A Walk on the Wildside

Our Saturday Wildside group had a blast this past week hiking along the Santa Fe River.

We started the day finding north and orienteering for treasure; it turns out kids can use their spidey senses to find treasure (apples and oranges), rather than compasses. 😉 We also used a stick compass to find north and all four directions, so easy and useful.

We were challenged in some physical agility; walking across logs, climbing and descending muddy slopes, and playing King of the Log; where one person tries to  bounce an opponent off a log without touching them. A fun new game!

The rope swing was another fun-filled challenge, with some giddy swinging and Tarzan whoops filling the warm winter day. Only two kids took to the river for a wee splash and were none the worse for wear. Plastic bags and extra socks sure come in handy for wet feet on a winter day outside.

We hiked down the river through towering cottonwoods, in awe of the beauty, and the two hawks we encountered, who were just as interested in watching us as we were them.

We finished our day with a lesson on how to harvest willow and used our kitchen peelers to take the medicine rich bark from the plant. Each Mountain Kid went home with a paper sack of bark to make tea as a remedy for fever, diarrhea or sunburn.

What a beautiful winter day to wander and play along the Santa Fe river.

#mountainkids #santafe #simplysantafe #letyourkidsouttoplay #kidsnature #kidsoutside #plantmedicine #winterwander #adventures

Eagles are Animals! June 2-5, 2014 (7-11 year olds)

Hi Eagle Families!  If you read (or just view) and ENJOY the BLOG, please let me know. Write a comment below, or send me a quick note.  Feedback of any kind (constructive, of course!:) is also appreciated. Also, any of the images below can be enlarged and viewed as a slideshow by clicking on them.  Enjoy! :~) Katie

Monday: We really took off this week!  Before we flew to the mountains, we played games, we learned names, and made a group contract (rules about how to have fun)!  We snacked and buddied, and then loaded up for our adventure at the Big T!

At first building forts, then playing games to build awareness of our presence in the forest.  How to be quiet and sneaky like an animal (Fox Walk) while playing games like Capture the Flag and Camouflage. Then getting quiet to create sound maps to focus on all the natural sounds of the forest.  Did anyone hear a stick crack?  What could that be?

Tuesday the Rio en Medio waterfall was our goal.  Before we set out we played a game where we learned and practiced various animal gaits.  At circle we got to examine pelts and paws of various forest animals of New Mexico and ponder how certain traits helped them. Some kids drew animals using the Ed Emberly books.

The hike to the waterfall was challenging, but the reward is always great. It was hot, and the refreshing mountain waterfall makes you forget that in a hurry!

We learned a song called Bats Eat Bugs on Wednesday.  It’s a great reminder that “Nothing out there wants to eat you, nothing out there wants to make you it’s meal!”  We looked at Animal Skulls today and noticed how different features help animals survive.

We hiked up to Carls’ Meadow from Aspen Vista – a great place for lunch, a good game of Capture the Flag, and a Habitat Web Game. 🙂

Thursday: We were busy as little beavers today!  We learned about Beaver adaptations and dressed up some unsuspecting children to illustrate them.  We hiked along the Little T(esuque Creek) and tried our hand at beavering, a.k.a. dam making.  It was hard to make the water stop completely, but we sure slowed it down, had fun, got dirty, and learned to work as a team in the process. I wonder how beavers need to work together to build their den?  We played some (other) team building games and made scrolling animal stories.  The End ~ of a(nother) (FUN!) week. 🙂