Cleaning up Trillium Camp and telling stories

Cleaning up Trillium Camp and telling stories

We started the Winter session by cleaning up Trillium camp and taking advantage of the mild weather to get ready for the rest of the season.

The preschoolers worked very hard removing ashes, rebuilding the rock ring, and spreading out new sand around the fire pit.

We built a new Peace Log, collected flat rocks, and made a beautiful place to rest our feet.

A basket full of whispies for starting fires.

Nora telling us a great story.

We made bird feeders to take home, and filled one to hang in Trillium Camp.

Ice crystals found on the climbing hill.

We saw Bobcat tracks right in camp!

One Day at Forest Preschool

One Day at Forest Preschool

On November 30th we had a friend, Barbara, join us and she documented our day with photos. Here is what that day looked like: After opening circle we headed down to Trillium Camp, hung up our bags and immediately went over to the sandbox. We were looking to see if any animals had eaten the nuts we had placed there for them and had left us some tracks in return. We were not disappointed. We saw many squirrel tracks and could see where they stopped to pick up the food.

After looking at the tracks, Sean demonstrated how squirrels move. The preschoolers loved it and then tried to move like squirrels as well.

Next we climbed up the Climbing Hill and then wandered up to Turkey Knoll. We played some hiding and finding games where the preschoolers pretended to be coyotes, and howled to be found. At Turkey Knoll we explored a shelter that home school kids made, climbed on some logs and rode on the horsey log on the way back to Trillium Camp to have lunch.

After lunch we played one of our games, the mitten. This game is based on the book The Mitten by Jan Brett. I tell the story and the preschoolers act out the story, each of them being a different animal. Of course the more we play the more imaginative the animals become. One round we had a whale, lion, shark, unicorn, and bear all fitting in one mitten. Lastly a mouse crawls onto the bears nose which tickles the bear and makes it sneeze. The sneeze is so big all the animals fly out of the mitten.

The last thing we did was play a sneaking game. We had to sneak up on someone when their back was turned. But when they turned around if the person caught you moving you must gohad to go to the back of the line. Eveyone loves sneaking!

Climbing and jumping in leaves

Climbing and jumping in leaves

Many days this fall we have spent time on the climbing hill at the end of the day. It is always a favorite activity for the preschoolers. They work hard learning about balance and looking for good handholds.

One day while collecting leaves for our shelter we took turns jumping in the leaves.

A big dying tree was cut down in the field where we gather in the morning. Many days we have gathered it’s branches for firewood. One day we watched the “big” homeschool kids cut some of the tree trunk, then helped them bop a wedge with a big mallet to split it.

Pumpkin and Dress Up Fun

Pumpkin and Dress Up Fun

We had a lot of fun the week of Halloween. We started the week dressing up and celebrating. We took the seeds out of two large pumpkins to save for roasting later. We then broke up the flesh and nailed it to boards to make feeders for our animal friends.
I had some great help cleaning up the pumkin goo afterwards.


Last week we started working on shelter building. First we made mini shelters for animals, then made nests out of pine needles. The children loved building them and imagining about the animals that would live in them. Next we started building a shelter big enough for us.  They are learning how to construct a debris lean-to structure. We gathered logs and put them in place. Then added branches with twigs still attached. This week we will be adding leaves.
Above we see the preschoolers with their animal shelters. Next we sarted collecting large logs and building the structure of the shelter.

Office Location:
Cornell Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850
607-272-2292 | email Us

Preschool Location:
4-H Acres, 418 Lower Creek Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850

Ithaca Forest Preschool is a nature immersion program for children ages 3-5. Our program is run in cooperation with Primitive Pursuits, a project of Cornell Cooperative Extension.