“Sneaking through the forest, listening for bird alarms, looking for someone hidden, or being blind-folded – these activities greatly enhance peoples’ connections to the world around them and actively involve several child passions.” – Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature
Wearing shoes creates a barrier between our feet and the Earth. Research and experience tells us humans thrive in the outdoors and in natural environments. Why not dig that connection deeper, take those shoes and socks off and walk the Earth barefoot!
We took a barefoot walk to the next level and added blindfolds. Each child had the opportunity to lead or be lead through the forest as either the guide or the barefoot & blindfolded walker. It was an exciting experience and once the blindfolds were off it was fun to try and figure out which path you were guided on. The experience ended with a exploration of the wetland at the lake. SO MUCH CATTAIL FLUFF!
We had lunch under a beautiful canopy of Spruce trees, surrounded by mushrooms. . . the ladies deemed this area Mushroom Valley. It was hard to resist taking a moment to sit back and enjoy the peaceful area. So that is just what we did. The group was introduced to the idea of Magic Spots and had their first sit in Mushroom Valley. When one returned she told me she laid back on a bed of moss and it was so wonderful.
The mornings’ barefoot sensory experience was pretty popular which resulted in most of the activities in the afternoon spent barefoot. Games and of course, pond exploration! Catching frogs and squishing our feet deep into the mud. When sinking into the mud one of them proclaimed “It feels cooler when it’s at your ankles then at the top of your toes!”
This post is short and sweet. Being our second day together I am still getting know each of them. Learning their interests, what they are curious about, what makes them nervous or what are they comfortable with, and so much more. Having a baseline idea of some of these things will aid in the future days I plan. Though no matter how solid of a plan that’s made for the day, a new one usually is always made on the spot. That’s the beauty of nature mentoring. So what, if the plan was to hike Grassy Trail, look for tracks and journal them. We just found a really cool deer trail leading in the opposite direction and it lead into lunch, now no ones wants to journal. We just had a really cool experience either way! Can you tell I’m excited for the snow to get here? It won’t be here for our next day of Forest School (at least it shouldn’t be…it is Ontario weather ha ha.) We will still be enjoying what’s left of the crisp fall air and colourful landscape.