Hello wBees families,
We started Monday with a wonderful (and at times overwhelming) surprise in McGolrick. Over the weekend there was a super bloom of our favorite furry dudes. There were giant fuzzy caterpillars everywhere we looked. Friends caught what felt like thousands of them all around the park but made sure to take care of them.
We started a little experiment by burying a banana peel and a piece of plastic packaging in a special spot in our green space to see how they both changed during the week. We made predictions about how they would change. Some friends thought they would be exactly the same at the end of the week and some thought they would be a little broken down.
Inside we busted out the water beads for our sensory bin. The water bead bin quickly became a bustling kitchen with kiddos serving up new concoctions like the “every drink like the everything bagel” and my personal favorite, the guava and chocolate smoothie.
We saved our waste throughout the day during our inside time we took a break from works and sorted it into 3 different categories: recycle, compost, and landfill. We made a chart of the different items and discussed what happens to each item after it leaves us.
On Tuesday we were back in the pavilion because of rain. We continued our investigation into waste and learned how important worms are for compost. We learned that worms eat the food scraps we don’t eat and turn it into healthy wonderful soil. Some friends pointed out that plants grow out of soil and then we eat the plants. It is a cycle! We also had some questions about when food isn’t composted and instead goes to the landfill. Can the worms get to it there?
Teacher Sara taught us a new song with greetings in many languages and after we shared all the different languages we spoke in our group.
On Wednesday we continued our investigation into waste. We learned exactly how landfills work and were surprised by some facts. We also discovered that landfills have several layers of plastic lining at the bottom so that the waste won’t pollute soil and water. That also means that worms can’t get to the food scraps in landfills. So instead of becoming delicious dirt it rots and produces methane. One of our kiddos pointed out that some of the other planets in our solar system have lots of methane gas and it is not good for human lungs.
We also found lots of worms in our green space. We practiced what we had learned the day before about worms and made sure to put them back into the dirt after we looked at them for a bit.
On Thursday we had our first field trip of the summer! We took a long bus ride to Prospect Park. Along the way we learned when is the right time to push the button for your stop. Once we arrived at the park we had a delicious snack that gave us the energy to enjoy Zucker Natural Playground! In Zucker many friends played a game that involved a complicated royal family and their servants. There was a brief labor strike and in the end the workers got better pay and working conditions. We also investigated a pond in the back of the area that had so many dragonflies! We climbed all over the tree structures and did lots of running and digging. After that we sat down to lunch and then marched back to our bus stop singing the whole way.
On Friday we had a special guest. After observing how some of the trees in our green space had parts of their bark stripped away, we invited a local friend of McGolrick Park and wildlife conservationist, Chuck, to lead our group on a nature walk and teach us about how important the trees are to the park and how they help the animals that live there. He taught us about how trees soak in the sun through leaves and roots absorb water to feed the trees and they need the bark completely covering the trunk (the way we need skin to cover our bodies) for nutrients to pass through the tree to help it live. He helped us understand that we can help the trees thrive by only climbing on trees that are big and sturdy, by being gentle with leaves and branches of small trees, and caring for the trunks by leaving the bark attached.
We dug up the banana peel and plastic wrapper that we had buried earlier in the week to see how they had changed. We observed that the banana peel had turned dark brown, shriveled and was in pieces. The plastic however hadn’t changed at all. We talked about decomposition, and learned that while a banana may decompose in 4 weeks, a plastic bottle might take 500 years to break down.
During our inside time children were busy preparing cookies, cakes, and decorations out of play doh to celebrate the anniversary of the king and queen (Floyd and Maddie) who had married earlier in the week.
It was a fun day to bookend a fun filled, super creative week.