The new school year has been off to a great start for the Sprouts. They have quickly grown accustomed to our daily flow, developed independence with their belongings, and made lots of new friends.
We have noticed all the ways that plants spread their seeds at this time of year. From the jewel weed seeds that pop at the slightest touch, to hitch hiker seeds that stick to our clothes, and milkweed seeds that blow in the wind. Some sprouts have been looking for dried seeds on plants and sprinkling them amongst the gardens and in the field.
We have spotted many types of caterpillars around the farmstead, and noticed their similarities and differences. The sprouts have learned how to do a “caterpillar rescue”, judging whether or not the insect is in a safe place, and moving it carefully out of the walking path if needed. They have quickly developed a deep level of empathy for the many living things we share our forest classroom with.
We have noticed many spider webs around the farmstead, from the tunnel weaver spider web on the ground near the creek to the orb weaver spiders that build their homes near the jewel weed and create a hiding spot out of leaves above their web.
The tall green ragweed plants provide smaller spaces for the sprouts to enjoy, serving as hiding places for games of hide and seek, as well as imaginary tree houses, science labs, and rocket ships. We have also enjoyed observing the late blooming flowers around the farmstead, from the purple aster to the goldenrod and bright red cardinal flower.
The new water tower and spout in the sprouts classroom has been a source of endless learning for the sprouts. They have experimented with making dams and floods, mixing chalk colors with water, and making different types of mud. Many imaginary meals have been created using water, leaves, sticks, and red berries fallen off the spice bush plants.
I can’t wait to see what the Sprouts notice in nature next month!