Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fairies at Nature Preschool

What a great time at the nature preschool program at Woodlawn Nature Center last week. We started with several fairy and gnome related options, such as counting, puzzles, and herb playdough! The lavender play dough smelled divine! 

The playdough was popular! It smelled good and was easy for little hands to construct fairy villages and houses. 

Many loose parts were available for building, such as pine cones, rocks, shells, eggs, sticks, etc. 

During story time, we looked at various textures and natural items that might be used by fairies, such as moss, fungus, sticks, milkweed seeds, and more. The children could touch, feel, and ask questions. They also shared stories about finding these things themselves. We talked about flowers and mushrooms. 

We read a few books such as If You See a Fairy Ring: A Rich Treasury of Classic Fairy Poems (mostly looked at pictures and read one of the poems, Fairy Houses (The Fairy Houses Series) (great read!), Waiting for Wings (about butterflies--loved it for this preschool age group as a read aloud), and Color Dance . Color Dance is a book about dancers using scarves to combine colors. I thought it would be fun with the fairy theme.  

After we went into the larger room, put some music on, and used our scarves for dancing! Just as the butterfly went through a life cycle in Waiting for Wings, we also showed this life cycle through our movement. 

What a fun bunch of active kids! Dancing and movement was a great addition. It will be fun to do outside as well. 

We even got some of our big pieces of fabric for outside to use! 

On our hike, we saw the freshly fallen snow up close. We looked for some of the textures we found inside while talking about fairies. The children also found a huge hole on the trail! They were very excited! 

For our edible craft, we made fairy wands out of fresh fruit and ate crackers with peanut butter.

There were several options to explore after snack, like this invitation to make fairy soup!

The children took to it with gusto, stirring, mixing, pouring, etc. 

Beth made something unique for the children for our fairy exploration. This fairy mud is toilet paper and soap! Kind of crazy, but it smelled great, shaped well, and was fun to explore.

The children could make their own fairies. We had lots of supplies with wooden clothespins as the base. 


Many of the materials were even upcycled, like the netting used as wings below. 

Many of the children went back to the playdough sculptures again. It's a favorite activity! There were also rocks out to make cairns, or rock piles balanced on top of each other. 

One option was to paint fairy wands. We had many willing hands! It's always fun to break out the paint!

My son was so proud of his fairy. He couldn't wait to show his dad! He was drawing and talking about fairies all afternoon! 

There were many "invitations" to explore around the fairy theme. The children could choose how they created their projects and were free to move between activities. What a fun way to explore nature!