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Wanderings in the Woods

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Today’s story in our circle guided us into the world of a family who was travelling to find food in the winter, when their youngest member, a baby, fell off the sled. Luckily, no child of the Earth is ever left behind and so all the animals gathered around the child to keep him warm until the family came back to find him. This is a beautiful tale about how humans used to be able to communicate with animals more freely and trusted in Mother Nature.

Next we split up into two groups. Julie’s group went to explore the caves and ended up by the Housatonic River. They crossed many bridges, saw many interesting nature items, and even a place where the gnomes had been at work! On their way back, the children noted and marked down some major landmarks to create a map. Keen awareness and orientation is needed to complete a task like that as well as focus and abstract thinking. Theresa’s group climbed large boulders and even went to sneak up on the FOREST group. They made it to the campsite by following a trail of cattail stalks, probably left behind by some bust children making cordage or mats. However, the FOREST group was nowhere to be seen. Maybe they were trying to find us at our campsite! 

After lunch around a fire, both groups shared some of the nature mysteries they found during their adventures. We did this by playing a game where the children selected an item in a bag from the other group. The teachers asked open-ended and challenging questions about each thing. Some of the items the children already knew, such as dandelion, pine bark and moss. There were a few things that are still a mystery: a soft grey pellet with small bones in it and a hard grey rough moss-like item. 

Our day ended with a game of Hawk and Bird tribe in the goldenrod field, and some time spent drawing about a place or thing we saw during our wander.

—Julie Kunz