Exploring Bugs and the Woods

In the last two weeks of class the Crawfish Class explored bugs, mud, ice and then took a field trip to the woods where the bigger kids have class.  

From the Ground Up

Growth was visible everywhere in our fourth session of Crawfish Class. Our Live Oak Grove has sprung to life with wild garlic, wildflowers, and many fuzzy live oak tussock caterpillars. Like the wildflowers in the field, our crawfish kids have blossomed into to much more confident outdoor investigators.     

Taking a cue from the abundance of our fine fuzzy friends we started class with reading Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi. Some Bugs invites children to look closely for little critters, and with that idea as inspiration, we got up close and personal with the forest floor. To invite careful observation of the ground, we presented our continuous canvas piece with paint but no paint brushes! The kids and parents looked to find their own nature painting tools. Turns out spanish moss makes an amazing fire work pattern when printed on canvas!

In our mud area we used giant ice cubes to invite another sensory element to our mud play. Some cubes had interesting nature bits frozen inside them. The melting ice was fascinating to watch as it mixed into the mud.

Our tree climbing has reached new heights quite literally. The Crawfish class has become much more adventurous even on our more wobbly tree branches.

 

Our last class was en exploration of the Couturie Forest.  This is where the 3-6 yr olds explore the woods, build forts, and hunt for frogs and tadpoles.  We met at the picnic benches at the edge of the forest.  After some group time and activities we travelled over the red bridge and into the forest.  We saw lots of sticks and leaves to add to our buckets.  We finally came to the Pelican Classroom.  They had watercolors, nature crowns, and books to explore.  There was also a pier that is a favorite spot for throwing things into the water.  Thank you for exploring the woods with us and we hope to see you again in the fall!

 

Making Mud

Crawfish school’s third session was all about mud, mixing, and making. After last week’s mini vacation from our spot, we were back with the strong limbs and crunchy leaves of Live Oak Grove. Our spring series has reached its midpoint and we have had such a great time getting to know each of the children and their specific interests. To begin our exploration of mud and mixing we learned a new song in welcome circle, Two Little Crawfish Sitting in the Muck, about two muddy little crawfish named Boudreaux and Chuck. In our small group activities we investigated how various sensory materials interacted with the natural materials of the grove. In our homemade salt dough station we made all sorts of critters using nature to add details like ears and tails. In our mud area we

We mixed mud with food dye to make our own special paint and added more layers to our community art piece. In our ‘tools’ area we added water to make mud and had a blast mixing, measuring, and using our muscles to dig through the thick clay that lives in the shade of Live Oak Grove.

Tree climbing became a family activity this session. Everybody had a blast feeling the sensation of being held up by the ancient tree branches. We Can't wait to see what next week brings.

It's All About the Trees

The first two weeks of our Crawfish class have been about getting to know each other and our space.  This past Saturday we were thrown for a bit of a loop due to a race being run right in front of our live oak grove.  We were able to relocate to another gorgeous grove just down the road.  

Our first class we spent the morning getting to know both parents and kids.  Danielle our lead teacher spent the morning interacting with the children in large group or one on one and observing what is most important for each child.  Through this intentional observation we are able to tailor the class to the interests of the children thereby creating an experience that is meaningful to the child.

The second class focused on the amazing live oak trees in city park.  Each small group activity created an experience or a moment of exploration for the children.  The most popular activity was making the leaf mural.