There was steady rain for much of the day today. It was cold enough that we could see our breath vaporising.
We had a Dad come in to shoot some video footage for us, he had to spend his time ducking in and out of the rain.
We had a Mum come to take photos for us, she often had to juggle her camera and an umbrella as she went about helping us record our day.
We arrived to a fire pit that resembled a swamp and proved to be a very challenging environment in which to light and keep any sort of respectable fire burning…but we rose to the challenge, persevered and managed to keep it going all day.
The ground was water logged and there was mud every where. Lots of mud. Thick goopy loose your boot kind of mud.
The children took it all in their stride. Waterproof clothes and wet muddy faces were the only sign that the weather was any thing but perfect.
They just don’t let the climate dictate how or when they play. They delighted in the mud and the water and the exciting new possibilities it added to their play environment.
They got changed if they got too wet or cold and headed back out to play. Occasionally they came for a cuddle by the fire to warm their cold fingers, but that was usually more of a chance to sit and have a quiet chat with a captive audience.
The day was filled with the usual delights…
…jumping in the mud pit
…filling the mud pit with loose bits to balance on and to dance on
…the bird feeders were finished off and tied into the apple tree. Its bare winter branches a stark contrast to the fruit laden ones that provided so many rich learning experiences in last terms outdoor kindy week.
…the beautiful clay bird feeder from yesterday went through a transformation to be become a treasured nest today. Completed with the addition of a warm hens egg, collected only moments after being layed by Rosie.
…the ‘water fountain’ from yesterday was a constant attraction over the course of the day. It was rebuilt several times, and at one point was even turned into a very expensive and fancy coffee machine
…the glorious goopy mud from around the campfire proved perfect for making mud pies
It was decided that the oven from the sandpit was required equipment in the mudpie kitchen. A slight mishap during the very complex moving process eventually saw it end up in the work shop for repairs rather than the kitchen.
…a sea plane was created, and could be found practicing its landings, cruising the murky waters of the mud pit and flying around the sky at various times during the day
…as always, water in any form engaged all the children at some point of the day. There were the challenges of trying to solve some of our drainage issues
…awesome problem solving and team work to try and move water from one place to another and engineer elaborate pipe systems to do so
…There was lots of climbing, balancing, jumping, swinging, digging and creating to be seen
…a group devising games to play with a long piece of rope complete with their own rules which constantly evolved along with the play
We picked lemons from our tree. They were cut and squeezed, then added to sugar syrup to create lemon cordial. We mixed it with soda water and made a delicious fizzy drink.
As our day, and indeed our week drew to a close, we came together in the rain to cook marshmallows on the last coals of our fire.
We have all really enjoyed the past four days playing and learning along with our wonderful group of children. We have again seen so many of the children blossom in this environment. They constantly amaze us with their capabilities, their resilience, their willingness to take risks and their ability to create the most engaging, meaningful, and authentic learning experiences from the enticing natural outdoor environment that we have immersed ourselves in. They constantly challenge themselves. They challenge us. They force us to continually reassess and reflect on the way we teach, the way we interact in their play, the language we use and the types of experiences and environments we value. It is a wonderful process to be involved in, and by listening to and including the voice of the children in what we do, we can provide a unique learning environment that values each and every one of the people that are a part of it.
Written by Nic.