Backyard Fairies and Forest Friend Houses

The children displayed such patience waiting while those before them experimented!

The children displayed such patience waiting while those before them experimented!

Post by: Kylie Hamlin-Filkins

What an exciting day full of adventure for the Forest Kindergarteners. Our day began with an impromptu exploration of sound and vibrations using Sarah’s singing bowl. Without direction from adults, the children decided to take turns trying to figure out how to make the singing bowl sing! Each child patiently waited their turn to attempt to make the bowl chime using a wooden mallet. While cupping the bowl, some children struck the bowl forcefully, some quietly, some repeatedly, but the bowl wouldn’t chime. When it was Sammy’s turn, he set the bowl in the deck instead of holding it in his palm and it sang beautifully when struck. The children discussed what makes sounds and why they thought the bowl rang better on the deck (or a flat surface) compared to being cupped in a hand.

After our time at Ayeli, we hiked into the forest and made our way to Root World where the children began to climb trees, bake mud muffins, collect treasures, and further explore their abilities.

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For snack, we circled around and enjoyed hibiscus tea and a cashew trail mix. Jess read ‘In the Tall, Tall Grass,’ by Denise Fleming and ‘Scoot,’ by Cathryn Falwell. Kylie read ‘Backyard Fairies,’ by Phoebe Wahl. The children really enjoyed the stories!

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Larkin and Kylie made some bark rubbings with dirt.

Larkin and Kylie made some bark rubbings with dirt.

After snack time, the children were give the option to join one of three groups; forest games with Jess, explore the forest with Sarah, or make bark rubbings with Kylie. There was a lot of back and forth for some children. I could understand it being difficult to choose just one fun activity! After some time, all the children ended up in Jess’ group for games. We walked around the forest trail making our way to the ‘Junkyard’ but taking time to play in small groups along the way.

In one game, each child selected a forest treasure to be their forest friend and built a teeny tiny home for them. The homes were so intricate complete with chandeliers, swimming pools and diving boards, fences, chimneys, plates and bowls. I was thoroughly impressed with how thoughtful each child was in creating the house for their new forest friend.

Rain clouds rolled in and the educators began to set up tarps and put rain gear on each child. The Forest Helper headed back to Ayeli to prep lunch, and while our attention was focused on caring individual children, two children quickly and quietly followed the forest helper down the trail! When the educators did a head count, we called ‘Pineapple’ since we didn’t have the correct number of students! As we got out the phone to call the Forest Helper, she called us to let us know the children made their way back to Ayeli safely and were so proud of their independence. It was a great teaching opportunity for all of us. As Sarah mentioned in an email to parents and educators, we are making safety protocol improvements so it won’t happen again. We are so thankful for the positive outcome of this scenario!

More rain rolled in as we ate lunch at Ayeli and listened to the rain on the tin roof and deck. It was nice to be dry inside.  As we finished eating and had closing circle, the children shared stories about how they had been a friend during the day. They were proud of sharing with and caring for each other. We are looking forward to another fun day together at Earthsong after Spring Break!