Students in Sarah Kinsey’s Grade 2/3 class at Marysville Elementary found there’s more fun to be had outdoors than snow angels and snowmen during Winter Wonder, a Wildsight education program geared to our littlest learners.
School desks were swapped for sit spots in the snow; students were surrounded by bark instead of books, trees instead of tables. The day’s theme was to explore the wonder of the snow, its protective properties, and how we can “read” stories of the forest.
While the temperature started out with a chilly -13, bundled up children quickly warmed up with the winter sun glistening on the ground and active kids running and exploring under the guidance of Wildsight Educator Kim Urbaniak.
“Winter Wonder is a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn about the magic of winter through play,” says Ms. Urbaniak. “Being outside in the cold learning about who else lives in their backyards, how they survive, and comparing their strategies to ourselves is a great way for kids to connect on a deeper level to spaces they use regularly.”
Through dress-up, the students learned how beavers stay warm in the cold winter water. After that, the kids built their own beaver lodges to keep “Bob the beaver” stuffie nice and cozy. Students loved building the lodges.
“Our beaver lodge is big enough for a party,” exclaimed student Wes, while Sawyer shared how his group learned about teamwork building their beaver homes.
“We joined our lodges together, and now it’s protected from predators!”
Students also learned how to read the story of the snow thanks to a special track sheet story, then scattered to find their own evidence and piece together other stories of the snow.
“Now I’m going to go to my wild space at home and look for tracks!” Brynlee remarked.
Ms. Kinsey says her students loved all the games, exploring the tracks in the snow, and hearing snow stories, and was happy Wildsight brought Winter Wonder to her class.
“It is an amazing program, with instructors that are very knowledgeable, and fun,” reflects Ms. Kinsey.
Wildsight thanks the Columbia Basin Trust, Consecon Foundation, Copernicus Education Products, the Government of Canada, Osprey Community Foundation, the Province of British Columbia, Teck Trail operations, and all of our individual donors for making this program possible.