Forest Physicality

The endless benefits of forest physicality. Balancing, climbing, swinging, bouncing, running, and learning how to keep yourself and others safe.
 Confidence knowing the ground will always support your body. To truly feel grounded we need to feel support from the earth.

Some children are natural climbers. When they first come to Creative Minds, the teachers are close by as they grip onto the branches and their feet leave the ground. We 'spot' them to assess their ability in this environment and with this activity. They seem to already know the rules of tree climbing: always hold on with your hands, climb like a ladder with your belly facing the tree, and when the branches are thinner then your wrist they might not be strong enough to hold you, so don't go higher. 
With some children, this is a brand new activity. They watch with wonder as their fellow classmates climb up with ease. But alas when they try themselves, it's very difficult. It's tempting to lift them up…

I Know the Moon

Back when I was an ECE student we were asked to make a felt story from the book, I Know the Moon.
It's now become a lively topic of Heron's group time.
In the story, there are 5 creatures, a fox, a moth, a bullfrog, a mouse and an owl. One night as they are all gazing up at the moon they start to discuss how they see the moon. It's then that they realize they all see the moon differently. They want to figure out who is right, and they decide to go visit the Man of Science. But what the Man of Science tells them doesn't sit right with any of the creatures. As they head back to their homes, they realize it's ok to see the moon differently. The fox sees the moon as a white rabbit, the moth sees it as a cocoon, the bullfrog sees it as a lily pad, the mouse sees it as a seed planted in soil, and the owl sees it as a hole cut out of a tree.

The first week the children and I discussed how big the moon is to us. We used our fingers and held them up so we could imagine them…

Then and Now- Homes, caves and cave drawings

Near the beginning of our Now and Then unit we discussed homes and what the earliest of humans lived in.
Cedar group made a cave that was small enough to be inside CM, but big enough for one or two children.
One child said the cave was missing something inside. They had seen special markings that belong in a cave in a book one time. We looked up what cave drawings look like.
Then they drew their own to add to our CM cave.

Then and Now - How old are trees?

Today we went into our beautiful forest beside CM for our group time. We brought special 'forest books', to draw and record what we found.

We wanted to know how old some trees are. One way to find out the age of a tree is to count it's rings, but the tree has to be cut down to measure this way.

To measure a tree a different way, you wrap a tape measure around the tree. This will measure the circumference. You use the circumference to find the diameter (circumference divided by pi (3.14).
Then you multiply the diameter by the growth factor.
Different trees have different growth factors. Cottonwood is 2.0, Maple and Oak are 3.0, Red Maple are 4.5, Cherry are 5.0, Dogwood are 7.0
I decided to take an average growth of 4.0, and use that for all the trees we measured. So our measurements are

We started with a VERY big tree. We looked at the features of the tree so we could draw it in our books. It's branches were so high up, so high that we couldn't use them to climb. W…