Greetings Forestgarten Families!
Our first week has been full of wonderful adventures! Despite the heat wave, we have stayed cool and comfortable in the forest, which is mostly shade covered, and playing in the creek has certainly helped as well!
It was delightful to watch the children splash and play blissfully in the cool, crisp creek water. They found snails and a baby salamander, played on the slide with buckets of water, and built beautiful and creative sand structures.
During our main lesson, where children are offered the opportunity to participate in a practical or creative task or activity, we observed many of the students hard at work, or hard at play, as we like to say :) Some of our activities included rolling yarn into balls, sanding sticks found in the forest and watercolor painting.
The children were excited to see Ki Cerina and Ki Paulyna for Mandarin and Spanish. We will soon begin American Sign Language as well with Ki Emily. The new students jumped right into the lessons, while our returning students remembered many of the songs and vocabulary from last year.
Our story this week was called Deep in the Forest. It was about a bear named Bernie and was very similar to a fairy tale that we all know very well. Bernie is a curious bear who strays from his family and stumbles into some fun and not-so-fun adventures before returning to the safety of his mother’s arms. Ask your Forestgartener to fill in the details!
After lunch we move inside each day for rest time, which starts with a mindfulness meditation to help the students calm and relax their bodies. After the meditation, the students are read to quietly for a few minutes as they lay on their rest mats. Midway through the rest hour, a simple, quiet activity is offered at the classroom table for students who are still awake and want to participate. We spent this past week cleaning our block crayons, rolling beeswax candles, and coloring. After resting, the children played in the classroom to escape the hot afternoon sun before returning outside to the playground for closing circle and pick-up.
A few reminders:
· Pack a large, full bottle of water each day. We refill water bottles as necessary but it is helpful for the students to come prepared with a significant supply.
· Please send your child prepared to play in the creek. If they wish to wear a bathing suit under their clothing, that is fine; however, bathing suits are not required as long as students have an extra pair of dry clothes. It helps our morning to run more smoothly if students do not need to change into their bathing suit upon arriving at school, as we go into the creek around 9:30am. If your child does wish to wear a bathing suit, please be mindful that it should cover the entire torso area. ** If there has been a rain storm the previous night, we will not play in the creek the following day due to rising water levels and run off.
· Include all needed utensils in your child’s lunch box
· A wet bag or grocery sack is very helpful to store wet, muddy clothes in your child’s backpack
Thank you for sharing your child with us. We are so very excited for all of the adventures that lie ahead this year! As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.