Goodbye Fall, Hello Winter

Goodbye Fall, Hello Winter

As fall is coming to a close, we’re saying “goodbye” to fall and “hello” to winter. We’re celebrating the end of the fall season by wrapping up our fall projects and playing in the snow!

At the beginning of the fall, the preschoolers harvested wild flowers and pressed them in a flower press. We waited a couple of months for the flowers to dry out and wondered how we could preserve these fall flowers. To our delight, we were gifted “magic fairy paper” by the forest fairies. The preschoolers were very excited to save of colors of the fall with this paper. 

We placed the pressed flowers between two pieces of this magical paper and transformed the paper and flowers into a stained glass window. The preschoolers were very proud of their work.

Yet another fairy project was created this fall. In the mid fall, we made a dye using black walnuts. We then dyed a piece of white fabric and watched the color of the fabric turn to a rich brown color. The preschoolers were curious about this special black walnut potion and its interesting powers. 

We decided to use the fabric to create “fairy pouches”. The preschoolers learned how to trace a circle in the special fabric and to sew around the outside of the circle. 

What fits into a fairy pouch? Well, the preschoolers listened to a story about how fairies travel with these pouches to help them carry seeds to new places.

In addition to our projects, our group is very excited about snow and the coming of winter! The preschoolers love snow tasting, sliding down the frozen climbing hill, and playing in the cozy shelter. Our group is very curious to notice the ways the snow transforms the forest and creates new mysteries to discover at Trillium Camp. We’re excited to welcome winter in the coming days!

Fall Highlights

Fall Highlights

Our fall has been filled with so much fun and laughter. We’ve enjoyed watching the seasons change and making new friends at preschool! These are some of our fall highlights.

We celebrated the harvest season with several cooking projects, including making apple cider, apple sauce, and apple crisp (apples galore)! 

We also made a large debris shelter. The preschoolers had a blast collecting leaves and sticks to make the shelter. They absolutely love playing inside it and using it as a special hiding spot.

Trillium Camp has been visited by several critters this fall. We’ve practiced our fox walking skills and learned how to patiently watch creatures.  The preschoolers have enjoyed admiring the beauty of these curious animals.

Speaking of critters, we made “pumpkin feeders” and placed them around Trillium Camp. The preschoolers love checking the pumpkins each morning to see if there’s any evidence of animals visiting. 

Our preschoolers have made so many new friends this fall! They love playing and discovering new mysteries together. 

Join us for a FREE Forest Play Day

Join us for a FREE Forest Play Day

Friday, October 20th 9am – Noon

Parents and children are invited to join Ithaca Forest Preschool for a Saturday morning of exploring, stories and fire at our beloved Trillium Camp located at 4-H Acres (418 Lower Creek Road, Ithaca, NY). You will learn more about Ithaca Forest Preschool’s teaching practices and get to meet our staff!

We believe the seeds of a deep connection to nature are in each of us from the time we are born, and we look forward to learning and playing together with your children!

Forest Play Days are a great way to learn if a Forest School program might be right for your family!

Come get a feel for our preschool program!

When: Friday, October 20th, 2023 – 9am – Noon

Where: Trillium Camp at 4-H Acres, 418 Lower Creek Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850

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!

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.