As the end of our season approaches, we would like to share some important, some fun and some exciting news with you! With this year of COVID it has been difficult to establish a regular line of communication with our families, and to build an in-person community that supports our kiddos. We hope this newsletter helps families to visualize our learning space. Our teacher and mentor highlights will hopefully give you a birds-eye-view of our engaging time together and share some special moments.
Throughout May, the classes spent time on the themes of Caterpillars, Ants, Butterflies and Honeybees. Incorporating hands-on learning, art projects and learning about each one's life cycle and home. The sandpit was a great place to create the ants home. The kids spent time in teams constructing all the different features.
Looking Forward with COVID from the Board
Before we dive into the highlights from program, lets look at how we are tackling the rest of the program year with regards to COVID. As CDC guidelines continue to change with COVID we want to reassure you that we continue to follow, stay up to date, and take extra precautions with your littles and our staff. Our new COVID Policy now aligns with and follows the Bremerton School District guidelines. For all those details please follow the link to their website. https://www.bremertonschools.org/COVID-19
Also, our staff and volunteers will continue to wear a mask throughout the summer courses and into the fall.
Program on the Trail - from Teacher Robin
Today for our make up class we followed the sounds of drumming on the trail. The children all practiced their deer ears, and remained quiet until we heard the sounds again. When after a while we heard no more drumming, we continued in the general direction that we heard before. Again, a few steps up the hill, Paisley Cockrel followed her eyes up to the top of the tree to point out a pileated woodpecker! The woodpecker, choosing to be so high up would have deterred Lukas, Vera, Elias, and Gillian from looking up but they stuck with it. When the kiddos did lock eyes on the large bird, they were amazed at how hard it could wail its beak. Those that were named for the pileated woodpecker group, actually got to see it with their eyes, and everyone stood for a while to take in this magnificent bird. Lower down on another tree, we were able to see the massive rectangular holes left by the pileated woodpecker. It was a unique experience to link something left behind by a creature that was visible to us in that moment!
8:30 Hike to the Beach - from Meerkat Brenna
After learning the rules about heading out to the beach, the very eager children hiked down to the waterfront. As we explored new territory along the trail, the children stopped to touch and feel all that they could see, and hear the birds of the early morning calling out. The extreme low tides expanded our classroom even more, creating a huge oyster bed to explore full of creatures big and small. The kids were absolutely fascinated about peering over the edge of the dock and bridge at the crabs, barnacles and oysters below. They kept a sharp eye out for seals and fish. We were lucky enough to find some pretty good size dungeness crabs. Another fun find were the moon snail egg cases that were found everywhere! The children all settled into their own type of learning and played endlessly in the sand, checking out sea anemones in the mini tide pools and finding baby crabs under all the rocks they could flip. The entire 8:30am Wednesday had the best time, and all want to come back for more beach exploring and observation.
Skill Building Woven into the Weekly Themes in Jamaal's 9 am Class
There are skills that we want to instill at Barnacles and Bees that enrich a child's connection with nature. Jamaal and Kelli have brought together an assortment of skills that have spoken to a variety of personalities.Those that want to imagine and care for felt butterflies MADE BY Ms. Kelli can. While those that would prefer to whittle are welcome to. Those that want to look off of the meadow and listen to bird song, can, while those that want to document in their nature journals have a chance to add as many details as they wish. HIghlights of the skills, creative play, and exploration in the 9 am program look something like this:
Family Nature Play Class:
We are tickled pink to announce that our Family Nature Play class will resume this summer. Beginning June 23rd from 1-3 with our Fabulous Ms. Courtney leading our 2 hour classes with kiddos ages 21/2-6. This program will have individual registrations for each bi-monthly offering. More registration will be made available as soon as possible. Please be sure to share this with those who would be interested in sampling our wonderful program.
The details are:
June 23rd @ Illahee State Park
Summer Sensory Experience
Theme: Mossy Feet: Sense of Touch in the Summer
July 14 @ Mary E. Theler Wetlands Nature Preserve
Theme: Native Plants
July 28 @ Ana Smith Children’s Park