November Nature Notes


November has brought colder temperatures and frosty mornings at the farmstead. The sprouts have been getting lots of practice developing independence with their layers, listening to their body if they get too hot or cold.

With the temperatures dropping, the sprouts have been spending more time in the chicken field running around to get their bodies warm, and soaking up the last patches of sunshine in the afternoons. Some of the sprouts favorite games in the field are red light green light, freeze tag, and hide and seek. It’s been a joy to see even our quietest friends use their voices to lead these games!

On our coldest days we have had campfires in the sprouts shelter, warming up rocks to hold while we eat snack and lunch. The sprouts have enjoyed watching the fire and helping split the wood with the kindling cracker.

With most of the plants brown and down, the sprouts have been exploring new parts of our classroom, finding a big log with peeling bark and mushrooms, and collecting big sticks from places that were thick with weeds when school began. All the big stick finds have turned into forts and a “playground”, where the sprouts practice climbing, balancing and hanging upside down.

There have been fewer leaves falling down, but many “helicopter seeds” spinning down into our forest classroom. One friend remarked that the seeds looked like snowflakes falling down. The sprouts have also been curious about the buds they see on some of the trees and shrubs, particularly the spicebush buds that look like little berries. Some sprouts have become quite adamant about protecting the “baby leaves” , reminding their friends to leave them on the trees so they can keep growing.

It’s been a joy to watch the Sprouts learn and grow in November, I can’t wait to see what December brings!

Littlest Learners:

Buuurrrr!  This month we saw some crazy temperature weather! The Littlest Learner’s are starting to notice that two days can be the same temperature and when it is overcast and cloudy it feels a lot colder than on a day when it is blue skies and sunny! They are learning and noticing the power of the sun by spending time outside in all weather types.  They also learned that wind can have a huge impact on how temperature feels.  Even a cool day with sunshine can feel really cold if there is a breeze.  It is amazing what a teacher being outside and experiencing can be to our learning and understanding of the world around us.  

The changing temperatures and more consistently cool days have provided lots of opportunities to manage our layers, learn ways to stay warm while we eat and learn, and how impactful moving is to our ability to generate heat and stay warm!  We have also gotten our Kelly Kettle out a few times to have some hot water in our water bottles to make it more enjoyable and warming to stay hydrated! 

Almost all of the leaves have fallen, the green is sleeping, and we are officially in the brown and down season.  I am in awe of how easily and fluidly they can move on our sloped hillside with all the loose leaves.  They have pushed some out of the way and now from the school yard you can see some of their play trails and they are clear of leaves and noticeably different then the rest of the forest floor that is blanketed with them.  We have noticed a decline in critters and have found a few snail shells while playing – there was a distinct change after our first few good frosts. 


Fall is almost nearing its end here at the Farmstead. We had the opportunity to see the backbones of the mountains since there are little to no leaves left on the trees. We also got to see more of nature in our classroom now that the field of sight is a lot larger. 

The month started chilly, brrrr! Even though it was cold out we still had the chance to see some of nature’s animals in the forest. We saw salamanders, birds, lizards, and even a yellowjacket in November! The Explorers were master diggers this month. They practiced digging with sticks and even shovels and rakes. They wanted to know how deep tree roots go. Don’t worry, we practiced on small dead trees! 

Since there are so many leaves on the ground, we got to examine the forest floor for interesting finds, or as an Explorer would say, “The carpet of leaves on the mountains.” We found tons of leaves that had bug eggs on them and spiders trying to keep warm. 

Towards the middle of the month, we noticed there were a few warm days. This allowed for some fun water play! Making mud balls, mud pies, and puddles were all in the cards. The Explorers also had a lovely Fall break. They had the chance to spend time with their families for the holiday season. 

Toward the end of the month, the Explorers noticed the ground was starting to freeze! Frosty mornings called for warm fires. The Explorers helped collect sticks and break them down for the toasty fire that helped keep our hands warm while playing or participating in activities. 

The Explorers are working hard on their project for the school year! They have finalized the animals we will be discussing in our farmstead book. November gave us a glimpse of what the cold might look like this winter. Let’s hope by the next Newsletter there will be lots of snow on the ground! 

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