with us, playing as well as observing staff interactions and collecting data for us.  One of our mums, Cindy, spent the whole day with us, and we had a dad, and quite a few mums help out this morning.  Jose from our regional office visited to see all of our wonderful learning, and Mrs Simpson (the reception teacher from Lobethal Primary) came and had her lunch and a chat by our campfire.

Some children began their day curled up on our crash mat giant lounge reading some stories with Lee.

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Others were quickly lured to the wonderful mud that remained in our digging patch creek bed after yesterdays play.  Shoes were discarded and cold bare toes squelched in the oozy mud.

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It wasn’t long before the water was once again running…

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During the day children came and went from the creek bed.  Bridges were designed and built,

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boats were sailed, and sharks were fished for and caught…

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mud pies, stone soup, and even a variety of creations with some fallen apples were mixed into wonderful potions.

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Pieces of hose were collected and the discovery made that once they were filled with water, you could blow through them and the water would spray from them just like a fire hose.   They even made the discovery that submerging the hose in the muddy water was a much easier option of filling it than attempting to pour the water in the tiny opening.

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As to be expected, the hoses weren’t the only thing that ended up filled with water!

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During the day the children worked on weaving a beautiful star on our fence.IMG_0740

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The pile of river stones that were delivered on Monday became the focus of many play experiences during today. Filling buckets to move the rocks, dumping the rocks,

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using the rocks to create stacks, and pots, and adding water, sticks and leaves

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One group built a trail of stones all the way down the hill. One stone after the other carefully chosen and gently placed into position, the track inched its way from the pile they had created at the top of the hill, across the playground.  Its snaking image attracted many passing children, and as it caught their attention, nearly all felt compelled to follow it right to the top of the hill.

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The creators of the bumpy stone track even created an awesome castle from pinecones and treasures from the wood heap.

 

 

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The small pile of stones that had been moved to the digging patch were collected, moved, examined, dropped into the water, rearranged and plopped into the mud.

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Once again trying to work out ways to get apples from the tree was an experience that engaged and fascinated many of the children.  Sticks, rakes and umbrellas were used to knock some of the apples from their branches.  Some elaborately designed hay bale and log constructions also proved a successful way to collect the juicy apples.

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Several of the children added more yarn and fabric strips to our branch wrapping.

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The art works for the fairy garden were popular with a few of this group who love fairy play.

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They were also very excited to sweep out the fairy garden area and discover the old fairy paths, and some special treasures from previous fairy inhabitants to the garden.

Nell and kiree put up the tent for us today.

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We even got to have rest time snuggled inside of it.

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A whole new playground area was created, tested, adjusted, redesigned and played on.

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There was lots of real work to do as well.  Water to be fetched, and pumpkin to be chopped to make a yummy pot of soup in the camp oven.

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Dough to be mixed and kneaded to make our flat bread.

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and of course there were lots of sausages to be cooked….on sticks, on toasting forks and on the grill plate.

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We even managed to make some popcorn on the campfire….thanks Cindy!  It was fun to watch and listen to the tiny hard pieces of corn pop into fluffy white popped corn before our eyes.

It wasn’t hard to find some willing volunteers to wash the dishes in the warm soapy water.

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There were sticks to use as tools to draw in the dirt…

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and as drum sticks on a small stone and stump drum set…

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In the afternoon construction began on creating a shelter from sticks.  Some of the children had made plans last week to make shelters/cubbies that the children will hopefully continue with tomorrow.

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There were so many wonderful skills and interactions to be seen as the children designed and though through how to bring their vision to reality.  They showed great  co-operation, negotiation, listening and thinking skills even at this early stage of construction. They worked out how to get ropes up and over the swing frame and tied the roped to help hold the branch structure in place.

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We had a lovely group times today where we could all reflect on the wonderful learning we had been involved in.

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With the chance of a shower tomorrow, we may all be faced with a few new challenges….and we cant wait!!!

 

6 Comments

  • jose

    The images of the children engaging in this really exciting outdoor learning space complete with interesting open ended learning resources are still in my thoughts – even while I am sitiing at my desk today! I saw a learning environment (this includes the teaching) that enabled the children to be resourceful (e.g solve problems like how to get one of those juicy apples), enterprising (e.g like how to build a shelter onto the swing frame), creative (e.g like how to protect those delicate plants that are beginning to grow) and so much more. A lot of thought has gone into planning this wonderful and engaging learning experience for the children. I know that the team are thinking about where to from here. That’s the Lobethal team for you – an insipred and committed group of educators who see children as capable and competent and provide the environment for children to express this in so many ways.

  • jose

    The images of the children engaging in this really exciting outdoor learning space complete with interesting open ended learning resources are still in my thoughts – even while I am sitiing at my desk today! I saw a learning environment (this includes the teaching) that enabled the children to be resourceful (e.g solve problems like how to get one of those juicy apples), enterprising (e.g like how to build a shelter onto the swing frame), creative (e.g like how to protect those delicate plants that are beginning to grow) and so much more. A lot of thought has gone into planning this wonderful and engaging learning experience for the children. I know that the team are thinking about where to from here. That’s the Lobethal team for you – an insipred and committed group of educators who see children as capable and competent and provide the environment for children to express this in so many ways.

  • Kerrie

    Thankyou to all the girl at our amazing kindy. You inspire and have opened the flood gates with what you have done this week. Could not ask for a more amazing team that has offered so much for the children to experience. Love it love it.

  • Kerrie

    Thankyou to all the girl at our amazing kindy. You inspire and have opened the flood gates with what you have done this week. Could not ask for a more amazing team that has offered so much for the children to experience. Love it love it.

  • Claire

    WOW WOW WOW! I am so totally impressed with your Outdoor Learning Week. However I am not at all suprised by the inspired, committed and creative staff of Lobethal Kindergarten. These children are oh so lucky to have an opportunity to experience outdoor learning through these creative and engaging ways.
    An inspiration for me in my teaching and I will be sharing with my team.
    A big pat on the back to you all!

  • Claire

    WOW WOW WOW! I am so totally impressed with your Outdoor Learning Week. However I am not at all suprised by the inspired, committed and creative staff of Lobethal Kindergarten. These children are oh so lucky to have an opportunity to experience outdoor learning through these creative and engaging ways.
    An inspiration for me in my teaching and I will be sharing with my team.
    A big pat on the back to you all!