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Monday, March 31, 2014

Marching into Spring at Forest Preschool; Snow Paints the Picture

I am always excited to flip the calendar page from February to March. The days lengthen and the sun climbs higher in the sky. Even though March can bring significant snowfall in Vermont, temperatures often moderate, bringing spring-like weather and returning migratory birds. We have seen record amounts of snow this March but deep winter temperatures held fast most of the month, painting a different picture this year

Animal forms; making tracks in the snow!

At North Branch Nature Center, March marks the beginning of Forest Preschool's spring session. Here at Forest Preschool, we have embraced the weather, the thick blanket of white, and large, plowed piles of snow! The barn on-site offers a safe, cozy space to warm during mid-morning meeting and snack. Time outdoors experiencing the winter world has allowed youngsters opportunity to build resilience while playing, exploring, and learning through their senses. When winter is hard pressed to make way for spring, snow and ice inspire wonder and is just plain old fun; even in March! 

Here’s a peek at our immersion-based creative play and exploration in the frozen landscape this March at Forest Preschool:

Developing a sense of place; looking for signs of life while voyaging through the snow to the bridge.
Exploration and discovery; finding animal track stories in the snow.

Promoting healthy movement; climbing "Pirate Mountain."
Creative self expression; drawing and writing in the snow with dried goldenrod stems!
In addition to Golden Rod stems, Preschoolers enjoyed creative self expression outside by dipping paint brushes into glittery, magic winter paint and making strokes on the snow! Children were fully engaged in the process and experimentation, making lines and shapes and watching how the color seeped into the snow. A large pile of plowed snow was transformed into a climbing mountain and pirate ship, complete with climbing rope, pirate flag, and sleeping dragon on the other side. What fun!

Eventually the snow will melt and give way to new life and the return of many songsters. Clothing layers will be shed and a spring world will slowly emerge, beckoning the little ones to make new discoveries and experience wide eyed wonder. I'm excited!

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