Forest Kindergarten: Caroline’s Blog Part 2

Linkto Forest Kindergarten Caroline’s Blog: Part 1 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012, O’Neill Regional Park
The sky was filled with warm sunshine, busy winged creatures and colorful flying foxes whizzing by. We made an end of the year toy out of my old jeans, extra fabric, rice, and ribbons. Whoosh! Our story characters learned a little bit about human hands and a little bit about how to treat their friends. Them we concluded the year with an appreciation circle. I appreciate your taking the time to read my blog. Thanks for a great first year of Forest Kindergarten.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012, O’Neill Regional Park, Trabuco, CA
The sun was shining bright and the kids were running like a pack of playful young squirrels. The profusion of caterpillars has given way to a profusion of butterflies and I heard tiny symphonies of hungry baby birds from the canopies of several trees. Our story characters heard Grandpa’s tale of lost children using the daily four directions chant to find their way back to their village. The characters we know used their knowledge of the four directions to find buried treasure in the yard. After that we used blindfolds to play hug a tree. We were so pleased to see how the children have grown in their sensory and directional knowledge, demonstrating a marked improvement from playing the game last fall. It’s working! The day closed with a golden eagle being chased away by a mob of crows. No crow babies on the menu this afternoon…


Wednesday May 23, 2012, Holy Jim Trail, Trabuco Canyon

What a treat, what a trek, and it was worth it. We started deep in the Trabuco Canyon headed for Holy Jim Falls, we glimpsed Saddleback Mountain and wound our way through dense foliage, much of it poison oak. Stately Oaks, Sycamores, and Fig Trees (planted by Holy Jim himself) provided ample shade and my personal obsession to remember to return midsummer for a fig feast. Our story characters learned again the old rhyme, “Leaves of three- let them be!”, though poison oak is a tricky plant and we know we can react to it without touching it directly. The pools and waterfalls were beautiful, and filled with laughing shouts and wild splashing as long as we were there. And we were there extra long!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012, San Juan Loop Trail, Cleveland National Forest  
What a great day for a hike. The sun was boisterous and warm. We found our greatest hazard of the day being slippery sandy trails.  We all took a turn slipping. Rock outcroppings showed us layers of lichen, moss, ferns, and vascular plants. Primary succession at play before our very eyes! Our story characters, after creating a rain and grey water garden, learned that trees haze xylem to transport water and nutrients to the leaves and other parts. In quiet sit time we found a heavily laden grainery left by some Acorn Woodpeckers who had stored away tightly packed acorns for the spring and summer.
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