A big part Villa preschool is learning about the world. Our 3-year old Forest Friday students are lucky because we have a forest right on campus!
They explore the habitat niches of most of the mammals, insects and birds of the woods. They are the first to note the late-fall disappearance of ground animals while they discover a multitude of winter burrows, followed by the emergence of spring. Through their intrinsic curiosity, students learn about the services of important trees such as Douglas firs and Cedars. They grow in motor strength and coordination with long hikes, balance, climbing, and self care. They socially bond as fellow playmates and adventurers.
This spring, in their in-depth study of birds that involved science, art and even engineering, our youngest students:
- Observed a Savannah Sparrow feeding her chicks in a grassy nest, used their binoculars to watch a chickadee pair descending a tree-hollow to reach their hatchlings and, at our lakefront, silently approached a large eagle's nest containing two babies.
- Made nests using the same materials as that of a mamma robin, creating a strong exterior using sticks and lichen and a soft interior using grasses and moss. Students also used magnifying glasses to examine nest constructions of a wide variety of birds from around the world.
- Created colorful hawk silhouettes to hang in windows so birds will avoid injury caused by flying into glass— done in the spirit of service and compassion for urban creatures.