Nature is the original playground ~ places to dig, treasures to collect, balance beams and climbing frames, branches to swing on. With packs on our backs, hats to shield us from the sun, sturdy walking shoes, water bottles and picnic lunches, we are set for a whole day of exploring. We identified aspen, oak, willow and maple trees, found many items of food for humans and other living things (apples, acorns, seeds and berries, fish and crawdads, rose hips), found evidence of beavers, saw ladybugs galore, and tested our endurance on a long walk, and conquered our fears of crossing the plank bridges. When you are walking with children, it can take thirty minutes to travel a mile, because there is so much to see and touch and smell and hear and experience. This was a great day of outdoor learning, and we talked about so much as we walked – nomads, ancestors, first peoples, camouflage, shelter, seeds, tracks, scat, floods, habitats, nests, migration, hibernation . . . I love to hike, and like nothing better than hiking with friends, so it was an absolute pleasure to share one of my favorite local hikes with our K/1 students.
Children and nature September 23, 2014