Wild Child's Blog

Feeding Birds, Signs of Spring, “Guess Who?”, and Farewell Visits

The last two weeks have concluded my scheduled visits for Wild Child (although I do have make-up visits scheduled for next week due to all the snow days!). These weeks have been really fun. I have noticed that the by my 3rd, 4th, and 5th visits that relationship with children really starts to become more evident. I remember many childrens names and we can recount experiences from my past visits. Children’s excitement levels seem to increase with each visit. I have also noticed increased comfortability in myself as I revisit each daycare. In terms of relationship building and material retainment, I am curious how a week long visit to each daycare would compare to the bi-weekly visit approach that I have taken. This may be something that the next season of Wild Child could consider trying.

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Wild Child and the Community

The last two weeks has really shown me that there is a large amount of community interest and support to get children back into nature. Perhaps you saw the segment on CBC’s Compass with Boomer or made it out to the fundraiser for the Wild Child Program, or maybe you will pick up the Guardian this week and read about Wild Child in the paper.. regardless, the support for this program has been great and is very encouraging to those interested in getting nature programs into childcare and education systems. From news stories to fundraisers, I am getting the notion that people genuinely want children to reconnect with nature. What an inspiring message!

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Wait, were these alive before?!

Two weeks of stormy, cold, snowy weather can put quite the damper on outdoor fun... so sometimes you have to bring “the wild” inside!

 

On the days where it is too cold for the little ones to venture out into the snow, there is a giant blue tub of animal items that I bring them. There is a little bit of everything in this tub, including: a beaver pelt, coyote skull, robin’s nest, porcupine quills, barred owl wing, and turtle shell (to name a few).

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The Taste of a Tree!

I journey my way through Charlottetown, meeting some of the most interesting individuals with the most profound messages and ideas you could imagine encountering. What do I do? I play with kids in nature!!

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Meeting the Wild Children of PEI

A second Sierra Club Wild Child Nature Immersion Program is underway in PEI, only this time: it’s winter fun! 

It is truly an amazing experience to slow down and let our imaginations wonder. At one visit, the kids and I made up a game called “Chipmunks” all on our own while we were discussing animals that need trees to live. The game was a relay design where children had to run to a tree, grab a nut or pinecone (we used whatever we had on hand), then run back to their “hole” to store the nut for the winter and tag the next person in line. The first team to go to the tree and back twice “won” the round. As the weeks unravel, I become more amazed at the creative minds of the children I meet. My visits are a valuable reminder of why play and imagination are key to healthy, engaged living. ... Read more »

A Tall Grass Safari in Downtown Charlottetown

Tuesday, August 12 was my fourth visit to the Campus Kids Daycare centre. I had a very special treat planned that day and I had gotten up quite early to make sure everything was organized.

Before we set off for the day's activities I showed everyone a large assortment of insects and arachnids in cases and frames. These were from my personal collection but they suited the activity so well I couldn't miss an opportunity to share them with everyone. Among the creepy crawlers were an assortment of butterflies and beetles, including a rhinosaurous beetle as big as their hands. There was also a leaf bug, a millipede, a scorpion, and a tarantula. The children were both fascinated by the bugs and would have gladly stayed there all day looking at them.... Read more »

Finding a Meal, Bat Style

Tuesday, August 5 was the third week of the Wild Child program at Campus Kids daycare. By this point, the children have come to expect my visits and we already cleaning up when I arrived. Another bright and sunny morning, though thankfully not as hot as the week before.

We set off across campus to the same location from day one, the large trees outside of Main Building. Here we quickly got into the "Bat and Moth Game", after a quick lesson on echolocation of course. The Bat and Moth Game is a lot like Marco Polo. One child covers their eyes and says "bat", the other child responds with "moth" and the chase is on. After a while we gave the children a five minute "run around" break to do whatever they wanted. An epic game of tag ensued, the likes of which I'll probably never see again.... Read more »

Hide and Seek - WIld Child Style!

Tuesday, July 29 was the second week of the Wild Child Program at UPEI's Campus Kids Daycare. The day dawned hot a sunny, and I was grateful that we had scheduled the program for the morning hours, or the heat would have kept us all inside.

When I arrived I was greeted by a chorus of "Hi Ashley!" and excited whispers of "Look, Ashley's back!" Most of the faces were familiar. The children who had not been present the week before were quickly brought up to speed by their peers that we were going to play fun "secret" games. They eagerly cleaned up their toys and within ten minutes we were on our way.... Read more »

Wild Child Branches Out to PEI

Tuesday, July 22 was the first day of the Wild Child program on Prince Edward Island. I awoke bright and early, and was soon on my way to the Campus Kids Daycare at the UPEI campus. I arrived during snack-time and was given homemade biscuits with butter. An excellent start to my first day.... Read more »

Dec. 5-9: Features of Creatures

Creatures have features. These specific adaptations make them what they are and not something else.  A living critter may have feathers, fur, flippers, feet, or fins (and those are just the ones that I can think of that start with the letter “f”). Scientists like to classify and name living things based on the features that living things have.

A great game to get children up and running about, while at the same time using their imaginations to think of the characteristics of different critters is “Ranger Ranger”. To get the group thinking about features before getting into the game, I’ll lead a short discussion about what makes a reptile different from a mammal or a bird from a tree.

Ranger, Ranger Running Game

When you get out to the grounds start off by making a rectangular field. Have all the children line up on one end of the rectangle facing the opposite end.... Read more »

   

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