At Opening Circle we shared a gratitude about someone in our lives for whom we are thankful. One of the ways we discussed about showing appreciation for someone is by creating something for that person. Ms. Britt introduced a few wood crafts that we were going to make, using items found in the woods. Since we were going to go on a wander to collect items, we also introduced our other structured activity for the day- Fire Challenges!
For the Fire Challenge, we had a lively conversation about all things fire-related. We talked first about how to make and maintain a fire safely - selecting a fire site; considering the conditions around the fire site; how to keep a fire contained, and how to safely put out a fire.
Then we moved on to what a fire needs: Air, Fuel and Heat. A fire is like a baby- it first needs fuel that is small and easy to consume. Then as the fire grows, it is able to "eat" larger and larger pieces of fuel.
There were a lot of options in the Cedar Thicket for different sizes and types of fuel. We were surprised at what worked and what didn't work. We made a community fire using a bow drill to get things started and then the Herons broke up into small groups to work on the challenge, or to take a turn making their Holiday Craft.
The challenge was this: Using only up to 3 matches, get a fire to burn for at least 10 minutes. After each match, if the fire did not light, each group or individual could change their fire structure. We explored match placement, amount of tinder needed, the best way to get the best airflow. Not every group succeeded in the challenge, but we had a lot of fun and there was great cooperation among the groups!
We had a lot of fun collecting items from the forest to make Suncatchers, Bookmarks and Holiday Ornaments!
After so much sitting around, we rounded out that day with a game of Skeleton Tag. Very Similar to Foxes-and-Rabbits, we had fun practicing camouflage, teamwork and the thrill of running through the woods.
If you are interested in talking with your children more about concepts we introduced this week some great topics are: Different structures for starting different types of fires; different ways to light a fire; fire safety in different conditions; and exploring how our modern lives would be different if we still relied on fire the way our ancestors did.