By Johannes Suppan
This week we faced the elements and adventured in the rain. Despite the coolest weather we’ve seen yet this fall, and steady precipitation, our owlets had great attitudes and lots of fun. Our goals for the day were to complete a scavenger hunt, and to stay warm and happy. The scavenger hunt sent us in search of a variety of natural objects, ranging from insects and animal tracks, to leaves, moss, and ferns.
As all creatures do, we practiced our own adaptation processes today. Before we started the scavenger hunt we fueled up on snacks and layered up for the weather with rain boots, extra socks, hats, and rain coats. We prepared for our outing in the garage, a much less aesthetically pleasing setting than our normal spot on a giant boulder. However, the kiddos found a big box fort that they quickly imagined into a market for selling snacks. Everyone joined in and some became customers, using maple leaves as money to purchase clementines and granola bars.
Once we had everyone dressed in rain gear, we broke into groups and ventured through the forest. The children really enjoyed the activity and worked together to find the objects for the scavenger hunt. We talked about which natural objects might be found near each other, like moss, tree trunks, and rocks. We looked up at different trees to see if there were pinecones or acorns. This activity helped us tune into our senses and really observe our surroundings.
We explored and searched for everything on the list for over an hour before wet fingers started to feel uncomfortably cold (mitten time is coming soon). We kept moving on the trail and did jumping jacks and other exercises to warm our bodies.
Although the children did not know at the outset, we also had a variety of arts and crafts set up inside, in case warming up was necessary to make the day successful. There were giant tree cookies to decorate, sticks, pine cones, ferns, and acorns to make imprints, and yarn, twin, and rubber bands to attach things together. We shed our wet layers, then created pictures, mobiles, dreamcatchers, and playdough nature-scapes for the last 30 minutes of our time together.