Being WITH the Outdoors with Jennifer Usher, Linda O'Donoghue and Amanda Sargeant
Location: Edworthy Park Owl
How do children learn about the weather and nature? By being WITHin it! In this interactive and playful workshop, participants will engage in experiences to support children’s learning and understanding of being within nature. The outdoors can help us reconnect to our sense of wonder as we explore our rich surroundings. It also helps us model for children a positive, reciprocal relationship with the land. Embracing the weather in all seasons allows participants to shift from observing nature indoors towards “mingling” with the elements and providing children with immersive and sensory-rich outdoor experiences. Some of the topics we will explore include what the weather has to offer us, use of natural loose parts, mindfulness in nature, respecting the land, and reflecting on our approach to weather and nature in early learning settings.
Stories of Connection with Dave Verhulst
Location: Edworthy Park Stump Circle
Humans are the “story telling animal.” Since the beginning, stories have helped shape us - we use them to weave our feelings, experiences, thoughts and ideas into threads of meaning. Stories are one of our most powerful tools for motivating and inspiring curiosity and activities that will drive children (and adults) towards a deep connection with nature.
Drawing from our experiences at Forest Play and interpretive guiding this workshop will explore:
- How stories can be used to create powerful learning experiences.
- How you can use archetypes and life stage transitions to build meaningful stories
- How to rediscover a child-like passion for the natural world
- Essential routines that ground and reconnect us with the natural world
Rejuvenation Forest Bathing with Julianne Buchler
Location: Edworthy Park Field
Forest Bathing is a literal reference to spending time "bathing" in health-promoting chemicals produced by the forest. We don't focus on any goals such as getting to a certain location in a certain time, as we might if we were hiking. Rather, time is spent connecting with one's senses, slowing down, noticing the world around us, and incorporating this experience as further knowledge of ourselves and the natural world.
What to expect:
- Low – no impact
- Slow walking with minimal terrain changes
- Guided mindfulness invitations
- Connection to nature through the senses
- Tea ceremony
Reading Nature with Rob Ross
Location: Edworthy Park Field
When you know what to look for, the forest is full to edible, and medicinal trees, plants and fungi! Join Rob on a walk to explore this side of the forest.
Exploring Land Acknowledgements with Young Children with Taylor Innes and Parisa Rahimian
Location: Church Basement Larch
In 2022, the staff at Common Digs chose to continue our responsibility and journey toward truth and reconciliACTION through considering the possibilities of developing personal, heartfelt, authentic Land Acknowledgements with young children. In this session, we will share our actions, experiences, proposals to the children and reflections of how this invitation took shape in our classes. We will take time to consider how you can develop your own personal land acknowledgments and/or working with children in an emergent and responsive way.