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!

Now Enrolling for the 2022-23 School Year!

Now Enrolling for the 2022-23 School Year!

Enrollment is now open for the coming school year. To start your registration use the “start registration” button on the home page to fill out our enrollment form. Once we receive your form data we can be in touch with you to make sure this is a great fit for your family.

Please note that completion of this form does not guarantee a space in the program. Filling out the form indicates your interest in this program, enrollments will be processed separately through our Registrar!

Photos from the Trailcam: Fall and Winter

At preschool, we often ask ourselves the question “What animals visit Trillium camp when we are gone?” 

We already have some tools to help us figure this out. For example, everyone loves to examine and follow tracks in the snow. Sometimes we might find feathers or even fur. And sometimes we see the animals ourselves! 

Earlier this fall, we found another special tool that can help us with our question. It was under some leaves, wet and dirty. It was a trail camera, the same one that our old friend Sarah Chaffee had set up last year! Unfortunately, water had gotten into the belly of the camera and it was no longer usable. But Nora Fox happened to have another one in her closet (from her college thesis project doing mammal surveys in Vermont), and brought it in! The preschoolers helped choose some different trees to strap it to, and since then, we’ve gotten some great answers to our question about what animals visit our camp!

A trail camera is very special because it takes pictures whenever it senses something moving, in the night or day, rain or shine. Sometimes it captures leaves moving, snow falling, or animals (and preschoolers!) walking by. Here are some of the images this camera has captured in the fall and spring. Look out for these animals: deer, squirrels, and mink! Each image has a date and time stamp so you can see exactly when it was taken. Click the arrows on the sides of the picture to see the next ones. Can you tell what these animals are doing? 

Snow Fun!

Snow Fun!

Over the past two weeks we have had so much fun in the snow. One of the kid’s favorite things to do is exploring the snow forts started by a group of older kids. They have used their muscles and worked together to climb and dig more tunnels. Working hard, trudging through deep snow, and doing silly dances to keep warm was a big part of every day.

The preschoolers practiced tracking both animals and each other. After seeing mink tracks near the creek and spotting a mink on our trail cam footage, they have been learning about animals in the weasel family . They enjoyed learning about how otters like to toboggan on their bellies and then used sleds to do the same. Some of the skills they practiced were how to bail off the sled and how to steer with their hands. It was really fun for the instructors to watch them.

We also talked about snowflake formation and had a beautiful moment where we could see perfect snowflakes on each other’s dark clothes. It was a great way to keep the attention focused while we were waiting for other kids to hide.

These two preschoolers worked together to climb the slippery hill and slide down many times together. We have seen so many examples of the kids working together to solve problems and their friendships are growing really strong. 

Welcome Winter!

Welcome Winter!

We have had such a magical start to the winter session. The cold weather has brought a lot of ice, and with that a lot of fun exploring, skating, breaking, and investigating it. On Monday we had some magical snowfall as we started our day. What a beautiful welcome to the new year and the Winter session. We looked all around Trillium camp to see what had changed since we had been there two weeks earlier. We found a lot can change in just two weeks!

On Tuesday we discovered there was ice that formed on the creek. We spent much of the day ice fishing, skating rocks across the ice, breaking it, and making ice popsicles. 

On Wednesday we investigated how the ice had changed and went on a wander to see how the ice looked at different parts of the creek. We discovered that it looked different everywhere. Some places had almost no ice, while others were almost completely covered! We also found the perfect puddle to smash! 

On Thursday we went on a wander to the bird feeder. On our journey we found so many frozen puddles that made perfect skating rinks. The kids loved skating around on the mini rinks! We also found that there were things frozen in the ice, like leaves, and sticks.

We made fires every day and the kids all appreciated warming their hands at slunch (combined snack and lunch) time at the fire. It was also really fun to put out the fire with chunks of ice from the creek.
We also learned a new song with movement. It has become a fast favorite.
Standing and keeping the beat sing:
I hear the wolf and the fox and the weasel
I hear the wolf and the fox and the singing
I hear the wolf and the fox and the weasel
I hear the wolf and the fox and the singing
Now skip and dance around and sing:
In ten years I will come back
I hear the wolf and the fox singing
In ten years I will come back
I hear the wolf and the fox singing
 
Repeat this as many times as you like and it is a really fun way to stay warm, have fun, and sing together.

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.