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.
Dance Parties and more

Dance Parties and more

When we are not working on a bigger project like making jelly, sometimes we have a dance party. This day we sang at least seven different songs and danced while playing instruments.

Sometimes your instruments turn into a friction fire kit. This preschooler diligently worked at making a fire while the rest of us sang danced around him.

Here the children are practicing their aim while throwing rocks to knock over the wood structure.

The climbing hill is always a favorite activity.

Who doesn’t like to get a tarp ride?

We found a mystery object. Nobody knew what it was.

Beautiful Weather

Beautiful Weather

The past two days have been beautiful and the Preschoolers have been enjoying every minute of it. We have been practicing our awareness skills while observing the world around us, playing games, and wandering in the woods.
We found a stick bug!
Playing in the leaves under a red maple tree.

Season’s Change song

Oh the seasons change and the leaves they fall,  and I will change myself

I will give my body to the cold,  the spring thaw will do me well

Yes I know,  I will grow

With the Earth,  between my toes

A shelf fungus mystery we fould on our wander.
The horsey log is always a favorite.
Everyone was very engaged listening to Nora tell the story of how the porcupine got it’s quills.
Wild Grapes

Wild Grapes

Over the fisrt few weeks of Forest Preschool this Fall we learned to identify wild grapes. We then harvested grapes, smashed and pressed them for juice. Then we turned the juice into jelly. Fianlly we made pakcakes to enjoy our jelly on. It was a really fun project that the children really enjoyed being part of all of the steps. I’ll take you through a visual journey of the process.
Sorting and smashing the grapes.
Pressing the juice and removing the pomace.

Making and enjoying our pancakes and jelly. Yum!

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.