Welcome to outdoor kindy week for term 3! We knew that we were in for a cold and wet outdoor week this term. We made sure we were all prepared with our waterproof coats and pants, rubber boots and warm clothing…after all, we totally agree with the saying – there is no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing!
There had been heavy rain over the weekend, but despite it being only 3 degrees at 7am this morning, there was no immediate threat of torrential downpours.
Our first challenge for the day was getting our campfire lit. The children had dug out a new fire pit last week, but it seems that the placement could have done with a little more planning – it filled with water soon after being dug, and although we emptied the water and made it quite a bit shallower late last week, it once again resembled a small swimming hole this morning.
We made the decision to use the old fire pit, it was also really wet and muddy but we were determined to get it going.
It was a struggle at times to keep it burning enough to get coals to cook with, but we did it. Today we cooked sausages,
we made use of our new outdoor kitchen area,
and enjoyed wrapping potatoes in foil and baking them in the coals.
We warmed ourselves by the fire, and it was a great place to share a few songs and a chat.
Our stumps were often seen with pinecones and other treasures balanced precariously on top as the children went about their work.
The sun shining through the hazy smoke of the fire was fascinating to one of our boys, and he captured this gorgeous photo of it.
The ‘new’ unused fire pit proved to be much more fun left filled with muddy water. The children spent lots of their time walking through, running through, jumping in and splashing around in the cold muddy water.
We experience rain and hail today, yet the children still searched out more water. They discovered that the tap near the digging patch could be spun around, and there was water going in all directions.
They also discovered that if you do this enough times the tap unscrews and blows off the pipe!!!
This proved a great learning experience. Not only was there the absolute joy of an instant water spout reaching high into the tree before it cascaded back down to earth….right on top of your umbrella…
but then there was the need for the water to be turned off at the mains, and the opportunity for working out if, and how the problem could be successfully fixed.
We have some very knowledgeable and industrious children in our group who were ready, willing and able to take on the challenge and get the job done!
There was an awesome creek flowing for a while after all this happened. Perfect for jumping and splashing through.
The chooks, and duck seemed some what bemused about the unrelenting flurry of activity about the yard.
They wandered around, and particularly enjoyed the jumping on and scratching the bales of hay.
Now that we are once again letting them free range in the yard when possible, they are getting very used to the children, and even seem to quite enjoy the occasional cuddle.
Apart from the staff and children recording much of what goes on during the week with the cameras, there was also time for some reflecting, writing and drawing to add to the floor books.
One of our wonderful mums went and picked up some bales of hay for us this morning.
As always they were a constant source of joy for the children.
Today they were used for hiding behind, climbing on, and then for a great game of climbing up to get some height before launching themselves onto the crash mat.
It took some if the children a while to sit back and assess the risk before joining in with delight, while for others the thrill they knew would ensue as they flew through the air was an instant attraction.
It was wonderful to watch as they encouraged each other, accepted the fact some took longer to join in the fun than others,
or happily watched as some adapted it to suit their perception of how much risk was acceptable for them to take….for some that was a full on dive to the mat, others decided a jump that had them landing on two feet was more their style.
Although we didn’t get too much rain today (we did have enough to keep it challenging though) there has been a lot of rain in our area lately. The space the children were using to create a small creek last week was particularly waterlogged, and has turned into the most glorious squelchy, sloppy, boggy, muddy and totally irresistible little patch.
Its virtually impossible for anyone (staff included) to resist the urge to step into it as you pass.
There were many of our little group drawn to the tools today.
Some used the saw to cut pieces of irrigation tube to make the hose longer, and try to make floods in the sandpit.
There were some creating at the woodwork table
And others who experimented with the clay
One very creative young man made this tea pot at the woodwork table
then moved to the clay table to make a cup to complete his set.
There was always a willing army of helpers ready to give us a hand with all the ‘work’ like filling the water tub that supplied us with hot water for washing hands, and dishes during the day.
Our children are now very used to creating there own play unrestricted by the provision of commercial toys. We supply them with tools and materials to foster their creativity and further their relationship with the natural environment and each other. Things such as grabbing a plank to use as a guitar are common,
but nether the less, still make us happy and proud of our amazing children every single day.
An amazing stick that looked like a hand engaged one of our boys today. It could high five, dig in the mud, reach the high branches of the tree, tap you on the shoulder, hand from a branch, reach a multitude of things normally way out of reach.
The language and excitement that a simple stick could evoke was awesome.
Some digging in the yard unearthed lots of living treasures.
Witchedy grubs, worms and bugs were amongst the discoveries. One inventive little collector even created a special ‘home’ to temporarily showcase his treasures.
There was also the ongoing physical challenges…..if you need a seat some where you need to find and move a stump.
It never ceases to amaze us how much determination and strength the children show in completing tasks like this.
Of course all that hard working means we all need a little down time. A rest time on the veranda….the sun even came out to warm our weary bodies for a while.
It was if our natural environment knew and appreciated the excitement and importance of the beginning of another outdoor week, our very first sweet peas on the living tunnel decided to burst into flower today.
We are all tired, but eagerly looking forward to the rest of the week!
Written by Nic.