Last week we stayed near the school, using mostly the area near and around the Secret Fort Tree to explore in more depth than we have before. Some of the boys crawled through the snow making tunnels like little rabbits in the dusting of snow. They found “dens” and laid claim to their own, private territory.
We found a little Christmas-type tree that wanted to be decorated, so we used cattail fluff, grapevine curlicues, and red winterberries to decorate it.
Finally! We have a little snow so we can see tracks of all the nearby active wildlife! Rabbits and squirrels seem to be the most common.
The joy of eating new snow!
The Vine Hammock!
H. pretends to be a sloth after bracing a strong stick against the Secret Fort Tree and using it to climb up! This is the first time ever that someone has used a stick to create a way to get up onto that branch. No matter how many years I have done Woods and Wetlands, I continue to be amazed at the new ideas different kids have for solving problems. If I had ever lifted anyone up onto that branch (as I have been requested to do,) then no one would have ever come up with alternative solutions for themselves, nor would they experience the pride and self confidence that accompanies creative problem solving.
They had to work out how to share this space. I chose not to solve it for them, but listened while they tried one approach and then another to get what they each wanted. When kids can work things out without an adult taking over it does take longer, but the benefit in the long run far outweighs a little time lost now. One of the boys initially said to me, “He won’t move and I want to be up here.” I affirmed that with, “Yes, I can see that you want to be there and he’s already there,” followed by a question that helps place the responsibility back where it belongs, “What are some ideas you have to fix this problem?” They worked it out and both were happy.
C. discovers that cattail fluff doesn’t come off so easily!