This week saw our first snowfall of the season! What an exciting morning to be at preschool. The field was covered in a soft blanket of snow that was almost completely undisturbed, when the children arrived. They ran across the bridge with obvious excitement. Backpacks were quickly discarded and the fun started. Snow days like this, especially the very first one of the year, call for tossing out the schedule and embracing fun.
We ran and played. We threw snowballs and caught snowflakes on our tongues. Before long, someone decided it was time to build a snowman and our morning work began. It’s a challenging skill for preschoolers to learn how to make a snowball that they can roll and there’s a lot of negotiation that happens when a plan needs to be made. Where should the snowman be built? my snowball is too big for me to roll by myself, who can come and help me? What if we made a for instead? and so our morning went. First a snowman was built and then larger and larger snowballs were created, too big even for the teachers to lift! With those the children created their first snow fort of the season. The heavy and wet snow was perfect for packing and in no time they had built a wall. After a long and busy morning, we sat down for snack much later than usual. Instead of heading off to our usual play site after our snack, we ventured somewhere a bit closer and took advantage of all the snow to have some fun sliding!
This first day set the pace for the rest of the week. Wednesday we spent our morning building another fort on the other side of the field. Again we ate snack late, and went for a short walking adventure instead of heading to our play site again. The children were so engaged with building their fort, we just couldn’t bear to pull them away.
By Thursday, the snow in the field was spent. For the first time this week, we decided we should head off to our play site. It was a long adventure. The children noticed a lot of squirrels in the trees. We also saw three deer grazing on the hillside as we left the field. And when we got to our play site, there was downy woodpecker at work in the trees. There was something else unusual in our play site today too. The top of a small tree had snapped off and was lying on the side of the trail. Several of the children spent the morning working together to move to using ropes. The moved it down the hill to block the trail and create a “trap.” It was a lot of hard work. It took a lot of communication and discussion and conversation between the children to accomplish their goal.
And then they had to do it all over again later on, so we could clear the path and head home!