What time is it, Fine Words Fox?

What time is it, Fine Words Fox?

It’s the second week of winter preschool for the Nuthatches!

What is furry, red, and walks through the woods without a sound?

A fox, of course! This week the Nuthatches learned how to walk just like red foxes. The trick is to go toes first, slowly, one foot in front of the other. And always keep your fox ears up! When we were practicing this, we noticed that it’s very hard to move quickly when you’re trying to be silent in the woods. Especially on leaves and snow! But we got so good at fox-walking that we snuck into the Chickadees’ camp without them noticing! We left them a gift of dry firewood, and snuck back to our camp before they knew what happened! When we got back to our camp, we found that the Chickadees had left us a gift, of chestnuts and a roasting pan. What a wonderful surprise!

One day at circle, the instructors brought in some mysterious objects. They were white and small. The Nuthatches guessed that they were bones! But what animal did these bones come from? A dinosaur? A giant rat? A bear with big eyes? Maybe…a fox? 


The Nuthatches have a real passion for building! We explored some awesome natural materials this week, such as crystalline mud, dead logs, fallen leaves, and moss. We brought to life ice palaces, seesaws on top of seesaws, and even a storytelling room, where we heard about an epic battle between foxes and coyotes. We also learned that instead of taking home materials from the land, sometimes we can snap a picture of them with our minds, saving the memory forever. 

Throughout the week, the Nuthatches have been excited to play running games and sing songs, both great ways to stay warm in the winter! We played the games Foxtail, Seasons are Changing, and “What time is it, Fine Words Fox?” When we sing, we like to clap our hands or stomp our feet, and sometimes we sing the song so fast that it makes us dance! This week we sang the birthday song for one of the Nuthatches. It goes like this: Happy birthday to you! You’re a gift from the earth! Happy birthday to you! It’s the day of your birth!


My Roots Go Down

My Roots Go Down

Happy first week of preschool, 2021! 

This week the Nuthatches set down roots in a new camp!

We also welcomed a few new faces: Instructors Will, Ian and Nora Fox, and CIT Astrid. Our old friend Mira also joined us for a few days! After playing name games with “banana balls” a few times, the Nuthatches have really got everybody’s names down!

Our camp is now next to Turkey Knoll, and it has some wonderful features! There’s a seesaw, a debris fort, a backpack hanger, and the shelter made with woven cattail. We also made a fire circle and reviewed the different sizes of firewood: wispies, pencils/pinkies, markers, and logs. The Nuthatches have already begun to explore all the corners of this new camp, but we haven’t found a good name yet. Let’s keep thinking about it! 

One of the best parts of this week was the time we spent finding, following, and identifying tracks in the snow. The Nuthatches found fox tracks, squirrel tracks, and Ian tracks. When we followed them, we found Ian! 

Do you know the name of the people who lived on and stewarded this land for centuries? We learned that they call themselves the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ’, which means People of the Great Swamp. We practiced the pronunciation of Gayogo̱hó:nǫ’, which you can learn by asking your preschooler or watching this video of Gayogo̱hó:nǫ’ educator Stephen Henhawk teaching some of the language. We reviewed the Three Respects and came up with some ways that we can take care of the land so that ten years in the future, the trees will be as big as our circle and there will still be children laughing and playing in the forest!


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 program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and is run by Primitive Pursuits, a 4-H Program.