Archive for the ‘Animal clues & tracks’ Category

Autumn, in all her golden glory, is here. This week the children explored the meadow, full of wispy seeds, swaying grasses, and hopping insects. We discovered seasonal changes and compared them to changes happening in the forest. The birds are noticing the dimming light and eagerly searching for food, so the children made feeders to help them. We also observed fall foods for the birds, like spicebush berries and pokeweed, and painted with brilliant magenta pokeweed berries. We painted binoculars for closer investigation during our time in the bird blind along the trail, too. Berries abound!

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Just what do nature preschoolers do in Spring? Here’s what emerged this week as we discovered habits of birds in spring:

      • making a nests out of cat tail fluff
      • making binoculars with toilet paper rolls (it never gets old!)
      • finding “wormies”
      • creating worm homes in mud puddles
      • exploring the wetlands and making mazes through the cattails
      • tallying the birds we observed in the meadow
      • checking in on a tree swallow nest
      • making observational drawings of birds
      • scooping, measuring and pouring bird seed in the sensory table
      • sharing letters from our pen pals at the Audubon Nature Preschool in birding adventures

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The March winds sure were blowing this week at the Nature Preschool!  The weather was cold and blustery, rainy and warm, chilly and sunny, all in the same week!  We had a fun week looking for signs that spring really is on the way.  We learned that this is the time of year for bluebirds and other birds to begin making their nests, finding a mate and laying eggs.  We took a peek inside the nesting boxes in the meadow for evidence and we found one nest so far!  We’ll keep you posted on the rest.  We also had fun pretending to be birds.  We made our own nests inside with playdough, raffia, yarn, feathers and ribbon, as well as outside, using sticks, mud, grass and more.  We painted with watercolors using feathers, and drew in our nature journals as we observed many different types of nests.  We are constantly amazed by the skills our students are demonstrating!  Such artists! We took advantage of the super windy weather by using the parachute outside.  It was fun to see the waves that the wind made all on her own as well as creating our own waves.  Our poem of the month, Winds of March, was a perfect fit.  We learned sign language for “wind”, “blow” and “spring”, ask your child to demonstrate!  The children also made predictions about when they think we’ll be able to eat our snack outside again, any ideas?  Gosh, are we ready for spring?!

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This week children explored the ways that animals are equipped to hide and survive in nature. We used camouflage like other animals by using different colored fabric for fur coats.

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Children tromped in the snow and examined winter animal clues (we even found a raccoon taill…) We built forts with old Christmas trees, too. We are loving the all this snow!

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See how we searched for animal tracks and made some of our own during this snowy week!

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We continued to explore nocturnal concepts by comparing flighted creatures (owls, bats, and flying squirrels) with the possum habits we discovered last week. From making moon pies and moon play dough to meeting a live barred owl, this week was a hoot! Families also joined us for a hay wagon ride during American Education Week. Notice the hand-print owls, moon/stars mobiles, and leaf sit-upons we made this week, too.

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