Outdoor Kindy Week – day 5

We had hoped for a few showers during the week to challenge us all just that little bit more, however we had been blessed with beautiful crisp autumn weather, until today.  This morning we were reminded of the imminent arrival of winter.  We woke to the sound of steady rain, but as the children began to arrive, the clouds seem to lift a little.  With the campfire burning steadily,

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gumboots, rain coats and brightly coloured umbrellas soon filled the yard.

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They came prepared.

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Prepared to enjoy the wonderful outdoors in all its glory. Excited at the prospect of no one wanting to usher them inside away from the joys of exploring the rain soaked yard, hearing the calls of the frogs as the water soaked the ground, getting to splash in puddles, and feeling the rain run down their faces.

It was only a small group of children for our half day Friday session.  It was fascinating to watch this group return, after the Wednesday/Thursday children had constructed a whole new world to the one they had left on Tuesday afternoon.

They played hide and seek….

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explored the sensory garden…

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searched for frogs…

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jumped in puddles…

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played in the soggy wet yard as though it were a warm summers day, but the thrill of the added excitement of rain and puddles was clearly evident…

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explored making catapults…

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enjoyed the cosy shelter that had appeared during their absence…

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ate sausages cooked on the campfire…

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Several very clever thinking little people realised that the best way to avoid getting a wet bottom sitting on the logs around the fire was to sit on someones lap 🙂

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There were some children with umbrellas….

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and some who made do and invented their own…

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With the abundance of squelchy wet mud in the digging patch, there came a procession of such delicacies as this chocolate, vanilla, porridge pie…

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A few children made some small additions to the shelter…

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Some sheltered for a while under the gazebo, and as the rain continued around them, they busied themselves sawing, hammering and creating…

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The excitement of the roof of our kitchen gazebo filling with water again and again was delightful…

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As always there was the real work of carting wood for the fire, and for whatever exciting play adventure for which it was needed…

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Our final morning of outdoor kindy together was completed with cooking more marshmallows, for ourselves, for our friends, and even some for the lucky mums, dads and siblings who had come to collect the children.

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Once the children had gone home, the loose hay and fallen apples were raked up and thrown to the chooks, the camp cooking equipment was cleaned and oiled, wood was stacked and the yard was tidied and reset ready for next week. It is noticeably still bare from the usual clutter of steel and plastic pre – made climbing equipment and toys, the children showed such remarkable skills in resourcing their own learning, creating their own play spaces and enjoying the natural environment during this week, that we feel our outdoor learning experience together is far from over.  We are ready to adapt to the weather,  and let the children lead us in learning so much more about all the fantastic, meaningful learning that we can do outdoors, we look forward to the children continuing to show us what amazingly competent young people they really are.

Once all the packing and tidying, in the torrential rain, was completed, we sat inside by the heater….we were soaked everywhere our coats didn’t cover. We mused over the fact all the kids were prepared with dry clothes just in case, but none of us thought to bring any.  We enjoyed a delicious cup of spiced pumpkin soup to warm us up…

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(one of our beautiful mums made it for us while her child spent the morning with us…thank you SO MUCH to Ali.  And thanks Kirri for the lovely thank you basket – we have loved having you share this experience with us) 

We then reflected on our week. We viewed many of the 100s of photos that have helped record the amazing journey that we have all been part of this week. We laughed, we reminisced, we were thankful for the amazing support received for this week from every one of our kindy families.  The children came prepared and encouraged, their excitement about the amazing experiences shared with equally excited and proud parents.  We shared stories of the inspiring, engaging, fantastic learning experiences that have surrounded us over the past five days.

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We have seen over and over this week, indisputable evidence of what we already knew –  what amazing, capable, competent, creative, resilient, and happy children we have the honour of spending our days learning with, and what a natural, relaxed, unpretentious relationship they have with our natural world and all the joy, success, challenge and freedom it can and does offer them.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

  • natasha

    What a fantastic group of preschool teachers. All this joy in just one week, I can just imagine the fun experiences these kids have during a whole year!

  • natasha

    What a fantastic group of preschool teachers. All this joy in just one week, I can just imagine the fun experiences these kids have during a whole year!

  • Janice Jenkin

    Thank you Nic for your fantastic recording of our amazing week you are a very talented blog writer. I know that we are all looking forward to the coming weeks to see where this experience leads us and the children. We have all learnt so much this week and I think we all agree that Outdoor Kindy week has been an awesome success. As a kindy we are truly blessed to have such a supportive community that we never take for granted.
    See you outside next week and beyond!

  • Janice Jenkin

    Thank you Nic for your fantastic recording of our amazing week you are a very talented blog writer. I know that we are all looking forward to the coming weeks to see where this experience leads us and the children. We have all learnt so much this week and I think we all agree that Outdoor Kindy week has been an awesome success. As a kindy we are truly blessed to have such a supportive community that we never take for granted.
    See you outside next week and beyond!

  • Sophie Rogers

    What a wonderful story and week. It is great to see the children enjoying a wide variety of play outdoors. It’s fantastic to see the great support for outdoor learning from staff, children and parents. This is an inspirational story that i would love to share with other early childhood learning sites. I look forward to seeing pictures of bush kindy!

    Sophie, Natural Resources Management Education Officer

  • Sophie Rogers

    What a wonderful story and week. It is great to see the children enjoying a wide variety of play outdoors. It’s fantastic to see the great support for outdoor learning from staff, children and parents. This is an inspirational story that i would love to share with other early childhood learning sites. I look forward to seeing pictures of bush kindy!

    Sophie, Natural Resources Management Education Officer