Focus:

  • Learning that trees have a language all their own.
  • Learning that trees can be our friends, and can help us when we are sad.

This is a true story inspired by a three-year-old student I had in my Outdoor Preschool who was sad a LOT! I have seen this same thing happen many times since.

Recently, after telling this story to some three-and-a-half and four-year-old students, I thought each was going to find their own tree. When I turned around, all of them were hugging and snuggling up against a single tree. Since that time they have found trees wherever we are, and have gone to them when they feel the need. Hugging trees really works.

Playing with the story:

  • Adults: Demonstrate for the children playfulness and love for the trees.
  • Children: Find a tree in your yard and play with it. Look at it, smell it, touch it, listen to it. Bring it gifts.
  • Take a nature walk and discover what trees you want to be around. Go and hug them.
  • Have the children tell you a story about their favorite tree. Ask them how it got to be the way it is. Ask them its name and how it got that name. Write or record what the children tell you.
  • Take a walk down the street and see how many leaf buds and/or different kinds of flowers you can find.
  • Each morning, send one of your children outside to feel the weather.
  • Make a chart, of sorts, with words or pictures of how hot or cold it is.
  • Is it a sweater day? Coat day? Rain coat day? No-sleeve shirt day?
  • Check the clouds. Are they Puffy? Thin? Thick? High? Low?…
  • Take a Smell Walk, and notice the different smells for a day, week, month.
  • Go out every night for a week or more and feel the air.
  • First thing in the morning, listen to how many birds are singing. As springs comes along you will hear more and more birds.

colorful birds

All of this can take very little time. Just keep doing it for fun for a month or so and pretty soon you will start to notice some differences. You will begin to see that Spring really IS here!!

And, for more inspiration, listen to this story called Spring is Just Around the Corner.

Have fun!
Wendolyn

Focus: To create awareness of evergreen trees, bird songs, and bird coloration.

This is a beautiful story for the winter season. Its original version is about Joseph and Mary and the Christmas story, but I have changed it in order to be all-inclusive, while still keeping the essence of the tale intact.

Playing with the story:

  • Find evergreen trees. Then notice trees in the dead of winter that are not evergreen.
  • Notice how trees change throughout the seasons.
  • Do some trees have branches that bend over? Do others have branches that point up to the sky? What else can you discover about trees?
  • Make a collection of leaves.
  • Create a simple ceremony of bringing gifts to the animal and plant people.
  • Look for Robin Redbreast. Does he really have a red breast? Are there any birds that are only brown?
  • Watch Robin Redbreast to see what he eats.
  • What birds sing in your area? Go out at different times of the day and listen to the birds’ voices. Listen at night for the birds singing.
  • Where safe and appropriate, and with adult supervision, make a fire. See if you need to fan it to get started.

Song:

The North Wind Doth Blow

The North wind doth blow and the rain it shall flow

And what will the Robin do then, the dear thing?

It’ll cuddle with its friends in the tree as it bends,

And wait till the Sun it does glow, the dear thing.

American Robin