The Nuthatches enjoy playing the “all in” game, where an instructor sneaks away and hides before calling “ALL IN NUTHATCHES!” The Nuthatches do a great job tracking where the call is coming from.

Our theme for week 5 focused on robins, while giving space to free play, creek play, games and stories!

On Monday, instructors Ariadne, Edie, Jamie and Nora joined the Nuthatches for a fun and chilly morning. The Nuthatches showed they are getting the hang of opening circle by being present and participating in the Robin Song. In coordination with the robin theme of the week, the Nuthatches were able to tell each other the colors of robins and we all practiced the ways that a robin looks and listens for worms in the soil.

Once we got to camp, Nora snuck away to play the “all in” game. The Nuthatches soon learned that if they quieted their voices, they could hear where the “all in Nuthatches” calls were coming from. The Nuthatches used their deer ears to track the calls and eventually found Nora hidden at the edge of the forest, per the photo above. Next Ariadne and Jamie snuck away to play “all in” and by the end of it, the Nuthatches were getting the hang of it – they’re some great trackers when they put their mind and senses to it.

After playing “all in,” the Nuthatches helped gather firewood to give as a gift to the Chickadee flock. Ariadne and Edie snuck down to the Chickadee camp with the Nuthatches to surprise the Chickadee flock with the gift! Afterwards, the Nuthatches formed several fun and respectful play partnerships with each other and were even seen building some fairy-style houses.

At slunch, Nora shared more tales from the Fine Words Fox story about how to use our fine words when we want to communicate a need or request. After slunch, one of the Nuthatches led us in a tick scan before a round of gratitude at closing circle.

On Wednesday, instructors Ariadne, Astrid, Nora and Jamie met the Nuthatches with temperatures in that got into the 70’s in the afternoon. The Nuthatches had another great opening circle. We sang the Robin Song, talked about the three respects and the Nuthatches shared what they remembered about robins – characteristics like the reddish/brown/orange bellies and where they like to hang out.

Next, came creek play!

Creek play involved jumping around, finding out how skunk cabbage got its name, and making some rafts out of tree bark. We easily could’ve spent the whole day there but worked up quite an appetite for slunchtime. During slunch, Nora read the book “We are the Water Protectors,” by Carole Lindstrom that one of the Nuthatches brought to share. The book lead to some rich conversations about protecting the environment and indigenous peoples’ rights.

The Nuthatches had some fun with free play and were seen waving to the Chickadees from the bouncy log. Toward the end of the day, some of the Nuthatches spotted a gray tree frog sitting inconspicuously on a branch where many were playing. We all took turns looking at the frog while also being respectful of their space. Some other sightings we noticed that day were spiders, a toad and robins! Can you spot the tree frog in the photo below?

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.