We are often asked what our forest program does during the winter. The answer is gear up and get outside! Spending time outside in the winter offers so many natural learning experiences for our children to grow as lifelong learners.
Winter weather provides the opportunity to talk about water properties, how animals cope with changing weather, and modifies the provocations that the environment offers. This winter we have enjoyed sledding, ice skating on frozen puddles, and testing the thickness of ice covered bodies of water. We’ve learned about the brackish water in Lincoln Park West’s wetland area, and why the salty mixed water doesn’t freeze over.
Our forest kindergarteners have been taking daily water temperature readings, and comparing the water and air temperatures. Back at school we use observational drawing and non-fiction texts to learn more about objects we have collected in our outdoor classroom.
As all of our classes head outside in the winter, children learn to listen closely to their bodies in order to add or take away layers as they are working. Sticking together and helping one another in cool weather builds close connections between the children as well. We stay warm at snack time with a thermos of tea, and staying physical playing letter games and going on scavenger hunts.