By Carrie Komesch, Educator
I’m always undecided in how I feel about playing with water. I am highly conscious of the need to appreciate our water supply, and the need to impart this same understanding and respect onto our students. However, I also remember the hours I spent as a child learning how to manipulate water to suit my current imaginative needs. Running a restaurant while up to my knees in a stream or lake; using snow to dam the melt-water running along the street curb; drinking out of a bowl and pretending it was a gourd à la Swiss Family Robinson—no matter what form the play took, it was inevitably enriched by the addition of water. And so I’ve made peace with letting the tap outside the cabin be a place of play, moreso for the preschoolers, but also for the school-aged students when we sense that their experience could be enhanced thusly.
The water season coincides with that of the Wesley Clover campground, and when they shut down for the winter, our water gets shut down, too. And so to celebrate the end of the water for another year, I give you our preschoolers in the most involved mud kitchen yet.
There was also some playing and snacking in the forest, some chipmunk watching, and the discovery of a surprise symbol inside of a cut tree.
This week we also had a campfire, which was well-received and led to the emergence of independent fire-centred play.
Building the fire…
Cooking on the fire…
And finally, safely extinguishing the fire!
The end of running water also required us to adapt our hand-washing facilities. Our little forest school cabin is now home to a self-contained hand-washing station consisting of a source bucket of water; a length of plastic tubing; a spout that drains into a second wastewater bucket; and a foot pump that facilitates the flow of water through our system. The preschoolers on this day found that a cooperative approach worked best, where one person would pump while the other washed his or her hands.
The seasons are shifting, but like the forest around us, we are getting ready!