Archive for the ‘Hello Friends’ Category

It can be scary for students and parents when the first day of school arrives. There are many new faces, routines and expectations. While there’s no way to eliminate first day jitters altogether, we were grateful that families participated in Monday’s Preschool Family Orientation. This gentle starts offers a glimpse into our routine (EX. signing the class roster and finding an arrival stone). It also allows teachers and peers to meet, followed by a scavenger hunt of our indoor/outdoor learning environments.

Orientation seemed to put everyone at ease, as classes this week ran beautifully! The children began feeling out the rhythm of our day and their role as a student in our learning community. Favorite activities this week include learning how to tell stories using story stones, sharing summer adventures with photos from home, and hiking to the overlook on the trails for the first time together.

One challenge for students is learning how trail walks in nature preschool are different from walks as a family. Staying behind the teacher is necessary for each child’s safety and something we will continue to work on all year!

Enjoy the photos below to see your child in action. We can’t picture every child each week, but this will give you a feel for what we’ve been up to.

exploring milkweed in the meadow 004 011 075 097 053 072 067 068 016




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Our students are back for another wonderful year at The Nature Preschool! This week was all about making friends and learning the trail. See what we were up to!

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stories from the seashell beautiful fall morning a closer look at the grasses








This Week’s Adventures: We explored how people and animals communicate. Our focus was on body language, vocalizations and speech.

Favorite Activities: We loved having visits from bilingual parents that shared Urdu and Hindi language with us. We also enjoyed practicing new ways to greet one another in many other languages. From making flags to singing songs in other languages, we celebrated language and many of the rich traditions brought to America from other countries.

Next’s Week’s Theme: Read All About It

Try this at home: When you are at the library or park, do you hear people speak languages other than English?

preschooler with flag map where's "W"? climbing getting a closer look what's in the vernal pool? searching in the water I love this pond! sploshing in the pond enjoying a mild fall daya visit to the wigwam

people paper chain gathering sticks Queen Sophie exploring a wet path mud and sticks like salt and pepper muddy exploration reading at the fire ring

peek-a-boo!our world suncatcher

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Thanks to all of you that attended the Preschool Family Orientation! What a fun way to start up our school year! The gentle rain made for a muddy scavenger hunt with many laughs that followed in the classrooms.

If you are a new parent to our program, check out this link to learn more about our weekly blog updates. Here goes the first post of our 2012-2013 school year!

This Week’s Adventures: Time to meet new friends and explore at The Nature Preschool!

Favorite Activities: We got to know each other as we shared our special “Me Bags” at circle time. We learned our hello and goodbye songs, too. We stamped special snack time placements and started making our nature alphabet book with the letter “Ff”. (We will be adding to this all year.) We loved making tape nature bracelets during our hike, smooshing pokeweed berries and playing hide-and-go-seek along the trail. We’ve been busy beautifying our classroom with our art this week, but be on the lookout for gorgeous work coming home next week. What a fun way to start the school year!

Next’s Week’s Theme: Animal News (letter “Aa”)

Try this at home: Go on a feather search! Look under trees and near bird feeders. Sort the feathers from big to small or by color. Try pressing them into soft soil to see if they can stand up or leave a print. Remember, you can’t keep feathers but you can have fun while taking a closer look!

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This Week’s Adventures: The students spent time learning about communities and the important jobs that make up a successful community. We also compared human communities to natural communities and what they share in common.

Favorite Activities: We loved creating a map of our classroom community and trying on several careers during Imagination Station time. We got a special tour of Irvine Nature Center to learn about some of the jobs people do here (Mr. Wally, who drives the tractor, is a superstar!) and we learned how to mail a letter with the fabulous Miss Evelyn. We also used our imaginations to become artists, musicians, police officers, construction workers, chefs, and teachers during our time in the Outdoor Classroom. There were a few superheros in the mix, too!

Next’s Week’s Theme: Counting to Winter (focus on letter “Nn”)

Try this at Home: Learn about careers! Write a letter to a special Aunt or Uncle asking about his/her profession (or use Skype if a visit isn’t practical).  Note jobs of people you commonly see this week and thank them for their help (grocery store clerk, trash collector, postal worker, waiter, bank teller, etc.)

Humans are part of the natural community. We live alongside animals like deer and strive to share and care for the natural community.

Miss Evelyn teaches us how to place stamps on envelopes to mail them.

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This Week’s Adventures: There are many things to be thankful for and many ways to show we are grateful. We explored our feelings of thankfulness as we learned about the special, uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving.

Favorite Activities: We were grateful for the cranberry sauce finger paint! We also wrote out things we are thankful for and included them on our cork turkey sculptures. We wove a special autumn tree as a class and practiced writing the letter “Gg”. We created cranberry heart wreathes for a bird feast on the trails. Most of all, we discussed all the people and things we feel so thankful for all year long.

Next’s Week’s Theme: Scientists for Nature (focus on letter E)

Try this at Home: Show a loved one (such as a parent, grandparent, sibling, or pet) how much you care about them by doing a special favor or chore for them.

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Savannah makes a shelter to care for her little animal.

This Week’s Adventures: We defined Earth and spent time exploring and discovering ways to care for Earth.

Paxton spies a mushroom.

Favorite Activities: We met our class “pets”, hundreds of baby horseshoe crabs, which we will raise and release in May. We discussed the special habitats where they are found on Earth. Every child got to name a horseshoe crab, too. We aslo sorted unwanted items headed for the trash and determined how each item could be used in a new way. Children practiced writing and painting “E” and brainstormed a list of more “E” words such as egg, eagle, ear, and eel.

Aiden makes a twig shelter for his little animal.

Next’s Week’s Theme: Animal Clues

Lucy inspects her earth shelter.

Try this at home: Discuss something special that your family can do to care for the Earth (or the plants/animals that live here). Ideas include collecting litter on a neighborhood walk (make sure discarded items are safe for your child to pick up), filling bird feeders, or planting a tree.

Christopher captures daddy-long-legs for a closer look.

Feeling Fall Comin’ On,

The Nature Preschool staff

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