Place Based Preschool Winter: Life under the Ice

Life under the Ice

When I knew that I was going to do a winter session for the Place Based Preschool, I was immediately inspired by thinking about under the ice.  The safest way to do this investigation in late winter was with a local pond.  We gathered near a nature trail in our town and began our session with some fun games and some review from our woods visit last week.  We found more tracks and the children had some immediate thoughts about them because of our investigation last week.

“I think that animal might have a tail because of that long mark.”  Caleb

place based preschool winter 2013 001Although, the children didn’t always get it right.  Their comments and inquiry were what I was looking for at this stage.  I feel the purpose of this class is to get the kids outside and thinking about the world around them.  Their thinking can go in many ways and I love to see what some children find fascinating and others just want to move on.  As long as they are surrounded by that wonderful natural environment and they are curious, I am happy.

After playing with snowshoes and looking for tracks, I introduced the children to a classic game called “Fox and Geese.”  It is a great way for children to enjoy the snow.  The group worked together to make our playing field.

1.  We used a person in the center and a rope to make a circle with our own tracks.

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2.  We used the rope to divide the circle into 6 equal parts.

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When we finished, we invited parents to play this unique tag game.  The hub (center) is safe and all the children are geese except for one, the fox.  As soon as a goose is tagged by the fox, they turn into the fox.  All children must stay on the tracks made.

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After the game, we were ready to take our walk to a local pond.  A friend was generous to let us visit her pond.  As we walked there, the children spotted some deer tracks.

place based preschool winter 2013 013When we arrived to the pond, we got wet feet on the edge, but the children successfully chopped through the ice and gathered some murky water.

place based preschool winter 2013 021place based preschool winter 2013 025place based preschool winter 2013 023If you decide to do this, the ice will be clear or a bit muddy and there will not be evidence of life immediately.  When the water is brought into a warm house, it feels like spring.  Tiny eggs will hatch and critters will appear.  I explained to the children that it is an experiment.  They may need to collect more than one time.  Luckily, my sample did produce a critter for the children to observe the following week.  Can you see it?place based preschool winter 2013 031I invited the children to think about their observations with an art project.

“How do I make so many legs?”  Nicholas

“I made a circle for the body.”  Ella

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“I hope my water gets one of those things.”  Calebplace based preschool winter 2013 030“Look at the head!”


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