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.
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.
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.
It wasn’t long before the water was once again running…
During the day children came and went from the creek bed. Bridges were designed and built,
boats were sailed, and sharks were fished for and caught…
mud pies, stone soup, and even a variety of creations with some fallen apples were mixed into wonderful potions.
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.
As to be expected, the hoses weren’t the only thing that ended up filled with water!
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,
using the rocks to create stacks, and pots, and adding water, sticks and leaves
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.
The creators of the bumpy stone track even created an awesome castle from pinecones and treasures from the wood heap.
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.
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.
Several of the children added more yarn and fabric strips to our branch wrapping.
The art works for the fairy garden were popular with a few of this group who love fairy play.
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.
We even got to have rest time snuggled inside of it.
A whole new playground area was created, tested, adjusted, redesigned and played on.
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.
Dough to be mixed and kneaded to make our flat bread.
and of course there were lots of sausages to be cooked….on sticks, on toasting forks and on the grill plate.
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.
There were sticks to use as tools to draw in the dirt…
and as drum sticks on a small stone and stump drum set…
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.
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.
We had a lovely group times today where we could all reflect on the wonderful learning we had been involved in.
With the chance of a shower tomorrow, we may all be faced with a few new challenges….and we cant wait!!!