Families gather at Tryon Creek State Natural Area for our recent spring field trip. We access the natural areas within our city where we can extend the classroom and nourish children’s connections with nature. Children enjoy being together in the woods – exploring, hiking and climbing. Adults take in the lush beauty and visit as we weave through the forest.
As we hike, we split into two groups so we can notice the details of the forest around us. Some get a close look at the beaver-gnawed stump. Others find fallen moss and squish it up into their hands. Some stop to check out a dead mouse observing it’s big ears and long whiskers. Others notice the dried mud & root clump beneath an overturned tree and wonder how many worms must have been crawling beneath.
Forest Bingo cards provide images of treasures that can be found along the way. Children look for each corresponding leaf, plant or animal.
A beautiful fallen tree provides the perfect climbing structure and balance beam.
After visiting the forest, we return to our own nature playscape adjacent to our classroom. Children balance on tree stumps in the ever-changing obstacle course, turn over garden stones to uncover squirming worms, and investigate the barely-visible, newly hatched spiders. Our natural world exploration continues–this time even closer to home.