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Leaf Boats, Sit Spot, and Raccoon Game

It was a beautiful morning with a clear blue sky and moisture still in the air from rain the night before. There were many new pools of water that we had not seen before! We splashed in them before heading further into the woods for our Opening Circle.

At Circle we sang songs and shared our gratitudes for the day. Many of us were thankful for the trees and blue sky! We played a game called Raccoon Touch, which is a sensory game where a nature item is placed in one's hands and you try to guess what that item is. Salem and Lucas enjoyed finding the items for the other children to guess.

Lucas also told us all a story at Opening Circle. He has such fun telling stories! The group really enjoyed hearing the story. We then played some camouflage games. This turned into some other creative games that the children invented. While some of the children were creating their own games, Scarlett and Miss Brinkley talked about a Sparkleberry bush. Scarlett wondered why some leaves at the end of the branch were smaller than the leaves closer to the base of the branch. After Miss Brinkley asked her some questions, she realized that the smaller leaves were newer and that the plant grew outwards from the trunk.

Daniel discovered a snail and was very interested in it. He was excited to share this with the rest of the group!

Salem found a stick which he pretended was a hatchet and he broke apart some rotten logs. He enjoyed seeing the different colors and types of logs.

Later Daniel led the group over to the "rainbow car" and the group went on an adventure for "ice cream". Salem discovered some red mushrooms, and we had a conversation about how we don't touch any mushrooms in the forest because we don't know if they are poisonous. We compared a couple of different types of mushrooms and noticed the different colors, shapes and sizes. Mushrooms are fascinating! They are like fun little treasures sprinkled throughout the forest.

Dan found some partridge berries and started collecting them for a house he was making. Lucas enjoyed working on the shelter again today. Working on the shelter has been a calming, focused activity that some of the kids are drawn to if they aren't feeling like participating in an energetic activity at the moment.

We played a game of Fox Stalks Rabbit which turned into Turtle Stalks Fish. It was really fun to take on the animal forms when playing this game! Salem shrieked with laughter and excitement when he reached the fish or the rabbit. This is a predator-prey game which teaches the children multiple skills like how to move through the forest in a quiet and alert way and also about which local animals are in our ecosystem and what they eat. At lunch time we read a story called The Root Children. The children really enjoyed the pictures in the book and imagining the characters in the story.

After lunch we wandered to the creek and splashed around in the rain puddles. We also experimented to see which items of the forest would float or sink. Salem enjoyed making leaf boats! We also did a sensory meditation where we paid attention to the sounds and sights around us in the forest. We've then found our sit spot, which is something that we try to do each week. A sit spot is a time for us to find a spot to sit in the forest and be quiet while we pay attention to the woods around us. Today our sit spot lasted 5 minutes! At Closing Circle we shared our highlights of the day.

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