Thursday, December 1, 2016

Birds and their eggs

It's the time of year for discovering nests, eggs and mother birds protecting their eggs.  The children at Nature Discovery are discovery eggs in some very funny places leading to discussion on how the eggs got to where they were found.  The wind has been blamed for most of the damage while stoats and possums feature in the discussions too.  Logan found an egg laying in the long grass and decided to make a nest for it.  The children collected different natural materials to build the nest.  Grass was put in the middle as a soft spot for the egg.  Unfortunately the egg was broken but the children got to see inside, to their amazement there was no baby bird it looked just like a normal hens egg inside that we eat.  It wasn't long before another egg was found and this time it was in a large shallow puddle.  The egg was very small and very pale.  The children decided water wasn't a good place for the egg and it was relocated.  On our walk back to the shed we found a Piwaiwaka (Fantail) sitting on her nest.  We could just see her wee head and tail.  What an awesome discovery.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Spring with fiordland Nature Discovery

The blossoms and daffodils are nearly gone but today we discovered more shrubs and trees flowering.
Our beautiful sunshine tree, the favourite of our native birds the tui and the bellbird, the kowhai are in full flower.  Some of the children thought the buds looked like bunches of bananas.  We took time to watch the tui feeding on the flowers and listened to their beautiful song.

Not far from the Kowhai trees we discovered thee tui were feeding from another tree, not a New Zealand native but a tree from australia - the waratah.

Along the trail a bit fruther we discovered the scented purple flower of the pittosoprum, we all had a smell and Mrs Shaw wore some behind her ear.

The rowan tree was just bursting into flower; one of the children noticed a shiny green beetle hiding amogst the blossom.  We discussed what kind it might be - it mostly looked green, but it changed colour in the light.  When we looked very closely its shell looked like a shield.  John said because of that shape it is called a shield beetle.  We think its shell would act like a real sheild to protect it from predators.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Teaching position at Fiordland Kindergarten Te Anau New Zealand has just become available.
Head Teacher – Fiordland Kindergarten, Full time permanent position.
For more information and details about how to apply please
Applications for this position must be received by 9.00am Tuesday 25 October 2016.
Fiordland Kindergarten was one of the first Kindergartens In New Zealand to begin a nature-based programme. They began their journey in 2009.
Part of their teaching philosophy is as follows
Our aim is to have happy, social, enquiring, empathetic, critical thinking children who are motivated to learn who value and respect the environment and the natural world they live in.
At Fiordland Kindergarten children are given the opportunity to build knowledge and appreciation of "To Matou Wahi Ahi Kaa/ Our special Place", its people, its history, and its environment. Our Nature Discovery programme is instrumental in developing this. Here children develop a strong sense of connection with and belonging to the world of Tane Mahuta as they explore this habitat and its inhabitants.
We strongly believe in children having knowledge and understanding of “their place” in our environment, wider community and the outside world, builds their own ecological identity.
If you have a passion for nature based education this could be the appointment for you.
Kindergartens South
Welcome to Kindergartens South, experts in early childhood education. We are in your community, experts in 3 and 4 year olds, providing learning through play in nature with 100% qualified teachers and 95 years' experience. We are also proud to offer kindy for free!
Welcome to Kindergartens South, experts in early childhood education. We are in your community, experts in 3 and 4 year olds, providing learning through play in nature with 100% qualified teachers and 95 years' experience. We are also proud to offer kindy for free!

Winter fun and learning at Fiordland's Nature Discovery

It has been a while since we have posted anything - so what have we been up to in the last few months.  Winter is a time for learning.

Children developed their sense of Thermoception
 This is the sense of hot and cold and is not just part of our sense of touch, but in fact a separate sense of its own.
Our thermo-receptors detect both hot and cold, letting our bodies adjust to temperature change in our environment. Winter put this sense to the test when children found that if they  waded into the big puddle on a icy morning and got wet feet they got very COLD.  But with some dry socks, plastic bags in their boots, some food and a warm milo, plus quite a few tears they were back to being a happy.

They learned about the properties of ice.  How that when it was very thick it could take the weight of a child, but not an adult.  That when the ducks tried to land on it they skidded along - the children hypothesised why that was so.  They learned that the big snowball floated when they rolled it into the big puddle, and again hypothesised why that was so.

 They learned that when it was frosty or it had snowed that the ground was slippery enough for them to sledge down the hills on the real-estate signs.

 But most of all they had FUN!!!  After fun filled mornings it was back to the shed to warm up, sit around the campfire warm up, share food and reflect on the mornings adventures.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fiordland: what we have been up to lately

Kia ora koutou
It has been a while since we have updated. So much fun has been had over the last two weeks with all of the Nature Discovery groups.
There has been puddle jumping, mud puddle splashing, exploring bugs, playing with ice, navigating and racing, going on the swing, meeting a conservation dog and learning about it's job and dealing with the drama of having a broken trolley. We also welcomed and said goodbye to a handful of tamariki.
Here are some photos of the last two weeks of fun. Thank you to Kiri for the amazing photography.