I am gearing up for the winter session of the nature and arts based preschool (ages 4 and 5) The next session will start February 25th and will last 4-6 weeks on Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30. Registration can happen through me or Merrymeeting Arts Center (www.merrymeetingartscenter.org)
As I gather resources, I will determine the theme for this session. I am leaning towards Life in the Winter. If you are interested in the class for your child, please give me a sense of their interest via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). It always helps the brainstorming.
Enjoy the winter!
Life Under the Ice.
hope to take my boy to this. A great way get kids curious about winter life.
One of my favorite activities with children or anybody is mapping. I have done it with my classrooms and my son. It is always an adventure. I was thrilled when my husband and son had the idea to map the route to a favorite winter destination and then find a new route to put on the map. It is a day that provided a fun family adventure and a great memory and I hope some connection to our place and the natural world.
Charles shows me the old route and the new way he thinks we can go.
“I know the river is that way and we usually walk that way, let’s follow that stream!” Charles
A good crossing to add to the adventure feel.
John and Charlie compare maps and make a plan.
We didn’t make it to our original destination, but found a new favorite spot that we named “Old Pine Woods”
Some other examples of mapping with children:
Using blocks to map a room. The above picture is a kindergarten classroom. It is a perfect venue for children to use print and label items on their structure.
After the block map, we played a treasure game in kindergarten. We transferred the block map onto paper. Then, the children made a treasure to hide in the classroom. The secret spot was marked with an X and they had a wonderful time trying to find their friend’s treasure.
After a block map, children can transfer their knowledge to a drawing or painting.
These activities are easy to do at home and a good opportunity to get creative!
A great resource for mapping is Mapmaking with Children: Sense of Place Education for the Elementary Years by David Sobel
Texture and Trees
For our last session, we brought a lot of the things we learned together. The pictures below show some of our investigations and creations. The focus was exploring trees and tree parts and talking about their texture.
“Is this a seed or a pine cone part?” Caleb
“How do I pick these up, they break. I guess they feel breaky!” Ella
“Can we do art now?” L.L.Nick picked some “pricky” needles to create his clay collage.
“I have a pokey pine cone.” Lilla