Hi Chickadee-dee-dees! 
Each day before walking into camp, the children stop at the top of the bridge leading to Trillium Camp and make observations about what has changed. With each passing week, we’ve noticed more and more leaves starting to change color and fall to the ground. We’ve noticed that we’re wearing more layers in the mornings — jackets, sweaters, hats, sometimes even mittens! And the animals have been so busy! We’ve seen chipmunks with stuffed cheeks and heard squirrels rustling through the fallen leaves. 
Chickadees stopped at the top of the bridge leading to Trillium Camp. 
Like the animals, we’ve been pretty busy too! Maddy, Hannah, and Sarah finished telling the Peace Superhero stories. The Chickadees have now met Fine Words Fox, Peaceful Porcupine, Unity Unicorn, Feel Better Butterfly and Shadowtail, a giant gray squirrel who helps the Peace Superheroes travel through the forest. The Peace Stones (shown below) live in a bag on a backpack hook in Trillium Camp and we encourage the children to use them whenever they need guidance from these forest friends.

Meet the Peace Superheroes! Feel Better Butterfly, Fine Words Fox, Peaceful Porcupine and Unity Unicorn (top to bottom).

Speaking of forest friends, remember those beautiful leaves the Nuthatches gifted us during week 2 of preschool? The Chickadees made a fire, melted beeswax in a pot and carefully dipped the leaves into the melted wax. Each child got to pick out several leaves to dip in the wax. Some picked out heart-shaped leaves, others chose ones with “teeth.” They left the leaves to dry and will be using them to make something to give to the Nuthatches in return! What do you think the Chickadees are going to make with the waxed leaves?

The Chickadees warming their hands around one of their first fires! The children learned about different sized firewood (“wispies, pencils and markers”) and how to be safe around fire. They did a great job!

The children stopped for a ride on the Horsey Log on their way to collect firewood.

Our mystery bag has held some exciting mysteries over the past two weeks! During Opening Circle, the mystery bag was passed around. Each child felt the outside of the bag, described what it felt like and gave a guess as to what they think it could be. “Bumpy,” “hard,” “a stick,” were some of the things said as the mystery bag was passed around the circle. After a loud drumroll the bag was opened and inside was a plant with small, golden flowers — “goldenrod!” some of the children exclaimed upon seeing it. And it was indeed goldenrod! The Chickadees went on a search for goldenrod and found some growing at the edge of the front field. They filled their baskets with the flowers and headed down to Trillium Camp where they made a fire and filled a pot with water. Next they put in goldenrod, purple aster flowers and white hand towels. The children made predictions about what color the hand towels were going to change to. After some stirring, the pot was placed on the fire where it started to bubble and turn yellow!

Sarah and a Chickadee stirring a pot filled with water, white hand towels, goldenrod and purple aster flowers. The children learned that goldenrod and purple aster flowers are in the same family (the Aster Family, Asteraceae).

Next week the Chickadees will use another plant to add purple to their hand towels — stay tuned to find out what it is! We’d like to leave you with this sweet moment of some Chickadees walking back up the path towards the red oak tree at the end of the day holding hands using a “friendship stick.”

Thank you for reading — we love sharing the adventures of preschool with you!

Jumping in puddles,
Sarah, Maddy & Hannah

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.