Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Scaling new heights in November

November has been a very busy month, with changeable weather for our Nature D kids.

 Claire and John took advantage of the sun and gave the tamariki the opportunity to scale a tree.
Safely secured into a harness and attached to a rope, this was the ultimate experience in teamwork and trust building. The children took turns being pulled up into the air, their weight being countered by their peers who remained on the ground.

This is a practical example of early maths and physics skills, the concept of mass and gravity and also pulley mechanisms and how they work. As long as the children at the bottom of the tree all hold onto the rope, their combined weight keeps the child at the top up in the air.

The majority of the tamariki really enjoyed the experience. Here are some of their recollections when they were asked what their favourite part of the tree scaling experience was:
Taylah said; "(I liked) going up, because I like going up in the air. I saw some birds!"

Siena liked: "Climbing up with John. You have to pull the rope. I liked climbing up the tree just because."

Arty related his turn to a recent flying fox experience. He liked, "Being way up high. I was a bit scared, but I am not (scared) on the flying fox. We had a harness and a rope so I didn't fall off."

Cameron's favourite part was: "not holding on! Well Karmen did it too. We started not holding on and you didn't fall off. Our feet were in the tree and our hands were in the air."

Pulling hard

Post written by Tash

Piwaiwaka Stew

The Fantails
On Saturday the 18th of November the tamariki (and some of the parents) at Fiordland Kindergarten performed the play Piwaiwaka (Fantail) Stew.

The show was a great success and the result of five weeks of hard work by the children, their whanau, the teachers and some amazing volunteers from the community.

Not only was our play a chance for the tamariki to show off their awesome singing and dancing skills, it also taught an important message about the damage introduced species can and are doing to our beautiful Fiordland.

Fiordland Kindergarten endeavours to teach our tamariki to be leaders in caring for our environment and we hope that by learning more about our native fauna by portraying them, we become more empathetic about their plight.

A production like this does not go ahead without some assistance from the wider community, so we would like to use this space to give a big thank you to our musicians: Jane Maxwell, Sandy Scott, Lynley Watson and Jazz Beckett.
Vaughn Filmer, thank you for filming the video so we can watch it for years to come.
To the companies that supported us: Fiordland Nurseries, Fiordland Players, The Events Centre, The Te Anau Club and Sugar Snaps photography a great big thank you for lending us your time and equipment.
And finally, a massive thank you to all of the parents and children who made this production possible.

All photos in this post courtesy of Sugar Snaps photography:

Ruru// Morepork

Glow-worm and light

The Flies


Creepy Crawlies
Creepy crawlies
Post written by Tash

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Honey Bee Rescue

Spring is firmly upon us up in Ivon Wilson park. Our tamariki have been making the most of the beautiful blossom trees and the warmer weather during our adventures at Nature Discovery.

Last week on Wednesday some of the children were 'fishing' on Lake Henry. It was pretty exciting when our parent helper rescued two honey bees which had fallen in the water.
The wet and bedraggled bees were carefully taken over to the stone table to dry. There was a bit of discussion about how the bees would have drowned if they hadn't been rescued as their wet wings meant that they couldn't fly.

As the tamariki patiently waited for the bees to dry out, the importance of bees in our eco-system made its way into the conversation. Judy talked about how bees are vital in their role of pollinating plants and flowers so that we can have lots of nice fruit and vegetables. We talked about the difference between some insects which are pests and don't help our environment (like wasps) and insects who are important for balancing out our eco-system (such as bees).

Only one bee survived until it was dry enough to fly again. The children placed the bee onto a nice bush so that it could rest.

The children are learning to be responsible guardians of our area. They are learning to look after the creatures in our space, no matter how small.
post written by Tash

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Discoveries and magic times

This week at nature discovery has been amazing.  We have experienced many different weather conditions, frost, cold, sunny and rainy.  The children were amazed with the discovery of the basket fungi and it's egg with one child wanting to take it home and put it on her dresser as a decoration for her room.  Wednesday brought frost so sledging and playing in the big ice puddle was on the agenda. Finally the sun popped out and after a nice warm milo we spend time making a new cubby house.  Wonder if it is there next week and if anyone adds to it.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Orange cakes

Baking and flag making was on the children's agenda today.  The important part of baking is making sure that the fire has a good ember base so heaps of fire wood is required.  While some children were involved in the making and mixing of the cakes others helped by splitting wood and ensuring there was a good collection of pine cones.  It was a team effort and well worth the hard work because the cakes cooked in orange peel tasted delicious.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Stick Insect

Monday 9th February

While we were at the "Bouncy Horses",  Ashen was searching for insects and made an exciting discovery.  On one of the trees was a green Stick Insect, which he carefully picked up to show all of us.
If you want to find bugs of any sort, Ashen is your man, he seems to know where the best places are to find them and has inspired the other children to join him in his searching.

Ashen's Story:
"I found a stick insect.  He was on the tree.  I looked on the tree and I saw it.  He has got 6 legs and he looks like a stick.  I have that in my Bug Book.  He can turn brown because he looks lie a stick.  If he is green he looks like a leaf and rats can't find him."

Well done Ashen, it was a great find and after we all looked at him, you said that we had to put him back where you found him.  We watched him crawl up the high in the tree but we could still see him because he was still green. I wonder if he will be there next week?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Art in the Park

Today it was art in the park.  Children made stick insects out of sticks, wrote their names then went on a colour walk.  It was a relaxed day finding different colours and treasures on the ground that the children could make their rainbow nature pictures with.