October Nature Notes 2023

Explorers Nature Notes

Fall is in full swing here at the Farmstead! The Explorers had the wonderful opportunity to witness the colors of the leaves start to change. We enjoyed trying to catch the leaves as they blew in the wind off the trees.

The month started warm but a bit cooler in the mornings so there were many insects and critters still out. We got to see a gigantic praying mantis, lizards, caterpillars, and hoverflies. They were super interested in knowing which edible plants the Farmstead had to offer, so we had the chance to harvest some! We harvested mint, blackberries, and oregano! The Explorers noticed that we had many sunny days with blue skies at the beginning of the month.

Towards the middle of October, the Explorers had the chance to experience their first rainy day of the school year. They enjoyed playing with puddles and sliding down hills in the mud. The Explorers had many opportunities to hang out with the chickens in the field and play with the Sprouts class. They even fed the chickens crickets that they caught! The Explorers were excited to learn new games like camouflage and create art with leaves.

Toward the end of the month, the Explorers decided to name the classroom “Rainbow Forest.” They were mesmerized by the beautiful colors of the trees. It started to get pretty chilly during this time, so the Explorers learned about preventive measures to protect themselves from the cold and wet days in the forest. We ended up noticing many animal friends during this time such as squirrels, birds, deer, and rabbits. The Explorers also had the chance to save an orange salamander friend who was far away from the water. We also found an interesting sighting of hair on the trail and we came to the conclusion it was bear feces….whoa!

We went on many explorations in the forest this month. We had the chance to find some neat rabbit holes, enormous leaf piles, and fun natural forest playgrounds. This month we finalized our project idea! The Explorers are excited to start their project which will include a book with information about animals near the Farmstead, the foods they eat, and maps of the trails the animals make. We are excited to experience the forest as the seasons change. Can’t wait to see what next month brings us!

Littlest Learners Nature Notes

We have had a colorful month in Littlest Learner’s as our forest begins its transition through the Fall season.  We have seen bright reds, yellows, oranges, and browns surround us in our classroom where every day we can notice changes and differences.  It is magical to share this experience together.  We have also felt the temperatures begin to change too with some very brisk mornings that turn into really warm days, and we even had a whole day of rain – which it feels like it has been months since we experienced.  The Littlest Learner’s have also gotten to really express their imaginations with their leaf play; making classroom decorations, making leaf piles to jump in and playing a game called smash the pumpkins – were they make a big leaf pile (pumpkin) and roll down a hill into it!

While the leaves are changing we are also noticing that a lot of critters are still very active in our forest.  We have spotted snails, ants walking on water, wasps – flying and a nest, millipedes, tiny red mites, an eastern fence lizard, and LOTS of daddy long legs!  That is a great variety of living things we have been able to observe in our classroom.  We have also found a lot of acorns, shiny rocks, and some very flaky mica!  We are so excited to see how our classroom continues to change through the seasons!

Sprouts Nature Notes

Fall is in full swing this month at the farmstead! The sprouts have been in awe watching the leaves change from green to bold shades of red, orange and yellow. When a big gust of wind comes it’s “raining leaves!” and they race to try and catch one before it hits the ground.

The falling leaves have led to many new types of play and inquiry this month. We have enjoyed going on leaf hunts and comparing their shape, size and color, or looking for the “crunchiest” leaves we can find. We made a line with twine and clothespins by the creek and the sprouts have enjoyed hanging up their favorite leaf finds and watching them change as they dry out over time. The leaves serve as craft supplies to make crowns, necklaces and flags. As more leaves accumulate in the chicken field, out come the rakes to make big leaf piles to jump in – such fun!

Walnuts have also been of great interest this month, as more fall from the trees and collect on the forest floor. We hear them thump to the ground, especially if they land on the chicken coop or the shelter. We have enjoyed rolling walnuts up and down mud mountain, and breaking them open to find grubs inside which the chickens love to gobble up.

The sprouts have been noticing fewer insects around, which brings a new level of excitement when we spot a wooly bear caterpillar or a daddy long leg. They have been noticing the changes in the plants in our classroom, the jewelweed turning brown, the ragweed drying out, the leaves and twigs accumulating on the ground. With fewer leaves, they have also started to notice the other houses on the ridge and more bird and squirrel nests high up in the treetops.

Leading up to Halloween, the sprouts enjoyed playing witches, flying around on their broomsticks and creating potions out of leaves. We also had our first truly rainy day this month, and enjoyed splashing in puddles and sliding down mud mountain. We even had some hail at pickup time!

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

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