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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Stone Soup

On a Tuesday and Thursday morning at Forest Preschool two weeks ago, water and a stone were settled into a suspended pot and a fire was lit below. Then, the story of Stone Soup, an old folk story about cooperation, was told. Forest Preschool is a place where cooperation grows. The fields and forest lend themselves beautifully to the many possibilities and benefits of cooperation. Cooking outdoors over a fire is no exception.

And so, on a November morning, children brought in vegetables from home and made a meal together. With some special stone magic, they learned about cooperation and tasted the outcome of their combined contributions.  "We're going to cook soup outside?" asked a child. Yes, we are and we're going to do it together.

Forest Preschool is also a place that embraces fire as a teaching tool. Fire warms us in the woods when we're greeted by chilly autumn mornings. It is also a necessary ingredient for cooking stone soup.

Once water was put on to boil, an outdoor kitchen was assembled and the chopping of vegetables ensued.

Listening to the story of Stone Soup as water and stone came to a boil in the pot.

The outdoor kitchen. They could have chopped all day!  

"What can I chop now?"
Many children were very interested in chopping and preparing the vegetables. Others played in the mud kitchen or engaged in imaginary animal play in the woods. Those interested in becoming a chef used preschool appropriate cutting tools. Some were forlorn when we exhausted our cutting opportunities. Excitement flowed again, though, when it was time to add the cooperatively prepared veggies to the pot.

"Look at my potato!"

Is the soup ready yet?

While the pot boiled, some children used the compost from veggie prep to create another version of stone soup, complete with mud and pine needles.

Almost ready!

Look at the colors!

Soup is served!

Enjoying the fruits of our labor. "Stone soup is good!"
Nearly every child ate the soup we made together and many asked for seconds. Food that you help prepare seems to taste extra good, especially food that is made over a fire outside, together. 

Enjoy the food that you make or is made on Thanksgiving! There is so much to be thankful for this fall!

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