Detective Post #13

News from the Outdoors:

What do the animals of Woodend do during the Winter time?


Trees company!


That was the question that the Nature Detectives set out to answer this week. We started out by thinking about birds and talking about how some birds migrate, while others stay for the winter, and also how some birds like robins, we see year-round…but the robins we see during the winter are robins from Canada and our Maryland robins head further south. With this knowledge in mind the Nature Detectives set out on a hike around Woodend to scatter some birdseed on the ground for the birds to have a tasty meal during the cold winter days.


Feeding birds with corn is a-maize-ing!


While hiking this week the kids spotted quite a few deer in the woods. We talked about how deer are out and about in the winter and that their bodies adapt for the cold weather. They store up more body fat, grow a thicker, warmer winter coat of fur and hang out in groups. The males also lose their antlers, so on Tuesday we took a hike through the woods to look for antlers and as luck would have it, we even found an antler in the woods! As an added bonus, we noticed some clues that some small rodents (probably mice) had been chewing on the antler.


Looking at pictures of animal adaptations with Ms. Lisa


Lastly we talked about how some animals hibernate during the winter. The animal that comes to mind for hibernation most often is bears, but we don’t have any of those at Woodend, but we do have some other hibernating animals like bats, frogs  and woodchucks. So we talked about those animals and while we were on our hike with Ms. Lisa our Naturalist, we played the Hibernation, Migration Adaptation Game!


Hibernation, Migration, Adaptation game!


To wrap up our last week of school for the 2016 year we bundled up to brave the freezing temperatures and walked to the pond to see if it had frozen overnight. The AM Nature Detectives had fun using sticks to test the thickness of the ice. Much to their disappointment, it was not thick enough for us to walk on!


Ice, it was water before it was cool.


News From the Classroom:

With the Winter Celebration coming at the end of the week, the Nature Detectives found plenty of Winter-themed activities in the classroom. They explored with animals in shaving cream, built hibernation dens for some bears in the block area, and went camping in the tent we set up in the dramatic play area.


Building Bear Town


The Nature Detectives also worked on bird puzzles, used the Build-a-bird toys, created animals, ships, robots and more with the connectagon toys and made deer antler hand print art with finger paint.


Some serious detecting going on.


Rescue Ranger


We also made our winter hat style crowns for the Winter Celebration and practiced the songs, and worked on hand signs for the concert portion of the Celebration. Some PM kids also created some fancy beaded jewelry to bling out their Winter Celebration style.


Crowning Achievements


Lastly, we ended the week and the 2016 year in style with a fabulous (and festively frosty temperatures) Winter Celebration! Big Thank Yous to all the families for attending, volunteering for set up, reading, photos, snack-making, art, clean-up and everything in-between! Thank you for helping to make the celebrations and the first portion of a school year a double thumbs-up success!


Weekly Top Hits:

Winter’s Coming

(Tune: Frere Jaques)

Winters coming, winters coming,

It is cold,

It is dark,

I am bundled snug and warm,

Animals sleep safe and warm,

Sleds and snow,

Cold winds blow!


Feed, Feed, Feed the Birds

(Tune: Row, row, row your Boat)

Feed, feed, feed the birds in the winter time

When the weather’s dark and cold

Food is hard to find!

Feed, feed, feed the birds til the Spring has come

Scatter birdseed on the snow

feeding birds is fun!


Hibernation (Bat Verse)

(Tune: Alouette)

Hibernation, time for hibernation

Hibernation, time to go to sleep

In the winter where’s the bat?

In a cave is where it’s at!

Where’s the Bat?

Where’s it at?

Oooooooh – Oh! Hibernation, time for hibernation

Hibernation, time to go to sleep!



Sand Angels!


Books We Read:

Going Home by Marianne Berkes

The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming

When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan


All smiles in the cold!


Spoiler Alert!

When we return…Nocturnal Animals


Tree you next year!

Detective Post #11

News From the Outdoors:

The Nature Detectives dove into another week of Planetpals by meeting Breezy, a Planetpal that represents wind and fresh air. For our hike we headed to the Stumps and played The Big Wind Blows, a game of making connections and best of all, running around.


Getting ready to play The Big Wind Blows


H2O-no you didn’t!


On Tuesday, we had to get into full rain gear for our outside portion of the day. We walked up to the Amphitheater to check out the flying squirrel feeder, and roll some logs. On the way there some of the kids picked up new copies of the Naturalist Quarterly, which has a map of Woodend on the cover and the kids had fun locating where some of their favorite spots are on the map! While hiking in the afternoon, some of the PM kids spotted the elusive fox that has been seen hanging around Woodend!


Streaming, offline


Nature Preschool: never too mainstream


Heavy rains again on Wednesday made for some fun river/water pipe creation on the playground and some soggy hikes around the grounds. The week of fun in the outdoors was capped off on Thursday by heading up to the Rain Garden where recently, lots of construction has been happening. A landscaping crew was there to do some planting and the Nature Detectives got to pitch in and help by planting some Golden Ragwort and Rush!


Say hello to my little frond.


Gettin’ diggy wit it!


News From the Classroom:

With this being our final week of Planetpals, it was a busy week in the classroom as well. The kids made kites to play with in the breeze with Breezy, used puff balls to make craters on the moon for Moonbeam, played Planetpal Bingo after meeting Starbaby (as named by the AM class)/Starbright (as named by the PM class). Starbaby/Starbright also taught us that our other Planetpal, Sunnyray is ALSO a star, just much closer to us, so it looks bigger than the other stars we see in the night sky.  Lastly, we met Recycle Girl on Friday and talked about all the different ways we can reduce, reuse and recycle at school and at home.



Piece out


The Nature Detectives also added another page to their journals when they wrote about different ways in which they themselves are Planetpals and help the earth. To cap off the Planetpal unit, each class made a Planetpal class book filled with pictures of their favorite Planetpals, and/or created their own new Planetpals!


Planetpal Bingo


These moons are out of this world!


The AM class was happy to see Ann-Mari return from her travels abroad when she joined the class on Thursday and shared a fun book with the class about the wind. Ms. Susan also brought a fun book about compost stew to share with the PM class. After reading that book we then took a hike up to the Audubon Compost bins to drop off the school’s compost and make some compost stew of our own! The PM class also created not one, but two birthday books this week!


Reading with Ann-Mari


Creating new Planetpals


Books we Read:

Gilberto and the Wind by Marie Hallets

Mooncake by Ashe

Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis


Compost, because a rind is a terrible thing to waste.


Weekly Top Hits:

I see the Moon:

I see the moon and the moon sees me

Under the shade of the old oak tree

please let the light that shines on me

shine on the ones I love

Over the mountains and under the sea

back where my heart is longing to be

please let the light that shines on me

shine on the ones I love

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star




Spoiler Alert!:

Next week we’ll start our camping unit!

The Detective Post #10

News from the Outdoors

Despite the shorter week, the Detectives were able to fit a lot into only two days at Audubon! We continued our Planet Pals unit, meeting the Planet Pals named Fluffy and H2O. On Monday the classes went looking for H2O at Woodend! The AM class hiked along the creek beds, finding leaves, an old well, but no water until we hit the pond. While the PM class experimented with mud at the pond, using different sized sticks to determine how deep down the muddy mud goes!


Well, well, well, look who we found here!


Measuring mud with sticks!


On Tuesday both classes enjoyed reading It Looked like Spilt Milk before cloud gazing! While we couldn’t find a ton of clouds, we looked for the objects the clouds had also made in the story.


Tricky Fluffy


I-Spy Sunny Ray!


News from the Classroom

This week the Detectives continued our Planet Pal discovery inside the classroom. In our Planet Pal mail during meeting, we learned about how Fluffy and H2O work together in the water cycle. We continued our discovery of the two by adding water and sponges to the water table, having the water evaporate into sponge clouds and rain back down into the table below.




On Monday we also learned a new Mindfullness trick- “take five!” This can help when any feeling starts to get too big, and to help calm our bodies. You hold one hand out, and with the opposite pointer finger trace the outside of your hand. While tracing up, you breath in, and when you trace down, you breath out! We also got a chance to make our own, Fluffy Fidgets! The kids used funnels to pour flour into balloons to create soft and colorful clouds to squeeze in their hands.


From tunnels to funnels!


We continued building with zoobs at the block area, and added more corresponding Planet Pal capes in the dramatic play. We added Planet Pal themed stamps to the play dough we made last week, as well as opened up a new Planet Pal matching game on the campfire carpet!


Making clouds is cirrus business


At the art table this week, we created Planet Pal inspired pieces! On Monday we made sea creatures with eye dropper water colors, oil pastels and stickers. The shaving cream came out in spades on Tuesday to help us create our own shapes in the clouds.

Books we Read

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty (AM)

Are you a Ladybug? by Julie Allen (PM)

It Looked like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw

The Magic School Bus: Wet All Over by Joanna Cole


Weekly Top Hits


(tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)

I’m thankful for my family, family, family,

I’m thankful for my family and everyone I love

I’m thankful for my friends at school, friends at school, friends at school,

I’m thankful for my friends at school and my teachers too

I’m thankful for all animals, animals, animals,

I’m thankful for all animals and all insects too

I’m thankful for the trees and plants, trees and plants, trees and plants,

I’m thankful for the trees and plants and everything that grows

I’m thankful for the earth I love, earth I love, earth I love,

I’m thankful for the earth I love and all the planet pals

The Water Cycle

(Tune: She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain)

Water travels in cycle, yes it does (x2)

It goes up as evaporation,

forms clouds of condensation,

falls down as precipitation,

yes it does!


Spoiler Alert: When we come back from our break we will be finishing up our Planet Pals unit!

The Detective Post #9

News from the Outdoors

The Detectives were excited to be back at Audubon after a week away! Noticing fall in full swing, by crunching leaves on the ground and the changing of the temperature throughout the day. This week, the class embarked on our Planet Pal unit. The Planet Pals are characters that personify ideals of ecological conservation and help the children engage with the world around them! On our first day back, we introduced the idea of planet pals, and the children brainstormed ideas on how to take care of the earth. Both classes talked about picking up trash, so we went on a hike around Woodend to see if there was any to pick up! Along the way, the AM class discovered some tree work that was being done at the Mansion, while the PM class unearthed a small tunnel in the woods which they were interested in expanding upon.


The Smashing Pumpkins: Live at Woodend


Logged on to Nature


On Tuesday we met our first Planet Pal, Mother Earth! Being the ground under our feet, this idea quickly evolved into a new idea, jumping off of the PM classes’ earlier woods discovery; Tunnel Tuesday! The detectives took tools into the woods and worked hard to expand the Tunnel, with shovels, wheel barrows and more!


Tunnel workers on break


On Wednesday we enjoyed our Naturalist Hike with Ms. Lisa! She talked with the kids about recycling, and took them on a litter hunt around the meadow to help pick up trash. Once collected, we played a sorting game where the Detectives had to determine whether the litter we picked up was trash, or could be recycled.


Recycle sorting game with Ms.Lisa


Thursday the classes resumed work on the tunnel! Using tools and sticks to dig, as well as practicing balancing on the fallen tree above. We also practiced using a newly acquired, night vision, trap camera. Setting it up at the pond, the Detectives were able to check the camera on Thursday, counting how many pictures it had snapped! We are excited to investigate the results of the photos next week.


Tunnel Tuesday!


Testing the Tunnel



News From the Classroom

This week, the Detectives met a new Planet Pal each day at our morning meeting! Each Planet Pal leaves us mail in a special envelope. Some leave the children songs, as well as special challenges inside the classroom! This week we met Mother Earth, Greenbean and Sunny Ray.

On Tuesday, we made our own, Mother earth play dough! The detectives helped measure out the ingredients, then added blue and green coloring to create our own earths.


Enter a caption


In the dramatic play, we added Planet Pal capes and stuffed animals for the kids to embark on animal rescue missions! There was also a colored frog matching game in the discovery table, as well as colored beans and measuring tools in the sensory bin.


Planet Pals to the Rescue!


On Wednesday, Greenbean left us some special classroom activities! She made the kids a tricky sensory game in the mystery boxes inside the classroom. The Detectives had to use their sense to touch to determine whether the items were from nature, or not from nature. At the art table, the kids practiced our CO2/Oxygen share with plants by creating bubble art! We used straws to blow our CO2 into bubbly paint designs on paper.


Bubble Art


On Thursday we met Sunny Ray, our pal the sun! We used shaving cream and orange liquid water color to create our own sun inspirations at the art table.


Sunny Ray Shaves the Day!


The block challenge this week was to create patterns with the toy zoobs! The detectives made all sorts of creations, from flying ships to robots and wearable electronics!


Creating with Zoobs


Books we Read

And the Good Brown Earth by Emily Henderson

Why Should I Protect Nature? by Jen Green

Sunshine by Joesphia Sherman


Weekly Top Hits

We are the Planet Pals

We are the Planet Pals

The mighty, mighty Planet Pals,

Everywhere we go,

People want to know,

So we tell them,

We are the Planet Pals,

The mighty, mighty Planet Pals,

Gooooo Planet Pals!

This Old Earth

This old earth, needs our help,

To stay fresh and clean and green,

With a pick it up, pitch it in, throw it in the can,

This old earth needs a helping hand!

Mr. Sunny Ray

Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Sunny Ray,

Please shined down on me,

Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Sunny Ray,

Hiding behind a tree,

These little children are asking you,

To please come out so we can play with you,

Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Sunny Ray,

Please shine down on,

Won’t ya shine down on,

Please shine down on me!


Spoiler Alert: Next week we are meeting more Planet Pals 🙂


Detective Post #8

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We had a fun-filled week at Nature Preschool this week! Some highlights included:

  • Animal Dress Up day
  • Drawing Self Portraits
  • Building Pyramids in the Block Area
  • Constructing with Connectagons
  • Looking for squirrel dreys with Ms. Lisa
  • Playing “What’s Missing?” at meeting time.
  • and SO MUCH more!



The Detective Post #7

News from the Outdoors

The Detectives dove straight into our fall exploration this week as we continued to prep for our celebration on Thursday! We noticed the leaves starting to cover the hiking trails, as well as the weather finally becoming more chilly. On Monday, with some sun, the Detectives noticed the frogs were still out at our pond. Both classes were able to catch one and observe it up close!



Mother Nature did you Sneeze?


Catching Frogs


On Monday, both classes enjoyed our first Monday Mindfullness class outside! Caroline came in for the morning class, reading us The Very Busy Spider and talking us through taking deep breaths to calm our bodies. The Detectives practiced different ways to be mindful with our breathing, and how we can use that trick when we feel busy as well!


Mindfullness Monday


On Tuesday, the classes took a walk through our Japanese Maple grove up by the mansion. We noticed that those trees are still mostly green, learning how leaves actually hold their fall colors year round, and react to the changing sunlight.


Sticking together


On Wednesday both classes enjoyed our weekly naturalist visit. The kiddos were challenged to a fall scavenger hunt, looking for colorful leaves, falling seeds and more. We ended the hike by counting our objects and making our own fall leaf storm by popping them up into the air on a parachute!


Check it out!


Counting our findings


Prepping our leaf storm


To prep for our celebration crowns, we also looked for deer signs around Audubon this week! We were able to spy lots of deer clues along our hikes, as well as real deer along the way!


Oh deer!


News from the Classroom

This week we continued our celebration prep inside the classroom! On Monday, we finished our deer crowns by adding our hand print antlers and acorn eyes. Adding to the fall theme, we worked on cork stamper leaf art, as well as practiced mixing the colors of leaves in finger paint.


The Stamp Act


For the block challenge this week, we opened up new, balancing, squirrel blocks! The detectives got to expirement with gravity by trying to build tall trees for the squirrels to climb. We also continued the squirrel theme in the dramatic play, where the woodland animals came out to play!


A balancing act


We added cocoa mulch to the lab table this week, where the detectives got to hide their own bugs and acorns! We opened up a scale in the discovery table, to help measure the weight of the acorns and walnuts, as well as continued to play with construction sets and Sneaky Snacky Squirrel.


On Thursday, both classes enjoyed our first celebration of the year! We dawned deer crowns to sing our fall songs, before enjoying snacks, stories, and pumpkin painting inside the classroom. A big thanks to everyone who made it in, the kids had a blast!


Books we Read

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

The Best Gift of All by Jonathan Emmett

Have You Seen Trees? by Joanne Oppenheim

Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel



Weekly Top Hits

Falling Leaves (Tune: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

Falling, falling, falling leaves

Mother Nature did you sneeze?

Red Ones, Yellow Ones, Orange and Brown

Big Ones, Little Ones, on the ground

Falling, falling, falling leaves

Mother Nature did you sneeze?


Wait and See

I’m a nut (3x)

That’s me,

Gonna grow into a big oak tree,

I may be small,

but someday I’ll be tall,

wait and see!

Brown Deer

Brown deer, brown deer, shake your white tail (2x)

Use your hoof to smash a nut,

Much it up and fill your gut,

Brown deer, brown deer, shake your white tail 


Deer Sanctuary


Spoiler Alert: Next week we are learning about squirrels preparing for winter!


Deer Diary

Detective Post #6



News From the Outdoors:

The Nature Detectives took full advantage of the warm weather this week by spending lots of time outside exploring Woodend and noticing signs of Fall. All around us, things are falling off the trees…black walnuts, acorns, seeds and colorful Fall leaves. With that in mind, on Monday the Nature Detectives hiked through the woods and collected signs of Fall. Later, in the classroom we made labels and displayed our finds near the school entrance in our Nature Museum!


No tree is too over-elming for the Nature Detectives!


Fawning over some deer bones.


On Tuesday we kept up our nature collecting ways and collected leaves for a leaf pressing art project. We also had our inaugural Naturalist hike with Ms. Lisa who took us out into the woods to look for different types of fungi growing around our school. The Nature Detectives were able to spot a wide variety of fungi and even found one tree with three different fungi!


PM Naturalist Hike with Ms. Lisa.


AM Naturalist Hike with Ms. Lisa.


We wrapped up the week by exploring a new area of Woodend, the clearing behind the stumps and the woobly logs. While there the AM class spotted an upside down turtle, flipped it back right-side up and observed it slowly emerge from its shell! Later when the PM class visited the same spot, we were happy to see that the turtle had gone on its way!


Let’s Shell-abrate!


Both classes welcomed a couple of new faces to our school this week. The AM class were happy to welcome Casie to the Saplings whilethe PM class had their first visit with our weekly Thursday volunteer Ms. Susan, who read the kids a book and took us on a hike to explore the trees of Woodend!


Fun girls with fungi!


News From the Classroom:

As busy and hard working as we were outside, the Nature Detectives were equally busy in the classroom this week! While past favorites like the farm stand, playdough, and Hi-Ho Apple-O! were back again, we also had some new activities as well! The Nature Detectives made use of some new blocks and rose to the weekly block challenge to make block structures with roofs.


You’re Unbe-leaf-able!


Farm stand open, be sure to bring your reusable bags!


The kids used their various nature collections to make their museum displays, create colorful leaf prints, and even began the process of making their crowns for the Fall Celebration! On Thursday we also reintroduced an annually favorite game, Sneaky Snacky Squirrels!


Working on Journals


Hard at Work on Journals


In addition to all the art, Fall celebration prep and all the fun hands-on learning centers in the classroom, the Nature Detectives also worked on their Journals. For our first page, the kids were asked: “If you were a squirrel at Woodend, where would you hide your nuts for the Winter?” The kids then dictated their answers to the teachers, and added an illustration to the page. Throughout the year, we will add more entries to the journals with more open-ended questions for the kids to think about.


Creating a Museum Display.


Now you seed me, now you don’t!


Books We Read:

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger

Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri

Weekly Top Hits:

Falling Leaves (Tune: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

Falling, falling, falling leaves

Mother Nature did you sneeze?

Red Ones, Yellow Ones, Orange and Brown

Big Ones, Little Ones, on the ground

Falling, falling, falling leaves

Mother Nature did you sneeze?


The Leaves on the Trees (Tune: Wheels on the Bus)

The Leaves on the trees they blow in the breeze

blow in the breeze, blow in the breeze.

The Leaves on the trees they blow in the breeze

Until they all fall down!


Spoiler Alert:

We’ll be doing more prep for our Fall Celebration!


Silly Cone Valley

The Detective Post #5

News From the Outdoors

This week the Detectives took full advantage of the wonderful fall weather with more than one all outdoor days! We enjoyed the crisp fall air, noting the different clothes we wear for the weather and how Woodend is changing around us.


Outdoor Meeting!


Stay PAWSitive


The Detectives noticing lots of nuts falling from the trees around the Sanctuary! We discussed how different plants change in fall, noting the harvesting of pumpkins and apples that we saw at the farm as well! The kids also took a trip to compost station, adding our pumpkins to help make dirt for us to plant in the spring time.


Enter a caption


Hammer Time


Both classes enjoyed trips to ultimate climber, observing decomposer bugs, animal scat, as well as discovering a “fire fighter” pole that can be accessed from the top of the climber!


Afternoon Siesta


The Poles are in!


The Detectives were also transformed into squirrels this week, hunting for acorns around Woodend! By the wobbly logs, the “squirrels” collected and hid acorns in sneaky hiding spots to store for the winter time.


Nuttin’ to see here


News From the Classroom

The Detectives continued their harvest exploration this week by examining apples further. We listening to the Star of the Apple story, where a little boy discovers the star of seeds upon opening an apple! The kids enjoyed using those apple halves to create apple print art!


Star apple prints


Ask your child about a shiny, red house, with no doors, no windows, and a star inside!


We also embarked on our first, two day long science expirement! The Detectives were introduced to the concepts of a hypothesis and observation by making guesses about how an unpeeled, peeled and apple with holes poked in it would change overnight.


Apple of my eye


In the block area, we introduced the triangle blocks, challenging the detectives to create ramps for rolling apples! In the dramatic play area, we opened up a class farm stand, just like we saw at the farm last week. Dry corn was added to the lab table, as well as pumpkin and leaf cookie cutters to the play dough.



Beware of inflation!


At the art station, we started prep for our Fall Celebration! During meeting, we introduced the idea of celebrating the seasons with our families at Nature Preschool. Each child got the chance to work on their own eye dropper art leaf to decorate the class with for the party!



Celebration Decoration



Books we Read

Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

From Shoot to Apple by Stacy Taus-Bolstad

It’s Fall by Linda Glaser



Deer Crossing



Weekly Top Hits

Wait and See

I’m a nut (3x)

That’s me,

Gonna grow into a big oak tree,

I may be small,

but someday I’ll be tall,

wait and see!



Walnut collecting



Spoiler Alert: Next week we are talking about signs of fall at Woodend!


Detective Post #4


The Nature Detectives launched into a busy and exciting week as they got to explore some new corners of Woodend on our hikes. After all the rainfall we’ve had lately we explored along the creek to see what it looked like now that most of the water had emptied out of the creek and into the pond. While exploring the kids got to see lots of animal tracks, find some new places to climb and explore, and clear out some fallen brush from the storms.


We have the need, the need for seed.


Reserved Seeding.


We also made our first trek out to a favorite spot at Woodend, the Ultimate Climber!  The Ultimate Climber is a section of the woods with a bunch of fallen logs that are fun for the kids to climb and balance on. The area also offers up some good log-rolling opportunities, and some other fun things to explore.


Ants on a log


Shell shocked!


On Tuesday, the PM class took advantage of the sunny weather and had an all outside day! They had lots of fun having snack on the stage, making farm animal masks and turning various areas of the playground and outdoor classroom into outside versions of our classroom! The AM Class came across an Eastern Box Turtle in the meadow one morning as well and had fun watching it move around.


The highlight of the week was definitely our trip to Homestead Farm! The kids had a great time seeing all the farm animals, taking a hay ride, and picking out pumpkins!  Thank you to all the chaperones and parent volunteers that helped to make the trip a big success!


They see us rollin’ they hay-tin.


Hay Jude


News From the Classroom:

In the classroom, we introduced some new learning areas and continued to keep the farm theme going. In the block area the kids made block barns for the farm animal toys, while in the dramatic play area the barn tent and farm animal costumes were back for more fun!


We introduced another kid-favorite learning area, the light table, as the kids got to build and make colorful designs with the Magnatiles. During our meeting time, the kids made estimates as to how many seeds were in the pumpkins we picked up from the farm. Later, we carved them open to see for ourselves how many seeds were inside! Then we toasted up some of the seeds and got to snack on them!


Working on the Farm Book


Counting seeds


Each class capped off their trip to Homestead Farm by creating their own class books about the trip! We printed out photos from the trip and each child got to decorate a page and share a favorite memory or two (or five in some cases!) about their trip! Later during story time we read the book and we’ll keep the books in our book-nook for the kids to enjoy throughout the year!


The light table is a whole watt of fun!


Totes ma-goats


Books We Read:

Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell

Senses on the Farm by Shelly Rotner

Our Trip to Homestead Farm by the Nature Detectives


Story time with Ann-Mari



Reading our farm book


Weekly Top Hits:

The Rules Song 

Farmer Ben Had a Farm (Tune: Old MacDonald)

Take Me Out to the Barnyard (Tune: Take Me Out to the Ballgame)

Take me out to the barnyard

Take me out there right now

Show me some pigs and a horse and a cow

I hear an oink and a neigh and a moo

There are chickens laying their eggs

If they don’t lay its a shame

Cuz it’s one, two, three eggs today

and I’m glad I came!


We got the moos like Jagger


Spoiler Alert:

Next week we’ll turn our dramatic play area into a farm store!




The Detective Post #3

 News from the Outdoors

The Detectives were greeted this week with lots of rain to usher in our farm and harvest unit! The kids were able to observe the changes around Audubon, noticing the leaves falling from the trees, the creek beds filling with water and different plants and animals reacting to the wet world around them!


We continued our observations at the Look Out, observing the differences in creek beds before and after the rain storms.


The Detectives also took their first trip to the pond this week! We used sticks for measuring the depth of the water, as well as experimented with different objects floating or sinking.

To prep for our trip next week, the Detectives started work on our very own farm in the Outdoor Classroom! The kids created a hay bale for the “animals” to munch from, added sticks to our barn structure, and created a giant mud pit for the pigs! The Detectives had to figure out how to transfer the water from the hose which is next to the school, over to our new farm area. They had lots of ideas, using buckets, wheelbarrows, shovels and more!


News from the Classroom

This week we opened up farm activities in our learning centers to prep for our field trip for Homestead next week! Both classes discussed ideas we already knew about farms, and what questions we wanted to figure out! In the dramatic play area, we had the classroom barn opened, where the Detectives transformed into animals themselves.

In the Discovery table we added corn kernels, silos and test tubes. The kids experimented with measuring, filling up the silos with different amounts of corn.

The art area was quite busy this week! The kids got muddy with the animals and tractors in finger paints, created animal masks as well as cooled off piggies with some paint mud, in a marble rolling art project.

We also built barns in the block area, using our barn and toy animals to complete the look. The Detectives also continued their building with duplos and tinker toys.


Books we Read

Click, Clack, Moo, Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin

Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough

Old Macdonald had a Woodshop by Lisa Shulman

Cock-a-Doodle Quack! Quack! by Ivor Baddiel


Songs we Sung

Farmer Ben

Farmer Ben had a farm,


And on that farm he had a (animal)


With a (noise, noise) here and a (noise, noise) there,

Here a (noise), there a (noise),

Everywhere a (noise, noise)

Farmer Ben had a farm,


Spoiler Alert: Next week we continuing our farm unit and going on our trip to Homestead!