Working as a team/Winter fun

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Free play in 1st grade nature studies turned into a wonderful opportunity for team building and team work.Part of the class had decided to climb up a steep incline. A few of the children were already on top, a few were still down at the bottom. They very quickly figured out that one person could not reach down to help friends up, because their arms were not long enough. They tried using a stick, to pull friends up but this was deemed to impractical. After a short meeting, and a call for help to more class mates they came up with the solution to use the conveniently placed metal pole to anchor themselves for a chain. This way they could pull up the friends in need of help down below.

It was truly a wonder to watch this process in action.

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On Tuesday we had the first snowfall sticking this year. It started around noontime, and by around 3pm had turned into a nice snowy afternoon.

The Forest Explorers had a lot of fun playing in and with what snow was on the ground at that time.

Nothing can stop you when you’re wearing the right kind of gear 🙂

Welcome back to school, and Happy New Year.

 

Chicken Winter Care

As many of you may have noticed, our chickens have left!! They are in their winter care quarters, exitedly pecking away at new worms, and fresh greens.

They will return after the winter break.

Thank you Olivia James (mother of Eli James), and Jennifer Downs (Grandmother of Carmen) for taking care of them during the break  🙂

Happy Holidays, cluck cluck!

Rain, rain, come and stay, all the children want to play

We have had a couple of rainy afternoons. The kiddos had so much fun playing in the mud, and splashing in puddles. We measured how deep our boots sank into the puddles. We made mud balls, and mud cakes, and potions. We figured out how much water is too much in a bucket (when it runs over). We slid down a muddy hill (sorry, didn’t catch any pics of that, but it was epic).

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One of the most frequently asked question about my work here is: Do you really go out with the children in all kinds of weather?

My answer is always: Yes! We do!

There are so many reasons for being out, and playing in the rain! There is the joy of being in nature, navigating slippery terrain (trains gross-motor skills), engaging all senses, a sense for the impact of weather on nature, and on us.

“The experience of playing outdoors in the rain helps children learn to test slippery paths before stepping on them, avoid deep puddles and take advantage of more shallow puddles, and keep their balance in different types of shoes. Learn through their senses.”

This is from an excellent article by Sheila Williams-Ridge I found on the free forest school website. You can access the full article below.

https://www.freeforestschool.org/2018/02/what-can-children-learn-playing-in-rain/

Wishing you Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!

Forest Explorers at Work

In the past weeks the forest explorers have been doing some exploring of new areas!

On one of our walks we discovered an area with a vine, perfect for swinging!

As we were walking, one of our intrepid explorers turned around, announcing “Now I get it!! We are Forest Explorers, not Playground Explorers!! Yay, we are exploring the forest. Come, let’s keep going!”

It is so wonderful observing the children making connection with nature, and each other.

Ah, and what better way to foster wonder. We wondered a lot that day. What lay behind the next hill? Where is a good place to rest? How will we find our way back? Can we use the vine for swinging? Where do the deer go? Who ate all the acorns, and buckeyes?

Wonder abounds, and one question always leads to another.

Forest Explorers

Hello all, and welcome to the first Green Dragon Bytes Blog in the 2019/2020 school year. We started in September with a few changes. The director position is now filled by Maren Jung.

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She worked in the Forest Explorers Afterschool Program as an assistant last year, together with Aliyah Brooks, who is still working as an assistant for the Forest Explorers.

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Our new faces are Kerron Webb, and Shaina Steiner, both are working with the elementary age children.

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Introducing Bread Fridays

In accordance with plans we made last year to introduce more self-made snacks we are going to bake bread with the children’s garden Forest Explorers group. The recipe, and materials used are the same the Children’s Garden Morning Program uses.

The Children’s Garden Forest Explorers are baking bread!

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Taking the bread to the kitchen

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A bread snake

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Octopus, Hands, and few bird feet breads.

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Especially delicious if eaten outside.

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Made With Love

The Forest Aftercare Program at Waldorf School of Baltimore is always looking for ways to let our students know how much we care for them and their well-being. One way that we do this is to have our teachers prepare healthy homemade snacks. Our “Forest Program Cookbook” is ever-changing as we add new recipes and as old favorites are met with “Do you really expect me to eat this, AGAIN” stares.

Our incredible staff of teachers make pickles, carrot crackers, beet chips, no bake granola, popcorn and more. Throughout the year, we do our best to focus on seasonal ingredients. We always have allergen-free options available, and the entire team works very hard to be sure we are serving the safest, and tastiest snacks possible. They can be a tough crowd to please, but eating freshly prepared snacks makes our students happier and healthier, and keeps our program focused on what really matters.

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