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My Morning at Nature School

GNSGNS photo

By Sarah McKerlich On a damp yet bright January morning, Mr. Bowers and I had the privilege of participating in the Junior Kindergarden nature school at Uplands Park as part of our ongoing exploration of the many experiential and outdoor programs at our school. We met up with the 22 well equipped, smiling and playful 4-year-olds with their 6 teachers in a beautiful rocky outcrop, which the group calls basecamp. Here the students put their bags in a pile to be covered by a tarp, their mittens either on their hands or in their hoods, and with muddy buddies and rubber boots on, we set off to explore the park, in a meandering colourful line, stopping often to use our senses to explore- the group’s present unit of Inquiry. We felt with our feet by dancing a twist in mud, we used our eyes to look for hummingbirds, we gently held an earthworm with our hands, and we used our eyes to watch out for blackberry brambles. Each student moved so well through the park in mid-January, not phased by the mud or the chilly air. We stopped and did a spontaneous chasing game in a clearing, and stopped again for free play in another grassy meadow. Then it was time to get back to basecamp for a hand wash and a snack. When I asked my young friend Kate what she liked about Nature School, she answered “Everything!” it was a delightful morning, moving and playing in nature with a great group of vibrant young Gryphons.