Summer 2012 – Week 6 – Massive Mammals and Insects!

Monday: Today the Littles went to Little Tesuque Creek.  In the morning they introduced themselves, thinking of their favorite mammals. We mostly had furry friends, but one camper did come up with a Dolphin. They practiced animal gaits and on a big piece of cardboard decided on rules for the week, such as respect, leave no trace, and wear your hat! In the car ride the Littles sang camp songs about bears and bees. Once on the trail we spotted butterflies and worked on using our reference pictures to identify them. We came up with our group animal, coyotes, and practiced howling. We also practiced finding our buddies hide and seek style. Today we focused on tracks and scat, which we will be referencing all week. We played What Time is It Mr. Fox and a few other jumping and clapping games. After lunch we continued on our hike and found a nice coyote den to make the cover page of our nature journals and the decorations for our safari hats. Then it began to rain. We put on rain jackets and headed to the warm van. After reading a book we decided to call it a day for the mountains and have some city fun. We went to the Railyard Park and looked at the progress of the Mountain Kids plot in the community garden. We played on the playground and had a nice closing circle learning about coyotes and thanking the earth for rain. It was a wonderful day.

Tuesday: Today was a beaver day! We headed to beaver ponds bright and early. Mark did a presentation dressing up like a beaver and Jenny passed around pictures for everyone to see how many cool traits beavers possess. Afterward, we hiked off pretty far, passing the ponds and heading into the woods and bushes. We found sit spots by the river and made sound maps of the water and birds. After playing in the water, the hike continued up to find a view and a nice little den to have lunch. After lunch we headed back down to the ponds to make beaver dams. It was raining and there were some cold campers so we hiked back the van.  We warmed up in the van and went to Fort Marcy Park to play a huge game of freeze tag. We read the beaver book and reflected in circle before heading back to the Children’s Museum. It was a wonderful day!

Wednesday: The trip to Las Golondrinas was wonderful. We began the day at the museum learning about all the all the insects inside the museum. The kids each did a sketch of their favorite insect. Then Jenny led them in learning some Spanish songs and words to prepare for the trip. We all had a snack and then headed out. Once there the Littles went to learn about yarn and weaving with looms. We visited the animals and had a chance to pet the goat. Then we visited the blacksmith – that was exciting! We had lunch under the big beautiful trees and then read a story. The coyotes played together in the tree (known to them as the coyote den). We took a trip to the pond where we saw frogs, water snakes, tadpoles, dragonflies, and butterflies. We sang songs about frogs and pretended we were like our big green floating friends. At the end of the day we reflected on all the animals we had seen.

Thursday: The morning began with a visit from Ranger Rowdy (Heather in costume). We learned about mammals and looked at real animal pelts! Then we headed for the Big Tesuque Campground. It was cool and beautiful. The coyotes hiked to a clearing to play lots of games! Then we hiked back down for lunch and had time to paint and play in the river. We read ‘We’re Going On a Bear Hunt’. The clouds began to get dark so we got jackets on a prepared for the storm. We played until the rain began to fall. Since we were ready for the rain and so close to the van we stayed as long as we could.  We dried off on the ride back and most of the Littles took a quiet rest. Back at the museum we played in the sandbox and had a circle to remember what we had learned during the week: beavers, tracks and scat, insects, frogs! Then the rain caught up with us and we stayed dry in the greenhouse until pick up time. It was a treat to have so much rain!

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