Vulpes vulpes!

Vulpes vulpes!

A frozen creek, Rosa the Red Fox and a volcano! Read below to learn more about the Chickadees’ special week! 

“This animal is extremely adaptable and can live in a lot of different environments, including the one we’re in now. It eats small rodents, amphibians, birds and plants and it has red fur on its body,” said Eli while holding up a picture of a track that had four toes with a claw mark above each one. The children shared their guesses about what this animal could be but the Chickadee instructors kept it a mystery. Sarah then led the group through a “movement story” — a story the narrator tells using movements or actions that the listeners copy. “You wake up in the early morning right before the sun rises and are hungry. You move slowly on four legs, stopping to sniff and listen every once in a while. You suddenly hear something underneath the snow and pounce on it!” The Chickadees pretended to jump on their prey and when they caught it, they were instructed to bring it to their den because they had young mouths to feed. After pouncing on their prey, it was time to rest. “You find a cozy place to sleep right on the snow and use your long, fluffy tail to protect your face while you sleep.”

When the Chickadees stopped at the top of the bridge on Monday morning and were asked what had changed since the last time they were at Trillium Camp, almost everyone said “ice!” The creek was partially frozen! The instructors carefully tested the ice to make sure it was strong enough to hold their weight and used long sticks to mark off areas for the Chickadees to avoid. The forest was filled with giggles and squeals of delight as the children slid on their knees, bellies or bottoms on the slippery ice.

It’s slunch time, it’s slunch time 

It’s time to eat our slunch 

It’s slunch time, it’s slunch time 

It’s time to munch and crunch! 

When the Chickadees hear this song, they know it’s time to get in line for handwashing and join the flock in the log circle to eat some food, drink some water and listen to a story. Nora told an epic tale of the time Willa and the other winter fairies made it snow all day long. It snowed so much that the entire forest was covered in a thick blanket of white, fluffy snow. It takes a lot of work to make it snow all day and Willa was feeling tired. But as she was making her way back to her ice castle, she heard a cry coming from somewhere in the distance. Even though Willa was tired and dreaming of the warm bed waiting for her at home, she knew it was important to help others when possible. She flew in the direction of the cries and saw an animal in a clearing with a big, fluffy tail with white fur on the tip and large, pointed ears. “Rosa the red fox! What’s wrong?” asked Willa. Rosa explained that she was hungry but had never hunted in the winter before. “How am I supposed to find all of the tasty mice with all this snow covering up the forest floor? I can’t see or smell anything!” Willa taught Rosa how to use her ears to listen to the animals living in the subnivean zone (the area between the ground and the bottom of the snowpack) and how to walk quietly, or fox-walk, so these animals couldn’t hear her. After waiting, listening and fox-walking, Rosa was ready to pounce on her prey. Willa showed her how to jump in the air and dive headfirst into the snow. Rosa gave it a try and happily came out of the snow pile with a mouse in her mouth!

In Closing Circle, the children learned a new song called “The Wolf, the Fox and the Weasel.” This song is based on a traditional French song called “La Jument de Michao.” The lyrics are below so you can sing it together at home!

I hear the wolf and the fox and the weasel

I hear the wolf and the fox singing (repeat both lines twice)

And in ten years I will come back 

I hear the wolf and the fox singing (repeat both lines twice)

“All-in Chickadees,” Hannah called on Tuesday morning. The children ran to the log circle, sat down and suddenly heard a familiar sound coming from the trees around them — chickadees! “We must have called in the chickadees of a forest when we yelled ‘all-in,'” said Hannah. The children listened to their calls and tried to catch a glimpse of this tiny but brave bird. “I hear the chickadees’ song but not their alarm call,” said a child. Hannah and Sarah looked at each other in amazement. The flock learned about the difference between chickadee songs and alarm calls in the fall, but it had been awhile since they had talked about it. 

Tuesday’s Opening Circle had even more surprises in store! Eli and Sarah each brought special rocks to show the group — one was light and had holes in it and the other was smooth and shiny. After sanitizing hands, the children passed the rocks around the circle and described what they felt like. “This one is sharp,” “it feels like rubber,” “it’s smooth,” were some of the wonderful descriptive words the Chickadees used. Eli explained that he brought a kind of volcanic rock called pumice that is formed when gas gets trapped in lava. When that lava cools it leaves behind a rock with lots of holes in it. Sarah held up her rock and said that it’s called obsidian and it’s formed from lava that cooled very quickly.

You’re probably wondering what inspired all this talk about lava! Last week during slunch, Hannah talked about a volcano in Hawaii that had erupted and created a lake filled with lava! The children were really intrigued by this so the Chickadee instructors wanted to spend more time talking about it. Which brings us back to Tuesday’s Opening Circle when Eli made a volcano erupt. Yes, you read that right! After everyone had a chance to look at the pieces of pumice and obsidian, Eli brought out a bottle with a funnel on top. The Chickadees watched as he poured in some baking soda and suddenly reddish orange lava came gushing out! Afterwards, the children gathered around the “volcano” to take a closer look. They noticed the “lava” had gotten on the ground and was touching some charcoal from a past fire. “The lava is turning into pumice!,” some of the children said.

“I saw a gray, bushy tail coming down the trunk of the white pine tree,” Sarah said during Wednesday’s slunch story. “At first I thought it was a gray squirrel, but the tail was much bigger and longer than a tail belonging to a squirrel. I watched as this animal climbed down the tree and I was amazed to see that it was a fox, a gray fox!.” During that morning’s Opening Circle, the children got to examine a gray fox skull. They noticed how it had both pointed, sharp teeth for tearing and flatter teeth for grinding. They also pointed out where its brain, eyes and nose had been. This skull, along with other bones and a red fox hide, were shared with Ithaca Forest Preschool by Hillary-Joy, a Primitive Pursuits Homeschool instructor. Thank you Hillary-Joy! 🙂

Do you remember the chestnuts we cached last week? On Wednesday, Eli showed us how to roast them over the fire! When they were ready, each child got to try one and while many didn’t like the taste, the Chickadee instructors were so proud of them for trying something new! There were several uncooked chestnuts left so the flock decided to walk like sneaky foxes up to Turkey Knoll and deliver them to the Nuthatches. When they got past the Horsey Log, they would see that the Nuthatches weren’t in their camp. The Chickadees fox-walked over to the other flock’s log circle and left the basket with chestnuts there for them to find. When the children ran down the hill back to Trillium Camp, they noticed something strange — pieces of wood on our firewood box that we hadn’t gathered! Who do you think left these for us?

“I notice that the hair on top is more coarse and rough than the hair underneath,” said Nora while feeling a red fox tail during Thursday’s Opening Circle. The children each got to touch the red fox tail on the hide that Hillary-Joy shared with preschool. Afterwards they sang “The Wolf, the Fox and the Weasel” song while dancing and jumping around the log circle. Once in Trillium Camp, the children enjoyed climbing and sliding down the Climbing Hill and building Willa’s ice castle using pieces of ice from the creek. When the slunch time song was sung and hands were washed, everyone met in the log circle and listened to Nora tell a story called Tomten and the Fox. The Chickadees loved it and are hoping to hear more stories about Tomten, a small gnome-like creature from Swedish folklore. During slunch, Hannah led an interesting discussion about snakes. They talked about garter snakes, northern water snakes and rattlesnakes! 

When it was time to end our day and week at preschool, the children helped clean up camp by picking up all of the pots, pans and baskets and headed over to the log circle where they each picked out an instrument. One of the Chickadees had a special song he wanted to share with the flock called “A Stone Bridge,” which is sung in Romanian. The lyrics are written below in English. 

A stone bridge was destroyed 

And washed by flowing water 

We will build another one, downstream on the river 

It will be stronger and more beautiful

 

We hope you enjoyed reading about our week! We’ll see you next time for more fire, fun and mysteries! 

Squirrels and Scat!

Squirrels and Scat!

The Chickadees had a fun-filled first week of winter! Read below to learn what this week’s mystery animal was, what tracks we found on the bridge and what tasty treat we roasted over the fire…

The Chickadee instructors were so happy to welcome the preschoolers back to their forest school this week! A soft, fluffy blanket of snow greeted us on our first day of the winter session — how fitting! Before Opening Circle, the children played in the snow and were surprised to see how easy it was to make a snowball. They noticed that when they rolled the snow over the ground, it picked up everything (even acorns, rocks and sticks!) and revealed the dark green grass that was hiding underneath. The Chickadee instructors explained that this soft, wet snow is called packing snow and that it’s great for building things like snow people! With that said, Eli helped the children stack three large snowballs on top of each other. Then they found some fallen branches from the nearby white pine tree and stuck them in the side to make arms. Next, Eli found some long, dead grass to use as hair. When they were done, the Chickadees took a step back to admire their work of art. A child lovingly named the snow person creation “Dom Dom!”

At Opening Circle, Eli showed the Chickadees a picture of an animal track. This track had four toes on its front feet and five on its hind feet. He said the animals that make these tracks live in this area, make nests called dreys using dead leaves and sticks and have bushy tails. The children guessed what they thought this animal could be, but Eli left it a mystery (do you have any guesses?). Afterwards, the Chickadee flock grabbed their backpacks and excitedly hurried down the path towards Trillium Camp. They stopped at the top of the bridge where they reported what had changed since the last time they were there. One child noticed the creek had more water and looked wider. Another child pointed out that the pinecone bird feeders we had made in the fall were still missing! We headed down the bridge, intent on finally solving this mystery. Before “slunch” (this is what we call our eating time: it’s a combination of snack and lunch), some children went in search of clues in hopes of figuring out where the pinecone bird feeders went, while others ate some snow, climbed the Climbing Hill and threw snowballs into the creek.

 

When it was time for slunch, the Chickadees washed their hands and went to the log circle. Sarah told a story about a magical forest where fairies can be seen dancing with spring ephemerals, lounging by the creek on warm summer days, twirling down to Earth with the colorful leaves in the fall and riding on snowflakes in the winter. The story introduced Willa the winter fairy who had two special jobs: 1. to help the forest move from fall to winter and 2. provide assistance to any plants or animals that needed help. Willa hears the cries of a small red squirrel named Ringo who got lost when he left his nest in search of food. Willa helps him find his tracks in the snow and together they followed them back to his home. During Willa’s adventure, she also helps Greta the gray squirrel find her collection of nuts she hid in the fall. Greta explains to Willa that she remembers burying them underneath a tree with smooth, gray bark that had bright yellow leaves in the fall and that these leaves turn orange and stay on the tree all winter long. This description sounded familiar to Willa and she then directed Greta to a beech tree. There Greta digs through the snow and Earth to find her special collection of black walnuts, acorns and hickory nuts!

 

When slunch was over, the children played a few rounds of Squirrel Tails, a silly game where someone wears an orange bandana like a tail and everyone has to try and catch it. The children ran around the pavilion, through the garden, up and down the path and around the shelter, laughing as they tried to catch the squirrel tail. The Chickadees ended their day with a walk up to Turkey Knoll where they got to visit the Nuthatches new camp! While we are sad the Nuthatches had to say goodbye to the Ash Grove for the time being, we are so happy they will be closer to us and we are looking forward to seeing them more. At Closing Circle, the children learned a new song called “Gray Squirrel, Gray Squirrel Swish Your Bushy Tail.” The lyrics and movements are written and explained below so you can sing and dance along too! 

Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel, swish your bushy tail (shake like you have a bushy tail) 

Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, swish your bushy tail (shake your tail)

Wrinkle up your little nose (move your nose)

Put a nut between your toes (touch your toes)

Gray squirrel, gray squirrel swish your bushy tail (shake your tail)

On Tuesday the children noticed that the soft and packable snow had changed! Instead it was icy, sand-like and not as easy to make snowballs with. But that didn’t bother the Chickadees! They enjoyed stomping on the ice that had formed in the footprints we made the day before and rolling the big snowballs that had made up our friend Dom Dom (who had sadly fallen over during the night). After singing “Gray Squirrel, Gray Squirrel, Swish Your Bushy Tail” during Opening Circle, the children hiked down to camp where they noticed tracks everywhere — on the bridge, in the log circle, on the Peace Log. While helping put grit on the bridge so we didn’t slip on the ice, a child noticed that the tracks had four toes on the front feet and five on the back — could these tracks belong to the animal that Eli told us about on Monday? While some children looked at the tracks in Trillium Camp, others went on an epic wander where they found honeysuckle bushes and beech trees. When they came back, the flock gathered for slunch where they heard the story of Willa the winter fairy, Ringo the red squirrel and Greta the gray squirrel again. After slunch they played a game where someone pretended to be Greta, the squirrel who had forgotten where she had cached, or stored, her nuts. Like the story, the person playing Greta could only remember a few details about where she had put her nuts. This information was shared with the children who had to use these clues to find the cached nuts, which took the form of an orange bandana ball in this game. The Chickadees played several rounds of this until it was time to sing “The Day is Done” song. 

The day is done 

The day is done 

Thank you for today 

Let’s pack our bags and give air hugs 

And say thanks for the day

 

Wednesday was a special day for two reasons: 1. the Chickadees welcomed a new instructor named Nora to the flock and 2. it was a Chickadee’s birthday! During Opening Circle, the preschoolers welcomed Nora by helping her learn everyone’s names and told her that it’s okay if she forgets someone’s name because she can just ask if she does. 

When the Chickadees arrived in Trillium Camp, they noticed some strange tracks. They decided to follow them and  soon found themselves on an epic adventure that took them to Turkey Knoll, near the creek, across the meadow and finally to Red Squirrel Camp. There the preschoolers found a basket filled with chestnuts and tools they needed to roast them! In order to cook them though, the flock would need to build a fire and in order to make a fire they needed to collect some firewood. Nora and Eli led some children to the “wispy” (our word for kindling) bushes, also known as honeysuckle, while Sarah helped others climb on the low branches of a white pine tree. The melting snow made it a tough day for fire, but Eli was able to do it with some help from the Chickadees of course! Together they sang: 

Burn fire, burn 

Stoke your inner fire

Let the coal inside you rise

Blow that flame to life

 

Thursday brought with it more mysteries and celebration! In the morning they found tons of poop, or scat, in the front field. The children noticed the shape, color and size of the scat and learned that it belonged to a white-tailed deer — probably numerous deer, by the amount of scat they found! In Opening Circle, Hannah led the group in another round of “Gray Squirrel, Gray Squirrel, Swish Your Bushy Tail.” The children sang and danced along and afterwards headed down to camp. Before going down the bridge, Nora said that she hid treasure in a place where you can hear water, where you can see a bird house and where you might find some thorns. The children eagerly went in search of the treasure. Some went to Trillium North near the creek, while others stayed closer to the pavilion and looked near the garden until…they found it! The treasure was hidden at the base of a tree that had a birdhouse on it and was growing next to the creek. There were also some multiflora rose bushes nearby. Everyone was excited to see what the treasure was and gathered around Nora as she opened up the pot to reveal cups, stainers and white pine needles. “Tea!,” the children exclaimed.

Later in the day, the Chickadees climbed the Climbing Hill, said hello to the Nuthatches and found some more scat! But this scat looked different than the small, dark, oval-shaped white-tailed deer scat they found in the morning. This scat was bigger, longer and came to a point. A child noticed that it looked like the scat had hair inside of it. The owner of the scat remained a mystery, until next week perhaps!

 

Can you guess what this week’s mystery animal was? Thank you for reading! Check back here next week to see what new adventures came our way…

Welcome to Preschool 2019

Welcome to Preschool 2019

Following are pictures from the past few weeks at Ithaca Forest Preschool. Check back here for weekly updates on what the preschoolers are up to at their school in the woods!

“Welcome everybody, we’re so glad to see you! Welcome everybody, we’re so thankful for you,” Ithaca Forest Preschool sang in their Opening Circles during the first week of school. The children put on their backpacks and walked down the path towards Trillium Camp, the ones who have been there before leading the way for the new preschoolers. They waited quietly at the top of the bridge and looked down into their camp. “What do you see? What do you hear?” instructors asked them. After looking and listening to their school in the woods, the children walked down the bridge and hung up their backpacks. Melissa, a co-founder, and instructor of Ithaca Forest Preschool asked for the help of the returning preschoolers to give a tour of camp. They explored the garden, the peace log, the climbing hill, the log circle, the creek and other important parts of this space. Pictured above is Mira, an Ithaca Forest Preschool instructor, playing with children in the creek.

The creek, one of the children’s favorite places to play in Trillium Camp. With so many rocks to flip over and frogs, salamanders and crawfish to find, they could spend most of the day here, and sometimes do! During the first weeks of school, the preschoolers noticed the water depth in the creek was low. They explored up and downstream in search of the perfect puddles to jump in and the biggest rocks to flip over. Seen above is a child holding a toad he found jumping on the shore of the creek. He rubbed the palms of his hands in the dirt before gently holding the toad so as to not harm its delicate skin. The preschooler then put the toad in the terrarium.

The aquarium and terrarium are two bins that the children can put animals they find during the day. After the toad above was found, the children worked together to recreate its habitat in the terrarium. They placed dead leaves, rocks and sticks in the terrarium and watched as the toad explored its temporary home. Once an animal is put in either of the bins, the preschoolers are asked to not touch them, and to instead observe how they move, where they like to hide, the colors on their skin, etc. At the end of the day, all of the animals found are let go. Seen above are two children saying goodbye to a frog they put in the aquarium. They caught it, crouched down by the creek and held it in an open hand before it hopped back into the water. “Frog, oh, frog! We love you,” they sang as it swam away.

A child holding a salamander she found under a rock. She let it go shortly after because “he wants to be with his friends.”

Two preschoolers using nets in the creek. With the water level so low, the children noticed that they were hard to use. Instead they’d work together to lift large rocks and peak under. “Do you see anything?” they’d ask each other. “Yes! A frog!”

After arriving to camp, different children each day are chosen to help with the Weather Check. They record what the temperature feels like by choosing a color that represents it (red for hot or blue for cold, for example), check their rain gauge for any water, draw what the sky looks like and measure the creek depth (seen above). The preschoolers started recording the weather during their second week of school. Since then, they’ve noticed that the creek level has been red (the lowest on the measuring stick) everyday.

A child recording the creek depth on the Weather Check board.

Fall is a wonderful time to harvest plants from the land. In the mornings, children gathered black-eyed susans and goldenrod and used them to color on paper. They discovered that the center of the black-eyed susans were excellent for drawing and the tiny petals on the goldenrod flowers made a soft yellow color.

A preschooler harvesting goldenrod.

While goldenrod can be used the color with, it also makes a tasty tea!

…and beautiful crowns.

And great natural dye! Each child got their own piece of silk to put in the dye, which was heated over the fire. At the end of the day, the silk was taken out and the color was revealed- a lovely pale yellow! Melissa made a second batch of dye from the goldenrod the children harvested and decided to not heat it over the fire. The silks turned a bright, golden shade of yellow.

A preschooler putting clothes pins on his piece of silk to make a pattern.

Mira and a child tending the fire and stirring the pot of goldenrod dye. The preschoolers learned that fire needs heat, fuel and air to thrive and helped collect firewood. They gathered small, thin sticks (whispies), slightly larger sticks (pencils) and big, thick sticks (markers). The children helped organize the wood into these different sizes and handed instructors pieces to add to the flame. While observing how to start and tend a fire, the preschoolers also learned about how to be safe around fire.

During an Opening Circle on the third week of school, Melissa introduced pokeberries to the preschoolers. She described what the plant looked like, where they could find it and that, while the berries might look tasty, are not edible. She reminded the group to always ask an instructor before eating a wild plant. Melissa also shared that like goldenrod, pokeberry makes excellent dye.

Children harvesting pokeberries for dye. After their baskets were filled with berries, the preschoolers carried them back to camp where they pulled the pokeberries of their stems and smashed them to a liquid. Melissa revealed that this dye wasn’t going over the fire like the goldenrod, but instead in a pumpkin! The preschoolers helped hollow out a pumpkin and then poured the pokeberry dye inside. After allowing the dye to start to ferment for a week or two, silk will be added to the pumpkin and left there for a few weeks. Until then the group will anxiously wait to see what color the silks turn into…

Two children taking a break from harvesting pokeberries to build a fairy house. Sarah, an Ithaca Forest Preschool instructor and photographer, learned that no fairy house is complete without seat for a T-Rex (seen above).

On Thursdays, Ithaca Forest Preschool invites the children from the Homeschool program to join them at the red oak tree for games. With lots of acorns falling from the red oak, they came up with a fun way to use them. The game seen here was to walk through the hula hoops while balancing acorns on a spoon!

A preschooler walking through the hula hoops and balancing acorns on a spoon while the rest of the preschoolers and some homeschoolers watch.

At Ithaca Forest Preschool, we begin and end our days together in circle. Seen here are three children passing a gratitude hoop. During this time, the preschoolers and instructors share something from their day they’re happy they saw or did while the rest of the group listens. Some of the things we have lots of gratitude for at school are frogs, climbing the hill, crawfish, trees, all of the plants, moms and dads, cats and children who like to play and learn outside.

Thank you for reading! We’re so grateful to share our adventures in the woods with you. Click here to see what our Homeschool program has been up to…

Hiding Fishers

Hiding Fishers

Ithaca Forest Preschool

“The Hemlock Grove, the Hemlock Grove, where the trees stay green all through the winter. The swamp will freeze and we’ll find the fisher, climbing over fallen trees,” the preschoolers sang before hiking out to the Hemlocks. There they played on the dragon shelter, slid around on some ice and followed fisher tracks (seen above)! Photo taken by Melissa Blake.

A child playing on the dragon shelter. This structure was created after a hemlock tree had fallen and with it, uprooted some of the surrounding earth. During summer camp, children noticed that it looked like the mouth of a dragon and added a body, tail and even teeth! The preschoolers liked climbing on and through the dragon. Photo taken by Melissa Blake.

A treasure map drawn by one of the preschoolers. Here the child is pointing to where the treasure is located. Several children joined in the search for the lost treasure that took them up the Climbing Hill, to the tipi, down to the Horsey Log and finished at Trillium North.

Preschoolers following the treasure map. Their journey also led them to the “spider stump,” where they stopped to play before moving on.

Once in Trillium North, the children noticed that one of their favorite trees had a broken branch. When discussing what they could do to help it, the group decided to take some charcoal from the fire and place it at the tree’s roots.

“There’s a bug up here,” a child exclaimed while sitting in a musclewood tree (Carpinus caroliniana) in Trillium North.

Children making cupcake batter on a muddy day. They added water from the creek, moss and white pine needles. Photo taken by Melissa Blake.

“Hello tree! We love you,” a preschooler said while walking up the path at the end of the day.

A young fisher cat in a tree. The preschoolers learned that fishers can rotate their paws 180 degrees so they can climb down trees headfirst!

Dancing Porcupines

Dancing Porcupines

Forest Preschool braved some seriously chilly weather last week! They gathered close on Tuesday to see what Sarah had hidden in her hands. She said that the object she was holding was very sharp, mostly white but black on the tip and that belonged to an animal that had these covering most of its body. The children called out a few guesses and Sarah opened her hands- it was a porcupine quill! With the instructors’ help, the children carefully passed the quill around the circle, noticing its sharpness and color. Afterwards, they followed Jesse to their backpacks, walking all the way like porcupines.

Once in Trillium Camp, the children were excited to see that the creek was frozen! Maggie checked to make sure it was safe and then the preschoolers ventured out onto the ice. In no time, they were boot-skating, spinning and sliding on their bellies. A few children noticed some cool ice formations and spent some time observing them and guessing how they came to be (seen above). They also enjoyed breaking up the ice with sticks and seeing how big of a piece they could carry.

During snack, Maggie told a story of a dancing porcupine. Her story involved some amazing acrobatics, which can be seen above. The children were so engaged by the story that they had to be reminded to eat their snack!

Maggie dancing like the porcupine from her story.

After they filled up their bellies with food, the Forest Preschool crew went up the hill on a porcupine adventure! The preschoolers led the instructors up the secret staircase, which was even more hidden than usual as it was covered in a thick blanket of snow and ice. When they reached the top, the young porcupines played in the Meadow. They climbed on the fallen quaking aspen, danced in the tipi and explored the woods near Turkey Knoll.

The preschoolers noticed these small tracks on the pavilion in Trillium Camp. They counted the toes, noticed their shape and observed how tiny they were. Do you know what animal they belong to?

Before lunch, Jesse decided to make a fire using a hand drill. The children eagerly watched as he worked hard to spin the drill between his hands until…

He got a coal! Jesse carefully moved the delicate ember into the pile of beech leaves, dried goldenrod and other natural materials to help bring it to life.

At lunch, the children enjoyed warming their hands and roasting food over the fire. When the day had come to an end, they joined together to sing and dance like porcupines!

On Wednesday, Forest Preschool began their day inside and with only one preschooler! With Zak and Sarah, this child colored in river otter tracks (seen above), built with blocks, made a porcupine den and then bundled up in lots of layers to brave the wintry weather outside. Together they explored the frozen creek and made a bridge out of ice! When playing near the Pole Barn, the child noticed some tracks. After looking more closing at its shape, gait pattern and some nearby scat, they determined they belonged to a rabbit! As Zak and Sarah were looking more closely at the tracks, the preschooler noticed a rabbit hiding under some bleachers. They fox-walked their way towards it until it hopped away. On their way back inside, they also noticed that the Forest Preschool shelter near the white pine had lost all of its needles! Upon closer inspection, the small group saw deer tracks coming from all directions to the tree and even found some hair on the now bare branches 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 program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and is run by Primitive Pursuits, a 4-H Program.