Fall Week Six (October 18-October 22)

Tuesday Homeschool Program – Cole Harbour

It felt like mushroom season came so much later this season than previous years – but its here! 


Hand-in-hand with with mushroom season comes cold and flu season; we missed many students this week in the forest. Though our class was smaller than usual we enjoyed spending much of our day walking around the park in exploration. We found many mushrooms, of all different shapes, sizes and species. We also found a hollow tree and took some silly photos! 


Besides hiking, the students enjoyed playing lots of group games ; some students even attempted to make up games on the spot! Talk about creativity! 

Lastly, before we were ready to say goodbye for another week, we came upon many crickets in the field. “Bunny” was by far the most enthusiastic and gentle cricket catcher of the group.



Wednesday Forest Pups – Kiwanis Park

I don’t know a better way to spend a Wednesday morning than hanging out with a friend outside; finding secret forts in the woods, swinging on a ninja line and walking the beach. These students make having a good time in the park look so easy; always eager to discover something new in their adventures. 



Thursday Homeschool Program – Bedford

Today we engaged our students in an observation and identification activity. They were all given their notebooks (each student is provided a notebook at the beginning of a season to use whenever they please – many choose to use them during quiet time/hammock time) and asked to find three things. 1. something shaped like something else, 2. something that could be used in a potion, and 3. Something that changes over time. Having such broad objectives gives extra room for creativity and accounts for the varying ages and abilities in one class (as this class technically ranges from ages 1-12, with the casual junior volunteers of 14). 

The objective was to draw and describe each object to the best of their ability. Use as many descriptors as possible, as if they were going to tell someone about it again later. 

Once the students were done this activity we came together and they were asked if they wanted to share what they found; indicating they only needed to share their drawing if they felt comfortable, but we would love to hear their way of describing what they see. This meeting after the activity was full of lots of positivity as we really emphasized the importance of the words you use, especially in identification.


Once we finished the first activity we moved onto another. The students were asked to partner up if they wished and try to identify something they found in the first activity. With the use of field guides and INaturalist the students were given the opportunity to truly put their describing words to use.  When trying to identify the mushroom in the bottom center picture below (indicated with an arrow), the students used these words to best describe what they were trying to identify: 

Their description:

Brown stem with white spots


Light brown on top


On oak tree

White on inside when cut

Does not bruise

No meat , just gills and skin

We have one student in this class, “Calendula,” who is often teaching other students and the leaders lots of nature facts he learns from his family and community. On this day, he was teaching us about the Witch Hazel tree; showing off a seed he found on a nearby plant. “Calendula” was telling the story of the Witch Hazel getting it’s name because it blooms until Halloween. Whether this was the originality of it’s meaning I do not know, but I like the idea.

The rest of the day was spent: finding a tail-less salamander; linking hammocks together horizontally through the trees (after we told them they couldn’t have “bunk” hammocks … quite clever if you ask me haha ) , swinging a stick on a rope around a pole as hard as you can to see how many wraps you can get in on one throw (honestly, a very competitive sport with this class); and of course sitting around with your forest school besties while we reminisce on the day behind us and give thanks to the land. 

oh and this beautiful forest graced us with some beautiful fungi. 


Friday Travelling Toddlers – Bedford

We were extra excited to share one of our favourite forests with our new parent and toddler community. The morning was cool but dry, perfect conditions for a fall day in the forest. We had a smaller number in attendance this week and a great time was had by the few who made it. {Honestly, koodo’s to all these parents who make an effort to join us on these mornings, whether the reality of your mornings with littles allows you to make your appearance or not – we are grateful for all of you}. 

This week the group enjoyed playing with the different musical instruments on a blanket together. They made quite an wild, little band. In reality they didn’t stay sitting for long and the more comfortable they became, the more they began to explore the bubbles, hammocks and forest made monkey bar. We welcomed a new mama and her little to the community after moving here from a different country. It was great to be apart of building up her new village.

Saturday Nature Explorers – Cole Harbour

We recently discovered a new “base camp” in Cole Harbour Heritage Park and were so happy to share it with this class. This camp has a large field on the edge of a forest where we tuck away in for our “base”. The sunny skies shined so blue; keeping us warm as we escaped the trees canopy throughout the day. The Students would strip off their winter coats as the sun grazed their skin, leaving trails of layers left in the shadows of the children running away in the grass. 


Within the trees the students spent their day using any and all supplies they could find to build a fort. Deeper into the woods we had the ninja line set up for students to climb ; and when they weren’t climbing around on it, as usual, you would find them somewhere in a tree. 


As we climb into the colder months, we are so grateful for the days that we start in hats and mitts and finish in a t-shirt or hoodie. Make sure you take the time to enjoy these days while they last, but also remember to jump in a puddle or two ; or build a snowman when life presents it. Each day spent in nature is unique, you just have to experience it. 


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