It felt really good kicking off our Thrive Outside in All Seasons series with our “Wonders of Winter” event at the Melville Elementary Outdoor Learning Zone.
On December 4th, we welcomed parents, educators, outdoor enthusiasts and several adventurous, inquisitive children to find winter inspiration and to renew commitment to outdoor teaching, learning, and play.
While the children played several rounds of rabbits and foxes, a tag game teaching the feeding relationships/food chain within our local woodland habitat, adults had the opportunity to wander through the Outdoor Learning Zone and talk with some of our Outdoor Learning specialists.
After a hot chocolate and cookie break, our guests had the opportunity to try out some of our STEM, literacy, and team building/problem solving activities. The da Vinci bridge was a big hit! The kids assembled a bridge that held together only by gravity and friction, and which was strong enough to support their full weight. (here’s a link to a da Vinci bridge lesson/demonstration on YouTube)
Meanwhile, our guests of all ages tested and sharpened their nature identification and memory skills with “Kim’s Game” and “Nature Detectives”, and really “rocked” the spelling station.
For some team building and social emotional learning, partners/groups relied on self awareness, self esteem, and cooperation to get over the alligator pit to safety.
Congratulations to Isla for winning our amazing Hazli swing giveaway! A tree swing is guaranteed to bring hours and hours of outdoor fun. We were also delighted to give away bubbles to each child attending the event. Bubbles are fun in all seasons, but look up some winter bubbles activities/experiments….you won’t be disappointed! Thank you Hazli and Little Kids Inc for your support!
We would also like to thank our Outdoor Learning specialists Jules Burrows, Carol Entin, and Jay Blackbeard, for providing us all with high quality outdoor learning, ideas, methods and inspiration.
As we look at our fresh 2022 calendars, may we all schedule in plenty of outdoor teaching, learning and play time. Check out our fun Outdoor Hours Tracker, and color in a creature for every hour that you spend with your kids or class outside. Use it to set goals for and to celebrate your successes as you continue on your journey to Thrive Outside in all seasons!
Sheila Dobbyn is Thrive Outside's Outdoor Learning Professional Development Consultant