We have been so excited to get back outside after that cold snap and we've been using the elements to benefit our creative drive.
Always passionate about the wildlife in our backyard, we made wild animal snack cakes using water, bird seed, items collected around the yard and... the winter temperatures!
First, we took a walk around the property and collected various items that had fallen off the many trees and shrubs to add to the bird seed and orange slices we already had:
Next we used tinfoil baking cups to hold the pinecones, bird seed, berries, pine needles and pieces of fresh oranges that we had gathered up.
Then we just add water, and a piece of yarn (for hanging the completed ornaments) We had colored and clear water options.
We very carefully tucked our creations away so they can freeze over night....
And sure enough the next morning they had frozen solid in beautiful ornaments that we eagerly hung from the trees for the birds and squirrels to enjoy!
We're all a part of Nature, and activities like this cultivate relationships with the natural world. These connections help us all feel closer to our environment, our world, and one another.
We've taken literacy in a different direction recently by exploring the alphabet in Punjabi. Educator Jasbir hosted this learning experience one morning in the Film Room with our group and we loved every minute of it!
We asked Jasbir to spell a variety of things like our names and the main colors of the rainbow.
It was really neat to watch the characters flow from the chalk in her hand so effortlessly! And we found that as we tried to copy her lines and curves it was much more difficult than it looked. We struggled to copy them, but really enjoyed trying and kept at it all morning!
Everyone really enjoyed this new way of exploring literacy and we developed an appreciation for just how diverse the alphabet can be outside of the English one we know so well. Jasbir taught us fascinating things about Punjabi, like how the color RED is not only a word that can be spelled, but has it's own character, too. We learned "kayla" is a banana and "apple" is a Seba. And we learned new things about Jasbir that might not have occurred to us before, about her education and her life back home.
There was no shortage of questions for Jasbir, and that day the kids in Club 4/5 not only got a lesson in Punjabi culture, but they also realized that it takes someone incredibly smart to be able to come to Canada and learn our English alphabet and language, when they come from a place so vastly different than ours. We are very fortunate to have such diverse staff that cultural education can, and will, happen at any time!
The Educators have noticed that all the creative concoctions, colors and experiments that Club 4/5 have been craving boil down to one main subject: Cause and Effect. So we've been planning and organizing educational activities to feed that interest. A popular idea was to make an elaborate marble run out of non-typical items. Educator Jen found a bunch of pieces of PVC tubing and gave it to the kids with a roll of tape and a handful of marbles. That morning we were in the film room and saw many opportunities for height and angles. Working together, the kids tested out theories on corners, depth and speed.
In the great outdoors, we took their love for coloring the snow and amped it up a little with different materials after one of the kids asked if we could make snow castles with our sandpails. Unfortunately, the sand toys are in storage, hibernating, so Educator Jen improvised with some Home Depot pails and lots of colored water. As an added touch colored ice cubes were made with the silicone molds for decorations. What the kids created ended up being absolutely beautiful SNOW CAKES!
When the ice shapes run out, the kids improvise and figured out how to make more with snow and water. It seems these kids are never short of ideas when it comes to adding some color to our Wintery weather!