In preparation for our hike, we encourage families to learn a bit about the wildlife in the area. We share a few short video links and an overview of critters living in Forest Park with the following note: “Let your child know that wildlife live, eat and sleep there, even though there’s much we won’t directly observe on our visit. Seeing video footage of the critters that reside in Forest Park will likely increase children’s interest and enthusiasm for our upcoming trip. If you have time, you may want to watch these short video clips together.”
The class period before our hike, we invite children to consider which of their favorite animals we’ll be sharing the forest with:
As children arrive, we share a few NW animal books and then gather for circle.
We hit the trail and discover mushrooms, worms and mole holes!
This hike is particularly rewarding as it parallels Balch Creek the entire route. Small groups stop along the way to sing a couple of related songs like “Have You Ever Been Fishing?” or “All the Little Ducks” while others take on physical challenges like balancing on tree stumps or sprinting up hill.
Providing magnifying glasses and laminated woodland bingo cards encourages closer exploration and appreciation of our magical, mossy forest. Getting to experience the majesty of natural pockets within our city will help remind us of the importance to “protect the Earth.”
Thanks to all the friends who ventured out!