This last week of February gave us quite a show. We had a little bit of every kind of weather you might ask for at this time of year. Snowy and wintery, sunny and mild and a few days right in between the two. I wonder what this first week of March will bring? The forecast is calling for lots of mild spring weather in our future. Let’s cross our fingers and hope it hold’s true!
This week the children continued to explore their play sites. With the warmer weather, our snowy sliding hill has turned into a muddy digging hill. There’s still some snow tucked into the shade at the bottom but this week brought the mud. Some of the children enjoyed sliding and climbing through it. Others brought out the shovels and started digging. They even found a very sleepy worm! They were very excited to wake him up and show him off to everyone else. Luckily, these children are also very careful and considerate and made sure to put the worm back where they found him before we packed up for the day. Some of the other children spent their morning with Krystal, engaging in more lessons on fire building and fire safety. Miss Krystal brought a special new tool that the children were all eager to try out. It was a flint and striker, a tool that creates sparks to light the fire without a lighter or matches. The children were all able to take a turn trying to use the new tool. It requires quite a lot of different skills: strong fine motor skills, well-developed hand and eye coordination, and the strength to provide enough pressure to make sparks. It was a great learning opportunity. In the end, however, none of the children were able to consistently produce sparks in the right spot to get the fire lit. Luckily Krystal has all the requisite skills to use the flint successfully and was able to start a fire for the children to warm up around.
On Tuesday and Thursday, the weather was a little bit less spring-like, but it was certainly still pleasant out. The pathway to Curly Willow Bend is still a bit of an icy mess to traverse but it is slowly melting and offering up better footing. Our log bridge was a bit slippery this week though! All that slushy snow is sticking the children’s boots and creating all sorts of icy problems. We are all very careful though, so we made it across without incident, all week. At Curly Willow Bend the children continued to explore and climb on the fallen trees at the far end of the play site. Several of the children engaged in extensive narrative play, creating stories and games throughout the morning. Unsurprisingly, most of these children are our older students, the ones heading off to kindergarten in the fall. They did a great job displaying their maturing play skills. They collaborated, negotiated through conflict and carried the story for more than an hour. Other children spent the morning with Krystal, again trying their hand at fire basics. These children were also eager to use the flint and striker to try and start a fire with no lighter or matches. They were all very careful to listen and follow the directions. Some of the children were more coordinated than others and more successful at creating sparks, but again none of them was successful enough to light the fire. While I am looking forward to some spring weather, I hope the snow doesn’t melt so fast that we don’t get a few more days to practice with that flint and striker!