Forest Play

Our school is located in West Vancouver, on an extensive property that has much to offer in the way of natural beauty and physical activity for our children.  We have a large grass field, in addition to a gravel field, a newly paved playground with painted hop scotch, four square and tether ball lines, a huge playground climbing structure and the jewel in our crown… a small forest.

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Our forest is a tiny gem, tucked into a corner of our school grounds, sparkling with the dappled sunlight shining through the trees and a glittering creek running through it.  Step across the bridge from the playground into the forest and you’re suddenly engulfed in a world of calm, quiet and clean air…perfect for a self-regulatory moment.

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In addition to our regularly scheduled morning and lunch recess, and afternoon play times, we’ve designated Friday afternoons as our Kindergarten Forest Play day.  We have an extended playtime where the children are free to bring their rain boots and explore the area under our direct supervision.  Although tempted to bring out purchased buckets and shovels, we’ve decided to just let nature truly run in its own course and ask the children to use whatever found objects they can find as they create their own imaginative play.  We’ve allowed the children to use sticks in a safe manner for digging, and with the fallen treasures from shrubs and trees, the forest is a place of learning.

Earlier this week, our Vice-Principal, Mr. Blackburn (@njwblackburn) reviewed the expectations with us for safe forest play:

  • the forest is our outdoor classroom and we treat it carefully and with respect
  • Kindergarten students can only go into the forest with their teachers during school time
  • we walk across the bridge; we do not stand on the sides of the bridge as it can dangerous and slippery when wet
  • we are mindful of the tree roots when walking and climbing
  • we walk in the forest so we can notice any living creatures on the ground and not step on them
  • we are respectful of other children in the creek and do not purposefully splash or kick water
  • we respect living things in the creek so sticks and rocks stay on the ground
  • we respect the trees and shrubs by not picking leaves, branches or flowers off of them; it’s ok to pick up things which have fallen to the ground
  • we wear boots for water play to keep our socks and feet dry and comfortable
  • it’s ok to use a stick for digging, but keep it pointed down while walking
  • we respect the boundaries of the fence, the large rocks at the base of the water drain and the walk way above the water drain.  Those areas are all out of bounds.

This Week in Our Room:  April 4-8, 2016

The big excitement in the Kindergarten this week has been our forest play and badminton!  We were super impressed with our classes during their badminton instruction with Coach Anna Rice.  The children were listening with their whole body!  This week we’ve learned how to hold the shuttle properly, the parts of the shuttle, care when moving around the nets and correct stance.  We will be continuing next week so please remember to wear your runners on your PE days.

We’re heading into the home stretch for our Alphabet Work.  We finished “w” and painted blue waves for our Alphabet craft.

Our April self-portraits theme was “April Showers Bring May Flowers.”

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We’ve been reading books about Spring and talking about seasonal changes and how that affects human and animal behaviour.  Today we completed our “Spring Is….” big books.

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Vancouver Coastal Health nurses came to visit us on Wednesday so vision, hearing and dental screeners are now complete on all Kindergarten students and you should have received your child’s results from your classroom teacher by now.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

We sent home a Remind earlier this week, but we are planning now for Sports Day which will take place on Friday, June 3 and all Kindergarten students take part. We’ve had a request from the school office to find out if any of our children will not be in attendance that day due to leaving early for the school year or family travel.  Please let us know as soon as possible.

We’re still collecting Tombola bags for Mayfair, so if you are able to make a few extra, please let us know and we can supply you with some bags.

 

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